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Out of Order

Stories from the History of the Supreme Court

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CD Audio published by Random House Audio (Random House Audio Publishing Group)

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About This Book
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“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 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.

Praise for Out of Order
 
“[A] succinct, snappy account of how today’s court—so powerful, so controversial and so frequently dissected by the media—evolved from such startlingly humble and uncertain beginnings.”The New York Times
 
“A brief and accessible history of the nation’s highest court, narrated by a true historical figure and a jurisprudential giant.”—The Boston Globe
 
“A vibrantly personal book [that] displays O’Connor’s uncommon common sense, her dry wit and her reverence for the nation’s institutions.”Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
“Full of riveting anecdotes . . . a compact history . . . albeit a more lighthearted, personality-filled one than you might find in a high school classroom.”—Associated Press
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“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 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.

Praise for Out of Order
 
“[A] succinct, snappy account of how today’s court—so powerful, so controversial and so frequently dissected by the media—evolved from such startlingly humble and uncertain beginnings.”The New York Times
 
“A brief and accessible history of the nation’s highest court, narrated by a true historical figure and a jurisprudential giant.”—The Boston Globe
 
“A vibrantly personal book [that] displays O’Connor’s uncommon common sense, her dry wit and her reverence for the nation’s institutions.”Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
“Full of riveting anecdotes . . . a compact history . . . albeit a more lighthearted, personality-filled one than you might find in a high school classroom.”—Associated Press
Product Details
CD Audio
Published: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House Audio
ISBN: 9780385360791
Other books bySandra Day O'Connor
  • The Majesty of the Law

    The Majesty of the Law
    Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice
    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.

    Lazy B

    Lazy B
    Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American...
    Now, for the first time in paperback, here is the remarkable story of Sandra Day O’Connor’s family and early life, her journey to adulthood in the American Southwest that helped make her the woman she is today—the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and one of the most powerful women in America. In this illuminating and unusual book, Sandra Day O’Connor tells, with her brother, Alan, the story of the Day family, and of growing up on the harsh yet beautiful land of the Lazy B ranch in Arizona. Laced throughout these stories about three generations of the Day family, and everyday life on the Lazy B, are the lessons Sandra and Alan learned about the world, self-reliance, and survival, and how the land, people, and values of the Lazy B shaped them. This fascinating glimpse of life in the Southwest in the last century recounts an important time in American history, and provides an enduring portrait of an independent young woman on the brink of becoming one of the most prominent figures in America.

    Lazy B

    Lazy B
    Now, for the first time in paperback, here is the remarkable story of Sandra Day O’Connor’s family and early life, her journey to adulthood in the American Southwest that helped make her the woman she is today—the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and one of the most powerful women in America. In this illuminating and unusual book, Sandra Day O’Connor tells, with her brother, Alan, the story of the Day family, and of growing up on the harsh yet beautiful land of the Lazy B ranch in Arizona. Laced throughout these stories about three generations of the Day family, and everyday life on the Lazy B, are the lessons Sandra and Alan learned about the world, self-reliance, and survival, and how the land, people, and values of the Lazy B shaped them. This fascinating glimpse of life in the Southwest in the last century recounts an important time in American history, and provides an enduring portrait of an independent young woman on the brink of becoming one of the most prominent figures in America. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Rebuilding Justice

    Rebuilding Justice
    Civil Courts in Jeopardy and Why You Should Care
    "We are blessed with many excellent judges and court staff . . . but they and all the rest of us have an obligation to work hard to improve the system so that it is both impartial and accountable."—From the foreword by Sandra Day O'Connor Over the past several decades, the civil justice process has become alarmingly expensive, politicized, and lengthy. Though the court system lies at the heart of American democracy, it often does not meet the legitimate needs of the people, resulting in a rift between citizens and their own legal system. With a system that hasn't seen major reform since 1938, it's inevitable that there are shortcomings and misunderstandings. The situation is precarious, but not hopeless. In Rebuilding Justice, Rebecca Love Kourlis and Dirk Olin illuminate why the courts are critical and how they are being eroded, defaced, and undermined. While covering complex issues such as civil justice reform, judicial selection and performance evaluation, and domestic relations, Kourlis and Olin propose practical solutions to improve the efficiency, accessibility, and integrity of America's civil courts. An important portrait of the American judicial system, Rebuilding Justice is a call to action for all Americans to take the steps necessary to fix, support, and protect this crucial cornerstone of our democracy. Rebecca Love Kourlis is the founder and executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, a former justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, a former District Court Judge, and a former trial judge. She holds undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University. Dirk Olin is a legal affairs journalist who currently serves as editor and publisher of Corporate Responsibility Magazine. He holds a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a master's degree from Northwestern Journalism School.

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