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Federal Judicial History

The Center conducts research and produces resources on the history of the judicial branch of the federal government.  These resources include compilations of historical data on the courts, information about judges and judicial administration, as well as publications on federal judicial history. The Center also maintains a biographical directory of Article III judges from 1789 to the present, engages in outreach and education on federal judicial history, and works to promote the preservation of the history of the judicial branch.

Twitter Feed (@FedJudicialHist)

  • Abraham Lincoln gave Thomas Boynton a recess appointment to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida #OTD in 1863; age 25, youngest federal judge ever appointed (court continued to operate during Civil War, hearing mostly admiralty cases)
    2 days 37 min ago
  • #DYK? Congress first provided for "law clerks" for the justices of #SCOTUS in 1919; more info on history of clerks:
    3 days 2 hours ago
  • Abraham Lincoln gave David Davis of Illinois a recess appointment to #SCOTUS #OTD in 1862; replaced John Campbell of Alabama who resigned at outset of Civil War; appointment facilitated by 1862 circuit reorganization resulting in fewer southern circuits
    4 days 3 hours ago
  • President Rutherford B. Hayes nominated John Marshall Harlan to the Supreme Court #OTD in 1877; Harlan served on #SCOTUS until his death in 1911; known for significant dissents including Plessy v. Ferguson, Civil Rights Cases, and Lochner v. New York
    5 days 2 hours ago
  • The Supreme Court decided The Civil Rights Cases #OTD in 1883; held Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional; Act barred racial discrimination in hotels, theaters, etc., but 14th Amendment prohibited discrimination by government, not by private parties #SCOTUS #civilrights
    6 days 2 hours ago