Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Dies at 93
Summary from the AllSides News Team
Former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor died on Friday at the age of 93. Voices across the spectrum are reflecting on the legacy of the first female justice.
The Court’s “Glue”: In the Washington Post (Lean Left bias), the author of a biography on O’Connor described the first female justice’s path to the bench and the social role she served, acting as, in the words of fellow Justice Clarence Thomas, the “glue” that kept the court civil. She was well regarded by her clerks and fellow justices, even when they clashed on rulings. O’Connor was direct but didn’t hold grudges. She was, in her own words, “bossy,” but not a show-off. The writer concludes that O’Connor “understood that power and influence should be wielded with good humor and decency.”
The Politician Judge: Dan McLaughlin (Right bias) determined that while O’Connor’s confirmation to the bench was a first-of-its-kind on account of her gender, she also represented the last of a bygone era of politician judges. O'Connor's career path, serving in the Arizona Senate prior to becoming a Supreme Court Justice, gave her a perspective not seen in all justices since. McLaughlin wrote that O’Connor “fundamentally saw her role more in terms of moderation, justice, fairness, and consensus rather than the crisp clarity of textual fidelity.” Determining that this perspective has “rightly” gone out of fashion, McLaughlin stated that O’Connor “marks the last stop on a road no longer taken.”
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftThe keys to O’Connor’s power? Civility and self-restraint.
When Sandra Day O’Connor first arrived at the Supreme Court in the fall of 1981, she found it to be a cold place. The other justices were not entirely welcoming to the first woman in their midst. At her first lunch with the justices, half of them did not show up. At her investiture, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger paraded the newly robed O’Connor down the court’s front steps, exclaiming to reporters, “You’ve never seen me with a better-looking justice.” She smiled gamely; she was used to this sort of...
From the CenterFormer US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor dead at 93
Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, whose centrist views and shrewd negotiating skills allowed her to steer the nation’s law for much of her quarter-century tenure, died on Friday at the age of 93, the court said.
The court said in a statement that O'Connor died in Phoenix of complications related to advanced dementia and a respiratory illness.
Chief Justice John Roberts recalled O'Connor as having "blazed an historic trail as our nation’s first female justice."
"She met that challenge with undaunted determination,...
From the RightSandra Day O’Connor: The Supreme Court’s Last Politician
Sandra Day O’Connor, who has died at 93, will be best remembered as the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. That is enough by itself to secure her place in history. Her impressive and inspiring life story shows how far she came, from growing up on a cattle ranch without running water or electricity to entering Stanford at age 16 to rising in the ranks of a legal profession that was mostly closed to women in her formative years. Upon graduating law school, she couldn’t get a legal job,...