Four prominent figures in American law including Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recalled their experiences working as clerks for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. They discussed Marshall’s personality, his skill as a storyteller, and his impact on their careers. The Supreme Court Historical Society hosted this event in the Supreme Court chamber.
These videos feature the events that the Supreme Court Historical Society host throughout the year, most are recorded by CSPAN and are found on their site. Clicking the preview image will take you to the CSPAN video archive for the Supreme Court Historical Society.
Professor John Q. Barrett examined the legal career of Robert H. Jackson and his relationship with Franklin D. Roosevelt. Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Roosevelt, Jackson also served as solicitor general, attorney general and later as chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials of World War II Nazi leaders. Mr. Barrett edited Robert Jackson’s book, That Man: An Insider’s Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Supreme Court Historical Society hosted the lecture in the Supreme Court chamber, and Chief Justice John Roberts introduced the program.
Chief Justices John Jay and John Marshall University of Virginia law professor Saikrishna Prakash lectured on John Jay and John Marshall, who each served as Chief Justice of the United States. In the early years of the republic, they simultaneously held positions in the executive branch as Foreign Affairs Secretary and Secretary of State. Mr. Prakash argued that the Constitution does not prohibit what he called “double duty.” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas introduced him. The Supreme Court Historical Society hosted the program in the Supreme Court chamber.
Life and Legacy of Chief Justice Warren Burger Professor John Sexton talked about the life and legacy of Chief Justice of the United States Warren Burger. Mr. Sexton served as law clerk to Justice Burger in 1980-81.
Gideon v. Wainwright and the Right to Counsel Jurists and attorneys talked about Gideon v. Wainwright, the 1963 Supreme Court landmark case that ruled criminal defendants at the state level have a right to counsel. The panel also spoke about the impact this case has in the courtroom today.
Author David Dalin spoke about the eight Jewish men and women who have served or who currently serve as justices of the Supreme Court, Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Elena Kagan. Topics included anti-Semitism, and themes such as the changing role of Jews within the American legal profession and the views and judicial opinions of each of the justices. Seth Waxman, former Solicitor General, joined Dr. Dalin in conversation.
Bill of Rights 225th Anniversary Professor Colleen Sheehan talked about James Madison’s role in the creation of the Bill of Rights. December 15, 2016, marked the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.
Sacco-Vanzetti Murder Case Law professor Brad Snyder talked about the controversy surrounding the 1920 Sacco-Vanzetti case in which Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian American anarchists, were charged with robbery and murder in Massachusetts.
Comparing Approaches to Historical Narrative Cokie Roberts moderated a panel discussion entitled “Doing History: Comparing Approaches to the Historian’s Craft.” Participants included historical novelist Thomas Mallon, historical documentary producer Grace Guggenheim, and author and historical researcher Michael Hill.
Life and Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis Melvin Urofsky, author of Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, talked about the Supreme Court justice’s life, legal career, and legacy. This event was in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his appointment to the nation’s highest court.
Lochner v. New York Supreme Court Case The Supreme Court Historical Society hosts a discussion among authors and academics on the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court case Lochner v. New York. In the decision, the Court ruled a New York law limiting the number of hours a baker could work violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guaranteed “liberty of contract.” The decision ushered in what’s know in legal history as the “Lochner Era,” with the Court striking down many state and federal regulations on working conditions over a three decade period. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer introduces this event.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer talked about the influence of foreign relations on American national security and civil liberties. He spoke about cases featured in his book, The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities, including Korematsu v. United States and cases involving Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Influence of Chief Justice John Marshall Jeffrey Rosen spoke about on the influence of former Chief Justice John Marshall, who served from 1801-1835. Mr. Rosen talked about the ideological differences between Justice Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson, and Marshall’s influence on later Supreme Court Justices. Chief Justice John Roberts provided introductory remarks.
Professor Laura Edwards spoke about the differences between federal and local courts during the Reconstruction Era. The actions of these courts frequently conflicted with each other in applying the new Constitutional amendments of the post-Civil war period. This was the third of a series of four speeches on the Supreme Court and Reconstruction hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan introduced Ms. Edwards in the Supreme Court Chamber.
Professor Randy Barnett talked about the U.S. Supreme Court Slaughterhouse Cases. In the series of cases, the Supreme Court upheld a monopoly of slaughterhouses in New Orleans to protect public health and sanitation. The Slaughterhouse Cases were the first cases in which the court commented on the meaning of the 14th Amendment.
Professor Pamela Brandwein, author of Rethinking the Judicial Settlement of Reconstruction, talked about the Reconstruction Amendments - the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. She was introduced by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Baroness Brenda Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, delivered the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual lecture. The topic was the shared legal heritage of the U.S. and U.K. drawn from the Magna Carta. The society was commemorating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.
Kevin McMahon, author of Nixon’s Court: His Challenge to Judicial Liberalism and Its Political Consequences, delivered the Erwin Griswold Book Prize Lecture in the U.S. Supreme Court chamber. President Nixon had the opportunity to fill four seats on the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. McMahon talked about the strategy behind the president’s appointments and the impact he had on the court and American politics.
Mr. McMahon was introduced by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Professor Michael Ross talked about the role of the Supreme Court during Reconstruction. He spoke about the tensions between President Andrew Johnson and the Republican-controlled Congress, the short-lived period of Southern black legislatures, and how hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan used the 14th Amendment to promote white supremacy. He was introduced by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
This speech was one in a series of four on Reconstruction hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society.
Timothy Huebner talked about Chief Justice Roger B. Taney and emancipation. Roger B. Taney served as chief justice of the United States from 1836 to his death in 1864 and delivered the majority opinion in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case. Professor Huebner spoke about public opinion of Chief Justice Taney and how it was shaped by the changing political landscape leading up to and during the Civil War. He was introduced by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Supreme Court Historical Society’s 2014 Leon Silverman Lecture Series, “The Supreme Court and the Civil War Revisited,” marked the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. "'The Unjust Judge': Roger B. Taney, the Slave Power, and the Meaning of Emancipation," the third of the four lectures, was held in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C.
James Swanson talked about the formation, goals, and legacy of the Warren Commission, which was established to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Mr. Swanson is the author of End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Mr. Swanson was introduced by Chief Justice John Roberts. The program was hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society.
Panelists at the Supreme Court Historical Society talked about the impact of the Civil War on the life of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
The Supreme Court Historical Society’s 2014 Leon Silverman Lecture Series, “The Supreme Court and the Civil War Revisited,” marked the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. "Touched with Fire: Justice Holmes and the Civil War," the second of the four lectures, was held in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C.
Lea VanderVelde talked about the Dred Scott v. Sanford Supreme Court case of 1857, the repercussions of the decision, and why its location in Missouri was very important. Dred Scott, who was a slave, attempted to sue his owner John Sanford for his family’s freedom after they had been moved to a free state by their former master. Among other points, the court ruled that slave or free African Americans could not sue in federal court because they could not be U.S. citizens.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave the introduction.
The Supreme Court Historical Society’s 2014 Leon Silverman Lecture Series, “The Supreme Court and the Civil War Revisited,” marked the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. "Dred Scott and the Origins of the Civil War," the first of the four lectures, was held in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C.
Former Solicitors General Drew Days, Paul Clement, and Justice Elena Kagan recounted the experiences and challenges of the position, which represents the United States government before the Supreme Court.
The 30th Anniversary of Sandra Day O'Connor's First Term, APRIL 11, 2012
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Previously recorded Society events can be found on C-SPAN.com on their video archive.
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