August 12, 2019 Waymaker

Sandra Day O’Connor, Retired Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Ruth McGregor, Retired Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court

By Judge Elizabeth R. Finn

Sandra Day O’Connor is best known for being the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. She was appointed by President Reagan in 1981 and quickly became an important decision maker in many split decisions. The justice was born in rural Arizona on a cattle ranch and ended up attending Stanford Law School, where she met her husband John O’Connor. She was a legislator, becoming the first female majority leader of a state senate as the Republican leader. John and she were known for hosting many events at their home involving people of all persuasions to engage in civil discourse. In 1974, O’Connor was elected to the Maricopa County (Arizona) Superior Court, serving from 1975 to 1979, when she was elevated to the Arizona State Court of Appeals. Since her retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006, she has been very active in creating iCivics, an entity known for promoting civics education in a fun and entertaining fashion. She founded what eventually became the O’Connor Institute, bringing people of national stature to Arizona for civil discourse. Justice O’Connor has led a very active and ambitious career since retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court, inspiring women and others around the world.

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