The Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society
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Scorpions

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Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Robert Jackson, William O. Douglas—they began as close allies and friends of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who appointed them to the Supreme Court in order to shape together a new, liberal view of the Constitution that could live up to the challenges of economic depression and war. Within months, their alliance had fragmented. Friends became enemies. In competition and sometimes outright warfare, the men struggled with one another to define the Constitution—and through it, the idea of America itself.

This book tells the story of these four great justices: relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. At the same time, another story emerges from the vicissitudes of their battles, victories, and defeats: a history of the modern Constitution itself.

Michael Meyerson is Bemis Professor of Law at Harvard. He is the author of four previous books and a contributing writer for New York Times Magazine.

 


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FDR v. the Constitution

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The Supreme Court has generated many dramatic stories, none more so than the one that began on February 5, 1937. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, confident in his recent landslide reelection and frustrated by a Court that had overturned much of his New Deal legislation, stunned Congress and the American people with his announced intention to add six new justices. Even though the now-famous "court packing" scheme divided his own party, almost everyone assumed FDR would get his way and reverse the Court's conservative stance and long-standing laissez-faire support of corporate America, so persuasive and powerful had he become. I n the end, however, a Supreme Court justice, Owen Roberts, who cast off precedent in the interests of principle, and a Democratic senator from Montana, Burton K. Wheeler, led an effort that turned an apparently unstoppable proposal into a humiliating rejection―and preserved the Constitution. FDR v. Constitution is the colorful story behind 168 days that riveted―and reshaped―the nation.

Burt Solomon skillfully recounts the major New Deal initiatives of FDR's first term and the rulings that overturned them, chronicling as well the politics and personalities on the Supreme Court―from the brilliant octogenarian Louis Brandeis, to the politically minded chief justice, Charles Evans Hughes, to the mercurial Roberts, whose "switch in time saved nine." T he ebb and flow of one of the momentous set pieces in American history placed the inner workings of the nation's capital on full view as the three branches of our government squared off.

 


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Salt of the Earth

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The Kentucky-born son of a Baptist preacher, with an early tendency toward racial prejudice, Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge (1894-1949) became one of the Court's leading liberal activists and an early supporter of racial equality, free speech, and church-state separation. Drawing on more than 160 interviews, John M. Ferren provides a valuable analysis of Rutledge's life and judicial decisionmaking and offers the most comprehensive explanation to date for the Supreme Court nominations of Rutledge, Felix Frankfurter, and William O. Douglas.

Rutledge was known for his compassion and fairness. He opposed discrimination based on gender and poverty and pressed for expanded rights to counsel, due process, and federal review of state criminal convictions.

During his brief tenure on the Court (he died following a stroke at age fifty-five), he contributed significantly to enhancing civil liberties and the rights of naturalized citizens and criminal defendants, became the Court's most coherent expositor of the commerce clause, and dissented powerfully from military commission convictions of Japanese generals after World War II. Through an examination of Rutledge's life, Ferren highlights the development of American common law and legal education, the growth of the legal profession and related institutions, and the evolution of the American court system, including the politics of judicial selection.


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Persons and Masks of the Law

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Legal thought in this country has always focused on the rules rather than on the persons affected by the rules. Persons and Masks of the Law restores the balance by taking a person-centered view of the law. Renowned legal scholar, Judge John T. Noonan, shows how even great jurists have chosen the "masks of the law" over persons, his surprising examples being Thomas Jefferson, George Wythe, Benjamin Cardozo, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.--four of the greatest lawyers of the United States.


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Ernest W. McFarland

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As a U.S. senator, Ernest McFarland sponsored more than forty congressional laws, including the landmark GI Bill in 1944. Twice he led the Central Arizona Project (CAP) to passage in the Senate on its way to ultimate success, and his dedication led to his selection as U.S. Senate majority leader. After losing to Barry Goldwater in 1952, McFarland returned to Arizona, led a Democratic resurgence, and became a two-term governor. He enjoyed notable achievements preparing the way for industrial expansion in the state and successfully arguing the CAP case before the U.S. Supreme Court. At age seventy he successfully ran for the Arizona Supreme Court, where he wrote the controversial decision that was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona. He rose to chief justice in 1968, thus achieving the unique political triple crown of serving in the highest position in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of state government. Mac passed away in Phoenix in 1984 at age 89, having risen from a log cabin in Oklahoma to Capitol Hill and to the Arizona statehouse, working alongside such notables as Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson in a career marked by selfless concern for the common person and stewardship of his nation.


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Rugged Justice

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Few chapters in American judicial history have enjoyed as colorful a past as has the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Created in 1891, its jurisdiction now encompasses California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Hawaii, and Alaska. David Frederick has mined archival sources, including court records and legal papers throughout the West and in Washington, D.C., to document the Ninth Circuit's first fifty years. His findings are much more than a record of the court, however, for they also provide a unique social and cultural history of the West.

Frederick portrays the West's most important judicial institution with clarity and intelligence, reminding us that the evolution of the Ninth Circuit both reflected and affected the dramatic changes occurring in the West during the court's early years. This is a book that will appeal not only to lawyers, but to historians, sociologists, and general readers as well.


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The Court That Tamed The West

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From the gold rush to the Internet boom, the US District Court for the Northern District of California has played a major role in how business is done and life is lived on the Pacific Coast. When California was first admitted to the Union, pioneers were busy prospecting for new fortunes, building towns and cities--and suing each other. San Francisco became the epicenter of a litigious new world being cobbled together from gold dust and sand dunes. Its federal court set precedents, from deciding the fate of Mexican land grants and shanghaied sailors to civil rights for Chinese immigrants. Through the era of Prohibition and the labor movement to World War II and the tumultuous sixties and seventies, the court's historic rulings have defined the Bay Area's geography, culture, and commerce.

Sponsored by the Northern District Court's Historical Society and told by veteran journalists, The Court That Tamed the West presents the region's history through a new lens, offering insight along with great storytelling.


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The Memoirs of Chief Justice Earl Warren

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This long unavailable autobiography is required reading for anyone wishing to understand one of the most controversial and dynamic chief justices in Supreme Court History and his remarkable impact on American Society.


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American Law Society in the 20th Century

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In this long-awaited successor to his landmark work A History of American Law, Lawrence M. Friedman offers a monumental history of American law in the twentieth century. Written by one of our most eminent legal historians, this engrossing book chronicles a century of revolutionary change within a legal system that has come to affect us all. Lawrence M. Friedman is Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford University. He is the former president of the Law and Society Association and of the American Society for Legal History. His previous books include A History of American Law and Crime and Punishment in American History, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history.

Named one of the best books of 2002 by the Los Angeles Times Book Review; Selected by Choice as a 2003 Outstanding Academic Title; Winner of AAP's 2002 PSP Award for Excellence in Professional/Scholarly Publishing in Law; Winner of the Scribes Award for the best book on law written in 2002


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Cecil Poole: A Life In The Law

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Cecil Poole: A Life In The Law by James Haskins. Written for young adult readers, this book recounts the uplifting story of the first African American U.S. Attorney in the continental United States, who culminated his 40-year legal career with service on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "Cheers to the Ninth Circuit Historical Society for telling [this] inspiring story. . ." --U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

For printed publication: 172 pages, 6 x 9, trade paper. ISBN 0-9635086-2-8.  

Teachers, contact us to request free printed copies for classroom use.

For free audiobook: Download here. Size: 115MB Time: 4:11
The audiobook is read by Darla Middlebrook, an actress and voice over artist who is also a trained speech pathologist. She can be heard on the audiobooks Sojourner Truth: Antislavery Activist by Peter Krauss and Rosa Parks: Civil Rights Leader by Mary Hull (Redwood Audio), and is one of several voice over artists who lend their voices to AIRS-LA: Audio Internet Reading Service of Los Angeles. Originally from Ohio, she resides in Saskatchewan, Canada.


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Root and Branch

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Root and Branch: Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Struggle to End Segregation
Jan 22, 2013 by Rawn James Jr.

Although widely viewed as the beginning of the legal struggle to end segregation, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Brown v. Board of Education was in fact the culmination of decades of court challenges led by a band of lawyers intent on dismantling Jim Crow one statute at a time. Charles Hamilton Houston laid the groundwork, reinventing the law school at Howard University (where he taught a young, brash Thurgood Marshall) and becoming special counsel to the NAACP. Later, Houston and Marshall traveled through the South, often at great personal risk, chipping away, case by case, at the legal foundations of racial oppression. The buttoned-up Houston and the easygoing Marshall made an unlikely pair-but their partnership made an unforgettable impact on American history.


