Anti-abortion groups attacked the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of then-Judge Sandra Day O’Connor because they suspected she was a threat to reproductive rights even though she said she was personally opposed to abortion. Years later, O’Connor was one of an unusual trio of high court justices who reaffirmed the core right to an abortion.

Many observers predicted in 1990, when David Souter was nominated to the court, that he would be a conservative vote in favor of abortion restrictions, but he joined O’Connor in upholding a woman’s right to choose in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.