Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her withdrawal from public life in a letter this week that detailed her advancing cognitive difficulties.
According to the Associated Press, the 88-year-old announced that she had been previously diagnosed with early-stage dementia.
In a new letter released via the Supreme Court's public information office, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announces she has been diagnosed with dementia and "probably Alzheimer's disease." pic.twitter.com/rr5UqvrprE
— Kevin Daley (@KevinDaleyDC) October 23, 2018
Describing her condition as “probably Alzheimer’s disease,” O’Connor explained that her current state has left her “no longer able to participate in public life.”
“I feel so strongly about the topic because I’ve seen first-hand how vital it is for all citizens to understand our Constitution and unique system of government, and participate actively in their communities,” she wrote. “It is through this shared understanding of who we are that we can follow the approaches that have served us best over time — working collaboratively together in communities and in government to solve problems, putting country and the common good above party and self-interest, and holding our key governmental institutions accountable.”
As Reported By The Western Journal:
Her letter ended with a bittersweet look at “the final chapter” of her life, which she said she will spend with loved ones in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.
She described her struggle with dementia as “trying,” but added that her “gratitude and deep appreciation for the countless blessings” she has received remains intact.
“My greatest thanks to our nation, to my family, to my former colleagues, and to all the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to engage with over the years,” O’Connor concluded.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has shown over the years many of the same signs of diminished mental capacity, yet she is still holding her chair. Some speculate that Ginsburg would have likely stepped down years ago when she first announced that she might if she were not pressured by Democrats to remain in her chair well beyond her ability to function efficiently.