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In this remarkable book, a national bestseller in hardcover, Sandra Day O’Connor explores the law, her life as a Supreme Court Justice, and how the Court has evolved and continues to function, grow, and change as an American institution. Tracing some of the origins of American law through history, people, ideas, and landmark cases, O’Connor sheds new light on the basics, e In this remarkable book, a national bestseller in hardcover, Sandra Day O’Connor explores the law, her life as a Supreme Court Justice, and how the Court has evolved and continues to function, grow, and change as an American institution. Tracing some of the origins of American law through history, people, ideas, and landmark cases, O’Connor sheds new light on the basics, exploring through personal observation the evolution of the Court and American democratic traditions. Straight-talking, clear-eyed, inspiring, The Majesty of the Law is more than a reflection on O’Connor’s own experiences as the first female Justice of the Supreme Court; it also reveals some of the things she has learned and believes about American law and life—reflections gleaned over her years as one of the most powerful and inspiring women in American history.


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In this remarkable book, a national bestseller in hardcover, Sandra Day O’Connor explores the law, her life as a Supreme Court Justice, and how the Court has evolved and continues to function, grow, and change as an American institution. Tracing some of the origins of American law through history, people, ideas, and landmark cases, O’Connor sheds new light on the basics, e In this remarkable book, a national bestseller in hardcover, Sandra Day O’Connor explores the law, her life as a Supreme Court Justice, and how the Court has evolved and continues to function, grow, and change as an American institution. Tracing some of the origins of American law through history, people, ideas, and landmark cases, O’Connor sheds new light on the basics, exploring through personal observation the evolution of the Court and American democratic traditions. Straight-talking, clear-eyed, inspiring, The Majesty of the Law is more than a reflection on O’Connor’s own experiences as the first female Justice of the Supreme Court; it also reveals some of the things she has learned and believes about American law and life—reflections gleaned over her years as one of the most powerful and inspiring women in American history.

30 review for The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petra-masx

    This is a very good book for a non-American who wishes to understand the US legal system. It's exhaustively explanatory, but in a good way, it's well-written. I didn't find it dry at all, but a thoroughly interesting read. An American friend, an aviation lawyer, says that it's interesting to hear Sandra Day O'Connor's opinions, but that most of the book would be nothing new or riveting to anyone who'd been to law school in the States. There isn't that much about the author in the book, which is a This is a very good book for a non-American who wishes to understand the US legal system. It's exhaustively explanatory, but in a good way, it's well-written. I didn't find it dry at all, but a thoroughly interesting read. An American friend, an aviation lawyer, says that it's interesting to hear Sandra Day O'Connor's opinions, but that most of the book would be nothing new or riveting to anyone who'd been to law school in the States. There isn't that much about the author in the book, which is a shame as she was the very first female Supreme Court justice, supported minorities and didn't have an agenda, wasn't a dyed in the wool conservative or liberal, but rather looked at each case on it's own merit and this was another point of interest in this very good book. The UK and Commonwealth equivalent is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council but it's workings are quite dissimilar. I enjoyed it the book. I know much more about the US now. I have a lot of respect for the Supreme Court but do wonder at how few cases ever make it there and the length of time it takes the judges to pontificate and reach a decision. Read

