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USA: Pioneer on the Supreme Court – Sandra Day O’Connor dies

USA: Pioneer on the Supreme Court – Sandra Day O’Connor dies

Sandra Day O’Connor’s vote was decisive in many Supreme Court decisions. And for many women, the former judge is still a role model today.

The first woman to serve on the US Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor, has died at the age of 93. The former judge died this morning in Phoenix, Arizona, as the Supreme Court in Washington announced.

Accordingly, she succumbed to complications of advanced dementia and a respiratory disease. O’Connor made history in the United States when she became the first woman to become a Supreme Court justice in 1981. She cast the deciding vote in many judgments, voting partly with her liberal colleagues and partly with her conservative colleagues. As a result, she was considered one of the most influential women in the United States during her time on the Supreme Court.

O’Connor was nominated by then US President Ronald Reagan and retired in 2006 – also to care for her ailing husband. Supreme Court judges are appointed for life. O’Connor was nominated by Republican Reagan. However, it was not always true for the conservatives – for example when it came to the issue of abortion or the separation between church and state. O’Connor only got a colleague on the Supreme Court in 1993 when Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was considered to be a left-wing judge, was appointed justice. She remained in office until her death, dying in 2020.

Studied law at Stanford

O’Connor was born in Texas in 1930 and studied law at the renowned Stanford University in California. She became involved with the Republicans and became a senator in the Arizona Senate. Of her time on the Supreme Court, the Washington Post writes: “She didn’t go far enough in any area of ​​the law to fully satisfy either conservatives or liberals, either Republicans or Democrats.”

One decision that particularly focused on O’Connor was the historic negotiation over the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. At that time, the question was whether the votes in the crucial state of Florida should be recounted. The Supreme Court declared the election over, making Republican George W. Bush president and Democrat Al Gore losing out. Many liberals resented O’Connor for making a decision in Bush’s favor.

Source: Stern

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