The Honorable Stanley S. Harris
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Interview conducted by:
Randell Hunt Norton, Esquire
April 6, 1995
The following pages record an interview conducted on the date indicated. The interview
was electronically recorded, and the transcription was subsequently reviewed and edited
by the interviewee.
The contents hereof and all literary rights pertaining hereto are governed by, and are
subject to, the Oral History Agreements included herewith.
© 1996 Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit.
All rights reserved.
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Oral History Agreements
Honorable Stanley S. Harris …………………………………… ii
Randell Hunt Norton, Esq. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv
Biographical Sketches
Honorable Stanley S. Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi
Randell Hunt Norton, Esq. . …………………………………. viii
Oral History Transcript oflnterview on April 6, 1995 ……………………… l
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Al
The goal of the Oral History Project of the Historical Society of the District of Columbia
Circuit is to preserve the recollections of the judges who sat on the U.S. Courts of the
District of Columbia Circuit, and judges’ spouses, lawyers and court staff who played
important roles in the history of the Circuit. The Project began in 1991. Most interviews
were conducted by volunteers who are members of the Bar of the District of Columbia.
Copies of the transcripts of these interviews, a copy of the transcript on 3.5 11 diskette (in
WordPerfect format), and additional documents as available- some of which may have
been prepared in conjunction with the oral history- are housed in the Judges’ Library in
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Inquiries may be made of the Circuit Librarian as to whether the transcript and diskette
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Such original audio tapes of the interviews as exist as well as the original 3.511 diskettes of
the transcripts are in the custody of the Circuit Executive of the U.S. Courts for the
District of Columbia Circuit.
Historical Sgciety of the pistrict of Columbia Circuit
Interviewee oral History Agreement
1. In consideration of the recording and preservation of
my oral history memoir by the Historical Society of the District
of Columbia Circuit, Washington, O.C., and its employees and
agents (hereinafter “the Society”), I, Stanley s. Harris, except
as otherwise provided herein, do hereby grant and convey to the
Society and its successors and assigns all of my rights, title,
and interest in the tape recordings and transcripts of interviews
of me as described in Schedule A hereto, including literary
rights and copyrights. All copies of the tapes and transcripts
are subject to the same restrictions, herein provided.
2. x·reserve the right to use the tapes and transcripts
and their content as a resource for any book, pamphlet, article
or other writing of which r·am an author or co-author.
3. I authorize the Society, subject to any exceptions
contained herein, to duplicate, edit, publish, or permit the use
of said tape recordings and transcripts in any manner that the
Society considers appropriate, and I waive any claims I may have
or acquire to any royalties fr?ch use •
. / / .
?AR I 2 1996
[Signatueof Interviewee] Date
SWORN TO ANO SUBSCRIBED before this 12th day of March , 199 6
United States DistriCt Court
for the District of Columbia
Nancy ?ayer-Whittinqton, Clerk
ACCEPTED ,this Ji.-ti. day of
Daniel M. Gribben, President of t?hHisto rical
District of Columbia Circuit.
Daniel M. Gribben
, 19.f.f£, by
Society of the
Schedule A
Tape recording(s) and transcript resulting from -?1 __
interview conducted by
Randell Hunt Norton
April 6, 1995 (2 tapes)
(Transcript of 31 pages}
on the following
Historical society of the District of Columbia Circuit
Interviewer Oral History Agreement
Judge 1S. tanHleavyi Sng, aHgarrerieds ftoo rc tonhed uHctis atno roircaall hsoicsiteotryy oinf tetrhvei ew with NDoirsttornic, t doof h eCroelbumy bgiraa nCtir canudi tc, onWavsehyi tngot tohne, oso.cci.,e tyI , anRda nidtelsl Hunt seuhc tcaepses orresc oarnddi nagsssi gannsd, traalnl scorfi mpty sr iofg hti,n tetrivtileew, s,a nda s idnetsecrreisbte din itn Schedule A hereto, including literary rights and copyrights.
or pe2rm. it tI hea utuhseor iozf e stahied tSaopciee treyc, ortdoi ndgusp laincadt et,r aendsictri, ptpsu bilnis ha,n y mcalnaniemrs tI hmata yt hhea veSo coire tayc qcuoirnesi dtoe rsa nayp rporoypalritaitees , franomd sI uwcahi uvese .a ny
the in3.f ormatI ioang receo ntthaaitne dI wtihlelr eminak uen tniol usiet oisf tchoen cliundteerd viaenwd or
edited, or until I receive ??tt?[Signature of Interviewer) Date 3? ;?
I -Tr- SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before this ? day of ,(Y)=a?rc.?h’-‘—–

My Commission expires
ADDaCinCsEiterPTli cEMtD . otGfh riiCbso lbUlllocJn,b(, i4:Pa r edCsaiyirdc euonfi tt . of t?heHktisto rical Soc, ie1t9i.!i,y of, tbhy e / •
Da?niel M. Grib’or>ben ·?
Schedule A
Tape recording(s) and transcript resulting from 1
interview conducted by Randell Hunt Norton
( interviewer)
April 6, 1995 (2 tapes)
(Transcript of 31 pages)

on the following
Addresses arul phones:
Office: United States Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-2802
Telephone: (202) 273–0347
Home: 9621 Weathered Oak Court
Bethesda, MD 20817-1308
Telephone: (301) 469-9621
Date Qf Ilirlh: October 19, 1927 (Washington, D.C.)
Marital Status: Married; three sons.
Militacy service: United States Army, June 1945 • July 1947. Principal assignment:
Instructor of Topographic Photogrammetry, The Engineer School, Fort
Belvoir, Virginia.
College i!!ll!
law school: Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1945 (while in Army); University of
Virginia, B.S., 1951, LLB., 1953. Principal extracurricular law school
activity: Editorial Board (1951-’52) and Managing Board {Articles
Editor, 1952-’53), Virginia Law Review.
!&gal experience: United States District Judge, District of Columbia, December 1983 to
United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, February 1982 to
December 1983.
Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, September 1972 to
February 1982 (attended Senior Appellate Judges’ Seminar, N.Y.U.,
Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia, January 1971 to
September 1972 (attended National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada,
Hogan & Hartson, Washington, D.C., associate and partner 1953-’70.
Principal areas of practice: Radio and television clients (before
Federal Communications Commission and United States Courts of
Appeals); natural gas clients (before Federal Power Commission and
United States Courts of Appeals).
Principal llm:
Principal awards:
Principal noncourt
Member of the District of Colu mbia Bar; The Bar Association of the
District of Columbia (Chairman, Annual Conve ntion Committee, 1969-
’70; Board of Directors, 1968-’71).
Prior American Bar Association activities: Vice-Chairman, Gas,
Electric and Nuclear Energy Committee of Administtative Law Section,
1966-’67; Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Administrative Practice
and Specialization in the Law (Administrative Law Section), 1968-’71;
Vice-Chairman, Communications C.Ommittee (Administrative Law
Section), 1969-’71; member, Select Committee on Courts and the
Community 1974-’75; Faculty Member, ABA National Institute on
Appellate Advocacy, 1980.
Fonner member, Federal Communications Bar Association; Assistant
Secretary of FCBA in 1964-’65; Secretary of FCBA in 1965-’66;
member of FCBA Executive Committ ee in 1966-“69.
Fonner member, Federal Power Bar Association.
Lawyer of the Year Award (1982) from The Bar Association of the
District of Columbia; Judiciary Award from the Association of Federal
Investigators; and Dedicated Service Award from the District of
Columbia Bar.
Member, Committee on Criminal Law of the Judicial Conference of the
United States, 1988-1994; Chairman, Committee on Intercircuit
Assignments of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1994- .
Randell Runt Norton
sos 15th street, N.v., suite 705
Washington, o.c. 2000s
(202) 289-1133
Home address: 1314 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, O.C. 20003
Date of Birth: November 21, 1948
Married to Linda B. Norton; 2 children, Jackson
(DOB 10/22/79), Thomas (DOB 11/9/82)
B.A., with distinction, Economics, University of
Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1970.
J.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville,
Virginia, 1973.
Law Clerk, Honorable Joseph M. Hannon, Judge,
District of Columbia Superior Court, September
1973 to August 1974.
Private practice of law with the firm of MacLeay,
Lynch, Bernhard, Gregg & Attridge, Washington,
D.C., August 1974 to February 1981.
Private practice of law with the firm of Thompson,
O’Donnell, Markham, Norton & Hannon
(formerly Thompson, McGrail, O’Donnell &
Harding) Washington, o.c., February 1981 to
present; partner, 1984 to present.
Virginia, 1973; District of Columbia, 1974; United
States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,
1974; United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth circuit,
1975; Supreme Court of the United States, 1978; Maryland, 1984.
American Bar Association; Washington Bar Association; Bar
Association of the District of Columbia; District of Columbia
Defense Lawyers• Association, Northern Virginia Defense Lawyers•
Association, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, Defense
Research Institute, Association of Trial Lawyers of America
(Associate Member, 1973-94), Virginia Trial Lawyers Association,
Arlington Bar Association, the Barristers.
“Lawyer of the Year”, o.c. Defense Lawyers• Association,
1987, president 1988-89, newsletter editor; 1986-present;
Steering Committee, Courts, Lawyers and Administration of Justice
Section of o.c. Bar, 1987-92 (Co-chair 1989-92) (Section won
“Best Project” in 1990); o.c. Bar Section on Courts, Lawyers,
and the Ad.ministration of Justice Committee on Court Rules (Cochair
1985-87) (D.C. Bar “Best Section Committee” 1986-87);
Contributor and Minority Statements Author, “Report of the
Committee on Court Rules of Division IV of the District of
Columbia Bar Proposing Rules of Evidence for the Superior Court
based on the Federal Rules of Evidence,” 1983 and 1991 editions;
Chair, U.S. Courts Committee, Bar Association of the District of
Columbia; Delegate 1983, 1985-95, Judicial Conference of the
District of Columbia; Invitee to Judicial Conference of the
District of Columbia Circuit, 1991; participant, o.c. Bar
community Law Day activities 1980; panelist, o.c. Bar 1984 annual
meeting presentation on Federal Rules of Evidence; panelist, D.C.