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Another dip into the ocean of biographies has left me refreshed, particularly as I veer onto a path of strong women. I had this audiobook by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor sitting on my iPod and thought it would fit nicely into this string of biographical pieces. Little did I know that it was less a story about her than about the revered Supreme Court of the United States. Still, as the Court's first woman justice, I felt compelled to read on and hear her take on the highest court in Another dip into the ocean of biographies has left me refreshed, particularly as I veer onto a path of strong women. I had this audiobook by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor sitting on my iPod and thought it would fit nicely into this string of biographical pieces. Little did I know that it was less a story about her than about the revered Supreme Court of the United States. Still, as the Court's first woman justice, I felt compelled to read on and hear her take on the highest court in America. Filled with a great deal of history and wonderful asides related to a number of key justices, Justice O'Connor educates and entertains the reader throughout this piece, while offering her own perspectives on the third branch of the American political system. A superior piece for any reader looking to have a better understanding of the court system and some of the backstories related to its most important decisions. Justice O'Connor seeks to educate readers, many of whom know little about the day to day activities of the Supreme Court, discussion some of the nuances of choosing cases to come before the Court, hearings, and the decision-making process in chambers. From there, she offers a key primer on the selection of justices and some of the historical controversies that have befallen presidents whose nominees turned out to represent values that differed greatly from their past legal work. Without a firm understanding of the US Constitution (particularly in its historic context), justices would not be able to offer up well-grounded opinions, leaving Justice O'Connor to provide a firm narrative about this document and its accompanying Bill of Rights before delving into the interpretation of both, which she argues is the foundation of the court system; legal interpretations that rely on precedents to formulate the Rule of Law. Touching on a number of justices who shaped her legal and judicial career, Justice O'Connor provides the reader with some personal reflections that are useful for many who know nothing about these men, save for their mention in the history books. In the latter portion of the book, Justice O'Connor turns to the role of women, both in America and the legal realm, which is (obviously) of personal interest to her and of whom she is a significant pioneer. Exploring women's suffrage and working in the legal profession, Justice O'Connor illustrates the slow acceptance of equality and changes to the norm, which permitted equal footing amongst the genders in the eyes of the law. As she reaches the climax of the book, Justice O'Connor offers some personal opinions on the use of juries, allowing the law to grow organically and work in conjunction with laws of other countries, and the importance of non-elected federal judges, all of which support democracy by protecting the minority view. The reader may sail through this and gather some cogent arguments on their way to a stronger understanding of the legal system and potentially fostering added respect for it along the way. While this ended up being a different book than I expected, I did find some strong biographical aspects to it. Justice O'Connor offered a thorough and comprehensive view of the legal system in America and the intricacies of the Supreme Court. With key civic lessons embedded into the narrative, Justice O'Connor educates the reader about many aspects of the finely-tuned machine that is the judicial branch. She peppers her commentary with personal anecdotes that help to pull the reader in and keeps the attention throughout. Of particular interest in the time spent discussion and analyzing the women's suffrage movement and push towards inclusion in the legal profession, based on merit and not quotas. As the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor held a prominent role in history, though she did not rest on her laurels, choosing instead to shape legal queries alongside her eight colleagues. This book helps promote the importance of the Court, the legal system, and the role of women in the political and judicial branches of America. Its effectiveness exudes from every page and resonates long after the reader finishes this easily understood narrative. Kudos, Justice O'Connor for such a wonderful primer. I feel even better educated and did take away many tidbit of new information. Your time on the Court was monumental and I hope to find a book that reflects your entire life's journey soon enough. Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Feisty Harriet

    I had initially thought this was some kind of autobiography, it is not. It is Justice O'Connor detailing the history of the court, the major decisions and docket trends under different Chief Justices, and how the court has maintained and shifted over the last 170 years. Some of the history bits were super fascinating, some were a little dry, however there is a section on women, women's suffrage, early feminists, and the twisting and frustrating road towards gender equality. I would award that se I had initially thought this was some kind of autobiography, it is not. It is Justice O'Connor detailing the history of the court, the major decisions and docket trends under different Chief Justices, and how the court has maintained and shifted over the last 170 years. Some of the history bits were super fascinating, some were a little dry, however there is a section on women, women's suffrage, early feminists, and the twisting and frustrating road towards gender equality. I would award that section 8 gold stars if I could! I wish Sandra Day O'Connor would write a whole book about feminism, I'd be all over that.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ellen

    O'Connor writes with her usual clarity and simplicity, which makes her thoughts and theories very easy to follow. The prose is not especially moving, but Supreme Court Justices are chosen for the quality of their reasoning and not for their artistic or literary talents. Lawyers, judges, and law grads will find large chunks of this book to be basic rehashes of things that were pounded into their skulls over three years of con law, civ pro, and so on. But it is still interesting to see what a Supre O'Connor writes with her usual clarity and simplicity, which makes her thoughts and theories very easy to follow. The prose is not especially moving, but Supreme Court Justices are chosen for the quality of their reasoning and not for their artistic or literary talents. Lawyers, judges, and law grads will find large chunks of this book to be basic rehashes of things that were pounded into their skulls over three years of con law, civ pro, and so on. But it is still interesting to see what a Supreme Court Justice picks as the noteworthy events and aspects of our justice system. It would have been nice to have more of O'Connor's views and analysis instead of historical fact presented with little or no comment. Presumably this was done to make the discussion more accessible to lay people. Mildly interesting, but overall disappointing for a reader already familiar with the US court system.

