Society News

In June 2021, Melvin I. Urofsky retired as Chair of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Supreme Court History. We are pleased to announce that Timothy S. Huebner, the Associate Editor of the Journal has agreed to step up to become Chair of the Board of Editors.

Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Society

On June 7, 2021, the Society held its Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Society.  At that time major donors to the Society were recognized and the Nominating Committee presented a slate of candidates for reelection to the Board of Trustees.

Report Of the Nominating Committee Trustees Up for Re-Election to A 3 Year Term Commencing in Fy2022:

Bijan Amini, Rudy Aragon, Max W. Berger, Beth Brinkmann, Vincent C. Burke, III, Paul Clement, Robert A. Clifford, Mark Cohen, Harlan Crow, Miguel Estrada, Gregory S. Gallopoulos, Kenneth S. Geller, Dorothy Goldman Brad S. Karp, Thurgood Marshall, Jr., Patricia Millett, James B. O’hara, R. Hewitt Pate, Donald Rosenberg, James W. Quinn, Jay Sekulow, Kelly J. Shackelford, John Siffert, Paul Smith, Chilton Varner, Dan K. Webb, Bruce Yannett

Officers Up for Re-Election to A 3 Year Term Commencing in Fy2022:

Carter Phillips — Treasurer, Three Years
Doc Schneider — Vice-President, Three Years

Nominated To a New 3 Year Term as Vice-President Commencing in Fy 2022

Tom Leighton — Vice-President, Three Years

At-Large Members Nominated for A One Year Term

Robert Anello — At-Large, One Year
Laurie Webb-Daniel — At-Large, One Year
David Leitch — At-Large, One Year
John Nannes — At-Large, One Year
James O’hara — At-Large, One Year
Theodore Olson — At-Large, One Year
Leon Polsky — At-Large, One Year
Teresa Roseborough — At-Large, One Year
Doc Schneider — At-Large, One Year
Seth P. Waxman — At-Large, One Year
Douglas Young — At-Large, One Year

Distinguished Donors 2021

American College of Trial Lawyers, Bijan Amini, Robert Anello, Rudolph Aragon, David Beck, Max Berger, Beth Brinkmann, Brooke Bowman, Clark-Winchcole Foundation, Robert Clifford, Charles Cooper, Todd Cosenza, Harlan Crow, Richard Cullen, Laurie Webb Daniel, Charlton Dietz, Joseph Frank, David Frederick Fried, Frank Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Greg Gallapoulos, James Gauch, James Gilreath, Patricia Glaser, The Grateful American Foundation, Robert Guiffra, Jr., Dorothy Tapper Goldman, James Goldman, Nestor Mendez Gomez, Christine Hansen, Jim Haynes, III, Paul Hilal, Robert Hochman, Gregory Joseph, Joseph Hage Aaronson, Robert Juceam, Brad Karp, Phillip Kessler, King & Spalding, Phillip Lacovara, David Leitch, Robert Long, Deanne Maynard, Theodore Mirvis, Gary Naftalis, John Nannes, National Endowment for the Humanities, Ronald Olson, Elizabeth Papez, The Park Foundation, R. Hewett Pate, Carter Phillips, The Honorable Leon Polsky, The Price Philanthropies, James Quinn, Harry Reasoner, Teresa Roseborough, Jonathan Schiller, Jay Sekulow, Kelly Shackelford, Pratik Shah, Kannon Shanmugam, The Hatton B. Sumners Foundation, Chilton Varner, Alan Vickery, Seth Waxman, David Weinstein, Robert Weisberg, W. Foster Wollen, Gayle Wright, Douglas Young

McCulloch Overruled? The Odyssey of a Landmark Case

Join us on July 14, 2021 Noon (EDT)

A fascinating look at McCulloch v. Maryland with Professor David Schwartz, author of The Spirit of the Constitution: John Marshall and the 200- Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland.

Bessie Margolin The Supreme Court’s Fair Labor Lawyer

Join us on June 9, 2021 Noon (EDT)

Marlene Trestman, author of Fair Labor Lawyer: The Remarkable Life of New Deal Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin.

“The Relevance of Chief Justice John Marshall”

Join us on April 29th at 4 pm (EDT) for a Virtual Lecture with Brad Snyder on Baseball and the Supreme Court. This event is free to members and $25.00 for non-members.
“Baseball, Curt Flood and the Supreme Court”

The 2021 Major League Baseball season opens on April 1st. Take a look back at some of the Court’s biggest baseball fans.

Supreme Court and Baseball

Read more about the Court’s most famous baseball case in Brad Snyder’s A Well-Paid Slave: Curt Flood’s Fight For Free Agency in Professional Sports.

To order signed copies click here.