Bar 1985 annual meeting presentation on Superior Court motions
practice; o.c. Court of Appeals Appellate Manual Project, 1984-85
and 1990-91; Barrister, Charles Fahy American Inn of Court
(Georgetown University), 1983-86; Moot Court judge, Georgetown
University, 1985-87; Advisory Committee member, National Center
for State Courts Civil Discovery Project, 1990-91; Mediator for
o.c. Superior Court and U.S. District Court for D.C.; Arbitrator,
D.C. Superior Court; Speaker on 11Rules of Evidence in Superior
Court11 at Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington
for Litigation Luncheon Program (1986); Panelist, o.c. Bar
Litigatiori’ Section Program on Mediation and Superior Court
Individual Calendar System (1989); Member, personal injury focus
group for the o.c. Courts’ Task Force on Gender Bias; Panelist,
o.c. Bar programs on “Recent Developments in o.c. Evidence Law”
(1991) and on “Changes in the Rules of Civil Procedure” (1994);
Instructor, D,C. Bar “Litigation Skills Series” (1992);
editor/author/reviser, o.c. Practice Manual (O.c. Bar) 1987,
1989, 1995 editions; volunteer interviewer, Historical Society
of the DC Circuit oral history project, 1995.
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (Board of Directors 1987-89),
appeared in productions of “Damn Yankees,” “The Music Man,”
“Oliver,” “The Matchmaker, 11 “Annie, 11 11 Arsenic and Old Lace,”
“South Pacific,” 11 Mame, 11 11 l<iss Me Kate,” “Twelve Angry Men” and
“The Wiz!” (1982-95); Community Volunteer of the Year, Capitol
Hill Arts Workshop (1989); Member, Capitol Hill Cluster School
PTA, 1983-present (member of Executive Board and Co-chair of
“Capitol Hill Classic” fundraising race, 1992-1993); member of
Vestry, Christ Church (Episcopal) Capitol Hill, 1987-90, Chair of
Bicentennial Committee 1990-1993, Co-chair of Rector Search
Committee 1995-present; member of Vestry, St. George’s Episcopal
church, Arlington, Virginia 1973 to 1976 and 1979 to 1982 (Senior
Warden 1980-to 1982); Co-president Capitol Hill Babysitting
Cooperative 1983-84; member, Wilson High school PTA 1993-present;
Certificate of Appreciation from DC Public Schools (1995) for
volunteer services in connection with Odyssey of the Mind
Judge Harris Interview
Aoril 6, 1995
NORTON — We are with the D.C. Oral History Project and it’s on
April 6, 1995, starting at about ten minutes after three in the
afternoon. Just to be clear I did not get the first part. This
is an interview with Judge Stanley Harris by Randell Norton in
connection with the D.C. Circuit History Project. All right.
Now Judge Harris I understand from reading some of your
biographical materials that you are a native Washingtonian and I
might as well start at the be ginning. You were born in
NORTON — An d your parents were?
JUDGE HARRIS — My father was Stanley R. Harris, nickname Bucky
Harris, who managed the Washington Senators baseball team which
had him in Washington. My mother was Mary Elizabeth Sutherland
whose father Howar d S utherland back at that point was United
States Senator from West Virginia, which had her in Washington
and so they both were here and both met and things led to me and
my brother and sister.
NORTON — You have a brother and sister? Are they older or
NORTON — When were you born?
JUDGE HARRIS — October 19, 1927.
NORTON — So you missed the famous 1924 season.*
JUDGE HARRIS — Unfortunately yes. [Laughter)
NORTON — I understand that your father was manager of the
Senators as well as a number of teams. The Yankees and a few
other teams.
JUDGE HARRIS Yes he managed the Washington Senators on three
separate occasions, managed the Detroit Tigers on two separate
occasions, also managed the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York
Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
NORTON — Did you?–
He went into the Hall of Fame in, what, 1975, I
* In 1924 the Washington Senators won their only World Series
under first -year manager Bucky Harris.
NORTON — But you. stayed in Washington the whole time he was-JUDGE
NORTON How did that work? I mean what was it like being the
son of a baseball manager?
JUDGE HARRIS — It was a great life. My father was a very
unassuming guy, simply felt that he went to work like everybody
else and just had a different kind of a job as others and that
proved to be a problem later when he was elected to membership in
the Hall of Fame because they called us and said what do you have
that you can let us have up here for display in the Hall of Fame
and we basically had nothing. I mean my father just felt that he
was just going to work like anybody else and essentially we had
no souvenirs or anything like that. But he would just … during
the whole time that I was growing up whenever he was managing
Washington he would just grab me by the hand and off we would go
to Griffith Stadium and I had a uniform and watched all the games
and was on the field with the club and it was a great life.
NORTON — How about when he was managing out of town?
basically it
of us were.
some point.
— We just stayed here although typically
would just be that he just was not here and the
Later my parents became divorced in the forties
NORTON — Now where did you go to school?
JUDGE HARRIS — I went to elementary school at Horace Mann
Elementary School in Washington then went to Landon School in
Bethesda for the 7th, 8th and 9th grades. One trouble with being
a baseball manager is that you are going to be fired and Dad was
fired lots of times and while I was at Landon he was fired and
couldn’t come up with the money to keep me at Landon so I went to
Wilson High School, Woodrow Wilson High School here in Washington
for the 10th, 11th and 12th grades.
NORTON — My son goes to Wilson not that the historians much
care about that. [laughter] Did you play any sports in high
JUDGE HARRIS — Yes, played basketball, football, golf and
baseball. That normally is totally infeasible because you can
only play one sport in a season but one year I had hurt my back
and couldn’t play baseball and was asked to fill in on the golf
team toward the end of the season which I was able to do.
NORTON — And then college was the University of Virginia.
JUDGE HARRIS — University of Virginia.
NORTON — Why … why Virginia?
JUDGE HARRIS — I went to Virginia for I guess for fairly unique
reasons. It was the best combination of a college baseball
school and law school. And those were the two things I wanted
and I felt that they were best combined in Charlottesville.
NORTON — And you — you went on and got your law degree at lNA
as well.
NORTON — Was that back in the time when you didn’t have to go
four years and then three years or did you?
JUDGE HARRIS — That’s correct. I enlisted — I graduated from
Wilson in 1945 when I was 17 and World War II was still going on
and I enlisted in the Army and so I spent two years in the Army
and then went to Virginia in 1947, when I got out of the Army,
and they had what they then referred to as a professional option,
I think they called it, but in effect your first year at law
school could count as elective credits towards your undergraduate
degree so that I got through in six years which was a big help
after spending two years in the Army.
NORTON — Let me stop this and make sure that I am recording it
JUDGE HARRIS — Sure (machine off] OK.
NORTON — Any particular friends or memories that you have
about the University of Virginia?
JUDGE HARRIS — No it is just that I loved it in
Charlottesville. 1 1 m a big booster of the University of Virginia
and still take most of my clerks from the University of Virginia
Law School. But it was just a great six years.
NORTON — And then where were you admitted to the Bar?
JUDGE HARRIS — Here in Washington. I gave a little thought to
practicing in New York because my parents were then divorced and
my mother had a sister and a brother-in-law in New York and I
thought that she might be happy up there but fortunately decided
against going to New York and became admitted here. Went with
Hogan and Hartson when I graduated from law school.
NORTON — You went straight to Hogan & Hartson.
NORTON — How many lawyers did they have back then?
JUDGE HARRIS — I had a wonderful first two years at Hogan &
Hartson and when r· joined the firm I was the 25th lawyer that
they had. 25th out of 25 and the next two years they added five
lawyers all of whom were lateral entries. So at the end of two
years I was the 30th lawyer in a 30 man firm.
NORTON — Which I guess was a huge firm back in those days
that was a lot of …
JUDGE HARRIS — Covington* of course then was the biggest.
Hogan and Hartson was not too far behind even Covington. Back in
those days that was a big firm.
NORTON — Well do you — who were some of the other lawyers
that you worked with at Hogan?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well I had an offer that was probably a little
peculiar in that I just happened to apply to Hogan & Hartson and
I had spent the year before my third year of law school as a
summer intern at Covington and Burling, but ended up accepting an
offer from Hogan & Hartson and the offer which I got was not
simply to join Hogan & Hartson but to join Hogan & Hartson and do
radio and television work so that I … that was understood
that’s where their need was and that 1 s what I went right into.
And the senior people in the radio and television part of the
firm, number one man was a man named Duke Patrick who had been
general counsel of the Federal Radio Commission, next to him was
a man named Lester Cohen. The firm had a number of people doing
trial work. It was then the firm that did more trial work I
think than any other firm including Covington, although Covington
was bigger and the principal partner there was Edmond Jones whose
nickname was Nubby and everybody who was around at the time knew
Nubby Jones.
NORTON — How long did you stay in radio and TV law?
JUDGE HARRIS — That had a quirky ending to it also. After I
had done that work pretty much exclusively, although I did some
work on trial cases, and other matters just to broaden my
exposure, the firm’s largest client was El Paso Natural Gas
Company and the partner in charge of its work was a man named
George Ho?ning. Something happened there and El Paso decided
that they did not want George Horning to continue to do their
work and they said to the firm if you reconstitute the people who
are doing your Federal Power Commission work we will stay with
you. We will give you time. We don 1 t want kids to come into it,
we want partners, and so I was asked to start doing power work
and so I started doing power work after about 13 years of
exclusively radio and television work. I couldn’t get away from
the radio and television field. I started doing power work and
* Covington & Burling.
that was my principal responsibility, but the radio and
television section· — kept grabbing me, too, and I found myself
in the intolerable position of being the only lawyer in town who
was trying to specialize in two fields, in two federal
administrative fields, and one just can 1 t keep up with two at one
NORTON You started at Hogan and Hartson when 1950 …
NORTON — And so you worked until the mid-sixties exclusively in
radio and TV and then how long did you continue to work at Hogan
and Hartson?
JUDGE HARRIS — … well … the Court Reform Act of 1970 was
passed by Congress which created the new Superior Court and
modified the jurisdiction of the D.C. Court of Appeals. Until
then this court as you know was the trial court of general
jurisdiction instead of doing what district courts all over the
country do.
NORTON — That would b e the U.S. District Court , ..
