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Sandra Day O'Connor is being sworn in a Supreme Court Justice by Chief Justice Warren Burger, as her husband John O'Connor looks on, 09/25/1981 (US National Archives)
By The Skanner News
Published: 21 September 2020

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

Justice O'Connor, a Republican, opposed her party's call to reverse the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights, by providing the vote needed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) to uphold the court's earlier decision.

In 2000, she was also the deciding vote on the Bush v. Gore case, ending the recount of votes for the contested 2000 presidential race, thereby upholding the controversial count of Florida's electoral votes. George W. Bush thus went on to serve his first term as president. O'Connor later admitted that the highest court should not have weighed in based on the circumstances of the election.

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