November 19, 2021

Timely Connections: Constitutional Rights of Students

Every year the United States celebrates Constitution Day on September 17. How much do you know about U.S. constitutional rights? Did you know that those rights are different in the context of public schools? School officials have significant leeway when instituting and enforcing rules to maintain a safe environment conducive to learning but, over the years, the Supreme Court has weighed in on the balance of students' constitutional rights as U.S. citizens and as public school students. What can … [Read more...]

Today in History: Belva Lockwood

Today in History—November 30—the In Custodia Legis blog features lawyer Belva Lockwood, the became the first woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on this day in 1880. In that case—Kaiser v. Stickney—she represented a local property owner in a debt dispute. Although Lockwood lost this case, she returned to the Supreme Court in 1906, at the age of 76, representing the Eastern and Emigrant Cherokees in the United States v. Cherokee Nation. This time her arguments prevailed and the Court … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Voting Rights Act of 1965

Online exhibition items & curator notes Voting Rights Act of 1965 African American Odyssey Voting Rights Act of 1965 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Voting Rights Act of 1965 NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom Voting rights political cartoons by Herb Block Don’t Be Getting Any Ideas That You Have a Right to Vote March 11,1965 Commemorating the Action at Montgomery, Alabama March 18, 1965 Literacy Test March 17, 1965 Say, This Is Okay—A Majority of Us That Can … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Supreme Court

United States Reports official reports of decisions for the United States Supreme Court by Volume by Authoring Justice by Major Case Topic Supreme Court Nominations: Confirmed Supreme Court Nominations: Not Confirmed or Withdrawn U.S. legislation related to the Supreme Court 1973 and later The Supreme Court and the Constitution 1912 More books about the Supreme Court Supreme Court historical newspaper coverage Supreme Court image set Researching the U.S. … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg portrait More Ruth Bader Ginsburg images Ruth Bader Ginsburg Notes for oral arguments in Duren v. Missouri November 1, 1978 Hearings Before the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate One Hundred Third Congress First Session on the Nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to Be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States July 20, 21, 22, and 23, 1993 More Ruth Bader Ginsburg confirmation sources Supreme Court decisions written by Ruth Bader … [Read more...]

Collection Spotlight: Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor received a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as Assistant District Attorney in New York County, then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt. President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York in 1992. President Bill Clinton then nominated Sotomayor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second … [Read more...]

Today in History: John Jay

Today in History–December 12–the Library of Congress features founding father John Jay, born on this day in 1745. Jay had a long, full political career including president of the Continental Congress, author of several Federalist Papers, and first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Learn more about John Jay by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related primary sources. John Jay, One of the Nation's Founding Fathers, Was Born from … [Read more...]

Today in History: Thurgood Marshall

Today in History–October 2–the Library of Congress features Thurgood Marshall, sworn in as Supreme Court Justice on this day in 1967; he was the first African American to serve. President Lyndon B. Johnson said of Marshall's appointment, "the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place." Prior to becoming a judge, Marshall was a top civil rights lawyer, most famous for his greatest victory in 1954 with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of … [Read more...]

Today in History: Reverdy Johnson

Today in History–May 21–the Library of Congress features attorney and statesman Reverdy Johnson, born on this day in 1796. Although personally opposed to slavery (he emancipated slaves inherited from his father), Johnson represented the slave-owning defendant in the 1857 Dred Scott U.S. Supreme Court case, which  decided that slaves could not be citizens. Learn more about this politician by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access related primary … [Read more...]

Today in History: Plessy v. Ferguson

Today in History–May 18–the Library of Congress features the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, which ruled on this day in 1896 that separate-but-equal facilities on intrastate railroads were constitutional. The decision gave legal sanction to Jim Crow segregation laws and the decision was not reversed until May 17, 1954 when the Supreme Court unanimously agreed that segregation was unconstitutional in the case of Brown v. the Board of Education. Unfortunately, it would take even longer to … [Read more...]