The first woman to serve as a justice on the United States Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor, died Friday at age 93 in Phoenix, The New York Times reported.
Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement of her death, the NYT reported that O’Connor was struggling with the effects of dementia.
She grew up in Arizona and spent most of her life there.
According to the New York Times report, very little could happen without Judge O’Connor’s support when it comes to the polarizing issues on the court docket and affirmative action law, abortion, voting rights, religion, federalism, sex discrimination, and others “Hot Button Topics” was basically what Sandra Day O’Connor envisioned.
“Sandra Day O’Connor, a daughter of the American Southwest, blazed a historic trail as our nation’s first female justice,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement mourning her death.
O’Connor was appointed by former Republican President Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s, as the United States began a shift to the right and conservative groups were fighting to change the country’s judicial landscape in their favor.
Despite her personal conservatism, O’Connor helped affirm the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion a constitutional right in the United States.
“Some of us as individuals perceive abortion as a violation of our most basic moral principles, but that cannot control our decision,” O’Connor famously said in court as he read a summary of the decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, adding: “Our duty is to define the freedom of all, not to dictate our own moral code.”
She was also part of a majority that gave the controversial 2000 election to former President George W. Bush. This was a controversial decision that halted a recount that could have reversed Bush’s victory in the key state of Florida.
In a public letter published in October 2018 at the age of 88, the former judge, who had not been seen in public for some time, revealed that she was in the early stages of dementia, “probably Alzheimer’s.” had been diagnosed. and consequently withdrew from public life.
According to the NYT report, Judge O’Connor spent an active retirement, sitting as a visiting judge on federal appeals courts across the country and speaking and writing widely on two causes, judicial independence and civic education.
She also cared for her six grandchildren, took them on trips, and wrote two children’s books based on her own colorful childhood on a remote Arizona ranch.
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Source : www.ndtv.com