In Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor, a retired justice of the Supreme Court and the first woman to be appointed to this position in 1981 by Ronald Reagan, has written a history of the Supreme Court which will interest even a layperson. From the early days of the Supreme Court to the present, there have been many changes. For example, in the beginning, the Supreme Court was not housed in any one building and kept moving around. Now, it is permanently established in a marble building across from the Capitol. Similarly, justices appointed in those early days would travel around the country, a practice which was called "riding circuit."
O'Connor also devotes chapters to the best justices in the history of the Supreme Court and the worst. This institution has been full of personalities, including John McLean who unsuccessfully ran for President four times and Byron White who was a football player before being appointed to the bench. The worst justice, according to O'Connor, was James McReynolds, an eminently dislikable personality who was also anti-Semitic. O'Connor also shares some of her personal experiences on the bench such as when she sat in the historic chair used by Chief Justice John Marshall.
Overall, this is a book that takes a topic most people don't think much about and makes it interesting. The history of the Supreme Court is told in the form of a story, from beginning to end, transforming it from an abstract concept to a place filled with personalities. O'Connor's passion for this institution shines through the book and infects the reader.
Sandra Day O'Connor was born in 1930 to a rancher in El Paso Texas. She went to school at Stanford, where she got her Bachelor's in economics and her law degree. However, she was rejected from many posts on account of her being a woman and finally got a position only when she agreed to work for free, sharing an office with a secretary. From these humble beginnings, she rose through the ranks to become a Supreme Court Justice. She was married to John Jay O'Connor III and he couple had three sons. O'Connor's husband died in 2009 after suffering from Alzheimer's for twenty years; she has been active in increasing awareness about this disease.
Download Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court now from The Audio Bookstore and find yourself reliving the history of the United States Supreme Court from its early years to the present.
From Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court, comes this fascinating book about the history and evolution of the highest court in the land.
Out of Order sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that transformed the Supreme Court from its uncertain beginnings into the remarkable institution that thrives and endures today. From the early days of circuit-riding, when justices, who also served as trial judges, traveled thousands of miles per year on horseback to hear cases, to the changes in civil rights ushered in by Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall; from foundational decisions such as Marbury v. Madison to modern-day cases such as Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Justice O’Connor weaves together stories and lessons from the history of the court, charting turning points and pivotal moments that have helped define our nation’s progress.
With unparalleled insight and unique perspective, Justice O’Connor takes us on a personal exploration, painting vivid pictures of justices in history. We get a rare glimpse into the Supreme Court’s inner workings: how cases are chosen for hearing; the personal relationships that exist among the justices; and the customs and traditions, both public and private, that bind one generation of jurists to the next—from the seating arrangements at court lunches to the fiercely competitive basketball games played in the court building’s top-floor gymnasium, the so-called “highest court in the land.”
Wise, candid, and assured, Out of Order is a rich offering of inspiring stories about one of our country’s most important institutions, from one of our country’s most respected pioneers.
Download and start listening now!