First Monday in October is a film about the American justice system, based on a play of the same name. The President appoints Routh Loomis (Jill Clayburgh) as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, making her the first female to hold this position. She is an extreme conservative and immediately begins clashing with the liberal Associate Justice Daniel Shaw (Walter Matthau) on every issue and case brought into the Supreme Court. Some support her; others claim that it was a mistake to bring a woman into what was once exclusively a male position. Their latest case concerns the censorship of a pornographic film. As they argue and debate, Loomis and Shaw develop a friendship and a great deal of respect for one another. This film was postponed and almost scrapped altogether when its release was preceded by Ronald Reagan's appointment of Sandra Day O'Connor as the first female Supreme Court Justice.