  5. 5 out of 5

    vorthys

    Dry, dry, dry.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Neiding

    I'm probably biased because I am a lawyer so I find the law interesting. That said, I thought it was fascinating to hear a Supreme Court Justice chronicle the history of the law, leading up to her own appointment to the court. It was interesting to hear her story of learning of her appointment, then becoming a new justice, then sitting on the court for years. I enjoyed learning small details of the court's traditions, such as that all of the justices shake hands every day before taking the bench I'm probably biased because I am a lawyer so I find the law interesting. That said, I thought it was fascinating to hear a Supreme Court Justice chronicle the history of the law, leading up to her own appointment to the court. It was interesting to hear her story of learning of her appointment, then becoming a new justice, then sitting on the court for years. I enjoyed learning small details of the court's traditions, such as that all of the justices shake hands every day before taking the bench. I loved the portions where she spoke of Abraham Lincoln and Benito Juarez, showing her respect not only for the history of our country, but our neighboring countries as well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Starting with the Magna Carta former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor reviews the formation of the law of our land and writes of land mark cases the Supreme Court has decided and their affect on the law of our day. She relates a history of Justices who made major changes in the operation of the Supreme Court and also addresses the future challenges it will face moving into a more globalized world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Ferguson

    Great woman, but not a great book. Jumped around with several chapters of her "favorite" chief justices and how they influenced the court, then a sudden digression to summarize the history of women fighting for the right to vote. Lots of history without a lot of the authors opinions or thoughts. Not upset that I read it, but glad that I am done...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mollie Hayes