Join us on Friday, April 16, 2021 for a Virtual Lecture with Brad Snyder on Baseball and the Supreme Court. This event is free to members and $25.00 for non-members.
“Plessy v. Ferguson and the Evolution of Test Cases”

We are pleased to announce that C-Span will be airing the SCHS’s joint program with the ACTL  “Plessy v. Ferguson and the Evolution of Test Cases” this week.  The first showing will be Sunday 3/28 on American History TV on C-Span-3 at 6 am EST; other airings will continue throughout the week. Join journalist Steve Luxenberg and distinguished oral advocates Carter Phillips and Seth Waxman for a fascinating look at the origin of Test Cases and how they are brought to the Supreme Court  by the Solicitor General and  by appellate lawyers.
Now Virtual: 2021 Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers

After much consideration, we have made the decision to host the 2021 Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society virtually this year.

The dates of the Institute remain the same (June 17-22 for Session 1, and June 25-29 for Session 2) but no sessions will be held on Sunday (June 20 and June 27).

Due to the switch to a virtual institute, the $150 registration fee will be waived this year. Additionally, participants who attend all sessions and submit feedback surveys will receive a $200 stipend as a token of our appreciation for their time and attention.

The application deadline has been extended until April 1. Thirty participants will be accepted through a competitive process for each week. Please see the event page for details. Applicants will be notified of their status on April 15.  Please note that if you choose to attend this year’s virtual Institute, you will not be eligible to re-apply for future Supreme Court Summer Institutes.

If you have already submitted an application, please fill out this form to indicate whether you would like to keep your application active, defer your application to 2022, or withdraw your application by April 1, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding the Institute, please contact Erica Wang at [email protected] or Cathy Ruffing at [email protected].
Hitting Member Mailboxes Soon

The latest issue of the Society’s Quarterly Newsletter is on its way to all current members. Look for it in your mailbox in the next few days. Not a member? Join today.
A Lincoln, the Founders, and the Challenge of Self-government

The Society is delighted to announce a new virtual program. Join Professor Lucas Morel on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at noon for “Lincoln, the Founders, and the Challenge of Self-government.”


WHEREAS, in February, 2021, David T. Pride retired from the Supreme Court Historical Society after giving exemplary, unblemished and dedicated service for more than forty-one years; read full resolution here.

Joint Program between American College of Trial Lawyers and the Society

The 25th Anniversary of the VMI Case: Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg and United States v. Virginia (1996)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinion in the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) case is perhaps the most important majority opinion she penned in her 27 years on the Supreme Court. Issued during her third term, the decision held that VMl’s male-only admissions policy violated the equal protection clause. It is heralded as a landmark decision because it went further than any other to establish true sex equality as a fundamental constitutional norm. It was also dear to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s heart as the culmination of her earlier efforts as a litigator to persuade the Supreme Court to raise the standard of review applied to laws and policies that discriminated on the basis of sex.

Click here for full event info
SCHS Launches New Documentary
On October 30, the SCHS went live with its new educational documentary “The Supreme Court and the 1876 Election” which tells the story of the contested Hayes-Tilden election. Congress appointed a 15-member Electoral Commission that included 5 Supreme Court Justices to resolve that disputed election. While the documentary examines the saga of the contested returns and the two sets of electoral college votes sent to Congress, the main focus is on the role of Justice Joseph P. Bradley, who cast the deciding vote on the commission.

This 15-minute documentary is intended for high school teachers to use in the classroom and is the second in a series of documentaries produced by the SCHS to focus on civics education and the interplay between the three branches of government.

The first documentary “FDR and the Court-packing Controversy” can be viewed here.

Documentary producer and the Society’s resident Historian, Clare Cushman, introduces the lesson plans here:

Lesson plans for teachers for this new documentary can be found here.

FDR and the Courtpacking Controversy
Our documentary chronicles the 168 days between FDR’s fireside chatannouncing his plan to enlarge the Supreme Court to as many as 15 justices in February 1937 and the defeat of his Court-packing scheme in July. It draws on contemporary cartoons and video footage to recount the twists and turns of this riveting episode in Supreme Court history.

The documentary is accompanied by specially designed lesson plans for high school teachers to help students learn about the Courtpacking episode, which highlights important issues about separation of powers. The FDR content is available here. Clare Cushman has provided an introduction to this educational video available here. The lesson plans to accompany the cartoon-rich short documentary “FDR and the Court-packing Controversy is available here.

Thursday April 22, 2021
7:00 – 8:30 PM

To register, please fill out the following form.

Hosted by the Georgetown Center for the Constitution and cosponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Together with the Supreme Court Historical Society, the Center sponsors the annual Salmon P. Chase Distinguished Lecture and Faculty Colloquium to commemorate important anniversaries and neglected figures in our constitutional history. On Thursday evening April 22nd, 2021, Professor Martha Jones of Johns Hopkins University will be delivering the Seventh Annual Salmon P. Chase Distinguished Lecture commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment. The event will be held virtually. Our previous Chase lecturers have included James Oakes, Eric Foner, Colleen Sheehan, William Ewald, Charles McCurdy, and Sandy Levinson.