Headline RoundupDecember 1st, 2023

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.”

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