Photograph of Sandra Day O’Connor being sworn in a Supreme Court Justice by Chief Justice Warren Burger. Her husband, John O’Connor, looks on, September 25,1981.

By The Stream

Published on December 1, 2023

Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman seated on the Supreme Court, died Friday morning. She was 93. 

O’Connor was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981 by Ronald Reagan and had unanimous confirmation from the Senate. “I felt a special responsibility … as the first woman [in the Supreme Court], she told NPR. “I could either do an adequate job so it would be possible for other women to be appointed without [people] saying, ‘Oh, see, a woman can’t do it, so it became very important that I perform in a way that wouldn’t provide some reason or cause not to have more women in the future.’”

In 2009, President Barack Obama awarded O’Connor with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

O’Connor announced in 2018 that she had dementia and would retire from public life, Politico reported. She was an influential justice who served 24 years on the Court, voting on issues like affirmative action and abortion, among others. 

This is a breaking story that will be updated as more information becomes available.

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