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Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner passed away on December 1st, 2023, at the age of 93. She was the first woman elected to the Supreme Court, and served for 24 years. O’Connor withdrew from life in the public eye in 2018, after being diagnosed with dementia. During her time on the Court she was pivotal in a number of important case decisions and well-known for the diversity of her accomplishments.
Not only was she a judge and a trailblazer for women, but she was also an Arizona legislator, a cancer survivor, and received the highest civilian honor in the nation from President Obama. When she was first searching for a job in the legal field she was rejected by more than 40 law firms, simply because she was a woman. She eventually went to work as a legal secretary, and then became a deputy county attorney in San Mateo, CA.
She moved to Germany and practiced law there, and then returned to the US and started practicing law in Arizona. In 1965 she worked her way up to assistant attorney general. Then she decided to get into politics, and served three terms in the Arizona Senate. In 1973 she made history, becoming the first woman to fill the role of majority leader.
Even though she faced a lot of gender-based discrimination, O’Connor was persistent in her career. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981, making history yet again. She understood the value of performing well and making sure to pave the way for the women who would come after her. She was a moderate conservative during her time on the Court, and rejected the label of swing voter.
O’Connor was also dedicated to legal principles and accuracy in the decisions she made, and made a significant impact on the Court in more than just the rulings. Before she lobbied for a female restroom, for example, there wasn’t even one located near the courtroom. She retired in 2006 to become a caregiver for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s, and was succeeded by Samuel Alito.
If you are ready to start or update your estate plan, our team would love to help you! After a thorough review of your assets we will present you with various estate planning techniques that will suit your needs no matter what type of estate you have. Contact us today to get started!