October 07, 2009
By Elisabeth Grant
A recent article, “Down the Memory Hole,” by Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times anticipates the release of former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s papers. Justice Stewart retired in 1981 and gave his papers to Yale but “stipulated that the files from his 23-year Supreme Court tenure would become available only when none of his fellow justices remained on the bench.” When Justice John Paul Stevens retires from the bench (probably in the near future) this requirement will be filled.
While Greenhouse, who teaches at Yale Law School, looks forward to the release of Justice Stewart’s papers, she laments the 50-year hold Justice David H. Souter has placed on his papers. Read all of “Down the Memory Hole” for her thoughts on the consequences of this.
Finding Greenhouse’s article (which will appear in Thursday’s What We’re Reading post) led to some internet wandering for more Supreme Court news and resources. Since the article was in the New York Times, take a look at the U.S. Supreme Court Times Topics page. Here you’ll find a wealth of Supreme Court information and news, gleaned from the pages of the Times.
For instance, you’ll find:
- Pages for each of the current Justices:
- Samuel A. Alito Jr.
- Stephen G. Breyer
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Anthony M. Kennedy
- John G. Roberts Jr.
- Antonin Scalia
- Sonia Sotomayor
- John Paul Stevens
- Clarence Thomas
- Featured articles, like “Sotomayor Sworn In as Supreme Court Justice,” “9/11 Case Could Bring Broad Shift on Civil Suits,” and “Animal Cruelty and Free Speech.”
- Data, including “Major Rulings of the 2008-2009 Term” and “How Republican Senators Voted on Sotomayor.”
- As well as photos (“Last Day of Questioning for Sonia Sotomayor”) and video (“The Confirmation Hearings Begin”).
While the Times Topics page is an excellent resource for current news on the Supreme Court, history teachers may be interested in lesson plans with a more historical perspective. Below we’ve compiled a number of plans from EDSITEment and the National History Education Clearinghouse.
Supreme Court themed lesson plan:
National History Education Clearinghouse Blog
- The Supreme Court: Connections Between Past and Present a post from the NHEC blog links to a number of good online resources about the Supreme Court, including:
- The History of the Supreme Court a “teacher-authored” resources that was “produced in conjunction with PBS station Thirteen/WNET New York.”
- PBS series on the Supreme Court
- Supreme Court Historical Society’s provides background on how the Court works and its history.
- Supreme Court’s web site, where one can find all sorts of information (including court rules, opinions, and a background on the court)