JUDGE HARRIS — C orrect .. , exactly. And when Superior Court was
created they had to add a significant number of new judges to it
and they tried to get a good mix of folks and they did get good
people to go on Superior Court when it was created. They — that
is the Nixon Administration’s Justice Department — wanted very
much, among other people to go on the court, to be a then young
partner from one of the major law firms and I was the one that
they targeted and I said no about 99 times. I was making too
much money and I was entirely happy at Hogan and Hartson, but I
got a call the night before names were to be sent to the White
House saying would I please agree to going on Superior Court. At
that time there was no such thing as to the Judicial Nomination
Commission which came along later in 1974 and the President had
the same sort of a free shot at appointments that he has with
respect to Article III judges. And I just finally decided, well
if they ask you to do it how do you say no. Really do I really
want to walk in the front door of the same law firm for my entire
career, a?d if I don’t like being a judge I can go back to Hogan
and Hartson. So I agreed to do it.
NORTON — Without at least not trying to be offensive, do you
can you explain why it was that they were after you?
JUDGE HARRIS — Judicial selection is also quirky. There is
always some reason why a particular person is targeted, and as I
reconstruct it in my first year of law school one of my
classmates was George Revercomb. George was then the Associate
Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice. George
left the University of Virginia Law School after his first year
to go into the service during the Korean War, but I think it was
George who basically kind of felt that I would be good and
targeted me and then of course George ultimately came on … went
onto Superior Court himself as a part of the same process and
later came on this court until his death a year or so ago.
NORTON — And you were on the Superior Court for how long?
JUDGE HARRIS — From January of 1971 until September of 1972
when I went on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
NORTON — How did you come to be selected to the Court of
JUDGE HARRIS — At that time again they had a free shot. There
was no — still no nominating commission. That didn’t come along
until 1974, and in 1972 I was called down to the Department of
Justice by Don Santarelli; who — whose official position with
the department I can’t remember.
Yeah, he was … I think deputy or something at that
JUDGE HARRIS — Yes. And I thought that Don was going to ask me
to — about going on the D.C. Court of Appeals, and instead he
asked me what I thought about Sylvia Bacon who was another
Superior Court judge who had been at the Deparcment of Justice
before she became a judge. And I told him that I thought that
Sylvia was very talented and would be a very good choice and
about a week later he called me back down. He said since we last
talked people keep telling me that we should go with you and will
you do it? And I said yes.
NORTON Now in your 18 to 20 months of service on the Superior
Court, that was before it had its full jurisdiction that it has
today …
NORTON — What sort of cases did you deal with during that
JUDGE HARRIS — I was there such a short time that … the
felony cases had not yet been transferred over from the United
States District Court. So I basically was the … had
misdemeanor assignments, civil assignments, family division
assignments. I suppose the most unique assignment I had on
Superior Court stemmed from a telephone call that I got from
Harold Greene who is now on this court but then was Chief Judge
of Superior Court. And I was the … filling in the Judge in
Chambers responsibility for Superior Court, which there always
has to be somebody to whom people can go for arrest warrants,
search warrants and that sort of thing, and I had that duty and
got a call from Chief Judge Greene who said I — we then were
being inundated by problems from the Vietnam protesters and Judge
Greene said would you be good enough to take one of these Vietnam
protest cases? And I said sure if you want me to. Well, it
turned out I think I may then have become the only judge in the
country to have had a criminal case with 700 codefendants because
I ended up, without Judge Greene’s having told me, with the 700
people who were arrested on the Capitol steps when they refused
to clear the premises when ordered to do so. So that was quite a
mess dealing with all of them.
NORTON — How did you deal with it?
JUDGE HARRIS — We dealt with it in a very — it was very tough
from the standpoint of keeping track of 700 defendants and
notifying them as to what was going on — the government and
defense counsel worked out an agreement whereby eight
representative defendants were selected to go to trial and we had
a trial, roughly a two-week trial, probably around June of 1972.
The — I had very mixed feelings. I thought that they were
guilty of illegal entry because they didn’t vacate the Capitol
premises when they were told to by the Chief of the Capitol
Police, but I was very much aware of the fact that if the jury
found them guilty that I had about 690 defendants still to deal
with. In retrospect, fortunately the jury found them not guilty
… [laughter) and the government dropped all the other cases.
NORTON — Now obviously your judicial activities changed when
you were appointed to the D.C. Court of Appeals. Who was on the
Court then?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well the … you still had Andy Hood who had
just I guess stopped being the Chief Judge of the Court.
Marvelous judge and marvelous person. The D.C. Court of Appeals
had been a three judge court prior to court reorganization and so
you had Frank Meyers, Andy Hood, and I am drawing a blank on who
the third one was. With the court reorganization came Gerry
Reilly, who became the Chief Judge of the court who had been the
general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Walter
Yeagley, ?rank Nebeker had been a member of that court and was
still there. Austin Fickling was there. Catherine Kelly was
there. John Kern was there. George Gallagher was there at the
time, so the … that was the group that I joined.
NORTON How did you — I guess the question that they suggest
asking is was it sort of a collegial group …
JUDGE HARRIS — Yes, it was a very collegial group. And we had
disagreements as you will have on appellate courts, but they were
always in a — during that period, always on a very high plane.
NORTON — guess by that time you were … you were essentially
the state Supreme Court .. .
JUDGE HARRIS — correct .. .
NORTON — rather than the appeals going through to the D.C.
JUDGE HARRIS — That’s correct. Previously, as you intimate,
anything from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals as it
existed prior to court reorganization could be appealed to the
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit, but one provision of the Court Reorganization Act of
1970 provided that the District of Columbia Court of Appeals
would be the highest court in the jurisdiction so it became the
equivalent of a State Supreme Court and there was appeal only to
the Supreme Court from then on.
NORTON — Did you — well how long were you on the D.C. Court of
JUDGE HARRIS — From September of 1972 until February of 1982.
NORTON — Now there were obviously over that time a number of
other judges that were appointed to the court. Can you remember
any of those?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well, my former partner John Ferren, who had
been doing the pro bono work at Hogan and Hartson, came to the
court. Ted Newman came to the court …. And another former
partner of mine Jim Belson came from Superior Court to the D.C.
Court of Appeals, and I still remember getting a phone call from
him. I had … been on the court for a pretty good while and had
no plans to leave when I received a call from Jim Belson saying
that he had been asked to go on the Court of Appeals and before
he decided what to do he wanted to know if I had any plans to
leave and I said no and he said 11 all right, I’ll come. 11 And he
came, whereupon not too long thereafter I left and I always felt
a little bad about that ever (laughter] since.
NORTON – — You did all right. [laughter) . One of the things – – I
mean I might as well ask you this — I mean it was written up in
the paper — the famous flap with Judge Newman and him being
reappointed as chief judge and the so-called “gang of four” and
all that. Do you have any recollections of that or do you — are
you willing to tell me about that?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well there is nothing that I could tell you that
has — hasn 1 t been written about it. Unfortunately it got
characterized in some circles as having racial overtones, which
assuredly it did not. We had an interesting bit of coverage on
it by the Washington Post which of course is a relatively liberal
publication and they had a young reporter named Ben Weiser who
had gone to Brown Which was the same school that Judge Newman had
gone to and I had known Judge Newman well and we were good
friends. He served on Superior Court with me and came on at
about the same time that I did. But then Weiser who was covering
the dispute over whether Judge Newman should become the Chief
Judge of the Court of Appeals as soon as he came on it and
thought that perhaps the four of us were the bad guys and as he
continued to cover it through the months he came to conclude that
we indeed were properly motivated and were concerned about
Newman’s — not ability, because he is a very bright guy — but
about his … whether temperamentally he would be a good chief
judge. And that was the basis on which we opposed him.
NORTON — Was there any specifics — I mean that you can share
about him that the problems with him being a chief judge in terms
of his temperament?
JUDGE HARRIS — Just a bit — he was more volatile than we felt
was ideal. It was actually his re-appointment, his redesignation
as chief judge, that we opposed.
NORTON — How did you go — how did that work in terms of
opposing him?
JUDGE HARRIS — I really can’t remember much about the details
except that Frank Nebeker and Gerry Reilly –and Gerry Reilly at
that point had taken a retired status although he was still
active [now in the Article III system you can take senior status
and continue to sit and in the Article I court system across the
street the comparable thing is called retired status which makes
it sound as though you are not there, but in fact you are and
Gerry Reilly continued to be very active on the court as a
“retired 11 judge], but the four of us who were active judges who
were speaking … willing to speak out in opposition to Judge
Newman’s redesignation as Chief Judge were George Gallagher, John
Kern, Frank Nebeker and I.
NORTON — Now any …
JUDGE HARRIS — But I should say that to this date I still go to
all retire?ent dinners when somebody leaves the D.C. Court of
Appeals, I still feel very close to it, and when I go I always
have a very pleasant greeting to and from Judge Newman and we
have a good chat. It’s just a difference of opinion as to
whether he should have been the chief judge of the court or not.
NORTON — Any particularly memorable or significant cases that
you remember dealing with on the Court of Appeals? — or, as they
say, stick out in your mind?
JUDGE HARRIS — … Well as I mentioned to you before you turned
on the tape recorder, I know I am not alone in feeling this way,
but I — judges ever since I have been a judge have had more work
than they can handle and I think we tend — most of us tend to
have the feeling that we are looking through the wrong end of a
telescope and we zero in on a particular case and get it done and
move this telescope over to the next case and you — I think in a
way we’re sort of mechanics. We try to take a case apart and put
it back together and then go on to the next one, and there are
few things that I really recall about cases. I do remember that
I thought the law was quite uncertain as to how the Jencks Act
should be applied, that’s Section 3500 of Title 18 of the United
States Code dealing with turning over the statements of witnesses
and what constitutes statements and when do they have to be
turned over. I did try to straighten out that area of the law
through a sort of a trilogy of three opinions in different cases.
