Supreme Court Justice Retires

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is retiring.

The announcement by O'Connor -- the first woman ever appointed to the court -- creates the first vacancy there in eleven years, and gives President Bush his first opportunity to appoint a justice.

O'Connor is 75. She has been a key swing vote on issues such as abortion and the death penalty.

She says she expects to leave before the start of the court's next term in October -- or whenever the Senate confirms a successor.

So far, there's no word from the White House on who that successor might be.

In her letter, O'Connor says it's been "a great privilege" to serve on the court -- and that she leaves with "enormous respect" for its role.

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