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Sandra Day O’Connor leaves a deep legacy in American political and civic life

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Sandra Day O’Connor died Friday long after the approach she took to legal issues, and the persona she applied to her experience in three branches of state government, had vanished from the American scene.

Ms. O’Connor, whose childhood was rooted in a rural, ranching America that also has largely disappeared, was both first (a woman on the Supreme Court) and last (a justice whose legal views were not rigidly tied to one of the battling ideologies in the country’s civic life).

As a hinge in the American story, Ms. O’Connor, who was 93, grew up adept at roping steers on a broad Arizona plain and finished her career roping in fellow jurists to reach consensus. This permitted her to achieve a remarkable record of being on 300 majority opinions, including rulings upholding abortion rights and affirmative action at universities – two topics where her Republican-appointed successors in recent years overturned decades of precedent.

Continue Reading at The Globe and Mail.

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