Sandra Day O’Connor: Opinion in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

(1989)

About the Author

Sandra Day O'Connor holds the distinction of being the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She was born into a ranching family on March 26, 1930, in El Paso, Texas, though she grew up in Arizona, which would be her home state throughout most of her life. She received a bachelor's degree in economics from Stanford University, in California, in 1950 and remained at Stanford to complete a law degree in 1952—taking two years rather than the normal three. Coincidentally, the U.S. chief justice under whom she would serve, William Rehnquist, was a classmate at Stanford, and the two even briefly dated.

After completing her law degree, O'Connor was unable to find work as a lawyer in California because of her gender. Although she graduated near the top of her class, the only job she was offered was that of legal secretary. Accordingly, she turned to the public sector. Her first job was as a deputy county attorney in California. She then accompanied her...

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Sandra Day O'Connor (Library of Congress)

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