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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. She also traces the turbulent battle women have fought for a place in our nation’s legal system since America’s inception. Candid and thought-provoking, 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.
“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
"O'Connor, veteran associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, distills in this book the scores of talks she has given across the country and around the world in the 20 years since her accession to the high court....O'Connor's book is an engagingly written civics lesson, delivering a warm appreciation of legal history and principles...."
"Justice O'Connor provides lively commentary on 'a bit of history' of select legal issues, interesting profiles of several Supreme Court justices, problems facing women in the law, the organization and structure of the modern American legal profession and the judiciary, and the rule of law in an era of globalization. The book is a good introduction to the nature and function of American law and the distinctive role of the U.S. Supreme Court. Highly recommended."
—Choice (American Library Association)