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Extended Audio Sample The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice Audiobook, by Sandra Day O’Connor Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.13 out of 53.13 out of 53.13 out of 53.13 out of 53.13 out of 5 3.13 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sandra Day O’Connor Narrator: Sandra Day O’Connor Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2003 ISBN: 9780739302460
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In The Majesty of the Law, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor explores the law, her life as a 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, and ideas, O’Connor sheds new light on the basics, and through personal observation she explores the development of institutions and ideas we have come to regard as fundamental. 

O’Connor discusses notable cases that have shaped American democracy and the Court as we know it today, and she traces the turbulent battle women have fought for a place in our nation’s legal system since America’s inception. 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 contains a discussion of how the suffrage movement changed the lives of women—in voting booths, jury boxes, and homes across the country. 

In The Majesty of the Law, Sandra Day O’Connor reveals some of what she has learned and believes about American law and life, insights gleaned over her years as one of the most powerful and inspiring women in American history. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • With this important book, one of the most intriguing figures in American history reveals her private musings about history, the law, and her own life—both public and personal. The Majesty of the Law shows us why Sandra Day O’Connor is so compelling as a human being and so vital as a public thinker. Michael Beschloss, author of The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1941–1945
  • Justice O’Connor’s newest book will intrigue and enlighten many different readers. She discusses multiple issues, including what it’s like to be on the Supreme Court, how and by whom the Court has been shaped, and the meaning of the rule of law. Her reflections on women in the law, and women in power, are especially thought-provoking. No one is better qualified than she to write about these issues, and she does so with her customary wit and clarity. Nan Keohane, president, Duke University
  • A marvelous collection of wide-ranging and plainspoken ruminations on the Constitution, constitutionalism, and the Supreme Court by the Court’s first female Justice. Justice O’Connor’s keen-wittedness, honesty, and common sense are revealed throughout. Although she eloquently reveals the majesty of the law, she also brings that majesty down to earth and makes it intelligible to all of us. It is her special genius. Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and professor of history at Brown University, author of The American Revolution: A History
  • In The Majesty of the Law, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has blended personal reflections with key professional insights to give us a richly textured account of the fascinating history, current status, and hopeful future of the rule of law. The fact that the author is destined to take her place among the most influential Justices to serve on the modern U.S. Supreme Court makes this important book all the more significant. James F. Simon, Martin Professor of Law at New York Law School and author of What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tamsen | 2/5/2014

    " I should have known when the guy at the bookstore told me not to buy the book. I got part way into it, and then I just could not take it anymore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 elizabeth george | 1/30/2014

    " A great book by an extraordinary woman. I was a bit disappointed that there was very little information about her personally but it presented an enlighted view of the history of law in American. As a follow-up, i an reading "Supreme Courtship" by Christopher Buckley. It's good for me to mix it up a bit. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy | 1/19/2014

    " Good little history review if you can stay awake.....zzzzzzz "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don Weidinger | 1/15/2014

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/15/2014

    " Although this book is quite broad, and I already knew a great deal of the information that this book contained, I still enjoyed it immensely. I am continually astounded by O'Connor's clear cut analysis of history and the impact of the Supreme Court, and her suggestions for progress in the judicial system and the whole of democracy in the United States. She is always someone worth reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 1/12/2014

    " This was not an easy read, but worth reading to learn more about the history of the court. I did not know William Howard Taft became Supreme Court Justice AFTER he was President. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 12/29/2013

    " Fantastic insight to living life on the Supreme Court. Wonderful description of the job of a Supreme Court Justice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cameron | 12/15/2013

    " by far the best law book i've read. the former supreme court justice keeps things in perspective but at the same time reveals a profound and inspirational side of constitutional law (i didn't know there was one either...). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanna Kangas | 12/4/2013

    " amazing book, I learned a lot of interesting facts about the Supreme Court and this amazing woman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug Long | 11/2/2013

    " Another one I read in anticipation of my family's trip to DC. This one was a good primer for the Supreme Court and how it works. (Unfortunately we couldn't get in the tour of the Supreme Court and had terrible service in the cafeteria downstairs!) O'Connor writes with candor and even some humor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 10/31/2013

    " Reads like a textbook. Too dry. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christen | 8/17/2013

    " Everyone I know who read this really didn't care for it - but it was okay. There were about 3 chapters that I found to be very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 7/28/2013

    " A fascinating look at the thoughts of Justice O'Connor, and many of the legal principles explored don't require a legal background to understand. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Douglas Graney | 7/28/2013

    " Not bad, some chapters I found useful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vangoghadmirer | 5/28/2013

    " liked this book enough I have two copies, one is signed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Griff | 1/23/2013

    " Interesting but a bit simplistic "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric Eickhoff | 11/7/2012

    " Can be a little dry at times but overall a good read. For those who have an interest in Sandra Day O'Connor it is well worth the time to read it as she gives great insight into the Court, Justices and the Law. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 11/4/2012

    " A personal and clearly written look at the Court and some of the important people and decisions that have shaped it into its current posture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 10/9/2012

    " Very comprehensive for such a concise book. Got a little dry at times, but gave great insight into roots and present state of the judicial system in America. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 6/26/2012

    " Some good stories from a person we don't get to hear much personal information about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 4/13/2011

    " Very comprehensive for such a concise book. Got a little dry at times, but gave great insight into roots and present state of the judicial system in America. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 8/14/2010

    " A personal and clearly written look at the Court and some of the important people and decisions that have shaped it into its current posture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 8/11/2010

    " Reads like a textbook. Too dry. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Douglas | 8/22/2008

    " Not bad, some chapters I found useful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cameron | 6/4/2008

    " by far the best law book i've read. the former supreme court justice keeps things in perspective but at the same time reveals a profound and inspirational side of constitutional law (i didn't know there was one either...). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vangoghadmirer | 3/21/2008

    " liked this book enough I have two copies, one is signed. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tamsen | 3/13/2008

    " I should have known when the guy at the bookstore told me not to buy the book. I got part way into it, and then I just could not take it anymore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug | 3/5/2008

    " Another one I read in anticipation of my family's trip to DC. This one was a good primer for the Supreme Court and how it works. (Unfortunately we couldn't get in the tour of the Supreme Court and had terrible service in the cafeteria downstairs!) O'Connor writes with candor and even some humor. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christen | 12/27/2007

    " Everyone I know who read this really didn't care for it - but it was okay. There were about 3 chapters that I found to be very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 11/12/2007

    " Some good stories from a person we don't get to hear much personal information about. "

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About the Author
Author Sandra Day O’Connor

Sandra Day O’Connor began her public service in Phoenix as the majority leader of the Arizona Senate before becoming a judge. In 1981, President Reagan nominated her as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, a position she served until 2006. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of Lazy B, a memoir about growing up in the Southwest, and The Majesty of the Law, a reflection on American law and life. Currently, she serves as chancellor of the College of William and Mary, and is on the board of trustees of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.