Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor (born March 26, 1930) is a retired justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was the first woman to serve as justice on the Supreme Court, as well as the first from Arizona.

Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor.jpg
91st Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In office
September 21, 1981 – January 31, 2006
Nominated byRonald Reagan
Preceded byPotter Stewart
Succeeded bySamuel Alito
23rd Chancellor of The College of William & Mary
In office
April 7, 2006 – February 3, 2012
Preceded byHenry Kissinger
Succeeded byRobert Gates
Personal details
Sandra Day

(1930-03-26) March 26, 1930 (age 93)
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)John O'Connor (1952–2009)
Alma materStanford University

One of her ideas on the Supreme Court was the endorsement test. It was a way to check if the government was supporting religion.


O'Connor was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan. Reagan said while running for president that he wanted a woman to be on the supreme court and promised to nominate a woman for the job the first chance he got. One of her biggest supporters was Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, who helped make sure that all 100 Senators voted to confirm her. While on the Supreme Court, she was involved in several major supreme court decisions including: Bush v. Gore, which had to do with a disputed election; Planned Parenthood v. Casey which involved a woman's right to privacy. She was also involved in Lawrence v. Texas, a case about whether burning a US flag was free speech. She retired from the court in 2006. Sam Alito was chosen to replace her. On August 12, 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is the highest civilian honor of the United States. It was given by President Barack Obama.

In October 2018, O’Connor announced her effective retirement from public life after disclosing that she was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.[1]

Things named after her

She has a school named after her in North Phoenix, Arizona.

Sandra Day O'Connor Media


  • Greenburg, Jan Crawford (2007). Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court. Penguin Books.
  • Montini, E.J. (2005) "Rehnquist is No. 1, O'Connor is No. 3, Baloney is No. 2."[dead link], The Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  • O'Connor, Sandra Day; and Day, H. Alan (2002). Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest. Random House. ISBN 0-375-50724-8.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Other websites

Legal offices
Preceded by
Potter Stewart
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Succeeded by
Samuel Alito
Order of Precedence of the United States of America
Preceded by
John Paul Stevens
as Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Succeeded by
David Souter
as Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court