I can’t remember what they are. One case … sticks out in my
mind, because it is the kind of thing that doesn’t happen very
often, but there was a case involving a defendant Keith Crews who
was arrested on the Washington Monument grounds and the park
police wanted to take a picture of him. Somebody had been going
into the ladies’ room on the Washington Monument grounds and
robbing people — women — who were using it. And the police
wanted to take a picture of him so that they could show it to the
victims to see if they could identify him and it was too dark for
that, so they took him to the police station where they took his
picture. And they later showed that picture to victims who
identified him and he tried to suppress his identification which
in effect would have meant that he would suppress his existence,
if you suppress the availability of a victim to identify the
person who had robbed them. And we had a two-to-one division on
the panel which decided the appeal for Crews’ conviction. Judge
Nebeker and I were in the majority and I am pulling a blank on
who made the dissent. The court went en bane on the case and
Nebeker and I went from being a two member majority to being a
seven-to-two minority and certiorari was granted in the case and
the Supreme Court took the position that Judge Nebeker and I had
taken by a vote of nine to nothing which was sort of gratifying.
So that one sticks in my mind.
NORTON — Now you were — your next position was as U.S.
Attorney ?or the District of Columbia, is that correct?
NORTON — How did it come to be that you were appointed U.S.
JUDGE HARRIS — Never had any idea of becoming the United States
Attorney. I had never been an Assistant U.S. Attorney. I had
never been a prosecutor anywhere. But in 1974 Home Rule
Legislation was passed which created the Judicial Nomination
Commission which meant that the President — instead of having
the free shot that.he still has with respect to Article III
judges which he did have with respect to judges in that Article I
court system — the President could only pick from three names
which were submitted to him by the nomination commission. The
geographical area from which judges in that court system could be
picked was shrunk. Previously under statute it was recognized
that this is a large metropolitan area and judges could be picked
who lived in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County,
Fairfax, Arlington County, Prince Georges County, in other words,
the contiguous geographical areas to the District of Columbia.
That was changed and you had to be a District of Columbia
resident to come on the court and I felt that the -unfortunately,
the judicial selection process was becoming
politicized. At the same time judges’ salaries were being
terribly compressed. I took about a 70% income cut when I left
my law firm to become a judge in the first place and then
Congress wouldn’t raise its own salaries and wouldn 1 t raise
judges’ salaries either, and I had kids that were getting close
to college age and I was in my mid-fifties and was just about to
start talking to law firms about going back to private practice
when I was asked to become the United States Attorney and I
thought that would be a great way to leave the District of
Columbia Court of Appeals. I had no idea at the time whether
that would lead to another judgeship or back to private practice,
but I thought it would be a wonderful experience and so I agreed
to do that.
NORTON — When you say that the selection process was getting
politicized, what do you mean by that?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well … it became — in the first place you had
an awful lot of lawyers who spent their entire professional life
practicing in the District of Columbia and many of whom had grown
up in the District of Columbia and because they happened to be
living across Western Avenue or across the Potomac River they no
longer could be considered for judgeships here, which I thought
shrunk the talent pool rather considerably. And there were lots
of cries that the make-up of the court should more accurately
reflect the racial make-up of the District of Columbia, and it
became — anytime you have a commission that is making the
choices as,, opposed to what you can do in the Article III system
where I could go to you and say “Randell, I would like for you to
become a judge in this court. Will you do it?” And that’s how
you get the best possible people by simply picking them and
offering them the spot. I don’t mean it in the pejorative sense
but I think it meant that no longer could whatever administration
it was simply pick the person that they thought would be the best
person for the job.
NORTON — I read — I actually went back and looked at a couple
of old articles and one of the things — the speculation I guess
was going about in the Post … was that this had been a long
term — I mean the.Reagan Administration had taken a long time to
replace Chuck Ruff who had been appointed by Carter, I guess, and
do you know anything about that? Or do you know — I guess that
the — that’s not a very good question here particularly for a
lawyer — how did you come to get asked to be U.S. Attorney?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well what happened if you have looked at
newspaper stories at the time there were two people who were
interested in becoming the U.S. At torney at the time, either of
whom would have been quite good in my view. One was Paul
Friedman who now is on this court and the other was Joe DiGenova
and each of them had support but neither had enough support to
knock off the other. And as a result Chuck Ruff stayed as a
holdover U.S. Attorney, — and certainly Chuck was a very able
guy — for a long period of time, and for reasons which I
couldn’t tell you, people at the Department of Justice and/or the
White House concluded that if I were interested in doing it that
I would be a good person to break that logjam and take on the
NORTON — Was there anybody in particular who was sort of
carrying your torch over there?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well, I’m sort of in a screwy position. I have
had four presidential appointments, but I have never been active
in politics in any way whatsoever, and the appointments that I
have had have just been a result of a telephone call saying -asking
me would I do this. So I couldn’t tell you really how it
all came about.
NORTON — The — you indicated I think before we turned on the
microphone that you had — or one of the times it was off — that
you had not had any experience as a prosecutor before this. What
did you do — I mean how did that affect your coming on as United
States Attorney?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well it necessitated quite a crash learning
program. I had a period of time between the time I agreed to do
it and the time that I was actually going to begin the job and I
spent much of that time talking with prior Assistant U.S.
Attorneys,? present — then present Assistant U.S. Attorneys, just
trying to learn everything I could possibly learn about how the
office ran before suddenly being thrown into the pool as the
United States Attorney. And as a practical matter not being a
prosecutor is not that much of a detriment here as it might be
somewhere else because here the office is so big that the United
States Attorney can’t prosecute cases personally as a practical
matter and hasn’t been able to for years.
NORTON — What — how would you describe the function of the
United States Attorney in the District of Columbia … at least
when you were serving here.
JUDGE HARRIS — Well it is just basically administering an
office of what by the time I left it was about 220 assistant U.S.
Attorneys. The … Washington as a city is enormously attractive
to young lawyers. The United States Attorney’s Office is
enormously attractive to young lawyers and the talent pool that
is available to the U.S. Attorney’s Office is pretty
mindboggling. And it is just — it was a wonderful group of
people to work with, and during the period of time that I was the
United States Attorney I hired 70 assistants. It was a period of
growth for the office. There are an awful lot of decisions -prosecutorial
decisions that I had to make notwithstanding not
having been a prosecutor, but it wasn’t that much different than
what you do as a judge. You hear what the facts are and decide
what you think ought to be done.
NORTON — Why do you — why was there so much growth while you
were U.S. Attorney in the office? Was it a change in the
function or increase in the crime problem?
JUDGE HARRIS — I think it was basically — largely the
increase in drug usage, although crack didn’t come along until
about 1985 and didn’t become a major problem for the courts until
late ’85 and early 1 86. But there was — I think it was probably
largely drugs.
NORTON — I know that at various times there have been
discussions about the — the rather unique situation of D.C.
having a United States Attorney’s Office as … both the federal
and the local prosecutor. Were you involved in any discussions
or anything about that?
United States
systems. It is a
I just indicated,
attract extremely
very well.
No, I was presented with the system in which
Attorney’s office prosecuted in both court
system that I have always felt worked well. As
the United States Attorney’s Office is able to
talented people, and so it works. It works
NORTON — What sort of relationship or dealings did you have
with the local government? — the D.C. Government?
JUDGE HARRIS — I did everything I could to work as closely as I
could with the local government because of course by then there
was Home Rule and I had some sensitivity to the fact that I was a
white male Republican appointee and that there were people who
really liked to see the District of Columbia do its own
prosecuting the way a state might, and so I went to an awful lot
of trouble to make myself accessible to — anytime anybody asked
me to speak to a community group I would go, and … there was a
group made up of the head of the Department of Corrections and
somebody from the D.C . … from the City council and a number of
others what we tried to share attitudes towards problems. I just
— so I tried very hard to deal as effectively as I could with
many others, including with the Corporation Counsel who at that
particular time was Judy Rogers, who later came on the D.C. Court
of Appeals just about the time that I came on this court, and
then of course Judy later became … went on the D.C. Circuit.
But we had a very good working relationship when she was the
Corporation Counsel and I was the United States Attorney.
NORTON — I — one of the other articles I read indicated that
at some point you testified against — down at the City Council
– against the law to essentially ease the parole system or let
people out earlier. I think that may have been in response to
the … some of the court orders, the overcrowding orders and you
indicated that they should build more — I am paraphrasing here
that they should build more prison facilities rather than
letting these folks out earlier. I mean do you recall that, or
am I paraphrasing that wrong?
JUDGE HARRIS — I — No, I think you put it pretty accurately.
I met on a number of occasions — again as part of my effort to
show the United States Attorney’s, not mine, but the United
States Attorney’s, interests in working with local officials -and
I met with Marion Barry on a number of occasions, and he
wondered whether we couldn’t divert more people from situations
in which they would be looking at incarceration, and I told him
then and still believe that by the time anybody reaches the point
of being incarcerated in the District of Columbia they are not
first offenders. And that diversion is tried, probation is tried
and that may indeed make some people feel that they don’t have to
pay any particular penalty for criminal conduct — I don’t know
that would get into sociological and psychological problems that
… and I am not all that expert in — but I assured the then and
once again Mayor that there were no soft-core prisoners in the
D.C. system and that he was just going to have to build more
facilities but he was never willing to seek to have that done.
And the facilities have been a mess ever since. Inadequate. And
we — at the time the D.C. Parole Board, in part because of the
crowded conditions at Lorton and in part because of — and here I
don’t use the term in the pejorative sense again — but the
parole board, the District of Columbia parole board, had somewhat
of a social worker psychology, and … as an institution thought
that everybody could be straightened out and they were letting
everybody out at about the first opportunity that they were
eligible irrespective of whether that person happened to be a
particularly hard-core recidivist who posed a danger to the
community, and I was concerned about that.
NORTON — The — how long were you U.S. Attorney?
JUDGE HARRIS — From February of 1982 until December the 2nd,
1983, when I came On this court.
NORTON — Once again I will ask you the question — any
memorable or significant cases your office handled during that
time that you can recall — stick out in your mind?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well there is a lot that’s memorable. It is a
great job. Greatest, most fun job I have ever had. Never before
or since have I been a part of an organization where everybody
was approaching their jobs with the same sort of an attitude and
same sort of effort and it was great in the kind of teamwork that
I was a part of. The most notable case, of course, was the John
Hinckley case when he was prosecuted for his attempted
assassination of President Reagan.
NORTON — Now, there was — once again in reading my articles
the Post said that your time with — as U.S. Attorney was fairly
uncontroversial except that there were some House Democrats who
accused you, I think — and this is a paraphrase — of dragging
your heels on a contempt citation of the former EPA Administrator
and, as I say don’t know a whole lot about that, but I just ask
you do you remember anything about that.
