Sandra Day O’Connor was an innovative jurist who paved the way for other women to pursue careers in public service and the legal profession. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan selected her to the Supreme Court, making history as the court’s first female justice. After 25 years of service, she retired in 2006.
Sandra Day O’Connor was a conservative moderate who had a reputation for being quite independent and for being able to bring the Court together in harmony. For all girls and women, she was an inspiration.
Early Life and Education
El Paso, Texas is the site of Sandra Day’s birth on March 26, 1930. Her parents, rancher and cattle trader Harry A. Day and housewife Ada Mae Wilkey Day, had a daughter named her.
For her bachelor’s degree in history, O’Connor attended Stanford University and graduated in 1950. Afterwards, she attended Stanford Law School and was the top student in her class when she graduated in 1952.
O’Connor served as a deputy county attorney in California’s San Mateo County after finishing law school. Soon after, she went back to Arizona and spent a number of years working as a private attorney.
Connor was chosen to serve in the Arizona State Senate in 1973. Appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1975, she had previously spent four years in the Senate.
Connor was appointed to the Court of Appeals of Arizona in 1979. After two years of service on the Court of Appeals, Reagan nominated her to the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Justice
The Senate confirmed O’Connor by a vote of 99 to 0. As an associate justice, she took the oath of office on September 25, 1981.
O’Connor was a conservative moderate who had a reputation for being quite independent and for being able to bring the Court together in harmony. Numerous landmark decisions, like as those that supported Roe v. Wade and outlawed flag burning, relied on her swing vote.
Before her 2006 retirement, O’Connor served on the Supreme Court. Since then, she has kept busy in politics, books, and speeches.
Sandra Day O’Connor was an innovative jurist who paved the way for other women to pursue careers in public service and the legal profession. She spent 25 years as the Supreme Court’s longest-serving justice and the first woman to do so.
Girls and women around the world looked up to O’Connor. Women can accomplish great things, and she proved it.
O’Connor’s legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.
**Justice O’Connor was not just active on the Supreme Court, but also a gifted writer and public speaker. She spoke at length about the value of public service and authored multiple autobiographies detailing her life’s events.
The rights of women and girls were likewise deeply held by O’Connor. To encourage youth civic engagement and education, she established the Institute for Civics and Public Responsibility.
People of all walks of life held O’Connor in high esteem; she was a revered figure. An authentic American hero, she was.**