History of the Courts2023-04-08T10:15:20-04:00

The History of the D.C. Circuit Courts



In re Judith Miller – National Security and the Reporter’s Privilege

August 1st, 2005|History|

The full program on video of In re Judith Miller, a Society-sponsored program that explored the common-law basis for a reporter's privilege and how best to strike the balance between the public's right to know and the Government's need to secure information in the national interest. The program began with remarks by Professor David Pozen of Columbia Law School.




History of the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse

March 23rd, 2011|History|


President Harry Truman used a silver trowel to lay the cornerstone for Prettyman Courthouse in 1950. A member of the Masons, he probably saw the irony in laying the cornerstone, but more ironic is the site was occupied by the Masons' Jackson Hall, named after an earlier Masonic President, Andrew Jackson.


Robert L. Wilkins, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Advocate for a National Museum for African-American History and Culture

January 15th, 2014|History|

Robert L. WilkinsWhen efforts stalled to open a national museum for African- American history and culture, Judge Robert L. Wilkins left his position with the Public Defenders Office to serve as Chair of the Site and Building Committee for the National Museum for African-American History and Culture.


Now On Exhibit:
The History of the Courts of the D.C. Circuit

History of the Courts

Created amidst the controversy over President John Adams’s appointment of the so-called “Midnight Judges,” the Courts of the District of Columbia Circuit have been transformed and transformative over the two centuries of their existence.

Visit the exhibit to learn how the D.C. Circuit Courts were formed and the challenges overcome in their creation.

Calmly to Poise The Scales of Justice:
A History of the Courts of the D.C. Circuit

Purchase the book now for $30

or send a check to:

The Historical Society of the D.C. Circuit
Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse
333 Constitution Ave NW, Room 4714
Washington, D.C.  20001