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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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  • 21/ In 1892, Sarah Terry was declared insane and committed to an asylum, where she spent the remainder of her life. /end
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  • 20/ The state took an appeal to the Supreme Court, which affirmed, finding that Neagle had acted in the course of his official duties protecting Field and had not committed a crime. Field did not participate in the case.
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  • 19/ Neagle was arrested by the sheriff of San Joaquin County, California, and immediately sought a writ of habeas corpus from the U.S. Circuit Court for the Northern District of California. The court (without Field) granted the writ, releasing Neagle from custody.
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  • 18/ As David prepared to strike Field again, Neagle drew his revolver and identified himself as a law enforcement officer. Neagle then believed, incorrectly, that David was attempting to draw his knife. He shot David twice, killing him.
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  • 17/ Soon after, Sarah and David Terry entered the room, unseen by Field. Sarah immediately rushed out (to retrieve her revolver from the train, it turned out), but David took a seat at a table behind Field's. David then approached Field from behind and struck him twice.
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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This three-volume series presents historical documents related to significant debates about the federal judiciary.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.

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