    In September of 1981, history was made. President Ronald Reagan appointed the very first female Justice to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor. As a young girl, O’Connor grew up on a cattle farm in El Paso, Texas. She grew into an intelligent woman, who attended Stanford University and Stanford Law School. After she graduated law school, she was denied an interview by dozens of law firms solely because she was a woman. She did, however, eventually find a job as a deputy country attorney and p In September of 1981, history was made. President Ronald Reagan appointed the very first female Justice to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor. As a young girl, O’Connor grew up on a cattle farm in El Paso, Texas. She grew into an intelligent woman, who attended Stanford University and Stanford Law School. After she graduated law school, she was denied an interview by dozens of law firms solely because she was a woman. She did, however, eventually find a job as a deputy country attorney and proceeded to make her way up until she was appointed to the Arizona State Court of Appeals. During Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign, he pledged to appoint the first woman to the Supreme Court. This led to much resentment and controversy, however, he fulfilled his promise and on September 21st of 1981, he appointed Sandra Day O’Connor as an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court. Simply her background inspires me. Even today, there is discrimination toward women in the workplace and a notion that men are more intelligent, not to mention how much worse it was thirty years ago. Justice O’Connor’s story, however, contradicts this idea and serves as inspiration for women who want a pursue a career that is historically a man’s job. It is mind blowing that the United States established the Supreme Court in 1989 and the first time a woman served on the court was nearly 200 years later. Justice O’Connor serves as an inspiration and motivation for women to pursue a career of their choice, regardless of the precedent. Even before I started this book, I knew it was going to be a compelling read simple because of my interest in law and the inspiring life of Sandra Day O’Connor. From the very first page, I knew this book would be a good choice for me because she puts things in layman’s terms and her style of writing is eloquent yet understandable. She breaks down the book into six parts, each part explaining a different topic. She goes into depth about her life on the court, the history, important people, women’s role in law, the legal profession and how the law is impacted by current events. In part one, she talks about the daily routines of the Supreme Court because most of what the court does is closed to the public eye. I liked this part because you don’t hear much about what goes on during a particular day within the Supreme Court and it was interesting to read about the routines. It gave sort of an insider look into how the Justice’s do their work. In part two, O’Connor speaks about the history of the court. This part wasn’t particularly interesting if you are someone who knows a substantial amount about the history of the Supreme Court. This part was pretty much basic information for someone who had no concept of the history, which again, was not me so this section was not my favorite. In part three, O’Connor goes on to discuss the important people who have helped influence the court and shaped it into what the Supreme Court is today. There have been a total of 108 Associate Justices and 16 Chief Justices, all of which were vital in contributing to the opinions of the court up to today. She conveys the importance in remembering that each Justice served a part in making the court what it is, whether it be a small or big part. She also includes her opinions and commentary on some of the Justices she served with. In part four, O’Connor recounts her time as a woman in a career dominated by men. When she went to law school, there was only a handful of other women who attended law schools across the country. She believes that WWII opened up many opportunities for women to become successful in fields that were typically overpowered by males. In fact, she says that currently there are more women enrolled in law school than men. I believe women in society owe many of our strides as a gender to her and that she was the reason for women to pursue careers in law. In part five, O’Connor explains more in depth the legal profession and the many courts that make up our Judicial System. She admits that our system, although good, still has many flaws. She explains where our Justice system should be improved, including our jury system and the neglect of the law in some circumstances. In the final part of her book, O’Connor breaks down how current events and the new circumstances around the world have affected the law and how the law is attempting to keep up with the times. She explains how events such as September 11th have helped improve our system and shown the world that the rule of law is one of the only ways to ensure freedom across the globe. She also describes the role of the Constitution and the U.S. court system in our country’s past and future. Throughout this book, I have learned a lot about our country’s court system, as well as about the people who have helped make it what it is today. Justice O’Connor truly serves as an inspiration to not only women but all American citizens. She overcame many obstacles to get where she is today and it is truly motivating to see that hard work can equate to success. This book opened my eyes to the Supreme Court and everything they do to ensure our country runs smoothly. Although I agree there are things to be done to fix some parts of our system, I believe ours is one of the best in the world. Her book has also made me proud of our country’s strides since we were first established in 1776. We have truly expanded our thinking and adjusted to the times we face. Justice O’Connor does a great job of explaining and breaking down our legal system in this book. The writing is understandable yet at the same time provides many details that I never knew before. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the law and who wishes to learn more about the role of our legal system in today’s affairs.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Randy Tramp

    What a great woman. What a great book. I read it slowly, getting in as much information as possible. And, there is a lot. Many times going over my head, and yet, other times just right. She explores the law, her life as a Supreme Court Justice, and how the Court has evolved. The Majesty of the Law demonstrates how great a nation the United States has become, starting off with a powerfully great foundation. It made me proud to be an American, while at the same time ashamed at some of our past. Ye What a great woman. What a great book. I read it slowly, getting in as much information as possible. And, there is a lot. Many times going over my head, and yet, other times just right. She explores the law, her life as a Supreme Court Justice, and how the Court has evolved. The Majesty of the Law demonstrates how great a nation the United States has become, starting off with a powerfully great foundation. It made me proud to be an American, while at the same time ashamed at some of our past. Yet, because of our system of government we were able to go past that. As a nation, we have further to go, but I'm certain we'll get there.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    I misjudged this book, thinking it would be more about Sandra Day O'Conner - while of course it has some information on her over all it is more a general take on the court system … ok maybe not general. There was a great deal of information on the court system, which was informative and I did learn however I as much as I wanted to like the book it was just ok for be because it wasn't want I thought it was - which is not her fault, however what it was didn't just jump me into the like zone.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Really interesting read, there is a lot about the history of law in the United States and some personal opinions/reflections on the same. You can tell the book is a little dated in terms of modern politics but still interesting. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the author and I think that added a little something to it as well.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Historical and philosophical view of the Supreme Court The textbook about the Supreme Court I never had in high school. Day O’Connor presents the historical context and her views of the importance of the Supreme Court in maintaining democracy. I wonder if the optimistic view she had in 2004 remains so in 2019! A dry but educational read. I loved the history.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shary

