You are here
Debates on the Federal Judiciary: A Documentary History
Volume I: 1787-1875 (PDF)
The first volume traces the long process of defining the judiciary within the relatively brief outline provided by the Constitution. The volume includes annotated excerpts from the debates on the establishment and jurisdiction of federal trial courts, judicial tenure and impeachment of judges, judicial review of state court decisions, circuit riding and the expansion of the court system to serve a growing nation, and the impact of the Civil War on the federal courts.
Volume II: 1875-1939 (PDF)
This volume 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. The documents illustrate the contending views of lawyers, judges, legislators, legal scholars, and ordinary citizens on the judiciary's role in American constitutional government. Documents are drawn from a variety of governmental and nongovernmental sources, including congressional floor debates, testimony in congressional hearings, bar association meetings, public addresses, legal treatises, law reviews, and popular periodicals.