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SUPREME COURT OF THE U.S. > #102 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR

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message 1: by Alisa (last edited Aug 16, 2013 01:41PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) This thread is about Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and all related topics.

Biography
Perhaps no other jurist could have come to the Supreme Court under greater expectations and scorn. When President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor in 1981 to be the first woman justice to sit on the Supreme Court, he did so out of an obligation to keep a campaign promise. O'Connor's nomination was quick to draw criticism from both the political left and right. Conservatives derided her lack of federal judicial experience and claimed she was lacking in constitutional knowledge. They considered her a wasted nomination and suspected her position on abortion. Liberals, on the other hand, could not deny their satisfaction at seeing a woman on the High Court, but they were dismayed at O'Connor's apparent lack of strong support for feminist issues. In time, however, O'Connor has come to answer all these criticisms. O'Connor has emerged from the shadow of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and the Court's conservative bloc with her own brand of pragmatic and centrist-oriented conservatism. Even those liberals who branded her a "traitor" in her early years for compromising on abortion rights, now appreciate her efforts to keep the "pro-choice" message of Roe v. Wade (1973) alive. O'Connor's success should come at no surprise. From her rural childhood to her career climb through a profession dominated by men, O'Connor often resorted to practical solutions as she worked within the system. This tendency to moderate, in turn, enhanced her importance in an often-splintered Court.

Sandra Day O'Connor was born March 26, 1930, in El Paso, Texas. Her parents, Harry and Ada Mae, owned the Lazy-B-Cattle Ranch in southeastern Arizona, where O'Connor grew up. O'Connor experienced a difficult life on the ranch in her early childhood. The ranch itself did not receive electricity or running water until she was seven. Since their nearest neighbors lived 25 miles away, the family spent their days mostly in isolation. Her younger brother and sister were not born until she herself was eight years old, leaving her to spend many years as an only child. To compensate for the loneliness, she befriended many of the ranch's cowboys and kept many pets, including a bobcat. O'Connor read profusely in her early years and engaged in many ranch activities. She learned to drive at age seven and could fire rifles and ride horses proficiently by the time she turned eight.

The isolated ranch made formal education difficult so O'Connor's parents sent her to live with her maternal grandmother in El Paso. Sandra attended the Radford School, a private academy for girls, from kindergarten through high school. Suffering from extreme homesickness, she withdrew and returned to Arizona for a year. Still, she graduated with good marks at the age of sixteen. O'Connor attributes much of her later success to her grandmother's influence. She credits her grandmother's confidence in her ability to succeed in any endeavor as her motivation for refusing to admit defeat.

After high school, O'Connor attended Stanford University where she majored in economics. She chose economics originally with the intention of applying that knowledge towards the operation of a ranch of her own or even the Lazy-B Ranch. A legal dispute over her family's ranch, however, stirred her interest in law and O'Connor decided to enroll at Stanford Law School after receiving her baccalaureate degree magna cum laude in 1950.

O'Connor only took two years, instead of the customary three, to complete law school. Along the way, she served on the Stanford Law Review and received membership in the Order of the Coif, a legal honor society. She also met her future husband, John Jay O'Connor, a fellow student, at this time. O'Connor graduated third out of a class of 102. (First in the class William H. Rehnquist who would become chief justice.)

O'Connor faced a difficult job market after leaving Stanford. No law firm in California wanted to hire her and only one offered her a position as a legal secretary. Ironically, a senior partner of that firm, William French Smith, helped O'Connor's nomination to the Supreme Court years later as the Attorney General. Failing to find suitable work in private practice, O'Connor turned to public service. She accepted a job as the deputy county attorney for San Mateo, California. When O'Connor's husband graduated from Stanford a year later, the army immediately drafted him into the Judge Advocate General Corps. John O'Connor served in Frankfurt, Germany, for three years with Sandra by his side. While in Germany, Sandra served as a civilian lawyer in the Quartermaster's Corps.

When the O'Connors returned to the U.S. in 1957, they decided to settle down in Phoenix, Arizona. They had their three sons in the six years that followed.

O'Connor again found it difficult to obtain a position with any law firm so she decided to start her own firm with a single partner. She practiced a wide variety of small cases in her early days as a lawyer since she lacked specialization and an established reputation. After she gave birth to her second son, O'Connor withdrew from work temporarily to care for her children. She became involved in many volunteer activities during this time. She devoted much of her time to the Arizona State Hospital, the Arizona State Bar, the Salvation Army, and various local schools. She also began an involvement with the Arizona Republican Party. After five years as a full-time mother, O'Connor returned to work as an assistant state attorney general in Arizona. When a state senator resigned to take an appointment in Washington D.C., Arizona Governor Jack Williams appointed O'Connor to occupy the vacant seat. O'Connor successfully defended her senate position for two more terms and eventually became the majority leader, a first for women anywhere in the U.S. In 1974, O'Connor decided to shift gears and run for a judgeship on the Maricopa County Superior Court. State Republican leaders urged her to consider a campaign for the governorship in 1978, but O'Connor declined. A year later, the newly elected Democratic governor nominated O'Connor to the Arizona Court of Appeals. Not quite two years later, President Reagan nominated her as the first woman to Supreme Court as a replacement for the retiring Justice Potter Stewart.

The Senate confirmed O'Connor's appointment unanimously. As if in anticipation of her arrival, the Court abandoned its formal use of "Mr. Justice" as the form of address, opting for the simpler and gender-neutral, "Justice." Early in her tenure on the Court, most observers identified O'Connor as part of the Court's conservative faction. The public often associated her with Rehnquist since they shared common roots and values. However, after a few Terms, O'Connor established her own unique position on the Court. Although she commonly sided with the conservatives, O'Connor would frequently author a concurrence that sought to narrow the scope of the majority's opinion.

To this day, O'Connor's core legal philosophy remains difficult to define. She approaches each case with individual treatment and seeks always to arrive at a practical conclusion. Her moderation has helped her role as the centrist coalition-builder, which has consequently enhanced her influence on the Court.




Personal Information
Born Wednesday, March 26, 1930
Childhood Location Texas
Childhood Surroundings Texas
Religion Episcopalian
Ethnicity English
Father Harry A. Day
Father's Occupation Rancher
Mother Ada Mae Wilkey
Family Status Upper-middle

Position Associate Justice
Seat 9
Nominated By Reagan
Commissioned on Monday, September 21, 1981
Sworn In Thursday, September 24, 1981
Left Office Monday, January 30, 2006
Length of Service 24 years, 4 months, 6 days
Home Arizona

(Source: http://www.oyez.org/justices/sandra_d...)


message 2: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Books by and about, at least a few to get started:

The Majesty of the Law Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice by Sandra Day O'Connor by Sandra Day O'Connor Sandra Day O'Connor
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.

Sandra Day O'Connor How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice by Joan Biskupic by Joan Biskupic Joan Biskupic
Sandra Day O'Connor, America's first woman justice, was called the most powerful woman in America. She became the axis on which the Supreme Court turned, and it was often said that to gauge the direction of American law, one need look only to O'Connor's vote. Drawing on information gleaned from once-private papers, hundreds of interviews, and the insight gained from nearly two decades of covering the Supreme Court, author Joan Biskupic offers readers a fascinating portrait of a complex and multifaceted woman—lawyer, politician, legislator, and justice, as well as wife, mother, A-list society hostess, and competitive athlete. Biskupic provides an in-depth account of her transformation from tentative jurist to confident architect of American law.

Sandra Day O'Connor Justice in the Balance (Women's Biography Series) by Ann Carey McFeatters by Ann Carey McFeatters
On July 1, 1981, President Ronald Reagan interviewed Sandra Day O'Connor as a candidate for the United States Supreme Court. A few days later, he called her. "Sandra, I'd like to announce your nomination to the Court tomorrow. Is that all right with you?" Scared and wondering if this was a mistake, the little-known judge from Arizona was on her way to becoming the first woman justice and one of the most powerful women in the nation.
Born in El Paso, Texas, O'Connor grew up on the Lazy B, a cattle ranch that spanned the Arizona-New Mexico border. There she learned lifelong lessons about self-reliance, hard work, and the joy of the outdoors.

Ann Carey McFeatters sketches O'Connor's formative years there and at Stanford University and her inability to find a job—law firms had no interest in hiring a woman lawyer. McFeatters writes about how O'Connor juggled marriage, a career in law and politics, three sons, breast cancer, and the demands of fame.

In this second volume in the Women's Biography Series, we learn how O'Connor became the Court's most important vote on such issues as abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, the role of religion in society, and the election of a president, decisions that shaped a generation of Americans.

Learn how O'Connor became the Court's most important vote on such issues as abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, the role of religion in society, and the election of a president, decisions that shaped a generation of Americans.


message 3: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) More offerings:

Lazy B (Modern Library) by Sandra Day O'Connor by Sandra Day O'Connor Sandra Day O'Connor
On a cattle ranch in the southeast corner of Arizona, without electricity or indoor plumbing, a little girl grew up and went on to become the most powerful woman in America. Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female on the Court and the swing vote in many major cases, describes her childhood in this delightful memoir.

Queen's Court Judicial Power in the Rehnquist Era by Nancy Maveety by Nancy Maveety
As frequent swing vote and centrist voice, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor helped shape many of the Supreme Court's landmark decisions and opinions under the leadership of William Rehnquist. Indeed, many argue that her overall impact and influence was greater than that of the Chief Justice himself.
Nancy Maveety now takes a closer look at what might justifiably be known as the O'Connor Court, in which the voices of individual justices came to the fore. She describes how policy leadership was subdivided among these eminent jurists in a way that fostered an individualist conception of judicial power. And she explains how this distribution of power contributed to a proliferation of concurring opinions—and, in polarizing issues like Planned Parenthood v. Casey or the Michigan affirmative action cases, decisions that sidestepped precedent-setting principles.

Maveety's book is the first to look beyond the conventional wisdom that O'Connor's centrism gave her de facto control over a court notorious for its disunity, providing instead a more precise and systematic analysis of her influence. Maveety seeks not only to assign a definitive meaning to "the Rehnquist Court" but also to identify its historical importance for the constitutional order and the conception of judicial power within it—situating O'Connor squarely at its center.

Maveety describes the attributes that distinguish this Court from its predecessors and suggests how O'Connor's five years on the Burger Court foreshadowed her emergence as an accommodationist. Then, as the Court became more polarized under Rehnquist, there evolved the individualized behavior and rule-of-thumb jurisprudence that came to characterizeO'Connor's decision making. What resulted were carefully circumscribed decisions like Bush v. Gore or Hamdi v. Rumsfeld that provide fewer precedents for lower courts.

Queen's Court ultimately reveals that the importance of the Rehnquist years extends from the substance of constitutional law to the institutional operation of Court decision-making—and that O'Connor was vital to those changes.

Meet My Grandmother She's a Supreme Court Justice by Lisa Tucker McElroy by Lisa Tucker McElroy

For years there have been books about the careers mothers find outside the home. With many of today's working mothers having spent 20 to 30 years in the workplace, the time has come to look at what grandmothers are doing — and they are doing some very interesting things. In the first book in this sparkling new series, we visit with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conn...moreFor years there have been books about the careers mothers find outside the home. With many of today's working mothers having spent 20 to 30 years in the workplace, the time has come to look at what grandmothers are doing — and they are doing some very interesting things. In the first book in this sparkling new series, we visit with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor—in her office, on the bench, in the aerobics class she runs several mornings a week, and touring Washington (and eating ice cream and pizza) with her granddaughter, Courtney.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor by Nancy Maveety by Nancy Maveety
Since her appointment as the first woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has had a major, but largely unrecognized, influence on the collective jurisprudence of the Burger and Rehnquist Courts. In this comprehensive and systematic analysis of O'Connor's judicial contributions, Nancy Maveety describes how O'Connor has used accommodationist deci...moreSince her appointment as the first woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has had a major, but largely unrecognized, influence on the collective jurisprudence of the Burger and Rehnquist Courts. In this comprehensive and systematic analysis of O'Connor's judicial contributions, Nancy Maveety describes how O'Connor has used accommodationist decision-making strategies to make substantive contributions to the development of both constitutional law and the Court's norms of collegiality. Skeptical of interpretations that seek to impose feminist conventions on O'Connor's judicial behavior, this account combines biographical data with an analytical discussion of O'Connor's crucial decisions. This is important reading for anyone interested in the Supreme Court and contemporary jurisprudence.


message 4: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I really want to read more about her. My mother-in-law just discovered that after Stanford, she couldn't get a job! Crazy, but those were the times back then, and she thrived at the end. Amazing.


message 5: by Alisa (last edited Oct 08, 2012 10:36AM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Your mother-in-law is right, Justice O'Connor was rejected by the law firms that she interviewed with despite her academic success. One firm offered her a job as a secretary. She has spoken of it frequently.


message 6: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Secretary...very under-employed.


message 7: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Uhh, yeah. It wasn't that long ago, but she was part of an era where there were very few women in law school and it was near impossible to get a law firm job. She tells this story with tremendous grace (IMHO) but hers was not an uncommon experience, unfortunately. Women now make up almost half of any law school class but the percentage of women law firm partners is still problematic, and a topic of considerable ongoing discussion in the legal profession.

If you ever have the chance to hear her speak it is worth taking advantage of the opportunity. She is quite a gal.


message 8: by Bryan (last edited Oct 08, 2012 11:10AM) (new)

Bryan Craig The firm I worked for, the vast majority of partners were men. I hope to see the trend turn.


message 9: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Bryan you are not alone. Progress on that front is very slow. Men still make up the majority of law firm partners, women comprise about 17% of firm partners. Dismal.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Very much so Alisa and Bryan - the glass ceiling is still there.


message 11: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) A new release by former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor ~

Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court

Out of Order Stories from the History of the Supreme Court by Sandra Day O'Connor by Sandra Day O'Connor Sandra Day O'Connor

Synopsis
“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 vs. Madison to modern-day cases such as Hamdi vs. 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.


message 12: by Alisa (last edited Aug 16, 2013 01:37PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) What does the former Justice do in her spare time now that she is retired? We know she authors books, but what else occupies her time? All sorts of things, it turns out, including founding this organization to teach young people about civics and our system of government. There are some fun and interesting interactive tools on here. Why let kids have all the fun? Worth checking out:

iCivics
What Is iCivics? iCivics prepares young Americans to become knowledgeable, engaged 21st century citizens by creating free and innovative educational materials.

In 2009, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics to reverse Americans’ declining civic knowledge and participation. Securing our democracy, she realized, requires teaching the next generation to understand and respect our system of governance. Today iCivics comprises not just our board and staff, but also a national leadership team of state supreme court justices, secretaries of state, and educational leaders and a network of committed volunteers. Together, we are committed to passing along our legacy of democracy to the next generation.

In four years, iCivics has produced 18 educational video games as well as vibrant teaching materials that have been used in classrooms in all 50 states. Today we offer the nation’s most comprehensive, standards-aligned civics curriculum that is available freely on the Web.

Source, and for more information: http://www.icivics.org/


message 13: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) Sandra Day O'Connor -- The Daily Show, pt. 1

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor discusses her book "Out of Order" and the pressures of making landmark decisions.

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/mwy...


message 14: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) Sandra Day O'Connor -- The Daily Show, pt. 2

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/guests/san...


message 15: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor by Christopher Henry by Christopher Henry (no image)

Synopsis:

The first woman ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor has made a remarkable contribution as both a professional woman and a consummate judge, earning a reputation as an independent and thorough judge who sticks to no party line. Covers O'Connor's childhood on a family ranch in Arizona, her studies at Stanford, her professional career, as well as the significance of some of her most recent Court rulings.


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 12, 2015 06:29AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court

Out of Order Stories from the History of the Supreme Court by Sandra Day O'Connor by Sandra Day O'Connor Sandra Day O'Connor

Synopsis:

“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 vs. Madison to modern-day cases such as Hamdi vs. 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.

“In this delightful collection of tales, Sandra Day O’Connor shows us the personal side of the Supreme Court while reminding us of the critical role the Court plays. It’s a lovely book—and a valuable treasure for all Americans.”—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs


message 17: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4351 comments Mod
Sisters in Law: Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the Friendship That Changed Everything

Sisters in Law Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the Friendship That Changed Everything by Linda Hirshman by Linda Hirshman (no photo)

Synopsis:

The author of the celebrated Victory tells the fascinating story of the intertwined lives of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first and second women to serve as Supreme Court justices.

The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.

Linda Hirshman’s dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for their own recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. She also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, including employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives.

Sisters-in-Law combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes that bring these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.


message 18: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World

Sisters in Law How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman by Linda Hirshman (no photo)

Synopsis:

The author of the celebrated Victory tells the fascinating story of the intertwined lives of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first and second women to serve as Supreme Court justices.

The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.

Linda Hirshman’s dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for their own recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. She also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, including employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives.

Sisters-in-Law combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes that bring these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.


message 19: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Francie wrote: "Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World

[bookcover:Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to t..."


I am reading this now, will probably finish it tonight. Very well done and insightful. Anyone interested in The Supreme Court will find this compelling.


message 20: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it. Moving it up on my TBR.


message 21: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court

Out of Order Stories from the History of the Supreme Court by Sandra Day O'Connor by Sandra Day O'Connor Sandra Day O'Connor

Synopsis:

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.


message 22: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Secret Lives of the Supreme Court: What Your Teachers Never Told You about America's Legendary Judges

Secret Lives of the Supreme Court What Your Teachers Never Told You about America's Legendary Judges by Robert Schnakenberg by Robert Schnakenberg Robert Schnakenberg

Synopsis:

Drugs, Adultery, Bribery, Homosexuality, corruption—and the Supreme Court?!?

Your high school history teachers never gave you a book like this one! Secret Lives of the Supreme Court features outrageous and uncensored profiles of America’s most legendary justices—complete with hundreds of little-known, politically incorrect, and downright wacko facts. You’ll discover that:

• Hugo Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
• Benjamin Cardozo likely died a virgin.
• John Rutledge attempted suicide by jumping off a bridge.
• John Marshall Harlan organized regular screenings of X-rated films.
• Thurgood Marshall never missed an episode of Days of Our Lives.
• Sandra Day O’Connor established the court’s first Jazzercise class.
• And much, much more!

With chapters on everyone from John Jay to Samuel Alito, Secret Lives of the Supreme Court tackles all the tough questions that other history books are afraid to ask: How many of these judges took bribes? How many were gay? And how could so many sink into dementia while serving on the highest court in the land? American history was never this much fun in school!


message 23: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2104 comments Mod
Sandra Day O'Connor

'Out of Order' At The Court: O'Connor On Being The First Female Justice
March 5, 2013


Sandra Day O'Connor is sworn in as an associate justice by Chief Justice Warren Burger on Sept. 25, 1981. Holding two family Bibles is husband John Jay O'Connor. (Michael Evans/AP)

Sandra Day O'Connor wasn't expecting the call from President Reagan that would change her life that day in 1981.

"I was working in my office on the Arizona Court of Appeals," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I was at the court in my chambers when the telephone rang. And it was the White House calling for me, and I was told that the president was waiting to speak to me. That was quite a shock, but I accepted the phone call, and it was President Reagan, and he said, 'Sandra?' 'Yes, Mr. President?' 'Sandra, I'd like to announce your nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow. Is that all right with you?' Well, now, that's kind of a shock, wouldn't you say?"

O'Connor — who has a new book about the history of the Supreme Court called Out of Order — was sworn in by Reagan on July 7, 1981, as the first female Supreme Court justice, replacing Justice Potter Stewart. In a politically divided court, she often cast the swing vote, sometimes siding with the conservatives, as she did in Bush v. Gore, and sometimes with the liberals, as she did in upholding the McCain-Feingold campaign law and the use of affirmative action in college admissions. The term "swing vote," however, is not one she associates with herself and her tenure on the court.

"I don't like that term," she says. "I never did, and it's not one that I like any better today. I don't think any justice — and I hope I was not one — would swing back and forth and just try to make decisions not based on legal principles but on where you thought the direction should go, and so I never liked that term."

She served for 24 years before retiring in 2006 to take care of her husband, who suffered from Alzheimer's.

"We had a very happy marriage," she says. "I loved my husband very much, and it was heartbreaking to have him develop Alzheimer's disease, and to stand by and watch him decline in his ability to take care of himself. It's very sad, and I knew he was going to reach the stage ... And I really felt when that time came, it was better if he went back to Arizona, where we had lived for so many years, and where two of our three sons were living, so that they could help keep him company and share the decisions that had to be made."

Interview Highlights

- On the sense of responsibility she felt as the first female Supreme Court Justice

- On the lack of women's bathrooms at the Supreme Court when she arrived

- On trying to get a job interview after finishing law school

- On whether she thinks about the role she could have played in certain decisions had she not retired

Other:

Link to NPR article: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/05/1729822...
Link to NPR podcast: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/05/1729822...

Out of Order Stories from the History of the Supreme Court by Sandra Day O'Connor by Sandra Day O'Connor Sandra Day O'Connor

Lazy B Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest by Sandra Day O'Connor by Sandra Day O'Connor Sandra Day O'Connor

Source: National Public Radio


message 24: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Apr 20, 2018 08:25PM) (new)

Lorna | 2104 comments Mod
How Sandra Day O'Connor Became the First Woman Supreme Court Justice


Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 25, 2012 in Washington, DC. (T.J. Kirkpatrick--Getty Images)

By CHARLOTTE ALTER July 7, 2016

When Sandra Day O’Connor was growing up on a ranch in Arizona, she learned an important lesson from a flat tire. The story (which she’s recounted in several interviews) goes like this: One morning, young Sandra Day was tasked with bringing lunch to the ranch hands who were herding cattle in a far-off corner of the 198,000 acre ranch. She and her mother rose early to made lunch, and then she set off to deliver the food. On her way, her truck got a flat tire. She jacked up the car, changed the tire, re-screwed the bolts and got the truck working again. But she arrived several hours late with lunch.

Her father said, “You’re late.” When she explained about the flat tire, he said, “Well, you should have started a lot earlier.”

The woman who would become the first female Supreme Court Justice—who was nominated for that position exactly 35 years ago, on July 7, 1981—later told the Harvard Business Review that the lesson of the flat tire was that “you had to anticipate difficulties, and when you ran into them, you had to overcome them and do your job.”

That unwillingness to suffer excuses followed her throughout her career.

Her childhood on the Lazy B ranch, which didn’t have electricity or running water for much of her childhood, taught her work ethic and self-reliance. It also formed the roots of her political and legal foundations. The Days were Republicans, and Sandra Day O’Connor’s children have said they suspect that Day was inspired to study law after her family lost half a million dollars in a drawn-out suit over the family ranch. After graduating from Stanford and Stanford Law in 1952, completing both degrees in six years instead of seven, she married John Jay O’Connor III, her co-editor on the law review.

Like her colleague Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it was difficult for her find work as a lawyer—few law firms would hire women, so she started her career as a deputy county attorney for San Mateo county before opening a tiny practice in Phoenix.

There, after taking some time off to raise her kids, O’Connor started to rise in Arizona politics, moving from assistant attorney general in Arizona in 1965, to State Senator in 1969, to State Senate majority leader in 1973, to Superior Court judge in 1975 and finally to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1979. “She didn’t send out any signal of interest, much less send in an application,” Arizona’s then-Governor Babbit told the Washington Post in 1989. “There wasn’t any evidence of the raw fire of ambition… the intense part of her ambition is focused against an internal standard rather than an outside goal or standard.”

Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan was running for President. And one of his major campaign promises was to appoint a woman to the nation’s highest court.

O’Connor got that call in 1981. “She was so reserved and calm and just, ‘Well, let’s see what this is all about,'” her son Brian has said. After a brief Oval Office interview, in which Reagan asked her to confirm that she was opposed to abortion, he nominated her, praising her “unique qualities of temperament, fairness, intellectual capacity and devotion to the public good.” And, though she had fought hard against assumptions about what a woman could do in the field of law, by that point her selection was uncontroversial in the American mainstream.

“By giving the brethren their first sister,” TIME noted when the news broke, “Reagan provided not only a breakthrough on the bench but a powerful push forward in the shamefully long and needlessly tortuous march of women toward full equality in American society.”

She was confirmed by the Senate, 99-0. In her more than two decades on the bench, she would change the course of American history—not least by casting the deciding vote in Bush v. Gore in 2000, which awarded the presidency to George W. Bush.

Read the remainder of the article at: http://time.com/4380619/sandra-day-oc...

Other:

The Majesty of the Law Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice by Sandra Day O'Connor by Sandra Day O'Connor Sandra Day O'Connor

Source: TIME


message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Lorna


message 26: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2104 comments Mod
Thank you Bentley. I love that her reason for being late was a flat tire and her father replied that she should have left earlier. What a driving influence.


message 27: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
I agree


message 28: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2104 comments Mod
Thanks Bentley, corrected..


message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Lorna


message 30: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4351 comments Mod
An upcoming biography:
Release date: March 19, 2019

First: Sandra Day O'Connor: An Intimate Portrait of the First Woman Supreme Court Justice

First Sandra Day O'Connor, an American Life by Evan Thomas by Evan Thomas Evan Thomas

Synopsis:

She was born in 1930 in El Paso and grew up on a cattle ranch in Arizona. At a time when women were expected to be homemakers, she set her sights on Stanford University. When she graduated near the top of her law school class in 1952, no firm would even interview her. But Sandra Day O’Connor’s story is that of a woman who repeatedly shattered glass ceilings—doing so with a blend of grace, wisdom, humor, understatement, and cowgirl toughness.

She became the first ever female majority leader of a state senate. As a judge on the Arizona State Court of Appeals, she stood up to corrupt lawyers and humanized the law. When she arrived at the United States Supreme Court, appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981, she began a quarter-century tenure on the court, hearing cases that ultimately shaped American law. Diagnosed with cancer at fifty-eight, and caring for a husband with Alzheimer’s, O’Connor endured every difficulty with grit and poise.

Women and men who want to be leaders and be first in their own lives—who want to learn when to walk away and when to stand their ground—will be inspired by O’Connor’s example. This is a remarkably vivid and personal portrait of a woman who loved her family, who believed in serving her country, and who, when she became the most powerful woman in America, built a bridge forward for all women.


message 31: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2104 comments Mod
Thank you Jerome. This looks very interesting.


message 32: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2104 comments Mod
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announces she has been diagnosed with dementia

By ARIIANE de VOGUE and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI, CNN October 23, 2018


Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2015. In a letter on Tuesday, she called for “putting country and the common good above party and self-interest.”CreditCreditKevin Wolf/Seneca Women, via Associated Press

Washington (CNN) - Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor revealed in a letter on Tuesday that she has been diagnosed with the "beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer's disease."

"I will continue living in Phoenix, Arizona surrounded by dear friends and family," she wrote and added, "While the final chapter of my life with dementia may be trying, nothing has diminished my gratitude and deep appreciation for the countless blessings of my life."
Chief Justice John Roberts praised O'Connor in a statement Tuesday as a "towering figure" and a "role model not only for girls and women, but for all those committed to equal justice under law."
O'Connor, 88, was nominated to the bench by President Ronald Reagan as the first female Supreme Court justice of the United States in 1981. She retired from the bench in 2006, in part to care for her husband, who was ailing from Alzheimer's.

In her retirement, she became an advocate for Alzheimer's disease as well as launching iCivics, a website dedicated to encouraging young people to learn civics.

In her letter, O'Connor also announced that she will be stepping away from public life and her leadership role with iCivics in light of her physical condition.

"It is time for new leaders to make civic learning and civic engagement a reality for all," she wrote, adding, "I hope that I have inspired young people about civic engagement and helped pave the pathway for women who may have faced obstacles pursuing their careers.

The letter was released by the court's Public Information Officer. O'Connor signed it at the bottom writing "God Bless you all."

Roberts said that while he was "saddened to learn" of O'Connor's diagnosis, he "was not at all surprised that she used the occasion of sharing that fact to think of our country first."

"Although she has announced that she is withdrawing from public life, no illness or condition can take away the inspiration she provides for those who will follow the many paths she has blazed," Roberts wrote.

O'Connor inspired generations of female lawyers who admired her path-marking success in a field that had been dominated by men. Over time, on the court she was known as a moderate conservative and often the swing vote on hot-button social issues.

"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is a trailblazer in every sense. It's a testament to her patriotism that she is approaching this difficult new chapter (with) the same selflessness that defined her legal career," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House, posted on Twitter. "I pray that she continues to be blessed (with) her trademark strength and grace."

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who co-founded the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, said on Twitter that she wasn't surprised O'Connor was facing her diagnosis with "the strength (and) bravery that have defined her life." California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted that O'Connor "paved the way" and showed young girls they could also become a Supreme Court justice.

"In all aspects of her life Justice O'Connor has been a transparent leader, and being forthcoming about her diagnosis is another demonstration of this," the Alzheimer's Association said in a statement. "We commend Justice O'Connor for bravely sharing her diagnosis and increasing awareness about this devastating disease."

Link to article: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/23/politi...

Other:

Sandra Day O'Connor by Mary Hill by Mary Hill (no photo)

Source: CNN


message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Such a shame Lorna and such an awful disease.


message 34: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2104 comments Mod
First Sandra Day O'Connor by Evan Thomas by Evan Thomas Evan Thomas

Synopsis:

She was born in 1930 in El Paso and grew up on a cattle ranch in Arizona. At a time when women were expected to be homemakers, she set her sights on Stanford University. When she graduated near the top of her class at law school in 1952, no firm would even interview her. But Sandra Day O'Connor's story is that of a woman who repeatedly shattered glass ceilings--doing so with a blend of grace, wisdom, humor, understatement, and cowgirl toughness.

She became the first-ever female majority leader of a state senate. As a judge on the Arizona State Court of Appeals, she stood up to corrupt lawyers and humanized the law. When she arrived at the Supreme Court, appointed by Reagan in 1981, she began a quarter-century tenure on the court, hearing cases that ultimately shaped American law. Diagnosed with cancer at fifty-eight, and caring for a husband with Alzheimer's, O'Connor endured every difficulty with grit and poise.

Women and men today will be inspired by how to be first in your own life, how to know when to fight and when to walk away, through O'Connor's example. This is a remarkably vivid and personal portrait of a woman who loved her family and believed in serving her country, who, when she became the most powerful woman in America, built a bridge forward for the women who followed her.


message 35: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Engle | 1335 comments Lorna, what an inspiring figure! Thank you for the enlightenment.
Regards,
Andrea


message 36: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2104 comments Mod
You are welcome, Andrea. Sandra Day O'Connor certainly is an inspiration..


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