    Perfectly titled. The book is an overview of the Supreme Court, how it works, a brief history of the Constitution, its ratification, the Bill of Rights and more. She highlights people who have shaped the court, women and the law, and highlights some problems and potential solutions. She discusses how the courts have evolved and need to evolve further. Clear and easy to read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lance J. LoRusso

    A fantastic view inside the mind and thoughts of a brilliant jurist and public servant. You will love this book whether you are an attorney or someone who wants to learn more about how the United States Supreme Court works.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Josh Hedgepeth

    I talk about it on my YouTube channel. Rating Break Down Writing Style: 7/10 Content: 6/10 Structure: 6/10 Engagement: 7/10 Enjoyment: 8/10 Comprehension: 8/10 Desire to Reread: 0/10 Special: 0/10 Calculated Rating: 3.225/10 Final Rating: 3/5 Note, each rating is weighted based on personal importance to calculate a final score that is rounded to the nearest half. I talk about it on my YouTube channel. Rating Break Down Writing Style: 7/10 Content: 6/10 Structure: 6/10 Engagement: 7/10 Enjoyment: 8/10 Comprehension: 8/10 Desire to Reread: 0/10 Special: 0/10 Calculated Rating: 3.225/10 Final Rating: 3/5 Note, each rating is weighted based on personal importance to calculate a final score that is rounded to the nearest half.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne Lacy

    I wish we had Justice O'Connor back on the bench. Her perspective on the importance of balance in government and on the need for thoughtful consideration of individual rights are much needed today.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy "the book-bat"

    I was expecting a memoir, but it was really more of a history lesson on the Supreme Court. It was very interesting and I learned a lot of things that were never covered in any of my history classes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    Supreme Court history. Not a biography. Famous justices. Relevant but dated. Badass woman.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    On September 25, 1981 Sandra O' Connor became the first female Justice on the United States Supreme Court. Since then five presidents moved in and out of the White House, landmark cases stirred debate in the country. Federal judges, including justices of the Supreme Court, are appointed not for life but for 'good behavior. There has been only one impeachment trail of a Supreme Court Justice in America's history: the 1805 trial of Justice Samuel Chase. From 1790 until now, 112 have served as Just On September 25, 1981 Sandra O' Connor became the first female Justice on the United States Supreme Court. Since then five presidents moved in and out of the White House, landmark cases stirred debate in the country. Federal judges, including justices of the Supreme Court, are appointed not for life but for 'good behavior. There has been only one impeachment trail of a Supreme Court Justice in America's history: the 1805 trial of Justice Samuel Chase. From 1790 until now, 112 have served as Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. 41 Justices had no prior judicial experience before going on the Supreme Court... Sandra O'Connor's book is not in "legalese". Her account on the history of the Supreme Court, how and by whom the Court has been shaped, the meaning, reason and the soul of law, reflections on women in the law is easy to read and follow: eloquently informative, conscientious in detail and magnanimous in spirit. She quotes Mark Twain, writes about her granddaughter, "convinced that the world belongs to her alone, approaching life as only a child can, she is full of wonder and zest and utter disbelief in the word no" and appeal to the lawyer's obligations of professionalism to be always mindful of the moral and social aspects of the attorney's power and position as an officer of the court: "Litigation must not be envisioned as war, argument as battle or trial as siege." Thought-provoking, written with wit and clarity - overall, an enjoyable and intriguing read for anyone interested in learning more about "the majesty of the law".

