Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said she's been diagnosed with dementia.
The 88-year-old made the medical announcement in a letter Tuesday. She wrote that the diagnosis was made "some time ago" and she probably has Alzheimer's. She said it's progressed to the point where she is "no longer able to participate in public life."
Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement, "no illness or condition can take away the inspiration she provides for those who will follow the many paths she has blazed.”
O'Connor was nominated to the nation's highest court by President Ronald Reagan as the first female justice. She served on the court for 25 years before retiring in 2006.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.