Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was remembered by current and former members of the Supreme Court following her death at age 88 on Monday.
O’Connor, who served on the Supreme Court for almost 25 years and became the first woman to serve in the position, was remembered fondly by her colleagues.
“Sandra Day O’Connor made history as the first woman on the Supreme Court ever,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement. “She broke down barriers for women in the legal profession to the betterment of that profession and the country as a whole.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, O’Connor’s close friend and colleague on the Supreme Court, praised her for her lifelong commitment to “equal justice under law.”
“Throughout her long career,” Ginsburg said, “she served the nation with intellect and integrity.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor highlighted O’Connor’s commitment to bridging the aisle.
“Her willingness to cross political and legal divides allowed her to make, and help preserve, a more perfect union,” Sotomayor said in a statement.
Justice Stephen Breyer sprinkled his statement with humor, recalling the time O’Connor greeted him and Ginsburg in dress and hat at Sea Island, Georgia nearly 20 years ago.
“She had on a hat and she had on a dress,” Breyer said. “And I said to myself, ‘Good heavens, who is that?’ and it was Justice O’Connor, who had already turned 80.”
Formers members of the Supreme Court also shared their statements mourning O’Connor’s death.
John Paul Stevens remembered O’Connor for her “strong but kind personality, her fierce loyalty to her friends, and her abiding commitment to the rule of law.”
The late Justice Antonin Scalia, who served with O’Connor on the Supreme Court and was famously voted with her in a 1988 case, called her “a model of civility and collegiality.”
Thurgood Marshall, who O’Connor succeeded in the Supreme Court, remembered her as “a courageous and independent spirit” who cared deeply about the law.
Through her wit, her humanity, and decades of service on the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor earned her place in history as an iconic jurist and a trailblazer for women. She will be deeply missed by her friends and colleagues on the Supreme Court.