Statement on the Passing of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor


Statement on the Passing of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Statements & Letters
Written by: NYCLA Officers
Published On: Dec 01, 2023


The New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) today issued a statement on the passing of the first female Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  Known for being a trailblazer, Justice O’Connor was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her role in transforming the Supreme Court and paving the way for other women including Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elana Kagan, Amy Coney Barrett, and Ketanji Brown Jackson.  In her 24 years on the bench, O’Connor voted on some of the most contentious issues the court has faced such as affirmative action and abortion and was considered by many to be the one who kept the court centered.

“We applaud Justice O’Connor’s remarkable career,” said Richard P. Swanson, NYCLA’s president-elect “She was an inspiration to all lawyers, especially women lawyers, and her career marked the huge change in the profession that women lawyers represent.” 

Prior to her career on the Supreme Court, Justice O’Connor served in the public sector as an attorney, and was named assistant attorney general of Arizona in 1965.  In 1969 she was elected to the Arizona senate, where she served 3 terms and became the first female majority leader in the United States for the Arizona Senate in 1973.

Justice O’Connor stepped down in 2006 and was succeeded by Samual Alito.  She is survived by three sons, six grandchildren and her brother Alan Day.

About the New York County Lawyers Association

The New York County Lawyers Association ( was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.

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