Sandra Day O’Connor

32 years ago, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female Supreme Court Justice in United States history.

The future Justice was born on March 26, 1930 in El Paso, Texas.  She would spend most of her childhood in Arizona.  O’Connor graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and received her law degree at Stanford University.  She would return to Arizona where she spent most of her career in public service.

O’Connor served in various positions in Arizona and spent a few years in private practice before she was appointed to the Arizona State Senate.  She would be reelected twice to this seat before running for and winning a Superior Court judgeship.  A few years later, in 1979, O’Connor would be appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals.  In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated O’Connor to be an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.  She received unanimous approval , and, on September 25, 1981, she was sworn in as the first female member to sit on the most important court in the United States.

Justice O’Connor was considered by many to be a moderate conservative in politics.  Despite this, she was the deciding vote upholding Roe v. Wade.  Over her time on the bench, she would often be the deciding vote on split issues.

On January 31, 2006, Justice O’Connor retired from the Court to spend more time with her husband who was in declining health.  Since her retirement, she has created an online program aimed at education middle school age students about civics and government.


” Sandra Day O’Connor Biography – Facts, Birthday, Life Story – .” Famous Biographies & TV Shows – . (accessed September 26, 2013).

“Biographies of Current Judges of the Supreme Court.” Home – Supreme Court of the United States. (accessed September 26, 2013).


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