Arizona lawmaker calls O’Connor ‘undistinguished jurist’ in rejecting Statuary Hall honor

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Arizona lawmakers recently rejected a state proposal that would commission a statute of the late Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conor to sit in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol, according to multiple reports.

“We cannot allow the distinguished members of this body to have to suffer walking by such an undistinguished jurist when they enter here in the morning,” state Rep. Alexander Kolodin (R) said earlier this week, per the Arizona Mirror, but the statute would sit in Washington, D.C., not the Arizona Capitol.

O’Connor, the first female justice to sit on the nation’s highest bench, died in early December at the age of 93. She was also a swing vote on many big cases for the court.

Current and former Supreme Court Justices remembered her for blazing “an historic trail” and making “history.”

“A daughter of the American Southwest, Sandra Day O’Connor blazed an historic trail as our Nation’s first female Justice, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote after the news broke. “She met that challenge with undaunted determination, indisputable ability, and engaging candor.”

O’Connor was born in Texas and raised in Arizona, serving in all three branches of The Grand Canyon State’s government prior to being elected to the high court. She died in her home state due to “complications related to advanced dementia, probably Alzheimer’s, and a respiratory illness,” according to the Supreme Court.

Another Arizona state representative, Neal Carter (R), brought up his distaste for the late Supreme Court Justice, remembering a time in which another justice, who was unnamed, told him that O’Connor was the ‘worst thing that happened to the federal bench,” the local outlet reported.

“I believe that we should honor people, things and institutions for their merit, and not merely because they came from this state,” Carter said, according to the Mirror.

The Hill has reached out to Reps. Carter and Kolodin.

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