Sandra Day O'Connor

Justice O'ConnorSandra Day O’ConnorO'ConnorJustice Sandra Day O'ConnorJustice O’ConnorJustices O'ConnorSandra Day O'ConnerO’ConnorDay O'Connor JJustice O'Connor,
Sandra Day O'Connor (born March 26, 1930) is a retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who served from her 1981 appointment by President Ronald Reagan until her retirement in 2006.wikipedia
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Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Associate JusticeJusticeAssociate Justice of the Supreme Court
Sandra Day O'Connor (born March 26, 1930) is a retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who served from her 1981 appointment by President Ronald Reagan until her retirement in 2006.
The title was shortened to "Justice" in 1980, a year before Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female justice.

Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. CaseyPlanned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. CaseyCasey
She also wrote in part the per curiam majority opinion in Bush v. Gore, and was one of three co-authors of the lead opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
In a plurality opinion jointly written by associate justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter, the Supreme Court upheld the "essential holding" of Roe, which was that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects a woman's right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability.

Grutter v. Bollinger

Grutterdefending affirmative actionGrutter v Bollinger
Her majority opinions in landmark cases include Grutter v. Bollinger and Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.
In a majority opinion joined by four other justices, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor held that the Constitution "does not prohibit the law school's narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body."

Stanford Law School

Stanford University Law SchoolStanfordStanford Law
She continued at the Stanford Law School for her law degree in 1952.
Stanford Law alumni include several of the first women to occupy Chief Justice or Associate Justice posts on supreme courts: former Chief Justice of New Zealand Sian Elias, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the late Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court Rhoda V. Lewis, and the late Chief Justice of Washington Barbara Durham.

John Jay O'Connor

John Jay O'Connor IIIJohn O'Connor
On December 20, 1952 (six months after graduating from law school), she married John Jay O'Connor III, whom she had met at Stanford Law School.
John Jay O'Connor III (January 10, 1930 – November 11, 2009) was an American lawyer and the husband of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the court.

Potter Stewart

StewartJustice StewartJustice Potter Stewart
On July 7, 1981, Reagan – who had pledged during his 1980 presidential campaign to appoint the first woman to the Court – announced he would nominate O'Connor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Potter Stewart.
Stewart retired in 1981 and was succeeded by Sandra Day O'Connor.

Supreme Court of the United States

United States Supreme CourtU.S. Supreme CourtSupreme Court
Sandra Day O'Connor (born March 26, 1930) is a retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who served from her 1981 appointment by President Ronald Reagan until her retirement in 2006.
Sometimes a great length of time passes between nominations, such as the eleven years between Stephen Breyer's nomination in 1994 to succeed Harry Blackmun and the nomination of John Roberts in 2005 to fill the seat of Sandra Day O'Connor (though Roberts' nomination was withdrawn and resubmitted for the role of Chief Justice after Rehnquist died).

William Rehnquist

William H. RehnquistRehnquistChief Justice Rehnquist
There, she served on the Stanford Law Review with its presiding editor-in-chief, future Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who was the class valedictorian and whom she briefly dated during law school.
He later returned to Stanford, and graduated from the Stanford Law School in the same class as Sandra Day O'Connor, with whom he would serve on the Supreme Court.

Anthony Kennedy

Justice KennedyKennedyAnthony M. Kennedy
Later on, as the Court's make-up became more conservative (e.g., Anthony Kennedy replacing Lewis Powell, and Clarence Thomas replacing Thurgood Marshall), O'Connor often became the swing vote on the Court. However, she usually disappointed the Court's more liberal bloc in contentious 5–4 decisions: from 1994 to 2004, she joined the traditional conservative bloc of Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Thomas 82 times; she joined the liberal bloc of John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer only 28 times.
After the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor in 2006, he was the swing vote on many of the Roberts Court's 5–4 decisions.

Duncan, Arizona

DuncanDuncan, AZ
She grew up on a 198,000-acre cattle ranch near Duncan, Arizona.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

GinsburgJustice GinsburgJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
However, she usually disappointed the Court's more liberal bloc in contentious 5–4 decisions: from 1994 to 2004, she joined the traditional conservative bloc of Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Thomas 82 times; she joined the liberal bloc of John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer only 28 times.
She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O'Connor) of four to be confirmed to the court (along with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who are still serving).

Bush v. Gore

2000 election controversydisputed vote counts5-4 decision
She also wrote in part the per curiam majority opinion in Bush v. Gore, and was one of three co-authors of the lead opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
At an election night party, Sandra Day O'Connor became upset when the media initially announced that Gore had won Florida, her husband explaining that they would have to wait another four years before retiring to Arizona.

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld

HamdiYaser Hamdi v. Donald Rumsfeld
Her majority opinions in landmark cases include Grutter v. Bollinger and Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.
Justice O'Connor wrote a plurality opinion representing the Court's judgment, which was joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Breyer and Kennedy.

