Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

You have always placed such value on the upbringing you gained on the family ranch, the Lazy B, in the high desert and low-sandstone-canyon terrain on the upper Gila River in Arizona near the New Mexico line, a spread that you and your brother, in your joint memoir, called “a place of all-encompassing silence,” a place that gave you a value system that was “simple and unsophisticated and the product of necessity”; much later, your wisdom and resourcefulness, always grounded in the law, made you the pivotal figure on the highest court and in the western cases you notably applied your intellect, deep-dyed knowledge of the region, and unparalleled sense of practicality and fairness to resolve matters of grazing, Indians, mining, state authority on federal lands, and water, always the water.