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The Rehnquist Choice

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In 1971, William Rehnquist seemed the perfect choice to fill a seat on the United States Supreme Court. He was a young, well-polished lawyer who shared many of President Richard Nixon's philosophies and faced no major objections from the Senate. But in truth, the nomination was anything but straightforward. Now, for the first time, former White House counsel John Dean tells the story of Rehnquist's appointment. Dean offers readers a place in the White House inner circle, providing an unprecedented look at a government process.


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The Chief Justiceship of Warren Burger 1969-1986

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In The Chief Justiceship of Warren Burger, 1969–1986, Earl M. Maltz offers a comprehensive summary and analysis of the Supreme Court's impact on American law and government during Burger's tenure. Undoubtedly one of the most interesting periods in Supreme Court history, the Burger Court generally holds a place in America's judicial memory as a centrist or mildly conservative institution that followed the liberal constitutionalism of the Warren Court and preceded the conservative ideology of the Rehnquist Court. Maltz demonstrates, however, that under Burger the Court's ideological transition was far from immediate and certainly not regular or universal in process. Maltz contends that in many areas of constitutional law the Burger Court produced the most liberal jurisprudence in history—even more liberal than that of its predecessor.

Earl M. Maltz is Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University School of Law. His many books include "Dred Scott and the Politics of Slavery"; "Fugitive Slave on Trial: The Anthony Burns Case and Abolitionist Outrage"; "Civil Rights, The Constitution, and Congress"; and "Slavery and the Supreme Court, 1825 1861", all published by Kansas.


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NJCHS Tote Bag

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Made of sturdy canvas with comfortable royal blue straps, and sporting our lovely arches logo, it's the perfect thing to carry all of your history books or other items in!


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Pack of Historic Pasadena Courthouse Notecards

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Enjoy this pack of 8 notecards -- four different historic images of the lovely Chamber Courthouse in Pasadena!


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Western Legal History

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Western Legal History

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Western Legal History contains stimulating and reflective articles, interviews, and book reviews focused on the history of law in the American West and the Pacific Islands. Prominent authors in history, law, political science, and other fields explore and illuminate the role that the law has played in the West, from precontact times to today. Published twice yearly. Subscriptions are a benefit of membership in the NJCHS. ISSN 0896-2189 NJCHS Members receive a 20% discount on our books.


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U.S. Law and Courts in the Pacific: A Special Issue of Western Legal History 

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Edited by Jane L. Scheiber & Harry N. Scheiber. This symposium issue presents three articles exploring the legal history of the former Pacific island territories of the United States and of other colonial powers. In addition to editing this symposium, the Scheibers have coauthored with Benjamin Jones a ground-breaking article on the treatment of Japanese-American citizens under the regime of martial law in Hawai'i during World War II. Judge Alfred T. Goodwin contributes an article exploring the continuing role of the Ninth Circuit's Pacific Islands Committee in the former Trust Territories in the Pacific. Jon M. Van Dyke provides an analysis of the history of the South Pacific Judicial Conference and its successor, the Pacific Judicial Conference, and the role their leaders have played in advancing the rule of law and judicial independence in the region. 243 pages, 6 x 9, trade paper. Vol. 22, Nos. 1 & 2 (2009)


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Western Frontiers of the Bill of Rights

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This special issue contains ten original essays offering a broad overview of the past and present issues relating to the Bill of Rights in the western states and the Pacific islands. Essays explore Native American rights, the suppression of free speech, Latino civil rights activism, modern concepts of privacy, racial restrictions on housing, martial law in Hawaii during World War II, economic rights, and the concept of due process. Teachers learning guide included at no additional cost. 251 pages, 6 x 9, trade paper. Vol. 3, No. 2 (Summer/Fall 1990)


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Western Water Law: A Special Issue of Western Legal History 

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Edited by Peter L. Reich. This collection of essays explores various aspects of a fundamental issue in western legal history. Topics include historiographic trends, water and politics in northern New Mexico, the principle of equitable apportionment, the Pecos River Compact, and water rights in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Also included are book reviews and a bibliography. 135 pages, 6 x 9, trade paper. Vol. 9, No. 1 (Winter/Spring 1996)


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Free Downloads

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Legal Research for Historians 

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Legal Research for Historians by David L. McFadden. From Western Legal History, Vol. 10, Nos. 1 & 2. This article explains the basic sources and techniques of legal research for historians and others not formally prepared to work with cases, statutes, and other legal materials.


