Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has died at age 93, the Supreme Court said Friday.
Appointed by President Ronald Reagan, she was the first woman to serve on the high court, from 1981 to 2006. She died “this morning in Phoenix, Arizona, of complications related to advanced dementia, probably Alzheimer’s, and a respiratory illness,” the court said in a news release.
The Republican appointee was at the center of the court in high-profile cases, including ones on elections, affirmative action and abortion. In Bush v. Gore, she sided with George W. Bush in the case that enabled his 2000 presidential victory over Al Gore. She also upheld affirmative action and abortion rights, both of which the court has since gutted.
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