Samuel Alito

AlitoJustice AlitoJustice Samuel Alito
Samuel Alito was nominated to take her seat in October 2005 and joined the Court on January 31, 2006.
On July 1, 2005, Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court effective upon the confirmation of a successor.

Austin High School (El Paso, Texas)

Austin High SchoolAustinEl Paso Austin Golden Panthers
She graduated sixth in her class at Austin High School in El Paso in 1946.

Jesse Helms

Senator Jesse HelmsSenator Helmscontroversies
Pro-life and religious groups opposed O'Connor's nomination because they suspected, correctly, she would not be willing to overturn Roe v Wade. U.S. Senate Republicans, including Don Nickles of Oklahoma, Steve Symms of Idaho, and Jesse Helms of North Carolina called the White House to express their discontent over the nomination; Nickles said he and "other profamily Republican senators would not support" O'Connor.
Senator Helms was one of several Republican senators who in 1981 called into the White House to express his discontent over the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to the US Supreme Court; their opposition hinged over the issue of O'Connor's presumed unwillingness to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling.

Don Nickles

Donald L. NicklesDonald Lee "Don" NicklesNickles
Pro-life and religious groups opposed O'Connor's nomination because they suspected, correctly, she would not be willing to overturn Roe v Wade. U.S. Senate Republicans, including Don Nickles of Oklahoma, Steve Symms of Idaho, and Jesse Helms of North Carolina called the White House to express their discontent over the nomination; Nickles said he and "other profamily Republican senators would not support" O'Connor.
Nickles was one of many Republican senators who in 1981 called the White House to express his discontent over the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor of Arizona to the United States Supreme Court.

Christian right

religious rightconservative ChristianChristian conservative
Pro-life and religious groups opposed O'Connor's nomination because they suspected, correctly, she would not be willing to overturn Roe v Wade. U.S. Senate Republicans, including Don Nickles of Oklahoma, Steve Symms of Idaho, and Jesse Helms of North Carolina called the White House to express their discontent over the nomination; Nickles said he and "other profamily Republican senators would not support" O'Connor.
They were astonished and dismayed when his first appointment was Sandra Day O’Connor, whom they feared would tolerate abortion.

Ronald Reagan

ReaganRonald W. ReaganPresident Reagan
Sandra Day O'Connor (born March 26, 1930) is a retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who served from her 1981 appointment by President Ronald Reagan until her retirement in 2006.
That opportunity came during his first year in office when Associate Justice Potter Stewart retired; Reagan selected Sandra Day O'Connor, who was confirmed unanimously by the Senate.

Kelo v. City of New London

Kelo v. New LondonSusette KeloKelo
On February 22, 2005, with Rehnquist and Stevens (who were senior to her) absent, she became the senior justice presiding over oral arguments in the case of Kelo v. City of New London and becoming the first woman to do so before the Court.
Oral arguments were presented on behalf of the petitioners (plaintiffs) by Scott G. Bullock of the Institute for Justice in Washington D.C. and on behalf of the respondents (defendants) by Wesley W. Horton of Horton, Shields & Knox in Hartford, CT. The case was heard by only seven members of the court with Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor presiding, as Chief Justice William Rehnquist was recuperating from medical treatment at home and Associate Justice John Paul Stevens was delayed on his return to Washington from Florida; both absent Justices read the briefs and oral argument transcripts and participated in the case decision.

Stanford Law Review

Law ReviewStanfordStanford Law Review Online
There, she served on the Stanford Law Review with its presiding editor-in-chief, future Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who was the class valedictorian and whom she briefly dated during law school.
Other notable alumni are William Rehnquist, Sandra Day O'Connor, Shirley Hufstedler, Joshua Bolten, Carlos Watson, and Peter Thiel.

Swing vote

swing voterswing votersfloating voter
Later on, as the Court's make-up became more conservative (e.g., Anthony Kennedy replacing Lewis Powell, and Clarence Thomas replacing Thurgood Marshall), O'Connor often became the swing vote on the Court. She most frequently sided with the Court's conservative bloc; having the swing opinion in many decisions.
On the Supreme Court of the United States, Associate Justices Potter Stewart, Byron White, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Anthony Kennedy have been described as swing votes between the two factions of the court.

Antonin Scalia

Justice ScaliaScaliaJustice Antonin Scalia
However, she usually disappointed the Court's more liberal bloc in contentious 5–4 decisions: from 1994 to 2004, she joined the traditional conservative bloc of Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Thomas 82 times; she joined the liberal bloc of John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer only 28 times.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor authored the decision of the Court, allowing the abortion regulations at issue in the case to stand but not overriding Roe.

Ann Day

Her sister was Ann Day, who served in the Arizona Legislature.
Day was the sister of retired United States Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Barry Goldwater

Barry M. GoldwaterGoldwaterBarry Morris Goldwater
She volunteered in various political organizations, such as the Maricopa County Young Republicans, and served on the presidential campaign for Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater in 1964.
In response to Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell's opposition to the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court, of which Falwell had said, "Every good Christian should be concerned", Goldwater retorted: "Every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass."