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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.
Sandra Day O'Connor, America's first woman justice, became the axis on which the Supreme Court turned. She was called the most powerful woman in America, and it was often said that to gauge the direction of American law, one need look only to O'Connor's vote. Then, just one year short of a quarter century on the bench, she surprised her colleagues and the nation by announcing her retirement. Drawing on information from once-private papers of the justices, hundreds of interviews with legal and political insiders, and the insight gained from nearly two decades of covering the Supreme Court, Joan Biskupic examines O'Connor's remarkable career, providing an in-depth account of her transformation from tentative jurist to confident architect of American law. The portrait that emerges is of a complex and multifaceted woman: lawyer, politician, legislator, and justice, as well as wife, mother, A-list society hostess, and competitive athlete. To all appearances, she was the polite lady in pearls, handbag on her arm. But in the back rooms of politics and the law, she was a determined, focused strategist. O'Connor was the feminist who, rather than rebel against the male-dominated system, worked from within -- and succeeded. As Biskupic demonstrates, Justice O'Connor became much more than a "first." During her twenty-four-year tenure, she wrote the decisions on some of the most controversial social battles of our time. O'Connor's tie-breaking opinions on issues such as abortion rights, affirmative action, the death penalty, and religious freedom will have a lasting effect far into the future. O'Connor also cast one of the five votes that cut off the Florida recounts and allowed George W. Bush to take the White House in the 2000 contested presidential election. With an eye to the American people and a keen sense of public attitudes, she worked behind the scenes to shape the law and transform the legal standards by which future cases will be decided. From O'Connor's isolated upbringing on the Lazy B ranch in Arizona through her time as a state legislator to her rise as a justice -- along the way confronting her own personal challenges and crises, including breast cancer -- Biskupic presents a vivid, astute depiction of the justice -- and of the woman beneath the black robe. In so doing, Sandra Day O'Connor also provides an unprecedented look inside the exclusive, famously secretive High Court.
The former Supreme Court justice shares stories about the history and evolution of the Supreme Court that traces the roles of key contributors while sharing the events behind important transformations.
The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies, 1789–2012, Third Edition, provides a single-volume reference profiling every Supreme Court justice from John Jay through Elena Kagan. An original essay on each justice paints a vivid picture of his or her individuality as shaped by family, education, pre-Court career, and the times in which he or she lived. Each biographical essay also presents an overview of the justice’s jurisprudence, the major cases during his or her tenure, and the justice’s relationships with the other members of the Court. Essays are arranged in the order of the justices’ appointments. Lively anecdotes along with portraits, photographs, and political cartoons enrich the text and deepen readers’ understanding of the justices and the Court. The volume includes an extensive bibliography and is indexed for easy research access. New to this edition Foreword by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. Updated essays on sitting or recently retired members of the court New biographies for Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Associate Justices Samuel A. Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan A revised listing of members of the Supreme Court with appointment and confirmation dates —as new documents have come to light, the editor has reassessed the dates of service of several of the justices An updated bibliography with key sources on the Supreme Court and the justices All-new images replace nearly one fourth of the illustrations in this edition There is no better reference than this updated new volume for insightful background and dynamic commentary on the individuals who have served on the Supreme Court of the United States. This is a vital reference work for researchers, students, and others interested in the Supreme Court’s past, present, and future. Editor Clare Cushman is director of publications for the Supreme Court Historical Society, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to the collection and preservation of the history of the Supreme Court of the United States. The society accomplishes its mission by conducting educational programs of interest to legal practitioners, scholars, and the general public by supporting historical research, publishing books, journals, and electronic materials and by collecting antiques and artifacts related to the Court’s history.
What was it in Sandra Day O'Connor's background and early life that helped make her the woman she is today-the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and one of the most powerful women in America? In this beautiful, illuminating, and unusual book, Sandra Day O'Connor, with her brother, Alan, tells the story of the Day family and of growing up on the harsh yet beautiful land of the Lazy B Ranch in Arizona. Laced throughout these stories about three generations of the Day family, and everyday life on the Lazy B, are the lessons Sandra and Alan learned about the world, about people, self-reliance, and survival, and the reader will learn how the values of the Lazy B shaped them and their lives. Sandra's grandfather first put some cattle on open grazing land in 1886, and the Lazy B developed and continued to prosper as Sandra's parents, who eloped and then lived on the Lazy B all their lives, carved out a frugal and happy life for themselves and their three children on the rugged frontier. As you read about the daily adventures, the cattle drives and roundups, the cowboys and horses, the continual praying for rain and fixing of windmills, the values instilled by a self-reliant way of life, you see how Sandra Day O'Connor grew up. This fascinating glimpse of life in the American Southwest in the last century recounts an interesting time in our history, and gives us an enduring portrait of an independent young woman on the brink of becoming one of the most prominent figures in America today.
"On the Supreme Court" places the Supreme Court in a rich historical and political context, demonstrating how its interpretations of statutes and the Constitution are necessarily shared with the elected branches, the 50 states, and the general public. It explains why the Court exercises judicial review, not judicial supremacy. It demonstrates that, contrary to popular opinion, the Court does not supply the final or exclusive word on the Constitution. In an era of tectonic changes, "On the Supreme Court" offers a fresh perspective on this mainstay institution from a scholar with unique insights as a Constitutional specialist as well as a Congressional researcher.Key features of the text: "

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