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A look at major decisions in which O'Connor played key role

WASHINGTON—The following are some of the major cases in which Sandra Day O'Connor played a significant role.

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Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan

Decided: July 1, 1982

Voted: With majority

Decision: 5-4

O'Connor voted with the majority to strike down a rule that blocked men from attending Mississippi University's nursing school.

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Lynch v. Donnelly

Decided: March 5, 1984

Voted: With majority

Decision: 5-4

The court ruled that the Pawtucket, R.I., government didn't violate the separation of church and state by sponsoring a Christmas display in a shopping district.

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Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier

Decided: Jan. 13, 1988

Voted: With majority

Decision: 5-3

O'Connor agreed with the majority that schools had the right to block students from publishing anything they deemed inappropriate.

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Texas v. Johnson

Decided: June 21, 1989

Voted: With minority

Decision: 5-4

The Supreme Court upheld that burning the American flag was a protected form of speech.

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Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Decided: June 29, 1992

Voted: With majority

Decision: 5-4

The court upheld a Pennsylvania law requiring a 24-hour waiting period before abortions and that minors get the permission of at least one parent before getting abortions.

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Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co.

Decided: Jan. 23, 1989

Voted: With majority

Decision: 6-3

The court struck down a Richmond, Va., law mandating that construction companies working with the city subcontract work to minority-run businesses.

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Bush v. Gore

Decided: Dec. 12, 2000

Voted: With majority

Decision: 5-4

The court agreed with President George Bush's argument that Florida's recount method in the 2000 presidential election was unconstitutional because the procedure was inconsistent across the state.

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Grutter v. Bollinger

Decided: June 23, 2003

Voted: With majority

Decision: 5-4

O'Connor joined the majority in saying that the Michigan School of Law didn't violate any laws by using race as a factor in admission to that school.

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Lawrence and Garner v. Texas

Decided: June 26, 2003

Voted: With majority

Decision: 6-3

The court struck down Texas law that made sodomy illegal.

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Rasul v. Bush

Decided: June 28, 2004

Voted: With majority

Decision: 6-3

In a case brought by detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, O'Connor voted with the majority that detainees held at the U.S. military base could appeal their detentions.

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Roper v. Simmons

Decided: March 1, 2005

Voted: With minority

Decision: 5-4

O'Connor dissented from the court's ruling that the death penalty couldn't be applied to cases where the accused was a minor when the crime was committed.

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(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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