This week, we sadly say goodbye to the remarkable Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She made history as the first female judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. Her passing on December 1, 2023 leaves a void in our hearts and a deep appreciation for her contributions to our nation’s legal system. President Biden spoke at her funeral. Throughout her tenure on the highest court in this country from 1981 to 2006, she was widely regarded as the most influential woman in America. She left an indelible mark as a distinguished judge, contributing greatly to the legal field.
Here’s are some interesting facts about Supreme Court of the United States Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the SCOTUS:
She graduated from Stanford Law School
This is one of the best law schools in the U.S. in 1952 with her husband. He found a job quickly. But O’Connor had difficulty finding a paying job as an attorney in a law firm because of her gender.
She finally found employment as a deputy county attorney in San Mateo, California, after she offered to work for no salary and without an office, sharing space with a secretary. After a few months, she began drawing a small salary as she performed legal research and wrote memos. She worked with San Mateo County district attorney Louis Dematteis and deputy district attorney Keith Sorensen. Then, she took some time off for having kids, but continued volunteering in different political organizations and municipal roles.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor finally got a well-paying job in 1965.
She served as assistant Attorney General of Arizona from 1965 to 1969.
In 1969, the governor of Arizona appointed O’Connor to fill a vacancy in the Arizona Senate.
She ran for and won the election for the seat the following year. By 1973, she became the first woman to serve as Arizona’s or any state’s Majority Leader. She developed a reputation as a skilled negotiator and a moderate. After serving two full terms, O’Connor decided to leave the Senate.
In 1974, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court.
This was her first job as a judge, serving from 1975 to 1979, when she was elevated to the Arizona State Court of Appeals. She served on the Court of Appeals-Division One until 1981 when she was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan.
Because of women like Justice O’Connor,
I am able to practice law and feel equal to men in this country today. I am grateful to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and my hero Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for their trailblazing badass ways. They wanted to change the world, and they DID. They were women with families and kids who were not afraid to be their best intellectual selves and have legendary careers, breaking the glass ceiling and allowing women like myself (a first generation immigrant) into this profession.
Rest in power, Justice O’Connor. Say hello to Justice Ginsburg in the highest court of heaven. You have great experience for that job.
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