“James L. Buckley may have come from a wider range of experience in the federal legislative and executive branches than any other federal judge in history, or at least recent history.” So writes Stuart Taylor, Washington legal journalist and commentator, in his comprehensive summary of Judge Buckley’s fascinating oral history for the Historical Society. Fascinating because

Judge Buckley was also enator Buckley, and also Under Secretary of State Buckley – as well as Navy man Buckley, oilman Buckley, attorney Buckley, etc. But serving as a judge on the Court of Appeals was the hardest thing Buckley ever did, because, in his modest assessment, “I am just painfully slow at reading and writing.” His reflections on the jurisprudence of the Warren Court, the excitement of running for political office, getting things done in the Senate, growing up with famous brother Bill, and observing birds and polar bears all make for memorable reading.