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Who Was the First Woman Supreme Court Justice?


Sandra Day O'Connor - May 2009

Sandra Day O'Connor, first female Supreme Court Justice, speaks at a law conference in Washington, DC, May 20, 2009

Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Question: Who was the first woman Supreme Court justice?

Answer: On July 7, 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court of the United States. She was confirmed by the Senate 99-0 on September 21, 1981, and took her seat -- the first time a woman had held such a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court -- on September 25.

Known as a swing vote through much of her Supreme Court service, Sandra Day O'Connor retired January 31, 2006, when her successor, Samuel Alito, took that seat.

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