Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Preserving Judicial Papers: The View in 2009

The Historical Society of the D.C. Circuit has posted, here, a transcript of a session on the importance of preserving judicial papers that was held at the Judicial Conference for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2009.  The participants were Maeva Marcus, Polly Price, Bruce Ragsdale, and Daun van Ee, with Sidley Austin's George W. Jones, Jr., moderating.  To quote the Historical Society's website:
The panelists urged the judges to preserve their personal papers in part because:

• History is best told through the eyes of the participants -- the judges of the Courts of the D.C. Circuit make history every day in ways large and small.

• Judges should not want the history of their cases written from the perspective of those who disagree with them.

• The questions scholars or historians will ask in the future are unknowable; no one today can predict with any confidence what will be relevant and useful tomorrow.

• Cases that do not warrant national headlines today may well assume far greater significance in light of subsequent events.