Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mini-review of "Out of Order" by Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman ever appointed to sit as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.  She served with distinction from 1981 until her retirement from the bench in 2006.  In her retirement, she has reflected on her own personal history with the court, and on the broader scope of the history of the Court since its authorization in the Constitution.  In this book, "Out of Order," she offers readers a wonderful assortment of anecdotes, vignettes and reflections on key moments in the history of the court.

The book is organized simply with a different theme for each of the dozen chapters.  "Looming Large" follows the fascinating dance over the decades between the Court and the President for supremacy.  "The Call to Serve" chronicles the process and history of judicial appointments by Presidents and  the role of the Senate in Advise and Consent.  "Itinerant Justices" discusses the long practice of Supreme Court Justices also riding the circuit to cover federal court across the nation.

Justice O'Connors writing style is clear, concise, engaging and . .. judicious.  I learned much in this book that I had been unaware of in terms of the history and the personalities of those who have been elevated to the Highest Court in the Land.  This book is a nice addition to the shelf of books that illuminate the judiciary branch of our federal government.



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