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steve Hill

    This was, for me, a quick read but I am somewhat of a Supreme Court junkie, fascinated with the process by which important cases are decided and become law, and also with the character and views of the justices who work must together in close quarters for years despite disagreements on issues about which they have strong views. This book discusses Justice O’Connor’s jurisprudence and makes a solid case that she became the most important justice of her era, given her practicality and ability to f This was, for me, a quick read but I am somewhat of a Supreme Court junkie, fascinated with the process by which important cases are decided and become law, and also with the character and views of the justices who work must together in close quarters for years despite disagreements on issues about which they have strong views. This book discusses Justice O’Connor’s jurisprudence and makes a solid case that she became the most important justice of her era, given her practicality and ability to find a narrow case-specific basis for decision, often to the chagrin of Antonio Scalia who sought to create sweeping rules that would chart a direction of the law for years, O’Connor’s approach was more modest and, in my view, took more skill than Scalia’s bomb throwing and uncivil dissents, enabling her to have outsize influence in deciding difficult and contentious cases involving affirmative action, school prayer, abortion and gerrymandering, among others. This book makes me nostalgic for the now extinct pragmatic, civil, moderate Republicans who did so much to strengthen our institutions and the rule of law. The court took a real dive when she was replaced with Alito, a cranky and rigid conservative. Beyond describing her work as a justice, this book above all provides a wonderful portrait of O’Connor’s character and preternatural social skills. It’s almost impossible to imagine that anyone could have filled the role of first woman justice more capably.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    I wish I had read this book BEFORE visiting SCOTUS last year--Justice O'Connor does a fantastic job lining out a simple history of the Court for laymen and highlighting a select few biographies of important justices in the history of the Court's evolution and offering insight into the "nuts and bolts" of the working of SCOTUS and her understanding of its role in American jurisprudence. I will certainly have my children read it and I think it would benefit every high school student to do so. As w I wish I had read this book BEFORE visiting SCOTUS last year--Justice O'Connor does a fantastic job lining out a simple history of the Court for laymen and highlighting a select few biographies of important justices in the history of the Court's evolution and offering insight into the "nuts and bolts" of the working of SCOTUS and her understanding of its role in American jurisprudence. I will certainly have my children read it and I think it would benefit every high school student to do so. As will surprise no one who knows me well, I do not share all of Justice O'Connor's philosophies, but I certainly revere her as a role model and a servant to the public good and it was my honor to read her reflections on the Court and I am delighted-bordering-on-giddy that she took the time to write them.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    i liked the style od writing about many aspects of the law. easy to understand and it put a lot of current events in an historical context. i loved the section on the womens movement. for me, coming of age in the late 60s, early 70s all seemed possible for a woman but there was still a lot of discrimination. this section of her book put a lot of things in perspective. and this quote about the womens movement can apply to the middle east today...'dramatic change can occur only when memebers of a la i liked the style od writing about many aspects of the law. easy to understand and it put a lot of current events in an historical context. i loved the section on the womens movement. for me, coming of age in the late 60s, early 70s all seemed possible for a woman but there was still a lot of discrimination. this section of her book put a lot of things in perspective. and this quote about the womens movement can apply to the middle east today...'dramatic change can occur only when memebers of a large group surrmount their individual differences and unite in pursuit of a concrete goal.' the section on jury problems and solutions was excellent. and we can all take note that we should be civil and courteous in all our dealings, not just in the courtroom.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lily Bond

    Meh. Very basic and broad overview of our history and judicial system. There are a few chapters of short biographies of select justices. There is also a consistent stream of her thoughts on the women's movement, and the history stuff is nothing more than you'd find on a Wikipedia page. While I didn't hate the book, I was bored while reading it and I definitely don't recommend it. I would've appreciated more personal anecdotes of her time on the court. Ginsburg may have been the second woman on t Meh. Very basic and broad overview of our history and judicial system. There are a few chapters of short biographies of select justices. There is also a consistent stream of her thoughts on the women's movement, and the history stuff is nothing more than you'd find on a Wikipedia page. While I didn't hate the book, I was bored while reading it and I definitely don't recommend it. I would've appreciated more personal anecdotes of her time on the court. Ginsburg may have been the second woman on the court (not as cool as a title as the first) but she's def more BA so I guess I'll have to stick with her. Fun fact: Ginsburg learned Swedish just so she could write a book on Swedish civil procedure. See? So much cooler.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Birth of a nation, Magna Carta, suspend writ of habeas corpus 38K enemies of north behind N lines, liberty and self confidence vs bondage of entitlement, Holmes eugenics, dissention valuable, avg overturn 1/2 acts per year vs FDR 12 in 1st term mult 5.27.35 then court stacking, 1869 women vote WY, then UT CO, the art of reason, incivility yields more suits, US is common law vs civil law, humility is most prized and difficult, justice delayed is justice denied, independent vigorous responsible fr Birth of a nation, Magna Carta, suspend writ of habeas corpus 38K enemies of north behind N lines, liberty and self confidence vs bondage of entitlement, Holmes eugenics, dissention valuable, avg overturn 1/2 acts per year vs FDR 12 in 1st term mult 5.27.35 then court stacking, 1869 women vote WY, then UT CO, the art of reason, incivility yields more suits, US is common law vs civil law, humility is most prized and difficult, justice delayed is justice denied, independent vigorous responsible free press, truth will prevail, life of law more experience than logic, abortion rights vs individual rights.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    This book has no main thesis to it that I can tell. Rather, it's a series of thoughts by O'Connor on the rule of law and its importance historically and worldwide. Her arguments are clear, and her writing style is very accessible. I haven't read too many legal/law memoirs, but I'd hazard a guess and say that this is probably one of the more people-friendly ones available. Just to clarify, this is not Sandra Day O'Connor's biography. It's simply a number of reflections on the the Justice System a This book has no main thesis to it that I can tell. Rather, it's a series of thoughts by O'Connor on the rule of law and its importance historically and worldwide. Her arguments are clear, and her writing style is very accessible. I haven't read too many legal/law memoirs, but I'd hazard a guess and say that this is probably one of the more people-friendly ones available. Just to clarify, this is not Sandra Day O'Connor's biography. It's simply a number of reflections on the the Justice System and the rule of law.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cab

