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

Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court - Sandra Day O'Connor Were I to tell you that the history behind the Supreme Court of the United States getting it’s first frozen yogurt machine was mesmerizing, you would ask me for a drug screen. Were I to tell you that the court’s first justices traveled the nation’s roads, more like paths really, in order to hear cases, you might ask if I was making this all up. Were I to tell you that from time to time the justices had no choice in their journey but to share not only a room, but also a bed with each other or even fellow travelers, total strangers, in the taverns and lodges along the way, you might whisper to your friends, “Bless him”. Don’t take my word for it, but rather read Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court, and take the word of The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, Retired Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States.The gravity of Justice O’Connor’s book is generated by a deep love and admiration of the constitution, the law, and this attempt at self-governance Thomas Jefferson called the “American Experiment”. The precision of a great intellect and scholar, along with the compassion of a grandmother’s voice allow Justice O’Connor to help us appreciate, value and understand our founding fathers’ gift of freedom and self-determination.Her appointment to the bench by President Reagan in 1981 forced folks of all political persuasions to rethink their understanding of the reality of the day. Justice O’Connor’s response to the questions of the day was not to respond, but rather to simply be what she was. The ability to simply be genuine is what made her such a great jurist, and is also the other main contributing factor to her book. Her awe of the great men to proceed her on the court, as well as her excitement for those that followed her, especially the current court’s three women, was a palpable as a child’s anticipation of Christmas. And it was a window into the sacrifice that all nine members of the Supreme Court offer as a service to the country and legal system they love. Any judge, regardless of the relative power or anonymity of their bench, seeks to listen dispassionately to the facts of the case and impartially apply the law to those facts. All judges hunt the equilibrium between being an active member of society, and at the same time maintain a distance that allows them to protect their objectivity. For those occupying a seat on the highest court in the land this creates an incredible isolation. Every word they utter or write, every decision they make, regardless of how personal or trivial, is believed to be a microscope viewing the judge’s soul and offering insight in predicting how they may rule. To be willing to be so alone is a great sacrifice and demands our thanks and respect for the crucial role they play in our democracy.