Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) today released the following statement regarding Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s announcement she is retiring from public life:
“I read with sadness today Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s announcement that she is retiring from public life due to progressing dementia. I have known Justice O’Connor for many years and have witnessed firsthand her exceptional service to Arizona and the nation.
“Justice O’Connor is an exemplar of the Arizona spirit. She grew up on her family cattle ranch in rural Arizona. She made it to Stanford University, continuing on to law school there, where she graduated at the top of her class. After returning to Arizona, Justice O’Connor made her mark serving as assistant Arizona attorney general, as the majority leader of the Arizona Senate, and as an Arizona state court judge. She was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Reagan, and she became the first female Supreme Court justice when she was confirmed unanimously by the Senate.
“Justice O’Connor served with distinction on the Supreme Court from 1981 to 2006, when she retired to spend more time with her husband who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She has had an active retirement, with a focus on improving civics education among young people. Her commitment to the judiciary and the Constitution is legendary, and her wise voice will be missed.
“My wife and I are thinking of and praying for Justice O’Connor and her family during this difficult time, and we wish them all the best.”