Category Archives: History

On This Date in Legal History

On August 25, 1998, former Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell passed away. In 1971, President Nixon nominated him to the Supreme Court. On June 26, 1987, he retired from the Court after serving over 15 years. Learn more about Justice Powell … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 24, 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years to life in prison for the December 8, 1980, murder of John Lennon. He’s been up for parole several times, but his applications have been … Continue reading

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How Our Criminal Justice System Works

The United States Courts has a great video that discusses how our criminal justice system works. The panel includes: U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson, probation officer Jesse Sorkness and Matt Rowland, from the Probation & Pretrial Services Office. They describe … Continue reading

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The United States Supreme Court

If you visit Washington, D.C. this summer your itinerary ought to include a visit to the United States Supreme Court. You’ll learn about the current and former Supreme Court justices, and the history of the court. The docents are quite … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 21, 1878, seventy-five lawyers established the American Bar Association (“ABA”). Today, this national lawyers’ association has almost 400,000 members.   To learn more read their mission statement at http://goo.gl/g5KT8h. You’ll also find a timeline of the association’s history … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 19, 1981, President Reagan sent a letter to the U.S. Senate nominating  Sandra Day O’Connor to the United States Supreme Court. Take a look at his letter at https://goo.gl/nA6Bxz. The Senate unanimously confirmed her appointment in a 99-0 vote … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 17, 1998, President Clinton testified before a grand jury that was investigating whether he perjured himself when he described his relationship with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. You can listen to the President’s grand jury testimony at … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 15, 1938, Justice Stephen Breyer was born. On May 13, 1994, President Clinton appointed him to the Supreme Court. On July 29, 1994, the Senate confirmed his nomination– the vote was 87-9. Take a look at the Senate’s … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 13, 1818, Lucy Stone was born. She advocated to abolish slavery, but today is best remembered for her work in the women’s rights movement. Learn more by listening to Sally McMilllen, author of Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life, … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 12, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Hugo Black to the U.S. Supreme Court. Soon after it was revealed that he had once been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Nonetheless, the Senate confirmed Black in a … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 10, 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. Read more about her at http://bit.ly/1MfCTK6.

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 9, 1974, President Nixon became the first, and only, president to resign from office. Take a look at his letter of resignation at http://goo.gl/bkgnWM. The Watergate scandal caused his, and his administration’s demise. Read Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski’s Memorandum, … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 8, 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the first Hispanic justice to sit on the United States Supreme Court. Watch her swearing-in ceremony at http://goo.gl/iVxlaA, and read more about her at http://goo.gl/fzzxJo.

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 7, 2010, Elena Kagan was sworn in as the 100th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. When she was nominated, she was serving as the United States Solicitor General. (Learn about the Solicitor General’s office at http://1.usa.gov/1INUeV3.) Justice Kagan … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 6, 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.  Learn about this civil rights legislation at http://1.usa.gov/Nxo1MH and http://bit.ly/1EbC6na. I also encourage you to read how we’ve moved away from this  important legislation at http://vrafortoday.org/.

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 5, 2010, the Senate confirmed Elena Kagan’s nomination as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court in a 63 to 37 vote. You can find the Roll Call at http://1.usa.gov/1UlZ7Nj. On August 7 she was sworn in. … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 4, 1735, the trial of publisher John Peter Zenger took place at the site where Federal Hall sits today in Manhattan. The case arose because Zenger printed the New-York Weekly Journal, which was critical of the Governor of … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 3, 1994, Justice Harry Blackmun retired from the Supreme Court after 24 years. He’s probably best known for writing the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade. On the same day, Stephen Breyer (nominated by President Clinton) was sworn … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 2, 1993, President Clinton’s nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court was brought to the Senate floor. Read what Senators had to say about her qualifications in the Congressional Record at http://1.usa.gov/1OH7CPk. … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On August 1, 1779, Francis Scott Key was born.  During the War of 1812 he wrote the lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner. He was an attorney sent to negotiate the release of an American prisoner. While he was detained by … Continue reading

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