JUDGE HARRIS — Sure do [laughter]. Ann Burford or Ann Gorsuch
— I forget which name she was using at the time, she married
later. I think it was Ann Burford at the time — was the
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and a
dispute developed between the Reagan Administration and the House
of Representatives as to what documents should be turned over
concerning cleanup of so-called Superfund contaminated sites and
Ann Burford, who was a very able and very conscientious person,
found herself caught in the middle of an Executive Branch versus
Legislative Branch controversy which was not of her making in any
way. But she became a target of the House of Representatives
because the Administration did not want to turn over certain work
documents as to how they were proceeding on the Superfund cleanup
sites and the House of Representatives later — or ultimately -decided
to hold or to cite her for contempt of Congress, and the
statute in the United States Code, the section of which I can’t
recall, places the burden of prosecuting anyone who is cited for
contempt oj Congress on the United States Attorney for the
District of Columbia. Doesn’t place it in the Department of
Justice, generically, it places it on the United States Attorney
for the District of Columbia.
I shall never forget being served with the contempt citation. My
wife and I went to a dinner party and came home one night and
there were a couple of gentlemen in our driveway when we got home
about midnight and they identified themselves as being from the
House of Representatives and I apologized for having them spend
all that time there and invited them in to see if they wanted to
use the restroom or have a coke or beer. Well they acted more
like KGB agents than [laughter] fellow members of the federal
government and I … in any event took the contempt citation,
went to bed, and I thought what do I do with this now, because it
isn’t Ann Burford’s fault that she is in this mess, and I knew
that t.hey were trying to work out some sort of settlement
agreement to provide the documents that would satisfy both sides
and I thought back to Watergate and realized that I was in the
same kind of position that the Watergate folks found themselves
in very early. By that I mean it occurred to me that what was
important for me as the person charged with the responsibility
for prosecuting her was that at the end of the line nobody could
say that I had been told what to do or what not to do. And I
came in the first morning after receiving the contempt citation
and called Main Justice and said I just want to make it clear
that I am not going to talk to anybody at Main Justice about this
case. And that decision was respected and followed and
ultimately an agreement was worked out and the papers were turned
over to the grand … the case was presented to a grand jury
which did not indict her and at the end of the line I — along
with Attorney General Smith had to testify before a congressional
committee and we both were placed under oath so that we would be
committing perjury if we did not answer truthfully. The Attorney
General was able to say that the Department of Justice never told
me what to do in the case and I was able to say that nobody ever
told me what to do in the case and so it all ended fine.
NORTON — Any other memorable moments as U.S. Attorney?
JUDGE HARRIS — No, other than just the overall pleasure of
working with such a talented and dedicated bunch of folks. It
was a great experience.
NORTON — And you were appointed to this court 19-JUDGE
HARRIS — I was sworn in December 2, 1983 —
NORTON — ’83.
have been United
So you had been
States Attorney
— I’m sorry I
for how long?
JUDGE HARRIS — A little over a year and half .
lose track. You
NORTON — And how did you come to be appointed to this court?
JUDGE HARRIS — Another phone call saying are you willing to do
it? [laughter]
NORTON — Who was it from? Do you remember?
JUDGE HARRIS — Fred Fielding who was White House Counsel and
also chairman of the — what was … the Reagan Administration
had a seven member committee that was doing the judicial
selections screening and Fred Fielding was the chair man of that
as — in his capacity as Whi te House Counsel — and he called and
asked if I was willing to come on this court and I said I was.
NORTON — I am told by a number of people that you are
the earliest folks to regularly hire women law clerks.
when there weren’t very many women in law schools.
JUDGE HARRIS — That’s correct.
one of
Even back
NORTON — Liz Medaglia* was a year ahead of me at UVA —
JUDGE HARRIS — Liz was my second law clerk. My first law clerk
on the D.C. Court of Appeals.
NORTON — She seems to be doing very well.
JUDGE HARRIS — As a matter of fact when I –I still remember
George Revercomb’s funeral. George — I have been hiring mostly
women and George had been hiring mostly men. At his funeral he
had plenty of former law clerks who could be pallbearers and I
remember turning to my wife and said that if I had any doubt
before, I’m going to have I am definitely going to have to
be cremated because those women would not be able to carry my
casket. [laughter]
NORTON — How do you — how would you describe the — your
relationships with the other judges on this court since you have
been on board?
JUDGE HARRIS — Excellent. It is a unique court in that with
the exception of some people, such as I — I have never been
active in politics, and some folks have — but almost everybody
is politically either pretty conservative or pretty liberal and
the series of presidents have appointed a series of folks who
reflect either a conservative political viewpoint or a liberal
political viewpoint. But on this court there is great
collegiality. We, of course, work basically alone but we share
thoughts readily with one another, we have great relationships
with each other. When we talk about politics we do so only
kiddingly. We avoid serious political discussions in the
interest of keeping harmony, but it is a great group and …
NORTON — How often do you get together with the other judges in
the District Court?
* M. Elizabeth Medaglia, Esq. is a partner in the Washington law
firm of Jackson & Campbell.
JUDGE HARRIS — We have a judge’s dining room which is attended
regularly by probably less than half of the judges and by only
about two judges from the Court of Appeals. It is a wonderful
opportunity to get together and get a lot of laughs and
occasionally say 11 Hey I’ve got this problem this afternoon and
anybody run into it? 11 To get something — you can’t practice law
all alone and you can 1 t be a judge alone. You occasionally need
to bounce things off somebody else to see whether your approach
makes any sense or not.
NORTON — In terms of the court administration. How does that
work? How — the function of the Chief Judge and the sort of
administrative hoops that you all have to go through and the
administrative responsibilities that you have.
JUDGE HARRIS — We have almost none. It’s — serving on this
court is remarkably insular because we do have the individual
calendaring system. I just have my own little island.
Everybody has their own little island. We get some support of
course from the clerk’s office and more indirectly from the
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. But basically we
each of us works in our own little world doing our best to move
our cases as effectively as we can.
NORTON — What responsibility then does the Chief Judge have?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well the Chief Judge has a lot of administrative
responsibilities which I couldn’t clearly define for you. He
also works on — handles all the grand jury matters that come up,
and if somebody is brought before a magistrate for presentment
and is detained, they, before the case is indicted or before it’s
referred to the judge for regular assignment, they would appeal
conditions of release to the chief judge, large number of those
…. I am thankful that my combination of age and years of
experience on this particular court are such that I will not have
to serve as Chief Judge.
NORTON — You talk about administrative responsibilities.
That’s mostly of the staff — I mean the support staff?
NORTON — There is very little I gather in terms of the other
JUDGE HARRIS That’s correct. Of course, the court has a
calendar committee that works out difficulties in case
assignments. It has a rules committee it has — a number of
committees that assist and work with the chief judge in dealing
with the day-to-day problems where we have to interact or
interface in … so that we function smoothly as a unit.
NORTON — I gather the assignments both criminal and civil are
basically at random.
NORTON – – – Yea.
NORTON — There are never any cases — I mean I guess I should
ask this where the Chief Judge says no I think judge so-and-so
would be the best one to handle it?
JUDGE HARRIS — I shouldn 1 t say totally because there is an
exception. The … after the Hinckley case there was a rule
change here that permitted the United States Attorney to go to
the Chief Judge when a — I forget the language of the rule -but
when a protracted or high visibility case was … indicted,
was about to be filed they could go to the Chief Judge and ask
that the case be specially assigned and if it was going to be a
very high visibility case or long case or something like that.
The Chief Judge — happens very rarely — but the Chief Judge
could then go to one or two or three judges and say how does your
calendar look for the next six months? Are you in a position to
take this on without busting your regular calendar?
NORTON — You mentioned the sort of different political
views of the appointees to this court. I’m not sure exactly how
to ask this but the — this is a visible court that handles a lot
of politically charged cases and a lot of politically charged
issues. To what extent do you think that the … the politics of
the issue or perhaps the the high visibility of the issue
affects the decisions or the way the cases are decided in this
JUDGE HARRIS — I would like to say zero and I think we are as
close to it as you can get. But we are all human beings and we
are all the end product of all of our experiences and thoughts.
I believe that everybody on this court does a super job of
leaving their political views behind them when they walk into
that courtroom. I personally think that it is not at all
difficult .to have a view about what a particular political
question may be and blot that totally out of your mind when you
go in and are faced with a set of facts and a legal problem.
NORTON — What sort of relationship do you and the judges on the
District Court have with the Circuit here since you are all in
the same building?
trial courts and
sides when I was
There inevitably is going to be tension between
courts of appeals. I have seen that from both
an appellate judge, which I was for nine and one
half years. I always took particular pains whenever I wrote an
opinion reversing a trial judge never to be critical of the trial
judge. I would say that the trial judge had made X mistake or Y
mistake, but do so in a way that didn’t make the trial judge look
bad because we are all part of the same system of administering
justice. I … I think sometimes that a little of that is lost
in the relationship between the D.C. Circuit and our court now.
I think some of the … some opinions are not written with the
same degree of sensitivity that I like to think I showed in
writing appellate opinions and that I think should be shown.
NORTON — What difference if any do you think it makes that an
awful lot of people on the D.C. Circuit are not — didn’t
practice in this area and are from various other parts of the
JUDGE HARRIS — I don’t know that that makes a difference, but I
think a greater difference would be attributable to … to a
person’s background whether somebody had a trial — had trial
experience, experience actually representing clients or whether
the experience is largely in academia.
NORTON — Do you think it applies to any circuit court or is
that a particularly — I mean do we — because of the nature of
the D.C. Circuit that we get more …
JUDGE HARRIS — Well, I think this is rightly or wrongly viewed
as more of a national circuit here and so people do come from
different parts of the country and there are plenty of good
lawyers here and I would be happy to see the D.C. Circuit
populated by District of Columbia lawyers. With 45,000 lawyers I
think we have got plenty to do it. But I don’t quarrel with the
fact that they bring in people from other parts of the country,
JUDGE HARRIS — But there — I have served for six years on the
Criminal Law Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United
States and have dealt with district judges from all over the
country and all of the different circuits and there is just
always tension between trial courts and appellate courts. It is
just part of the game.
NORTON — Did you ever have — when you were an appellate court
judge did you ever have a trial court judge call you up or
button-hole you and say [laughter] you were wrong?
