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The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

Sandra Day O’Connor: Her life, career and, impact

Sandra Day O’Connors death on Dec. 1st brings to light her years of work for the U.S. Supreme Court and more
Sandra+Day+OConnor+served+in+the+U.S.+Supreme+Court+for+nearly+25+years.
Claire Anderson, Unsplash
Sandra Day O’Connor served in the U.S. Supreme Court for nearly 25 years.

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — On Friday, Dec. 1 Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to be a part of the U.S. Supreme Court, passed away at age 93. She served on the U.S. Supreme Court from Sept. 25, 1981 – Jan. 31, 2006, almost 25 years in office. O’Connor is an important part of women’s rights and history, and her death is a tragic loss for many.

Sandra Day O’Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1930. O’Connor grew up on a cattle ranch in Southwestern Arizona at times off the grid. O’Connor grew up to be well-educated and later went on the graduate from Stanford University and Standford Law School. O’Connor later married John O’Connor, who also attended Stanford University, and together they raised three children. 

After graduating from Stanford Law School in 1952, O’Connor worked as a county attorney in California for several months. After working in California with no salary or office O’Connor and her husband then moved to Germany where she worked as a civilian attorney. 

In 1965, O’Connor moved back to the U.S. and began working as an assistant attorney general for Arizona’s chief law officer. In 1969, Governor Jack Williams appointed O’Connor to be on the Arizona State Senate. When the spot was open for election in 1970, O’Conner won the election and was later elected to be the Republican majority leader in 1972. 

After working in the Arizona State Senate for four years O’Connor left to become the county judge at Maricopa County Superior Court. In 1979, O’Connor was appointed by Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt to be on the Arizona Court of Appeals. 

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated O’Connor to be on the Supreme Court. The entire U.S. Senate later that year confirmed her position on the Supreme Court. O’Connor then started her 25-year career on the Supreme Court.

Sandra Day O’Connor was an important figure in women’s history and empowered women during her time in office.  When Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, no woman had served on the Supreme Court before her. She was even awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 for her work in the judicial branch. Many women could see her as a person representing their voice and opening the door for more women to pursue similar careers. 

She showed that women can achieve the same successes as men. She broke the glass ceiling for women by becoming a Supreme Court Justice.

— Sophie Long, a freshman

O’Connor was in the majority in cases such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Grutter v. Bullinger, and Westside Community Board of Education v. Mergens.

“O’Connor’s mark on history cannot be understated, she shaped non-partisan actions that both upset and made politicians cheer,” said Mrs. Riegert, a Los Al government teacher. “While she was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, a well-revered and respected CA Republican, she was considered a crucial swing vote in civil issues. She embodied judicial prudence and personified the prestige of the Supreme Court above politics. While she was a trailblazer in being the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court, her legacy has shaped a generation of lawmakers and politicians.”

After O’Connor retired, she continued to volunteer and dedicate herself to helping others and her family.

Sandra Day O’Connor will be remembered for her service, dedication, and her defiance of gender norms while serving on the Supreme Court.

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Reese Neiger, Staff Writer
Reese Neiger is a freshman at Los Alamitos High School. This is her first year in journalism, but she has always enjoyed writing and wants to pursue it in the future. She enjoys writing about current events, especially activities and pop culture. In her free time, you will catch her playing with her dog and having a good time at her swimming practice. She is excited to write impactful articles during journalism class this year.
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