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2 Dec 2023
Olivia Alafriz

NextImg:‘American icon’: Biden pays tribute to Sandra Day O'Connor

President Joe Biden on Saturday paid tribute to the late former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as “an American icon.”

“She spent her career committed to the stable center, pragmatic and in search of common ground. I did not agree with all of her opinions, but I admired her decency and unwavering devotion to the facts, to our country, to active citizenship and the common good,” Biden said.

O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, died Friday morning in Phoenix, Arizona. She was 93.

“As a U.S. Senator on the Judiciary Committee, I remember the hope surrounding her historic nomination to the Supreme Court. The Senate voted 99-0 in her favor, proof that our nation can come together to move history forward,” Biden said.

Biden also praised O’Connor’s dedication to public service and the “bedrock American principle of an independent judiciary,” and cited her institute’s work to promote civics education and civil discourse.

“She knew that for democracy to work, we have to listen to each other, and remember how much more we all have in common as Americans than what keeps us apart,” he said.

Vice President Kamala Harris released a statement a short time after calling O’Connor a “trailblazer.”

“As an associate justice of the Supreme Court, as a state senator, and as a proud daughter of Arizona, Justice O’Connor dedicated her life to public service. A champion of civics education, Justice O’Connor helped countless young Americans better understand the nature and importance of our democracy,” Harris added.