347: Out of Order by Sandra Day O’Connor

by Gerard


347.732609: O’Connor, Sandra Day. Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court. New York: Random House, 2013. 131 pp. ISBN 978-0-8129-9392-9.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Sciences
  • 340: Law
  • 347: Procedure and courts
  • 347.7: Procedure and courts of North America
  • 347.73: Procedure and courts of the United States
  • 347.732: Federal courts
  • 347.7326: Supreme Court
  • +09: History

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated a jurist from the Arizona Court of Appeals to the US Supreme Court. For the first time in the court’s 191-year history a woman was named to fill a seat on the nation highest bench. Sandra Day O’Connor served the Supreme Court for 25 years with distinction and Honor. And now she wants to share her knowledge of the history, traditions, and personalities of the Court with us in Out of Order.

This is a simple, straightforward, short book. Each chapter starts at the beginning, with George Washington’s six judge court. From there, we get a dutiful, linear threads about the Court’s transformation over the years to a nine-seat bench, the history of the building, the lives of prominent judges, the milestone cases, and the personalities of the some of the current justices. That’s pretty much it. There’s not a lot of depth here, but the little tidbits are still fun to read. There’s also a fair amount of repetition, especially when it comes to the author’s own tenure at the court. If you’re a Supreme Court buff, then there’s nothing new here. If like me, you’re not, then read ahead. It’s a short but informative trip.