Judges of the D. C. Circuit Courts

Biographical information is now available on each of the Federal Judges who, since 1789, has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, or the former United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia. This information was provided by the Federal Judicial Center.

Archived Personal Papers
The personal papers of many of the judges who have sat on the D.C. Circuit Courts have been archived. The attached listing, prepared by the Federal Judicial Center, provides the locations of the archived papers. The listing also identifies manuscript collections that include correspondence from judges of the D.C. Circuit Courts.

Preserving Judges' Non-Official Papers
At a judicial conference for the judges of the Courts of the DC Circuit, Polly J. Price, Emory University Professor of Law and author of Judge Richard S. Arnold: A Legacy of Justice on the Federal Bench; and members of the Historical Society's Committee on Archival Preservation and Historical Research, including Maeva Marcus, Director of the Institute for Constitutional Studies, Research Professor at George Washington University Law, and author of Truman and the Steel Seizure Cases; Bruce A. Ragsdale, Chief Historian, Federal Judicial Center; Daun van Ee, then Historical Specialist, Library of Congress; and George W. Jones, Jr., Sidley Austin LLP, who served as the moderator, talked with the judges about the importance of preserving their personal papers and available resources for helping them both determine what should be preserved and identify appropriate repositories. The panelists urged the judges to preserve their personal papers in part because:
  • History is best told through the eyes of the participants -- the judges of the Courts of the D.C. Circuit make history every day in ways large and small.
  • Judges should not want the history of their cases written from the perspective of those who disagree with them.
  • The questions scholars or historians will ask in the future are unknowable; no one today can predict with any confidence what will be relevant and useful tomorrow.
  • Cases that do not warrant national headlines today may well assume far greater significance in light of subsequent events.
It is never too early to start thinking about what papers should be preserved and the most promising repositories. The Federal Judicial Center and the Historical Society's Committee on Archival Preservation and Historical Research are ready and willing to help.

Read the lively and instructive exchange about the preservation of judicial papers that D.C. Circuit judges had with the panelists.