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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Biden hails late justice O’Connor as ‘American icon’

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Washington — US President Joe Biden on Saturday hailed late Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor as an “American icon,” paying tribute to the first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court and her decades of public service.

“Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was an American icon,” Biden said in a statement. “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.”

He was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that voted unanimously to confirm O’Connor’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 1981.

“I remember the hope surrounding her historic nomination to the Supreme Court,” Biden said. “The Senate voted 99-0 in her favor, proof that our nation can come together to move history forward.”

“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. AFP

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“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.”

O’Connor died Friday at 93 of complications related to advanced dementia and a respiratory illness.

She served as one of the nine justices on the court until 2006 and wielded enormous influence as a crucial “swing vote” in a court evenly divided between liberals and conservatives. AFP

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