Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: March 26, 1930-December 1, 2023: Employment & Labor Insider


Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the primary lady on the U.S. Supreme Courtroom, died final Friday.

Justice O’Connor was appointed to the Courtroom by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, and was a task mannequin to many people girls who have been aspiring attorneys within the Eighties. She remained on the Courtroom till 2006, when she stepped all the way down to take care of her husband, who had dementia. Her husband died in 2009.

In 2018, Justice O’Connor retired from all public life, saying that she herself had dementia. 

Here’s what I wrote about her in 2018. (As you will notice, she is admittedly the one who wrote most of it. I could not enhance on what she mentioned.)

Justice O’Connor, 88, is the first-ever feminine Supreme Courtroom Justice, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to fill the place vacated by Justice Potter Stewart. Her successor is Justice Samuel Alito, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006.

I didn’t all the time agree with Justice O’Connor’s opinions, however I’ve an excessive amount of respect and admiration for her. The assertion she offered this week solely reinforces what a unprecedented individual is exiting the general public stage:

Not lengthy after I retired from the Supreme Courtroom twelve years in the past, I made a dedication to myself, my household, and my nation that I’d use no matter years I had left to advance civic studying and engagement. . . . Eight years in the past, I began iCivics . . . to show the core ideas of civics to center and highschool college students . . .. We should attain all our youth, and we have to discover methods to get individuals — younger and previous — extra concerned of their communities and of their authorities. . . . There isn’t any extra vital work than deepening younger individuals’s engagement in our nation.

I can not assist lead this trigger, on account of my bodily situation. It’s time for brand new leaders to make civic studying and civic engagement a actuality for all. It’s my nice hope that our nation will decide to educating our youth about civics, and to serving to younger individuals perceive their essential position as knowledgeable, lively residents in our nation. . . . I look ahead to watching from the sidelines as others proceed the laborious work forward.

I’ll proceed residing in Phoenix, Arizona, surrounded by pricey family and friends. Whereas the ultimate chapter of my life with dementia could also be making an attempt, nothing has diminished my gratitude and deep appreciation for the numerous blessings in my life. How lucky I really feel to be an American and to have been introduced with the exceptional alternatives obtainable to the residents of our nation. As a younger cowgirl from the Arizona desert, I by no means may have imagined that at some point I’d turn out to be the primary lady justice on the U.S. Supreme Courtroom.

I hope that I’ve impressed younger individuals about civic engagement and helped pave the pathway for ladies who could have confronted obstacles pursuing their careers. [Dear Justice O’Connor – You have.] My biggest because of our nation, to my household, to my former colleagues, and to all of the fantastic individuals I’ve had the chance to have interaction with over time.

God bless you all.

I’m tearing up simply typing this. Thanks, Justice O’Connor, on your instance, your service, and your humility, braveness, and selflessness in what should be a time of such nice private struggling. We’re in your debt. 

Relaxation in peace.

Picture Credit score: Portrait of Sandra Day O’Connor from flickr, Artistic Commons license, by April Weeks.

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