Today marks a historical day as the first female supreme court justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, lies in repose at the Supreme Court. The former justice passed away due to unspecified natural causes in late April.
O’Connor, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was the first woman to serve on the highest court in the United States. During her tenure, O’Connor became one of the court’s most powerful and influential jurists. She was known for her moderate positions, often taking a centrist approach to issues such as abortion, church-state relations, and civil rights.
Today marks the start of a two day ceremony honoring O’Connor at the Supreme Court. Replicas of the four flags draped over her casket are being flown at half-staff, including the American, Texas, Arizona, and Supreme Court flags.
As a tribute to O’Connor, the Court has closed in observance of her passing. In lieu of a formal public visitation, the Court will be paying its respects today with a private ceremony for family members and friends of the former justice.
The passing of Sandra Day O’Connor marks the end of an incredible legacy of public service and an era of women’s empowerment. Her advocacy for gender equality will forever be remembered in the annals of American history.