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Biden honors Sandra Day O'Connor as an 'American icon'

President Biden honored former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor after her passing in a statement Saturday.

“Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was an American icon, the first woman on our nation’s highest court,” Biden said in a statement. “She spent her career committed to the stable center, pragmatic and in search of common ground. I did not agree with all of her opinions, but I admired her decency and unwavering devotion to the facts, to our country, to active citizenship and the common good.”

O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, died of “complications related to advanced dementia, probably Alzheimer’s, and a respiratory illness” on Friday, according to a statement from the court. In 2018, O’Connor announced that she was withdrawing from public life in the wake of being diagnosed with dementia.

“Defined by her no-nonsense Arizona ranch roots, Justice O’Connor overcame discrimination early on, at a time when law firms too often told women to seek work as secretaries, not attorneys,” Biden continued in his statement. “She gave her life to public service, even holding elected office, and never forgot those ties to the people whom the law is meant to serve.”

“She sought to avoid ideology, and was devoted to the rule of law and to the bedrock American principle of an independent judiciary,” Biden added. “Unrelenting in her interrogations of attorneys before the Court, she was willing to learn and to change, open to the experience of fellow Americans and always conscious of the law’s real impact on their lives.”

O’Connor announced her plan to retire from the Supreme Court to take care of her husband, who had Alzheimer’s disease, in 2005. Current Chief Justice of the U.S. John Roberts was originally planned to succeed O’Connor, but when then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist died, Roberts instead succeeded him.

“A daughter of the American Southwest, Sandra Day O’Connor blazed an historic trail as our Nation’s first female Justice,” Roberts said in a statement.

Source: The Hill

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