Sandra Day O'Connor: Justice in the Balance

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
This biography of the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court paints a readable picture of Sandra Day O'Connor from her early days on a huge, isolated range in Arizona to her school days away from her family, her higher education, and her career up to her appointment to the Supreme Court. The author attempts to explain O'Connor's political views and judicial temperament through her upraising and experiences, including her inability to be taken seriously by any law firm when she graduated from Stanford Law School third in her class. Important also is her political career and her life as a wife and mother. McFeatters also goes into detail about some of the major judicial issues of the day, such as affirmative action, abortion, and capital punishment; and she describes the character and personality of the justices with whom O'Connor served. KLIATT Codes: JSA--Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Univ. of New Mexico Press, 224p. illus. bibliog. index., $21.95.. Ages 12 to adult.
—Nola Theiss
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826332189
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Series: Women's Biography Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 234
  • Sales rank: 751,537
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author


Ann Carey McFeatters is Washington Bureau Chief for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Toledo Blade and writes a weekly column about the White House for Scripps Howard News Service.
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