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Saving Yesterday Today for Tomorrow: A Guide to Oral History For The Bench And Bar

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Saving Yesterday Today for Tomorrow: A Guide to Oral History For The Bench And Bar by Carol Hicke. The information in this guide has been gleaned from a wide array of oral history programs and is based on the knowledge and experiences of oral historians at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C.; the Oregon Historical Society; the Regional Oral History Office at the University of California, Berkeley; and the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society. The guide is in two parts: the first offers step-by-step procedures for conducting an oral history; the second deals with the problems of establishing a program and includes explanations about the discipline of oral history. 


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Studying the West in Federal Court Records

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Studying the West in Federal Court Records by Larisa K. Miller. From Western Legal History, Vol. 10, Nos. 1 & 2. Federal courts have been intimately involved in the growth and expansion of the American West, and the court records held by the Pacific Region (San Francisco) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) illuminate and enrich the history of that growth. In addition to recording legal decisions and constitutional precedents (which can be obtained from a law library), this vast collection of primary sources documents important issues in the economic, environmental, and social history of the West, and serves as a unique resource for historical research.


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The Lives and Careers of Judges and Other Employees in the Federal Judicial System: Some Pointers on Research

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The Lives and Careers of Judges and Other Employees in the Federal Judicial System: Some Pointers on Research by Claire Prechtel-Kluskens. From Western Legal History, Vol. 10, Nos. 1 & 2. A variety of records and publications are useful in researching the lives and careers of judges, marshals, clerks of court, and other employees in the federal judicial system, including records of the federal government held by the National Archives and Records Administration. This article identifies some of those sources, with an emphasis on nineteenth-century records. 


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Videos

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Ninth Circuit Courthouse Celebrated

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Ninth Circuit Courthouse Celebrated - October, 2014

The oldest active federal courthouse west of the Mississippi, Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse, was celebrated in a special program in October, 2014. Professor James Mooney of the University of Oregon School of Law recounted the life and career of Oregon’s first district judge, Matthew Deady to over 100 guests in the building’s courtroom.

The NJCHS engaged CWF Media to videotape the October 23rd program in its entirety for ultimate distribution to the Ninth Circuit and interested high schools. To obtain a copy of the videotape, please contact: NJCHS.ExecutiveDirector@gmail.com or call (415) 757-0286. Attendees were given copies of the special issue of Western Legal History devoted to the history of the courthouse. This special issue features an article on Matthew Deady, an oral history of Judge John Kilkenny, who led preservation efforts in the 1970s, an article by Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, and a historical photo essay. 


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NJCHS Joined with California Supreme Court Historical Society for Federalism Program

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In June 2013, in Los Angeles, the NJCHS and the California Supreme Court Historical Society co-sponsored a multimedia program exploring state’s rights and federalism as illustrated by notorious events in the life of California Supreme Court Chief Justice David Terry (1855-59).

The program was held in the Ronald Reagan State Office Building in Los Angeles, Over 150 attendees enjoyed the program, which featured judges from the U.S. District Court and the California Court of Appeal reading original documents about Terry’s duel with a U.S. senator, his 1856 clash with the San Francisco Vigilance Committee, and his 1889 assault on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field.


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Santa Ana Court House History Recorded

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The struggle to bring a federal courthouse to Orange County is the subject of a video project the NJCHS developed with the aid of District Judge Dave Carter. Filmed at the Santa Ana Courthouse, through interviews with Judges Manuel Real, Terry Hatter, Dickran Tevrizian, Gary Taylor, Andrew Guilford, Bankruptcy Judge John Ryan, Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato, and former Congressmen Jerry Patterson and Christopher Cox, this stunning video documents the successful efforts which led to the construction of the Santa Ana Courthouse.

The video was premiered at the Orange County Federal Bar Association meeting and was enthusiastically received.


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