Justice Sandra Day O'Connor legal legacy is one of the first casualties of the new Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick writes. After being hailed as the most powerful women in America, the former justice has seen her judgments "explicitly minimized" or "stepped distastefully over" by the conservative court, writes Lithwick.
The top court has already set aside O'Connor's frameworks on abortion, campaign finance, and affirmative action. Conservatives argue that's the result of the famed swing voter’s lack of principled legal philosophy. But for Lithwick, the demise of O’Connor’s legacy signals instead the end of an era: when "small, humble acts of pragmatism" trumped “sweeping political agendas and dramatic, wrenching shifts in the law.” (Read more Sandra Day O'Connor stories.)