Navajo Council honors life of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor passed away Dec. 1. (Photo/Harry Cabluck, AP)

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor passed away Dec. 1. (Photo/Harry Cabluck, AP)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation Council and Speaker Crystalyne Curley were saddened to learn of the passing of Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman Supreme Court Justice, who died Friday morning in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 93.

“It’s important to acknowledge Sandra Day O’Connor’s influence on the American Justice System by being the first woman appointed to serve as a Supreme Court Justice,” Speaker Curley said. “In Diné culture, we honor the symbiotic relationship that exists between men and women. We consult with one another to make decisions that further the prosperity of our families and our Nation. This relationship didn’t fully exist in the American Judicial system before O’Connor’s tenure with the Supreme Court, and we honor her role as a powerful and influential woman.”

The Supreme Court announced that O’Connor died of complications related to advanced dementia and a respiratory illness.

O’Connor was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. She served on the court for 25 years. Prior to her tenure on the Supreme Court, she was a judge and an elected official in Arizona, serving as the first female majority leader of a state senate as the Republican leader in the Arizona Senate.

In 2009, O’Connor was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for helping transform the American judiciary by paving the way for women to join the nation’s highest court.

She was often referred to as “the most powerful woman in America,” because she often cast the deciding vote in cases involving abortion, affirmative action, and the separation of church and state.

The 25th Navajo Nation Council sends their condolences to the family of Sandra Day O’Connor.

Information provided by the Navajo Nation Council.

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