OAN’s James Meyers
8:17 AM – Friday, December 1, 2023
Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to ever sit on the Supreme Court, has died at the age of 93, the Supreme Court announced.
The retired Supreme Court Associate Justice died on Friday morning in Phoenix, Arizona, with complications related to advanced dementia, Alzheimer’s, and a respiratory illness, the Supreme Court said in a statement.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. gave praise to the history-making justice.
“A daughter of the American Southwest, Sandra Day O’Connor blazed an historic trail as our Nation’s first female Justice. She met that challenge with undaunted determination, indisputable ability, and engaging candor,” Roberts said.
“We at the Supreme Court mourn the loss of a beloved colleague, a fiercely independent defender of the rule of law, and an eloquent advocate for civics education. And we celebrate her enduring legacy as a true public servant and patriot.”
In 2018, O’Connor revealed in a letter that she was diagnosed with the beginning stages of dementia.
“While the final chapter of my life with dementia may be trying, nothing has diminished my gratitude and deep appreciation for the countless blessings of my life,” she wrote.
At the age of 75, O’Connor abruptly announced her intention to step down from the Supreme Court to attend to her husband John O’Connor, who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
O’Connor’s appointment as the first female justice helped pave the way for other states to choose women for Supreme Court positions. She also never believed the critics who claimed that a woman would handle cases differently.
She quoted a letter from one supporter who wrote, “Dear Justice O’Connor: Don’t be intimidated by all those men and especially the chief justice. You put on your robes the same way.”
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