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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.

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  • Continued tomorrow.
    22 hours 10 min ago
  • 9/ The district court also credited expert testimony that "the adversative model of education is simply inappropriate for the vast majority of women" and if women attended, VMI would have to "adopt a system that provides more nurturing and support."
    22 hours 11 min ago
  • 8/ Among the district court's reasons: "the presence of women would tend to distract male students from their studies"; "increase pressures relating to dating"; "doors would have to be locked"; "physical education requirements would have to be altered"
    22 hours 11 min ago
  • 7/ The court ruled that VMI's policy passed the intermediate scrutiny test and was a constitutionally acceptable form of discrimination because admitting women would fundamentally change the unique nature of the institution.
    22 hours 11 min ago
  • 6/ After a 1991 trial, the district court applied "intermediate scrutiny" to VMI's policy, meaning that VMI had the burden of showing an important governmental objective and that the policy was substantially related to achieving that objective.
    22 hours 11 min ago


Debates on the Federal Judiciary: A Documentary History

This three-volume series presents historical documents related to significant debates about the federal judiciary.

Volume I: 1787-1875
The first volume traces the long process of defining the judiciary within the relatively brief outline provided by the Constitution.

Volume II: 1875-1939
Volume II introduces readers to public debates on proposals to alter the organization, jurisdiction, and administration of the federal courts, as well as the tenure and authority of federal judges, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

Volume III: 1939-2005
The concluding volume of the series covers debates concerning structural changes to the federal courts, criminal justice reform, proposed civil justice initiatives, and the discipline of federal judges.

Approaches to Federal Judicial History

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This volume presents a range of scholarly approaches to the field of federal judicial history. Essays by scholars and public historians evaluate the current state of the field and offer insights into new potential areas of study.

To submit questions about federal judicial history, email us at