    I picked up this book when it first came out because of an interview that I saw with Sandra Day O'Connor. As a result, I was of the wrong impression that this book would be more about her specific experiences as a Supreme Court Justice and more specfically about being the 1st woman Justice. That being said: This book was very well written and for the 1st time in my life I found "history" interesting. I especially enjoyed the later sections that dealt with the woman's movement and how that affecte I picked up this book when it first came out because of an interview that I saw with Sandra Day O'Connor. As a result, I was of the wrong impression that this book would be more about her specific experiences as a Supreme Court Justice and more specfically about being the 1st woman Justice. That being said: This book was very well written and for the 1st time in my life I found "history" interesting. I especially enjoyed the later sections that dealt with the woman's movement and how that affected the court.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Scurr

    Wish I could speak with Justice O'Connor now and ask her about the fleecing of citizens by the TBTF banks with no prosecution of the fraud and the constitutionality of Obamacare. Exploring collectivism versus individualism would be a great conversation. Wonder too what she'd say about the press and elections we have now. I don't consider either of them "free". Overall I found the book interesting at the many points discussing history and yet simplistic and idealistic for the vast majority of it. Wish I could speak with Justice O'Connor now and ask her about the fleecing of citizens by the TBTF banks with no prosecution of the fraud and the constitutionality of Obamacare. Exploring collectivism versus individualism would be a great conversation. Wonder too what she'd say about the press and elections we have now. I don't consider either of them "free". Overall I found the book interesting at the many points discussing history and yet simplistic and idealistic for the vast majority of it. Not a waste of time but Maalox should be on hand for the saccharin portrayal of our system.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    I read this a while ago (can't remember exactly when) and it was a very readable primer on the Supreme Court and the legal system for me (who doesn't know bupkus about these things) as well as a glimpse into O'Connor's life. I remember when she was first appointed and what a big deal it was that a woman was appointed (I was in high school at the time). The DOMA/Prop 8 cases being argued before SCOTUS this week reminded me that I had read this book. I have a better understanding of how the cases I read this a while ago (can't remember exactly when) and it was a very readable primer on the Supreme Court and the legal system for me (who doesn't know bupkus about these things) as well as a glimpse into O'Connor's life. I remember when she was first appointed and what a big deal it was that a woman was appointed (I was in high school at the time). The DOMA/Prop 8 cases being argued before SCOTUS this week reminded me that I had read this book. I have a better understanding of how the cases got there because of it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    I've admired Justice O'Connor over the past decade or so due to her centrist views on the court. This book not only gives a little insight into where her mind is in the legal realm, but also an incredible journey through the history of the court system in this country. It truly is amazing how it was created and the twists and turns not only the outcomes have been legally but the infrastructure itself.

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