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    Arizona leaders remember nation’s 1st female Supreme Court justice


    O’Connor, who became the first woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice in the 1980s, passed away at the age of 93 on Dec. 1. According to a statement by Supreme Court officials, O’Connor died in Phoenix due to complications related to advanced dementia and a respiratory illness.

    “A daughter of the American Southwest, Sandra Day O’Connor blazed an historic trail as our Nation’s first female Justice. She met that challenge with undaunted determination, indisputable ability, and engaging candor. We at the Supreme Court mourn the loss of a beloved colleague, a fiercely independent defender of the rule of law, and an eloquent advocate for civics education, and we celebrate her enduring legacy as a true public servant and patriot,” wrote Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

    “Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spent her life breaking down barriers in the pursuit of a more just society.

    In the years since her retirement from the Court, I’ve admired her steadfast commitment to preserving our democracy through objective, fact-based and collaborative civil discourse. Her work will inspire future generations to follow her example to become engaged and thoughtful civic participants.

    Gov. Katie Hobbs

    Governor Katie Hobbs, in her statement, said O’Connor “embodied the humility and civility that is at the core of what it means to be a public servant.”

    “Throughout her entire career, as an Arizona legislator, judge, and Supreme Court Justice, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor embodied the humility and civility that is at the core of what it means to be a public servant. Justice O’Connor first broke barriers when she was elected Arizona Senate Majority Leader, becoming the first woman to ever serve in that role in the United States.

    Her legacy will forever be ingrained in the fibers of our state and nation’s history. The hearts of every Arizonan are with her and her family today as we mourn the loss of a true trailblazer.”

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    Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer

    “Justice Sandra Day O’Connor exemplified the best of Arizona and our entire county. As the first woman on the Supreme Court, Justice O’Connor broke barriers, championed integrity, and defended the rule of the law. Justice O’Connor was a steadfast leader in Arizona, and she is a perfect example of why so many of us are proud to call the Grand Canyon State home. The impact of her legacy will be felt for generations to come.”

    In a brief statement posted to her  X (formerly Twitter) account, Kimberly Yee, who is Arizona’s Treasurer, called O’Connor a “trailblazer.”

    Fmr. Gov. Doug Ducey

    “A person for all seasons,” a portion of the X post read.

    Fmr. Gov. Jan Brewer

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    Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego

    “With her unique grit, O’Connor took any ‘no’ she got and turned it into a ‘watch me!’ — leading her all the way to the Supreme Court,” read a portion of Mayor Gallego’s statement. “Her legacy is forever etched in our memories.”

    (Related Video) AZ woman remembers Sandra Day O’Connor

    As news of Sandra Day O’Connor’s death spread, we sat down with Molly Edwards, who served as Programs Director for Sandra Day O’Connor in 2014.



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