PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey released the following statement today, reflecting on the life, legacy and career of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor:
“Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s candid and beautiful letter to Americans, released this morning, is a reminder of the incredible life of public service she has devoted to our nation — and the history she has blazed.
In countless ways, Justice O’Connor has led the life of a pioneer. From a cattle ranch in Arizona with no running water or electricity, to the highest court in the land, Justice O’Connor broke barriers at every turn. When Sandra Day O’Connor was around, glass ceilings didn’t stand a chance. She was not only the first woman on the United States Supreme Court — while serving in the Arizona Legislature, she became the first female majority leader in American history.
When President Reagan nominated Justice O’Connor for the Court in 1981, he said her confirmation ‘symbolizes the richness of opportunity that still abides in America—opportunity that permits persons of any sex, age, or race, from every section and every walk of life to aspire and achieve in a manner never before even dreamed about in human history.’ How blessed Arizona is that the woman who charted this turning point in American history was and remains a fellow citizen of our state.
Justice O’Connor’s work continued after retirement. Through the O’Connor House, she has focused on civics education, engagement and discourse. She has inspired millions of Americans, especially young people, not only by talking about these values — she has lived and demonstrated these values.
As we celebrate her service to Arizona and America, our prayers and our hearts are with Justice O’Connor and her family. It is on all of us, to carry on her legacy — and to ensure her lessons remain fresh to every new generation of Americans.”