NORTON — I’m not going to ask names, I was just curious.
JUDGE HARRIS — Well one of my closest — I served on Superior
Court for a time afld the number of the people on the Superior
Court when I was in the D.C. Court of Appeals were among my
closest friends and there was one who was uniquely close to me
who if he thought I was at all wrong would — had no reluctance
in saying so, and which I took very well. But only one.
NORTON — I know there has been a fair amount of publicity –not
not — well not quite as much recently but certainly over the
last four or five years about the increase in the criminal docket
in the District Court, in particular the drug docket. I mean is
that something that has affected the practice since you started
JUDGE HARRIS — Well it has had an enormous effect on the court
and presents an interesting question as to court management, but
I think it is more theoretical than real. When Jay Stephens was
the United States Attorney, two things happened that had great
impact on this court. The first was the development of crack.
Crack came in in late 1985 or early 1986, and it is such an
incredibly bad drug and almost instantly addictive, and at about
the same time Congress passed the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984
which created the Sentencing Commission, which in turn adopted
sentencing guidelines; then Congress went beyond the Sentencing
Reform Act and the guidelines and created a series of mandatory
minimum prison sentences and among those was the mandatory
minimum sentence of S years in prison for possession with intent
to distribute s grams or more of crack which of course is a
smokable form of cocaine. And then you run into the problem of
what sort of prosecutorial discretion is exercised, and Jay
Stephens during his time as United States Attorney felt that the
people who were distributing crack were contributing to the
deterioration of the quality of life in the city and to the
addiction that was spreading, and I don’t quarrel with that
conclusion at all. I think it is absolutely correct. But the
U.S. Attorney could bring somebody, let’s say who has seven,
eight, nine grams of crack which — five grams of crack in weight
is equivalent to a twenty-five cent piece, a quarter — and it is
not a whole lot of crack.
1 But that was the cut-off for the presumption for
JUDGE HARRIS — For the mandatory minimum …
NORTON — distribution.
JUDGE HARRIS — If you had five grams you subjected yourself to
a mandatory minimum of five years. If you had SO grams of crack
with intent to distribute you had subjected yourself to a
mandatory minimum of ten years. And Jay Stephens had the office
bringing us a lot of cases that involved 7,8,9 grams of crack and
so before crack I could try — and I did run the figures — I
could try an average of 7 civil cases a year. After crack -it’s
about 1986 when the mandatory minimums and crack coincided
–1 went to where I could only try one civil case a year. And
needless to say that ill-served our civil litigants as we simply
couldn’t get to the civil cases. We could set civil cases for
trial but with the Speedy Trial Act and its highly undesirable -in
my view — 70 day provision, we would repeatedly have to bump
civil cases in order to try drug cases and other criminal cases.
But our calendar for-a long time was driven by a significant
percentage of cases with fairly small quantities of crack. When
Ramsey Johnson became the United States Attorney on appointment
by the Attorney General before President Clinton could name Eric
Holder as the United States Attorney, Ramsey Johnson changed the
policy to one pursuant to which they would bring to this court
only cases involving 50 grams or more of crack unless there was a
gun involved. And that meant that an awful lot of the smaller
cases that had tied us up so much were then going to Superior
Court which with over 60 judges is much more able to handle that
kind of quantity of cases.
NORTON — Has that continued with Eric Holder?
NORTON — So, that it is easing in terms of the calendar.
JUDGE HARRIS — That’s correct except we … every cloud has a
silver lining and every silver lining has a cloud. We’ve been
getting more and more in the last few years fairly significant
drug organizations being brought in where there are conspiracies
and continuing criminal enterprises charged in large quantities
– particularly, again, crack cocaine which is more common here
than the powdered cocaine, although heroin is beginning to make
somewhat of a comeback, unfortunately. But we are getting a
number of cases that are taking 3 or 4 months to try. And that 1 s
in addition to other cases that I had. Not too long ago I had an
11 defendant case involving money laundering and an undercover
police officer holding himself out as a drug dealer and buying
cars for cash and the car dealers not reporting that to Internal
Revenue Service as required by law, and that case took 5 months
to try. ?o we are getting some of these cases that take a long
time to try and there you go with your civil calendar. You can’t
get to it during those periods either.
NORTON — As a practical matter what happens to the civil cases?
Or what has happened to the civil cases?
JUDGE HARRIS — Basically we are trying … trying to increase
the number of cases that go to mediation or arbitration, but
that’s still only a small percentage. The Bar here still is
relatively unwilling to have their cases tried by magistrate
judges, although we have three very good magistrate judges and
they get the same juries that we do. I don’t understand why the
Bar won’t accept more cases. It may be that, and I don’t know
this, but perhaps some defendants simply want to put off … are
perfectly happy to put off the day of reckoning in a trial, and
so they may not be that aggrieved by the fact that we cannot
reach their cases.
NORTON — So, it still means that there is a substantial
possibility of delay if the folks don’t settle the case or agree
to a magistrate …
NORTON — Just sort of looking …
JUDGE HARRIS — … but this has a by-product. There was a time
when everybody would bring any case they could in this court. If
they could possibly create diversity jurisdiction, they would
come here rather than going into the Superior Court where the
delays were endemic. Then the Superior Court began to respond t o
its caseload b y assigning a number of judges to exclusively civil
calendars and then if you could manage to go to Superior Court,
it became more desirable for plaintiffs to go over there because
they could get tried because there is no Speedy Trial Act and
they didn’t have all the mandatory minimum prison sentences that
brought so many drug cases to us. These things have a strange
way of working out.
NORTON — Do you have any thoughts or a crystal ball as to
whether any of this tort reform — federal tort reform
legislation that they have talked about will have the same kind
of effect of having all the defendants removing their diversity
cases over here from Superior Court?
JUDGE HARRIS — I have no real feel for that.
NORTON — Yeah, me neither. It just occurred to me.
JUDGE HARRIS — (laughter]
NORTON – – -., How about the sentencing guidelines.
dealt with those and how have you felt about how
How have you
well they work?
JUDGE HARRIS — When they came in I was a member of the
Criminal Law Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United
States and we had to deal with them. And I have dealt
extensively with the Sentencing Commission through that role. I
started out, like I think 99 percent of the existing district
court judges in the c ountry, in not liking the sentencing
NORTON — Why was that?
JUDGE HARRIS — Because they do take … they do reduce your
ability to tailor your sentence to the peculiarities of a
particular defendant. That initial feeling has been changed and,
while I do not like the mandatory minimums — the mandatory
minimums result occasionally in gross equities. Some low level
mule gets talked into carrying a package from New York to here
may not even know what’s in it — and if there is 50 grams of
crack he’s off for ten years. But if you put the mandatory
minimums aside — which unfortunately we can’t — I have come to
think that the guidelines are a good idea because the strong
opposition that has continued from District Court Judges to the
sentencing guidelines seems to me to be coming more and more from
judges who l think would basically be using an awful lot more
probation than incarceration, and you would end up with
inequities or inconsistencies in sentencing that the sentencing
guidelines were intended to correct.
NORTON — Looking at sort of the bigger picture in terms of
federalizing an awful lot of crimes, I saw you did a Washington
Post Op Ed piece, in 1991 where you raised some concerns about
the ··- essentially making some more violent crimes — homicides
involving the use of a firearm that crossed state lines and that
sort of thing — as a federal offense and putting them in the
federal court as opposed to — to the state court system. Do you
still have the same feelings? I guess I have probably ought to
ask you what are your feelings about that?
JUDGE HARRIS — They are exactly the same as I expressed in the
Post Op. Ed piece. We have more work than we can handle now and
if you federalize any more crimes that typically are state or
here the District of Columbia within their bailiwick it just
would interfere more and more with our ability to handle those
cases which historically and properly belong in the federal
NORTON — And … has it made … I mean as a practical matter,
has it made a significant difference in terms of the type of
cases that you are able to handle.
I am not sure I understand what your question
NORTON — Well, it’s — it’s getting late and I am not doing
very well (laughter] with my questions. I guess as a practical –
– have you seen it since — because I gather there have been in
the past several years a bit of a trend towards federalizing what
used to be the old state law, common law type of crimes perhaps
in an interest of imposing more severe penalties or sentences
have you noticed that that really has made a significant
difference with respect to the — to the — your abilit y to
handle cases that You say are traditionally federal cases?
JUDGE HARRIS — It hasn’t made any meaningful di fference yet.
But the difficulty you have is with the politics of it in that
members of Congress cannot have an effect on the local
prosecution of what would traditionally be called local crimes.
And yet they have constituents that want — they want to believe
or they want to convince they are doing something in the area of
fighting crime. So how can they do it? They can’t affect the
local prosecution of traditionally local crimes and so they turn
to saying well lets federalize some of these things and they do
it I think for political reasons in ways that have a negative
impact on the federal court system.
NORTON — Over and above the federal court system, do you have
any feel for whether or not these — federalizing these crimes
and imposing perhaps stiffer federal penalties has had any effect
in terms of deterring crime or fighting crime?
JUDGE HARRIS — We are not seeing any of those cases yet. I
mean, for example, the deadbeat dad or the spousal abuse or those
things that I think have already become federalized. We haven’t
had any of those come in the court system yet that I have seen.
NORTON — Do you have any explanation as to why not?
NORTON — But you are not unhappy about it? [laughter]
JUDGE HARRIS — No. I have more than I can do as it is.
[laughter]. This is an interesting way to make a living but not
an easy way to make a living. [laughter]
NORTON — In terms of your — the difference between your
practice as an appellate court judge and a trial court judge,
which do you prefer?
JUDGE HARRIS — You have a lot of appellate judges who simply by
chance don’t have any real trial experience and they, I think,
would rot .?n hell before they would become trial judges, and you
have some trial judges who like the autonomy of functioning by
themselves and not having to get at least one more vote to
dispose of a case who would rot in hell before they became
appellate judges. I personally have enjoyed both jobs. I like
analyzing and writing in the legal area and I like the
interaction with people that you have on the trial courts. So I
have enjoyed them both.
