Sandra Day O'Connor on the History of the Supreme Court in 'Out of Order'
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor sat down with Judy Woodruff last week to talk about her new book "Out of Order." A collection of historical anecdotes about the nation's highest court, O'Connor -- the court's first female justice -- said she wrote the book because "people know really very little about the court" despite its great significance.
O'Connor, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2006, offered a few insights into the behind-closed-doors decision making of the Justices. When asked about the court's role in the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, O'Connor said she didn't think it was the court's perceived role to do the explaining of a political nature. "They aren't politicians, they aren't running for reelection, and what they do need to explain is the legal reasoning for a particular decision."
She also acknowledged that while the issues at stake in any given case always have important consequences, no matter how the Justices cast their votes: "You don't want to offend anyone, particularly. But the decisions in many cases will bother a great segment of the public, of necessity."
But, for those looking for glimpses into how she makes up her mind, O'Connor doesn't mince words. As for her own "judicial philosophy" O'Connor says: "I'm not on the court anymore so no use looking for my philosophy. If somebody's waiting for that, they can wait for another justice."