Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on July 25, 2012

Sandra Day O’Connor, the groundbreaking first female Supreme Court Justice, passed away at 93 due to complications from advanced dementia. 

Appointed by Reagan in 1981, she navigated 24 years on the court as a pivotal swing vote in divisive cases like abortion rights and affirmative action. Her legacy faced challenges as subsequent court rulings reversed landmark decisions she influenced. 

O’Connor, a trailblazer from the American Southwest, faced initial job hurdles in law due to her gender, later excelling in Arizona’s legal and political spheres. Her retirement in 2006 prioritized care for her ailing husband, leading her to champion civics education through the organization iCivics. 

Remembered for her wisdom and indomitable spirit, O’Connor’s impact on American constitutional law remains significant despite subsequent shifts in the court’s stance on key issues she helped shape.