NORTON — Did you see it as a sort of a — this is an unfair
question but let me ask it — as a step down going from the Court
of Appeals to a trial judge over here or did you look at it as a
step up because yoU were going to the federal system?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well … no, I certainly didn’t view it as a
step down at all. Indeed, as a matter of fact, when the Bork
vacancy existed on the D.C. Circuit, there was concern expressed
b y the Bar about the fact that so many people from other parts of
the country were being put on the District of Columbia Circuit
and my name and that of Judge Hogan were informally floated by
the Senate Judiciary Committee for the possibility of going on
the District of Columbia Circuit, and that was done without my
knowledge or approval. I have no desire — or had no desire. I
am now old enough so that I would not be put on the Circuit Court
no matter what. But I had — I concluded that whatever happened
I am perfectly happy to stay here.
NORTON — Can I ask you about memorable cases on the District
Court? I know you are looking through the wrong end of the
telescope, but has there been any that particularly stick in your
mind or particularly interesting trials or unusual situations?
JUDGE HARRIS — Well, when I learned that you were going to
come down and talk to me, I tried to think of whether there was
anything, but I didn’t devote any time to it. We tend to be
hummingbirds. We stop at a flower and we drink the nectar and go
to the next flower. I don’t know. To draw another silly
analogy, [laughter} we are sort. of wind up dolls. We come in and
our staff tells us, OK, you’ve got to do this today or you’ve got
to that today and I just — I can’t think of anything that was
really unique or extraordinary. I do — the most unique one that
I do have I hope that I never have, and by that I mean I have the
indictment in the Pan Am 103 case with the shooting down of that
plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, and if Colonel Khaddafi does not
kill his intelligence agents before they are — they are ever
turned over to anybody. If they are turned over to this country
I’ve got them. And if I’ve got that that’s going to be a
colossal mess. (laughter]
NORTON — What about memorable colleagues or
appear before you, that you have dealt with?
in your mind?
attorneys that
Anybody stick out
JUDGE HARRIS — No it’s a — the attorneys we get such a broad
range and again you — it’s … it’s like a movie buff, somebody
who goes to a movie every night and sees a different number of
actors. We go into that courtroom and we see such a range of
lawyers that — you deal with them and nothing really registers
that’s worth — worth passing on. And colleagues — it is a
great bunch — we do have very good relationships between the
judges on this court and … but you are closer to some than
others, but it is a good group and very helpful and cooperative.
NORTON – — How
is it set up?
about — how about your
How· many law clerks and
JUDGE HARRIS — Two law clerks.
that sort
How many
of thing?
NORTON — Is that standard? I — or is that sort of your
— how
JUDGE HARRIS Well when this courthouse was built — it was
completed in 1952 — the District Court chambers were laid out so
th at each judge would have one law clerk and one bailiff. And
the bailiff was typically — and back in the SO’s — would be a
black male employee who would kind of be present in your court
appearances, would help out with family things if you needed him,
and just generally became a part of the judge’s family
practically. Then as time went along and the case load increased
— as I’m sure you know back in the 40’s and SO’s and certainly
before, this court pretty much closed down during the summer.
Then as the case load became so great that was a luxury that
could no longer be afforded. Judges no longer could get along
with one law clerk but the money wasn’t there for more than two
employees, so the bailiff became kind of a vanishing breed as
virtually everybody went to two law clerks.
NORTON — Did you ever have a bailiff?
NORTON — That was pretty much gone by the time you got —
JUDGE HARRIS — Yes. Judge Gesell who was a marvelous fellow
and a great judge — Judge Gesell did have a bailiff who is still
here at the court, a wonderful fellow named Roy Smith who I hate
to think of not having him around. He is a real asset to the
institution. But that meant that Judge Gesell got along with one
law clerk but he also had an enormously talented secretary named
Doris Brown who had she been born a number of years later no
doubt would have gone to law school and been a stick out lawyer.
But she became a secretary many years ago when the openings -opportunities
for women — were not so great, and she is now back
in the courthouse following a time away from it as secretary to
Judge Tat?.l on the D.C. Circuit.
NORTON — How about … outside court activities. What do you
do in your spare time?
JUDGE HARRIS — Don’t have that much. It is a very demanding
job. Frankly, I, and I don’t say this in the complaining way but
I remember when I came on this court I thought — I do like to
play golf occasionally and I thought that I would be able if my
calendar broke down from time to time to be able maybe once in a
while go out and play golf on an afternoon. Well I have been on
this court for nearly 12 years and have not gone out to play a
round of golf since I have been here. [laughter]
NORTON — Right
JUDGE HARRIS — We just stay swamped. [laughter]
NORTON — Do you find its hard to cultivate friends outside of
the courthouse — I mean because you are a federal judge?
JUDGE HARRIS — Very very hard question to answer. I am not by
nature a social gadfly. I do have a number of very close friends
but I do think that there is a lot to the idea that casual
invitations are not extended to judges by a lot of people because
somebody may think that they are trying to cultivate them or what
not. And that’s fine with me. I’m happy to go home [laughter]
at the end of the day.
NORTON — [laughter] OK. Do you, in terms of sort of overall
judicial philosophy and I don’t know if that 1 s too broad of term,
but do you have one in terms of how active the court should be in
terms of social affairs and that sort of thing?
JUDGE HARRIS — This jurisdiction is so different. If I lived
in Helena, Montana, for example, that would be a real problem.
But here with 45,000 lawyers I mean, hell, you can hardly have a
case of significance that I am not likely to know some lawyer and
you socialize with lawyers through social lawyer organizations
and through long time friendships and I think in a city like this
judges and lawyers can mix very easily. I really do sometimes
sympathize with my colleagues who are in the smaller communities
where they really do face difficult problems as to what they -what
appearance they can create by close socialization with a
very good friend who also happens to be trying cases before them.
NORTON — Do you have any feeling as to what the most significant
problems that now face the judicial system or the administration
of justice at the present time? You know this is a big sweeping
question. Do you have any thoughts on that?
JUDGE HARRIS — Just the only one that really occurs to me is
having more to do than we can handle. I think — I think all
judges are,more clerk dependent than would be ideal. I — very
few judges really are able to read all the pleadings that they
would like to read and do all the analysis they would like to do.
We have to find that happy medium between the best possible
justice and the speediest possible justice. They are
incompatible goals and you try to find a middle ground that
doesn’t leave you compromising one of those two goals too much
and we are always giving up something. If you spent as much time
on a case as you would like to you would never get it out.
NORTON — Why do _you think that that judges have become more
swamped now than they were say 15 or 20 years ago? If that’s a
fair statement? I mean it just seems that way to me so …
JUDGE HARRIS — Well Congress keeps passing statutes which add
to our jurisdiction. Society as a whole seems to become more
litigious. We have more people incarcerated for crime. Crime
has increased. That means more prisoner complaints. We have
more … more people now on the street who a number of years ago
might be in a mental institution. They are out there bringing
lawsuits. We are just [laughter] — there are that many more
cars on the road with that many more automobile accidents and
that many more things going wrong to that many more people.
NORTON — Do you think — this is a pet question that I have
do you think that the court going full tilt through the summer
made it more efficient? This is my own personal opinion. I
always thought it was nice to have, for all us lawyers and the
court to have a month or two off in the summer where we didn’t
have to appear before the court.
JUDGE HARRIS — I — I think at the present time I don’t see any
choice to it. I think we have to. But there are lots of judges
and I am among them who … who feel that the pressures that do
exist are such that it would be great to work out some sort of a
sabbatical system so that we could turn our backs on it and get
away from it for four to six months and just — because it is
just — it always is g rinding on you.
NORTON — How do you think that the — I mean in terms of that
pressure and in terms of the pressure that the members of the bar
feel as well? I mean do you feel that there is a tension between
your obvious interest to move cases along and get things resolved
in the — I guess in the professional and personal interest of
the members of the bar? … Or has that not been a problem with
JUDGE HARRIS — Well, I have a lot of friends who are civil
trial lawyers and I say to them, I hope you all understand that
we really wish we could get to these civil cases, but the
criminal case load is oppressive particularly with this Speedy
Trial Act ;– and I might digress to say we … that it has a
seventy day limit and for reasons which I don 1 t understand,
Congress continues to treat that seventy days as though it is
magic that came down from Mt. Hamurabi. If it were for example a
hundred days we wouldn 1 t have to bump so many civil trials. We
would be able to have a little more flexibility and try more
civil cases. The lawyers that I talk to say they understand, we
understand you all are buried, but I really don•t think they do.
You can talk to people who have never been a judge before and let
them come on a court like this or a circuit court or wherever and
they will tell you. after several months they didn’t have any idea
how much work there i s to do on a court.
NORTON — Yeah. Do you — do you really feel that there is this
difference in perception between the bench and the bar about
perhaps how hard each of us work and what the other’s function
JUDGE HARRIS — Yes. Yes … the old saw about you can’t know
someone until you have walked in their moccasins or whatever and
you can … I remember Chuck Halleck who was one of our more
colorful former Superior Court Judges, who used to be at Hogan &
Hartson when I was there, attracted some colorful press when he
made the comment that here in the District Court — here in this
courthouse, at four o’clock in the afternoon you could shoot a
cannon down the hall and not hit anybody. Well, he was — that
was partly true. Superior Court is a high volume court with
domestic relations stuff, juvenile stuff, landlord and tenant
stuff. I mean, it’s a beehive of people. Even when we are in
trial, there aren’t that many people around. So … I think that
the perception of lots of people very understandably would be
that … an understandable lack of recognition of what we are
looking at with the number of cases that we have and the
attention that they demand.
NORTON — Well, I’m going — I think I am going to wrap it up
because it has been about two hours and they say you don’t want
to wear out your interviewee or interviewer
JUDGE HARRIS — I’m afraid I have worn out your ears.
NORTON — No, you — this has been just great. Let me just ask
one last thing, just sort of a catch-all question. Is there been
any sort of particularly memorable moment or event or person that
you can remember in your many years in the bench and bar that we
haven’t talked about?
JUDGE HARRIS — No. If I tried to single somebody out I’d be
unfair to others …
NORTON — [laughter] Well that’s OK. I don’t — but maybe I
framed the:question wrong. Is there anybody else you that think
would be interesting? That’s fine.
JUDGE HARRIS — No, but I think that and I say this very
sincerely that the — the courts have been fortunate to attract
an awful lot of very dedicated and talented people. And they are
a good bunch to work with and its — its a nice environment where
people pull for each other and pull together and its a good
NORTON — Thank you. I’m going to turn off the tape now.
