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Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas.
Sandra Day O'Connor is a retired attorney and politician from the United States who was the first female associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in her tenure from 1981 to 2006. She was the first woman to be nominated for the post and then the first woman to be confirmed.
Sandra Day O'Connor was the swing vote for the Rehnquist Court when nominated by then-President Ronald Reagan. She was in the first few months of the Roberts Court. Before her tenure, Sandra Day O'Connor worked as an elected official and a judge in Arizona. In Arizona, O'Connor served as the first female majority leader of a state senate as the Republican leader. She was confirmed by the State unanimously when she was nominated to the court. With the confirmation of a successor, she announced her intention to retire when the date arrived on July 1, 2005. In October of the same year, Samuel Alito was nominated to take O'Connor's seat and joined the court on January 31, 2006. O'Connor was known to side with the conservative bloc of the Court and often wrote concurring opinions. These opinions sought to limit the pull of the majority holding. She had majority opinions in cases like 'Hamdi v. Rumsfeld' and 'Grutter v. Bollinger'. The lead opinion in 'Planned Parenthood v. Casey' was written by her and two others. She even wrote the majority opinion in 'Bush v. Gore'. When she was working in court, many publications regarded her as one of the most powerful women in the world. After she left the court, O'Connor also worked as chancellor of the College of William and Mary, replacing Henry Kissinger. Sandra also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama on August 12, 2009.
O'Connor worked as a judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Maricopa County Superior Court.
The net worth of Sandra Day O'Connor is estimated to be around $8 million.
The annual salary of O'Connor is not known.
Her height is not known.
O'Connor was born on March 26, 1930. As of June 2022, she is 92 years old.
O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1930. The El Paso-born politician is the daughter of Harry Alfred Day and Ada Mae (Wilkey). Harry was a rancher, and O'Connor grew up on a cattle ranch near Duncan, Arizona. Sandra's family home did not have electricity or running water until she was seven years old. When she was a youth, she had a rifle, which she used to shoot jackrabbits and coyotes. As soon as she started seeing over the dashboard, O'Connor started driving and learned how to change flat tires herself. She also had a younger sister named Ann who worked in the Arizona Legislature. She had a younger brother too, who is named Alan.
O'Connor lived with her grandmother in El Paso and went to the Radford School for Girls for her early education. In 1946, she graduated from Austin High School. She went to Stanford University next. She graduated from Stanford University in 1950 with a magna cum laude. She has a bachelor's degree in economics. She could not get a job in a law firm that was hiring a woman. She got her law degree from Stanford Law School in 1952.
Sandra Day O'Connor married John Jay O'Connor III in 1952. Sandra Day O'Connor went to the law school where John Jay O'Connor was also a student. When O'Connor served in the Supreme Court, the couple moved to Washington DC.'s Kalorama area. Her husband had Alzheimer's disease for around 20 years and he passed away in 2009. Since 2009, O'Connor has been working to make people aware of the illness. O'Connor was also diagnosed with a form of dementia in 2018.
They have three children named Scott O'Connor, Brian O'Connor, and Jay O'Connor.
After graduating from law school, Sandra Day O'Connor married her law schoolmate, John, and they joined as deputy county attorneys in San Mateo, California. She, however, left San Mateo when her husband was drafted. She worked in Germany as a civilian attorney for the Quartermaster Corps in the Army. They returned to the US after three years and settled in Maricopa County, Arizona. O'Connor volunteered for a lot of political organizations during her time in Maricopa County. She also worked on the presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater, the Arizona Senator. She was the Assistant Attorney General of Arizona from 1965 to 1969. She was also appointed to fill a vacancy in the Arizona state senate. In 1972, she won that seat in the election. She became the first woman to be elected as the state's majority leader in the Senate. She was also appointed in 1974 to the Maricopa County Superior Court and served there from 1975 to 1979. She was later promoted to the Arizona State Court of Appeals.
Ronald Reagan, during his presidential campaign in 1980, said that he would appoint the first female justice to the US Supreme Court. In the summer of 1981, he fulfilled his promise by nominating O'Connor. She was confirmed by the Senate in September with a 99-0 vote. On the Supreme Court, O'Connor usually joined the conservative voting bloc of Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and William Rehnquist. She was also the swing vote on some occasions. She was among the majority in most high-profile cases like 'Grutter v. Bollinger', 'United States v. Lopez', and 'Lockyer v. Andrade'. She was also part of 'Bush v. Gore' where she helped end Gore's presidential hopes. O'Connor was mostly unpredictable when it came to issues in the First Amendment Establishment Clause. She was consistent in upholding the Fourth Amendment.
Sandra retired from the Supreme Court in 2005. However, her retirement was delayed as Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist died in the same year. It created a new vacancy as a Supreme Court Justice, so she stayed on in the Supreme Court until the replacement was confirmed.
She continued to hear cases in the courts of appeals and federal district courts after her retirement. She also spoke at the Elon University School of Law, Georgetown University, and the William & Mary School of Law. In 2006, O'Connor started teaching an annual two-week class at James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. O'Connor also published many essays in publications such as the Denver University Law Review and the Financial Times. She also wrote the 2013 book titled 'Out Of Order: Stories From The History Of The Supreme Court'.
She is also a baptized member of the Episcopal Church.
The former Supreme Court Justice was involved in many different charities throughout her life. She launched Our Courts in 2009 to give interactive civics lessons. She is also part of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. She was also a member of the Board of Trustees at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. She also founded the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute in 2009.
Editorial credit: Rob Crandall / Shutterstock.com
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