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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, 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. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The first female justice on the United States Supreme Court provides a history of the American legal system, discussing landmark cases that have shaped American democracy and her own experiences as a justice.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “I called this book Out of Order because it reflects my goal, which is to share a different side of the Supreme Court. Most people know the Court only as it exists between bangs of the gavel, when the Court comes to order to hear arguments or give opinions. But the stories of the Court and the Justices that come from the ‘out of order’ moments add to the richness of the Court as both a branch of our government and a human institution.”—Justice Sandra Day O’Connor 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 her unique perspective as a history-making figure, Justice O’Connor takes us on a personal exploration, painting vivid pictures of Justices in history, including Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., one of the greatest jurists of all time; Thurgood Marshall, whose understated and succinct style would come to transform oral argument; William O. Douglas, called “The Lone Ranger” because of his impassioned and frequent dissents; and John Roberts, whom Justice O’Connor considers to be the finest practitioner of oral argument she has ever witnessed in Court. 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 of one of our country’s most important institutions, from one of our country’s most respected pioneers. Praise for Out of Order “[A] succinct, snappy account of how today’s court—so powerful, so controversial and so frequently dissected by the media—evolved from such startlingly humble and uncertain beginnings.”—The New York Times “A brief and accessible history of the nation’s highest court, narrated by a true historical figure and a jurisprudential giant.”—The Boston Globe “A vibrantly personal book [that] displays O’Connor’s uncommon common sense, her dry wit and her reverence for the nation’s institutions.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch “Full of riveting anecdotes . . . a compact history . . . albeit a more lighthearted, personality-filled one than you might find in a high school classroom.”—Associated Press From the Hardcover edition.
Presents a biography of every Supreme Court justice from John Jay to Elena Kagan, profiling the main realm of each judge's jurisprudence, the major cases in his or her tenure, and relationships developed with other members of the Court.
The Supreme Court is one of the most traditional institutions in America that has been an exclusively male domain for almost two hundred years. From 1981 to 2010, four women were appointed to the Supreme Court for the first time in U.S. history. The Rhetoric of Supreme Court Women: From Obstacles to Options, by Nichola D. Gutgold, analyzes the rhetoric of the first four women elected to the Supreme Court: Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Gutgold’s thorough exploration of these pioneering women’s rhetorical strategies includes confirmation hearings, primary scripts of their written opinions, invited public lectures, speeches, and personal interviews with Justices O’Connor, Ginsberg, and Sotomayor. These illuminating documents and interviews form rhetorical biographies of the first four women of the Supreme Court, shedding new light on the rise of political women in the American judiciary and the efficacy of their rhetoric in a historically male-dominated political system. Gutgold’s The Rhetoric of Supreme Court Women provides valuable insight into political communication and the changing gender zeitgeist in American politics.
This book examines the criminal justice decisions of the Rehnquist Court era through analyses of individual justices' contributions to the development of law and policy. The Rehnquist Court era (1986-2005) produced a period of opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court's judicial conservatives to reshape constitutional law concerning rights in the criminal justice process. It was an era in which the Court produced many hotly-debated decisions concerning such issues as capital punishment, search and seizure, police interrogations, and prisoners' rights. The Court's most conservative justice, William H. Rehnquist, ascended to the key leadership position of Chief Justice and he was joined on the Court by two new appointees, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who were equally supportive of both greater authority for police and limited definitions of constitutional rights for suspects, defendants, and criminal offenders. The Rehnquist Court era decisions refined and narrowed many of the rights-expanding decisions of the Warren Court era (1953-1969). However, the Supreme Court did not ultimately eliminate the Warren era's foundational rights concepts in criminal justice, such as the exclusionary rule and Miranda warnings. As the leading liberal voices of the Warren era, William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall, retired early in the Rehnquist era, the Court experienced continued advocacy of broad conceptions for many rights through the increased assertiveness of Republican appointees Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, and David Souter as well as the arrival of new Democratic appointees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. In many important cases, the justices advocating the preservation of constitutional protections could prevail, even on a generally conservative Court, by persuading one or more of President Ronald Reagan's appointees to support a particular right for suspects and defendants. Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy, in particular, shaped outcomes within a divided Court as they determined which of the Court’s wings with which they would align in a particular case. The contributors to this volume identify and highlight the unique perspectives and influential decisions of individual justices as the means for understanding the Rehnquist Court’s imprint on criminal justice.
The second edition of this authoritative guide on the impact of the Supreme Court's decisions on American society includes updated entries on key cases over the past thirteen years, as well as a fully revised treatment of areas of constitutional law.

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