JUDGE HARRIS — (laughter] OK.
[End of second tape] [End of interview])
Arlington County, Virginia, 11
Bacon, Sylvia, 6
Barry, Marion, 14
see Harris, Stanley S., Early life, father’s career
Belson, Jim, 8
Bork, Robert H., 26
Boston Red Sox, I
Brown, Doris, 27
Brown University, 9
Burford, Ann, 15-16
Burford/EPA contempt case, 15-16
Capitol Police, 7
Carter, President, 12
Charlottesville, Virginia, 3
Clinton, President, 22
Cohen, Lester, 4
Corporation Counsel, 14
Court Reform Act of 1970 (District of Columbia Court Reorganization Act of 1970, P.L. 91-358,
84 Stat. 475), 5, 7, 8
Court Reorganization Act of 1970 (District of Columbia Court Reorganization Act of 1970,
P.L. 91-358, 84 Stat. 475), 5, 7, 8
Covington & Burling, 4
Crews, Keith, 10
Crews case (United States v. Crews, 445 U.S. 463 (1980)), 10
DiGenova, Joe, 12
Detroit Tigers, ·1
District of Columbia:
City Council, 14
Corrections, Department of, 14
Home Rule legislation (District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental
Reorganization Act, P.L. 93-198, 87 Stat. 774), 10-11, 13-14
Parole Board, 14
U.S. Attorney’s relationship with, 13-14
Appendix B-1
District of Columbia Court of Appeals:
Jencks Act cases, 10
Belson, Jim, 8
Ferren, John, 8
Fickling, Austin, 7
Gallagher, George, 7, 9
Hood, Andy, 7
Kelly, Catherine, 7
Kern, John, 7, 9
Meyers, Frank, 7
Nebeker, Frank, 7, 9, 10
Newman, Ted, 8-9
Reilly, Gerry, 7, 9
Rogers, Judith W., 14
Yeagley, Walter, 7
Jurisdiction, changes under District of Columbia Court Reorganization Act of 1970, 5, 7, 8
Relations among judges, 7, 8
District of Columbia Court Reorganization Act of 1970, P.L. 91-358, 84 Stat. 475, 5, 7, 8
District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, P.L. 93-198,
87 Stat. 774 (Home Rule legislation), 10-11, 13-14
El Paso Natural Gas Company, 4
Environmental Protection Agency, 15-16
Fairfax County, Virginia, 11
Federal Power Commission, 4-5
Federal Radio Commission, 4
Ferren, John, 8
Fickling, Austin, 7
Fielding, Fred, 16-17
Friedman, Paul L., 12
Gallagher, George, 7, 9
Gesell, Gerhard R., 27
Gorsuch, Ann
see Burford, Ann
Greene, Harold,H., 6-7
Griffith Stadium, 2
Halleck, Chuck, 30
Hall of Fame, 1-2
Harris, Stanley R. (Bucky), 1-2
Harris, Stanley S.:
on District of Columbia Court of Appeals:
appointed to, 6, 7
criticism from trial judges, 20-21
Appendix 8-2
Jencks Act cases, l 0
law clerks, 17
opposition to reappointment of Chief Judge Newman, 8, 9
resigns from, l l
term on, 8
United States v. Crews, 445 U.S. 463 (1980), JO
Early life:
early childhood and family history, 1-2
father’s career, 1-2
athletics, 2-3
Horace Mann Elementary School, 2
Landon School, 2
Woodrow Wilson High School, 2, 3
University of Virginia, 2-3
University of Virginia Law School, 3
Judicial philosophies:
congestion in, 21-23, 29-30
politics, effect of, 19
problt:ms facing the court system, 28-29
D.C. Circuit as national or local circuit, 20
federalizing crimes, 24-25
collegiality among judges, 17-18
judge’s focus in a case, I 0, 26
judges’ social activities and conflicts of interests, 28
judicial selection process, 11
judicial workload, 10, 28-30
magistrate judges, 22-23
sensitivity of appellate judges to trial judges, 19-20
trial and appellate court judges compared, 25-26
rnediati?n, 22-23
probation and parole, 14, 24
prosecutorial decisions compared to judicial decisions, 13
rehabilitation of prisoners, 14
sentencing, 14
Sentencing Guidelines, 21-22, 23-24
tort reform, 23
Appendix B-3
Legal career (prior to judgeships):
admitted to Bar, 3
at Hogan & Hartson, 3-5
administrative law practice, 4-5
Personal life:
bobbies, 27-28
social activities, 28
Political activity, 12, I 7
on Superior Court of the District of Columbia, 9
appointment to, 5-6
assignments, 6-7
Judge in Chambers, 6-7
Vietnam protestors case, 6-7
U.S. Anny service, 3
as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia:
appointment as, l 0-12
Burford/EPA contempt case, 15-16
served with contempt citations, 15-16
District of Columbia government, relations with, 13-14
Hinckley case, 15
prosecutorial decisions compared to judicial decisions, 13
prosecutorial experience, lack of, 12, 13
role of U.S. Attorney, 13
size and growth of office, 13
drug cases, effect of, 13
term as, 14-15
on U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia:
appointment to, 15, 16-17
chambers staff, 27
drug cases congesting calendar, 21-23, 29-30
judges’ dining room, 18
law clerks, 3, 17, 27
money laundering case, 22
Pan Am 103 case, 26
relationp among judges, 17-18, 26
sworn in, 16
U.S. Judicial Conference committee service, 20, 23
Washington Post Op Ed piece, 24
Hinckley, John, 15
Hinckley case, 15, 19
Hogan & Hartson, 3-5, 8, 30
Size of firm, 3-4
see also under Harris, Stanley S., Legal career (prior to judgeships)
Appendix B-4
Hogan, Thomas F., 26
Holder, Eric, 22
Home Rule legislation (District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental
Reorganization Act, P.L. 93-198, 87 Stat. 774), I0-11, 13-14
Hood, Andy, 7
Horace Mann Elementary School, 2
Homing, George, 4
House of Representatives, U.S., J 5-16
Internal Revenue Service, 22
Jackson & Campbell, 17
Jencks Act (Witnesses’ Statements and Reports), P.L. 85-269, 71 Stat. 595, IO
Jencks Act cases, l 0
Johnson, Ramsey, 22
Jones, Edmond (Nubby), 4
Article I, 9
Article ill, 5, 9, 10-11
Nomination of, 5, 6, 10-11
Senior/retired status, 9
Workload, IO, 28-30
Judicial Conference of the United States, Criminal Law Committee
see U.S. Judicial Conference, Criminal Law Committee
Judicial Nomination Commission, 5-6, 10-11
Justice Department, U.S., 5-6, 12
U.S. Attorney’s Office, 19, 21-22
Burford/EPA contempt case, 15-16
District of Columbia government, relations with, 13-14
size and growth of office, 13
drug cases, effect of, 13
see also under Harris, Stanley S.
Kelly, Catherine, 7
Kem, John, 7, 9
Khaddafi, Colonel, 26
Korean War, 5-6
Landon School? 2
Lockerbie, Scotland, 26
Lorton prison, 14
Magistrate judges, 22-23
Medaglia, M. Elizabeth, 17
Meyers, Frank, 7
Money laundering case, 22
Montgomery County, Maryland, 11
National Labor Relations Board, 7
Appendix B-5
Nebeker, Frank, 7, 9, IO
Newman, Ted, 8-9
New York, New York, 3
New York Yankees, I
Nixon Administration, 5
Pan Am 103 case, 26
Patrick, Duke, 4
Philadelphia Phillies, I
Prince Georges County, Maryland, 11
Reagan, President , 12, 15 , 16-17
Reilly, Gerry, 7, 9
Revercomb, George H., 5•6, 17
Rogers, Judith W ., 14
Ruff, Chuck, 12
Santarelli, Don, 6
Senate Judiciary Committee, 26
Sentencing Commission, U.S., 21, 23
Sentencing Guidelines, 21 , 23-24
Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, P.L. 98-473, 98 Stat. 1837, 21
Smith, Attorney General, 16
Smith, Roy, 27
Speedy Trial Act of I 974, P.L. 93-6 I 9, 88 Stat. 2076, 22-23, 29
Stephens, Jay, 21·22
Superfund cleanup sites, 15-16
Superior Court of the District of Columbia, 9, 30
Creation of , 5
Belson, Jim, 8
Greene, Harold H., 6-7
Halleck, Chuck , 30
Revercomb, George H., 5-6, 17
Jurisdiction, 6 , 22
Vietnam protestors case, 6-7
Supreme Court, U.S.:
United States v. Crews, 445 U.S. 463 (1980), 10
Sutherland, Howard, 1
Sutherland, Mary Elizabeth, I
Tatel, David S., 27
United States v. Crews, 445 U.S. 463 (I 980), IO
U.S. Army, 3
U.S. Attorney’s Office
see under Harris, Stanley S., and Justice Department, U.S.
Appendix B-6
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 18
Bork, Robert H., 26
Rogers, Judith W., 14
Tatel, David S., 27
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia:
Administration of:
assignment of cases, 18-19
calendaring system, 18-19
chambers, staffing of, 27
Chief Judge, responsibilities of, 18
committees, 18-19
drug cases, effect of, 13, 21-23
Judges’ politics affecting decisions, 19
Judges’ relations with Court of Appeals, 19-20
Friedman, Paul L., 12
Gesell, Gerhard R., 27
Greene, Harold H., 6-7
Hogan, Thomas F., 26
Revercomb, George H., 5-6, 17
Jurisdiction prior to 1970, 5, 6
Magistrate judges, 22-23
Money laundering case, 22
Pan Am 103 case, 26
Speedy Trial Act and calendar congestion, 22-23, 29
U.S. Judicial Conference, Criminal Law Committee, 20, 23
Vietnam protestors case, 6-7
Virginia, University of, 2-3, 5-6, 17
Washington Monument, 10
see also United States v. Crews, 445 U.S. 463 (1980)
Washington Post, The, 8-9, 11-12, 15, 24
Washington Senators, 1-2
Watergate, 16
Weiser, Ben, 9,
West Virginia, 1
White House, 12
White House Counsel, 16-17
Woodrow Wilson High School, 2, 3
World War II, 3
Yeagley, Walter, 7