In 1981, President Ronald Reagan fulfilled a campaign promise to appoint the first woman to the U.S. Supreme Court by nominating Arizona lawyer and judge Sandra Day O'Connor to a seat on the bench. After announcing the nomination, Reagan wrote in his diary, "Already the flak is starting and from my own supporters. . . . I think that she'll make a good justice." O'Connor served from 1981 to her retirement in 2006 and left a reputation as a conscientious associate justice, one inclined toward narrowly based judgments rendered on a case-by-case basis, thereby avoiding setting sweeping precedents. A lifelong Republican, O'Connor came to the court after a career in the law and politics in both Arizona and California
This portrait, along with twenty-four others by an equal number of artists, was created on October 10, 2006, when O'Connor agreed to be the model for a longstanding informal painting group that meets weekly in New York City.