Justices Blackmun and Powell Oral Argument Notes
The U.S. Supreme Court is the most opaque institution of the federal government. Indeed, almost all of its work is done behind closed doors. As such, in the past, scholars, court watchers, the media, and the public could (usually) only see the output of the Court's work, namely the opinions the justices issue.  

I have spent a great deal of time at the Library of Congress (and at other archives) culling through the papers left by former Supreme Court justices. These papers have opened up the Court in a variety of ways over the past twenty years. While I have gathered thousands of pages of memos, notes, and other correspondence from these files, my major contribution has been to make public the notes taken by Justices Harry A. Blackmun and Lewis F. Powell during oral arguments in cases decided during their respective tenures on the bench.

In terms of teaching, these notes have been invaluable for bringing the Court to life in a variety of ways for my students and for students of the Court beyond the university. In the classroom these notes pique my students' interest in ways I could never have imagined. Indeed, for them to see the hand-written notes of these great legal minds allows my students to get into the justices' minds and therefore to better understand how they make decisions. In short, imbedding primary documents in my talks and lectures has enhanced my classroom in myriad ways. The two archives can be found here: