By Ms. JD Summer Book Series • May 26, 2008•Ms. JD, Ms. JD Book Reviews
The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice, By: Sandra Day O'Connor
In this book, former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor employs anecdotes, personal advice and Supreme Court cases to analyze the evolution of the law, the functioning of the Court, and her life as a Justice. This work is as a much a historical narrative of the American legal tradition, as it is the story of the first female Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
While O'Connor does not focus exclusively on the history of women in the law, she devotes much attention in this book to tracing the history of how women have claimed a prominent and important place in the American legal system. This interesting and easy-to-read work is a must-read for women lawyers and law students alike.
This 'insider's look' at life on the Court has an inherently modest tone; however, the magnitude of O'Connor's accomplishments, both for women in the law and for the law generally are obvious to any reader. As O'Connor writes: "I hoped that I had the basic ability and could develop the skills not only to do the job but to do it well in order that not only women but most citizens would think that the President had made a good choice [in nominating her to be a Supreme Court Justice]."
It is clear from this insightful work that President Reagan did indeed make an excellent choice in nominating Sandra Day O'Connor for the position of Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised on the Lazy B, a ranch on the Arizona-New Mexico border. She attended college and law school at Stanford University, and began her public service in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been married to John O'Connor since 1952, and they have three sons. She is the author, with her brother, H. Alan Day, of Lazy B, a memoir about growing up in the American Southwest. Nominated by President Reagan as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, she took the oath of office on September 25, 1981, the first woman to do so.