Honor Guard Collapses During Service For Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
The casket of late Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor lies in repose in the Great Hall of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, US, on Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. O'Connor, who became the decisive vote on abortion, religion, race and other hot-button social issues during a history-making tenure as the first woman on the US Supreme Court, died on December 1 at the age of 93.
Valerie Plesch / Bloomberg via Getty Images

An honor guard collapsed on Monday while standing alongside the casket of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as the former justice was lying in repose in the Supreme Court.

The honor guard could be seen on camera beginning to wobble and beginning to lose her balance when another honor guard behind her stepped in and caught her before she hit the floor.

It is not clear what happened to the guard or what her status is.

O’Connor passed away at the start of the month in Phoenix, Arizona, from complications related to advanced dementia and a respiratory illness. She was 93 years old.

O’Connor retired in 2006 after serving nearly a quarter of a century on the nation’s highest court.

She is survived by her three sons, Scott, Brian, and Jay; and by her six grandchildren: Courtney, Adam, Keely, Weston, Dylan, and Luke.

“A daughter of the American Southwest, Sandra Day O’Connor blazed an historic trail as our Nation’s first female Justice,” said Chief Justice John Roberts. “She met that challenge with undaunted determination, indisputable ability, and engaging candor. We at the Supreme Court mourn the loss of a beloved colleague, a fiercely independent defender of the rule of law, and an eloquent advocate for civics education. And we celebrate her enduring legacy as a true public servant and patriot.”


O’Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, on March 26, 1930. She married her husband, John Jay O’Connor III, in 1952, and cared for him until his final moments in 2009 when he passed away in an assisted-living center from Alzheimer’s disease.

O’Connor was beloved by many, and political figures from across the political spectrum had nothing but good things to say about her.

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