Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor died Friday at the age of 93, according to the Supreme Court.
O’Connor passed away due to complications from advanced dementia, “probably Alzheimer’s, and a respiratory illness,” the court said in a statement. O’Connor was the first female justice in the nation’s history.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor dead at 93 pic.twitter.com/cKDdgac6fk
— Ghael Fobes (@ghaelfobes) December 1, 2023
O’Connor was appointed to the bench in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and retired in 2006.
“A daughter of the American Southwest, Sandra Day O’Connor blazed an historic trail as our Nation’s first female justice,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement. “She met that challenge with undaunted determination, indisputable ability, and engaging candor. We at the Supreme Court mourn the loss of a beloved colleague, a fiercely independent defender of the rule of law, and an eloquent advocate for civics education. And we celebrate her enduring legacy as a true public servant and patriot.”
O’Connor is perhaps best known for her decisive vote in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a decision that re-affirmed the right to abortion. The decision was later overturned in 2022.
O’Connor sided with conservative justices in the 2000 case of Bush v. Gore.
O’Connor was replaced by Justice Samuel Alito.
This story will be updated when more information becomes available.