BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the passing of former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
“Justice Sandra Day O’Connor broke the glass ceiling when she became the first woman confirmed to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States, as the 102th Justice. Justice O’Connor experienced gender discrimination firsthand when she received job offers only to be a legal secretary after graduating with high honors from Stanford Law School. The nine-member Court now has four women, and our federal judiciary has become more diverse in no small part due to Justice O’Connor trailblazing career.
“Justice O’Connor demonstrated a remarkable ability to bring solid majorities of the Supreme Court together on some of the most controversial issues of the day. Her experience as a state legislator and judge in Arizona helped to inform her opinions on reproductive freedom, affirmative action, and equal rights for all Americans. Her jurisprudence will stand the test of time in the finest traditions of the Court in her nearly quarter-century of service as a justice. After stepping down from the Court, Justice O’Connor continued her public service as a strong advocate for the independence of the judiciary, civil discourse, and in the fight against dementia, which both Justice O’Connor and her husband suffered from for many years.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Justice O’Connor’s family and friends at this difficult time.”