Sandra Day O'Connor
|Sandra Day O'Connor|
|Supreme Court of the United States|
|Appointed by:||Ronald Reagan|
|Preceded by:||Potter Stewart|
|Succeeded by:||Samuel Alito|
|Born:||March 26, 1930|
|Law School:||Stanford Law, 1952|
Sandra Day O'Connor was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to serve on the high court. She was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in August 1981 and served until January 31, 2006. O'Connor was a crucial swing vote on the Court for many years because of her case-by-case approach to jurisprudence and her relatively moderate political views.
On July 1, 2005, O'Connor announced her intention to retire effective upon the confirmation of a successor. President George W. Bush nominated Justice Samuel Alito to take her seat in October 2005. O'Connor left the Court upon Alito's confirmation by the Senate on January 31, 2006.
O'Connor was one of five justices nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan, though only four were confirmed. She served during The Burger Court, The Rehnquist Court and The Roberts Court.
O'Connor received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1950 and her LL.B. from Stanford Law School in 1952.
- 1981-2006: Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
- 1979-1981: Judge, Arizona Court of Appeals
- 1975-1979: Judge, Maricopa County Superior Court
- 1973-1974: Senate Majority Leader, Arizona Senate
- 1969-1975: State Senator, Arizona Senate
- 1965-1969: Assistant Attorney General, State of Arizona
- 1957-1965: Attorney, private practice
- 1954-1957: Civil Attorney, Quartermaster Market Center in Frankfurt, Germany
- 1952-1953: Deputy county attorney, San Mateo County
Federal judicial career
O'Connor was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on August 19, 1981, to succeed Justice Potter Stewart. O'Connor was confirmed on September 21, 1981 and received commission the next day. She assumed senior status on January 31, 2006.
|Author: Sandra Day O'Connor
Vote Count: 5-4
Majority Justices: Rehnquist, Scalia, Kennedy
Concurring Justices: Thomas
Dissenting Justices: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
Rights of zoning board stands (1997)When the Archbishop of San Antonio was denied a permit to expand his Church, he sued the zoning board based on 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The City of Boerne zoning board argued that his church was in an historical area, which had ordinances in place forbidding new construction. On June 25, 1997, the Court ruled in favor of the zoning board, saying that the RFRA stated that the state could not "substantially burden" the free exercise of religion unless it was an impediment in an important government interest. In that case, the least amount of restriction was necessary. However, the RFRA was to be enforced by each state and the court could not determine how it was enforced. Because Boerne's regulation did not show preference for one religion over another, the enforcement of the zoning regulation was constitutional.
- News: Maryland sees rises in women judges, September 30, 2012
- Our Courts, an O'Connor project to teach children about civics.
- Legal profiles:
- Issue positions:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Politico.com, "'A woman's voice may do some good'," September 25, 2013
- Associate Press, "Retired Supreme Court justice to visit Anchorage," August 13, 2012
- Wall Street Journal Law Blog, "A Chat with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor," August 11, 2009
|Former chief justices||White|
|Former associate justices||
Baldwin • Barbour • Black • Blackmun • Blair • Blatchford • Bradley • Brandeis • Brennan • Brewer • Brown • Burton • Butler • Byrnes • Campbell • Cardozo • Catron • Chase • Clark • Clarke • Clifford • Curtis • Cushing • Daniel • Davis • Day • Douglas • Duvall • Field • Fortas • Frankfurter • Goldberg • Gray • Grier • Harlan I • Harlan II • Holmes • Hunt • Iredell • H. Jackson • R. Jackson • T. Johnson • W. Johnson, Jr. • J. Lamar • L. Lamar • Livingston • Lurton • Marshall • Matthews • McKenna • McKinley • McLean • McReynolds • Miller • Minton • Moody • Moore • Murphy • Nelson • Paterson • Peckham • Pitney • Powell • Reed • Roberts • W. Rutledge • Sanford • Shiras • Stewart • Story • Strong • Sutherland • Swayne • Thompson • Todd • Trimble • Van Devanter • Washington • Wayne • B. White • Whittaker • Wilson • Woodbury • Woods