Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O’Connor There are many people who have made an important influence on the United States of America, however, one group of people in particular, the justices of the Supreme Court, has impacted the lives of Americans greatly. The justices make decisions that affect American citizens every day. One Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, made those important decisions for many years. She was a prominent figure in the court and guided many Supreme Court outcomes. Sandra Day O’Connor has not only braved controversial issues dealing with religion, gender-based issues, and abortion, she has, at the same time, broken through the gender barrier wall by becoming the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Sandra Day O’Connor continued to firmly stand by the Constitution on sensitive issues, such as religion. In the Court case Lynch v. Donnelly 1983, people tried to create a bigger barrier between religion and government by attempting to get a nativity scene removed from public property. The justices were split four to four and O’Connor took control as the deciding vote. She voted in favor of the nativity scene on public property. O’Connor stated, “Recognition of a public holiday is not understood to be an endorsement of religion” (Deegan 87). O’Connor showed that expressing religious views is not a crime. Today, Americans are free to celebrate their beliefs by displaying symbols of them on their properties, store fronts, and common grounds. O’Connor continued to support the freedom of religion as expressed in the Constitution in cases concerning creationism as well as the separation of church and state. During one hearing, the court heard arguments on whether or not to allow creation to be taught in public schools. O’Connor ruled in favor of schools being allowed to choose their own courses as long as the purpose was not strictly religious. Creationism could only be taught for literary and historical purposes. In the separation of church and state...
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