Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Diagnosed With Dementia

Sandra Day O'Connor

First female Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is battling dementia.  The retired justice released a statement today through the Supreme Court stating the disease is in its early stages, but she will be withdrawing from public life.  The 88-year-old was nominated back in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan.  Prior to being appointed, she was a judge and state lawmaker in Arizona.  O'Connor was believed to be a key swing vote in the high court before retiring in 2006.

Photo: Getty Images

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