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Colorado History: 38 years ago Sandra Day O'Connor was named a SCOTUS nominee

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Colorado women were ahead of the curve when it came to participation in the judicial and legislative branches.

DENVER, Colorado — On July 7, 1981, President Ronald Reagan announced he would nominate Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

O'Connor was born in Texas but grew up in Arizona before attending Stanford University in California for both her undergraduate degree and law school.

Chief Operating Officer of History Colorado, Dawn DiPrince, called Justice O'Connor a "true woman of the American West."

DiPrince told 9NEWS she wasn't surprised that the first woman to be named to the Supreme Court came from the region.

Two years before President Reagan announced O'Connor's nomination, the Colorado Supreme Court got its first female justice. 

Jean Dubofsky joined the court in 1979 as not only the first woman but also the youngest person to be appointed.

Colorado's first female judge was Ida L. Gregory.

In 1903, Gregory "was appointed to serve as an assistant judge on the Denver Juvenile Court," History Colorado said.

Unlike many states which prohibited women from joining the legal profession, Colorado women have been practicing law since 1891. 

19th Century Colorado was also the first state in the country to allow elected women to serve in the state legislature. 

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