Newsletter #35 - April 2018

Historical Society of the D.C. Circuit -

Don't Miss the Video of the TInker Program Now Available for Viewing

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, a case focusing on the free speech rights of high school students, was the subject of a program witnessed by over 240 area students who came to the Courthouse on December 14, 2017, to watch the re-enactment of  the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case. Watch Judges Srinivasan, Tatel, and Ketanji Brown Jackson (L to R) as they play the roles of the justices and Judge Tatel's law clerks as they argue before the Court. A program highlight: watch named plaintiff Mary Beth Tinker being interviewed about her personal experiences in the events leading up to the landmark decision, and answering a variety of questions posed by the students.

“A Disturbing Truth”

Read Jim Johnston’s article, published in the December issue of the Howard Law Journal, beginning on page 35, to learn the surrounding history of the refusal of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia to admit black attorneys to its law library in the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse – this even after the 1954 Brown v. Board decision rejecting racial segregation.

Historical Articles from the Bar Association Archives

The Society is periodically displaying on its website articles rich in history about judges, attorneys, and court cases that appeared in the monthly journal of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia over a 41-year period.* Take a look at articles already posted:  John SurrattChief Judge E. Barrett Prettyman,  Chief Judge Bolitha Laws, and Judge Alexander Holtzoff, and watch for additional articles each month.  This Project was developed by Jim Johnston, former Chair of the Society's Comunications Committee.

Published with permission of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia.  

Recent Society Activities

The Society’s 13th Annual Mock Court Program

Before heading off to argue cases involving First and Fourth amendment issues before 10 federal judges, over 125 high school students crowded into the Ceremonial Courtroom to be welcomed warmly by Chief Judge Merrick Garland. After presenting their well-prepared arguments, the students were praised for their work by Chief Judge Beryl Howell and each of the participating judges, and then headed to the Atrium for a pizza lunch.

Read more about the Mock Court Program, directed by Jim Rocap, the volunteer lawyer mentors, and the Outstanding Advocate Awards, and look at some photos memorializing the event.

“From Goldwater to Zivotofsky – The Political Question Doctrine in the D.C. Circuit.”

In the Society's March 7, 2018, program, Law Professor Stephen Vladeck of the University of Texas began by describing Goldwater v. Carter which set the scene for a re-enactment of the 1979 en banc argument before Judges Harry T. Edwards and Stephen F. Williams. Catherine Carroll of WilmerHale argued on behalf of appellant President Carter, and Professor Harold Hongju Koh of Yale Law School argued on behalf of appellees Senator Barry Goldwater et al. After the re-enactment, Paul M. Smith of the Campaign Legal Center moderated a group discussion with Professors Vladeck and Koh, Catherine Carroll, and Beth Brinkmann of Covington & Burling. The panel analyzed the current status of the doctrine and its conceptual underpinnings, looking specifically at cases involving impeachment, the war on terror, and political gerrymandering to assess the proper role of the federal judiciary in our constitutional scheme.

A video of the entire program will be available soon on the Society's website.

Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit

E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 4714
Washington, DC 20001-2866


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