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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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  • 17/ All other cases in the courts of appeals would be heard in the Supreme Court only if the Court granted a writ of certiorari, or if the appellate court certified questions of law to the Court and the Court ordered the case to be sent up for decision.
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  • 16/ The act also limited the right to appeal from the U.S. courts of appeals to cases in which a state statute was held to be repugnant to the Constitution, federal laws, or treaties, and the appealing party was relying on such statute.
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  • 15/ The Judges' Bill passed Congress and was signed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925. The statute eliminated direct appeals from federal trial courts in most cases, limiting such appeals to cases under a handful of specific statutes.
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  • Concluding today.
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  • Continued tomorrow.
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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This three-volume series presents historical documents related to significant debates about the federal judiciary.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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