SCHS: Publications & Media — Rosette Detail

New Scholarship — Journal of Supreme Court History

Breaking History

The Society is pleased to announce this new feature to highlight the groundbreaking scholarship that we publish in the Journal of Supreme Court History. The Journal already includes lively illustrations to embellish articles for its readers’ enjoyment. These video interviews will further amplify the written word by allowing scholars to describe what is new and interesting about their articles. The interviews are conducted by the Editor of the Journal, Timothy S. Huebner, who is the Irma O. Sternberg Professor of History at Rhodes College.

The Society is grateful to the historians, political scientists, lawyers, art historians, librarians, judges, students and independent scholars who choose the Journal as the forum to publish their research. We are also grateful to the distinguished members of our Board of Editors who work hard to seek out and develop new articles that allow readers to learn more about the Supreme Court and how it has developed as an institution. For example, the Journal often publishes articles that draw on extensive research in the justices’ papers to reexamine an important case and describe the formulation of the Court’s decision as a narrative story. The Journal has also broken a few scoops about the development of institutional norms—when the justices switched to wearing black robes, when the practice of recusals began, how the modern clerkship started, how the shape of the bench was redesigned, why the first Black page was hired, to name a few.

Zach Jonas discusses his article “FDR’s Court-packing and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” published in the July 2023 Journal of Supreme Court History, with Timothy S. Huebner
Georgetown University law student Gabriel Valle discusses his article “A Hero Forgotten: Gus Garcia and the Litigation of Hernandez v. Texas (1954)” in the Journal of Supreme Court History with Timothy S. Huebner.
Rachel A. Shelden, associate professor of history at Penn State University, discusses her article “Anatomy of a Presidential Campaign from the Supreme Court Bench: John McLean, Levi Woodbury, and the Election of 1848.” Why and how two sitting justices ran for president in 1848 is the topic of her fascinating work, which can be viewed below.
In March 2023 the Society organized a virtual forum for three recent contributors to the Journal to discuss a groundbreaking topic: early Black advocates before the Supreme Court.  Christopher Brooks, John G. Browning, James Feldman, held a fascinating discussion about the struggles and fortitude of John S. Rock, the first Black attorney admitted to the Supreme Court Bar, in 1863;  Everett J. Waring, the first Black attorney to argue a case before the Supreme Court, in 1890, and Cornelius  J. Jones, the third Black attorney to present a case before the Supreme Court, in 1895, who went on to argue four more cases before the Justices challenging the disenfranchisement of Black voters. The hour-long discussion focused on how each scholar conducted his research, how the featured attorney pursued his goals, and analyzed the discrimination and threats these men all faced. The Society is proud to shine a light on the remarkable accomplishments of these overlooked pioneers. Both the hour-long video of the discussion and a 10-minute teaser are available for viewing below.
Professor Huebner launched the Breaking History feature by interviewing the 2022 Hughes-Gossett Prizewinner, Craig Alan Smith. Professor Smith describes how he listened to hours of White House telephone tapes to gain a more accurate view of LBJ’s maneuvers regarding Justice Tom Clark and his decision to step down from the bench.


Gabriel Valle’s article appeared in 48.1 (2023) of the Journal of Supreme Court History which is available for purchase.

Rachel A. Shelden’s article “Anatomy of a Presidential Campaign from the Supreme Court Bench: John McLean, Levi Woodbury, and the Election of 1848,” appeared in 47.3

Christopher Brook’s article “Senator Charles Sumner and the Admission of John S. Rock to the Supreme Court Bar” will appear in vol. 48.2, which will be published in July.

Feldman’s article ““So Forcibly Presented by His Counsel, Who Are of His Race”: Cornelius Jones, Forgotten Black Supreme Court Advocate and Fighter for Civil Rights in the Plessy Era” which appeared in 47.2.

Browning’s article “A Forgotten First: Everett J. Waring, First Black Supreme Court Advocate and the Case of Jones v. United States” appeared in 47.1.