Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female Supreme Court justice, has died at the age of 93.

Sandra Day O'Connor, the Supreme Court's first female justice and the justice who presided over the court for more than a generation, died Friday, the court said in a statement.

Her death was caused by complications from advanced dementia and a respiratory ailment. She was 93 years old.

In a statement, Chief Justice John Roberts remarked that O'Connor "blazed a historic trail as our nation's first female justice."

He went on to say that the judges "mourn the loss of a beloved colleague, a fiercely independent defender of the rule of law, and an eloquent advocate for civics education."

She was the undisputed swing justice from the early 1990s until her retirement in 2005, frequently giving the deciding vote in the court's most contentious matters.

Some criticized her lack of a unified judicial theory, while others complimented her practical inclination as a moderating effect.

She occasionally sided with the court's conservatives, voting to approve taxpayer-funded vouchers for children attending religious schools, 

voting to stop the 2000 Florida recount between George W. Bush and Al Gore, and pushing for states' rights in the face of federal control.

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