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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)

  • John W. Showalter of the 7th Circuit was born #OTD in 1844; he taught his younger brother Jackson how to play #chess and the latter became a 5-time U.S. chess champion; upon his death, Judge Showalter was memorialized in American Chess Magazine, Jan. 1899
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  • Albert Branson Maris, who served 2 years on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and 51 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, died #OTD in 1989; presided over trial of Gobitis flag salute case in 1938:
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  • Senior U.S. District Judge Garr M. King (D. Oregon) died February 5 at age 83
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  • The Senate rejected FDR's nomination of Floyd Roberts to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia #OTD in 1939; example of "senatorial courtesy"; senators deferred to home-state Democratic Senators Harry Byrd and Carter Glass, who opposed nominee
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  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt #FDR proposed expanding #SCOTUS by adding one justice for each justice over age 70 (up to a maximum of 6) #OTD in 1937; widely criticized as "court-packing" plan
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