First female member of the United States Supreme Court.">

The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Sandra Day O'Connor

On July 7, 1981, Reagan — who had pledged during his 1980 presidential campaign to appoint the first woman to the Court — nominated O'Connor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. O'Connor was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with a vote of 99–0. In her first year on the Court she received over 60,000 letters from the public, more than any other justice in history.

She served as an Associate Justice from 1981 until her retirement from the Court in 2006.

Some of the cases in which O'Connor was the deciding vote include:

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale530 U.S. 640 (2000) O'Connor joined the majority in holding that New Jersey violated the Boy Scouts' freedom of association by prohibiting it from discriminating against its troop leaders on the basis of sexual orientation.

United States v. Lopez514 U.S. 549 (1995) O'Connor joined a majority holding unconstitutional Gun-Free School Zones Act as beyond Congress's Commerce Clause power.

Bush v. Gore531 U.S. 98 (2000) O'Connor joined with four other justices on December 12, 2000, to rule on the Bush v. Gore case that ceased challenges to the results of the 2000 presidential election (ruling to stop the ongoing Florida election recount and to allow no further recounts).


Read More

A Conversation on the Constitution -  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and others fielded questions in Washington Tuesday, May 16, 2006 from 50 high school students from the Philadelphia and Los Angeles areas. 

Lazy B: growing up on a cattle ranch in the American Southwest - O'Connor and her brother co-wrote this biographical account of their early lives living on their cattle ranch.

The majesty of the law: reflections of a Supreme Court Justice - O'Connor's biography of her life as a Supreme Court Justice. 

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