Supreme Court Oral Argument Memos 1970-1993

This page contains notes that were sent between the U.S. Supreme Court justices while the Court was in session between 1970 and 1993. Most of the notes were passed during the oral arguments of a case, but some (such as the memo from June 30, 1986 pertaining to Bowers v. Hardwick) are from opinion announcement days. There are a few caveats of which users should be aware. First, the notes are never attached to specific cases, but to days (although users can often insinuate which notes pertain to which cases). Second, while the vast majority of the notes are linked to particular days the Court sat in session, some dates were inaccessible. Thus, those memos (five in all) are listed without date. Finally, note that some of the memos are photocopies and some pictures (all my mistakes) are quite blurry. These pictures will be corrected in due time.

Where available, you can access additional information about individual cases, including audio recordings from oral arguments provided by the Oyez project.

The photos were taken from the Harry Blackmun collection at the Library of Congress, which can be accessed here.

I thank Ryan Black (Washington University in St. Louis) for helping me gather these photos and Eve Ringsmuth for putting together this web site. For questions, please email me at trj@umn.edu.

Nov 20, 1970

  • Unknown

  Dec 21, 1970

  • Cases Decided:
    • Or. v. Mitchell - [400 U.S. 12]

  Nov 9, 1971

  • Cases Heard:
    • Fuentes v. Shevin - [407 U.S. 67]
    • D.H. Overmyer Co. v. Frick Co. - [405 U.S. 174]
    • Swarb v. Lennox - [405 U.S. 191]
  • Cases Decided:
    • Engelman v. Amos - [404 U.S. 23]
    • Jennings v. Mahoney - [404 U.S. 25]
    • Doherty v. United States - [404 U.S. 28]

  Nov 16, 1971

  • Cases Heard:
    • Cole v. Richardson - [405 U.S. 676]
    • United States v. Topco Assocs. - [405 U.S. 596]
    • Dunn v. Blumstein - [405 U.S. 330]
    • Love v. Pullman Co. - [404 U.S. 522]
  • Cases Decided:
    • Harris v. Washington - [404 U.S. 55]
    • Cruz v. Hauck - [404 U.S. 59]
    • Schreiner v. United States - [404 U.S. 67]
    • Camp v. Arkansas - [404 U.S. 69]
    • Pease v. Hansen - [404 U.S. 70]

  Nov 18, 1971

  • Cases Heard:
    • Jackson v. Indiana - [406 U.S. 715]
    • Ford Motor Co. v. United States - [405 U.S. 562]
    • Trbovich v. UMW - [404 U.S. 528]

  Dec 8, 1971

  • Cases Heard:
    • Wisconsin v. Yoder - [406 U.S. 205]
    • Gooding v. Wilson - [405 U.S. 518]
    • Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville - [405 U.S. 156]
    • Smith v. Florida - [405 U.S. 172]
  • Cases Decided:
    • NLRB v. NASHFINCH - [404 U.S. 138]
    • Allied Chem. & Alkali Workers, Local Union No. 1 v. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. - [404 U.S. 157]

  Jan 11, 1972

  • Cases Heard:
    • Pipefitters Local Union v. United States - [407 U.S. 385]
    • Kastigar v. United States - [406 U.S. 441]
    • Zicarelli v. New Jersey State Comm'n of Investigation - [406 U.S. 472]
    • Sarno v. Illinois Crime Investigating Com. - [406 U.S. 482]
  • Cases Decided:
    • United States v. Tucker - [404 U.S. 443]
    • Reliance Electric Co. v. Emerson Electric Co. - [404 U.S. 418]

  Feb 23, 1972

  • Cases Heard:
    • Branzburg v. Hayes - [408 U.S. 665]
  • Cases Decided:
    • Roudebush v. Hartke - [405 U.S. 15]
    • Parisi v. Davidson - [405 U.S. 34]
    • Lindsey v. Normet - [405 U.S. 56]
    • NLRB v. Scrivener - [405 U.S. 117]
    • United States v. Generes - [405 U.S. 93]

  Feb 24, 1972

  • Cases Heard:
    • United States v. United States Dist. Court - [407 U.S. 297]
  • Cases Decided:
    • Bullock v. Carter - [405 U.S. 134]
    • Giglio v. United States - [405 U.S. 150]
    • Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville - [405 U.S. 156]
    • Smith v. Florida - [405 U.S. 172]
    • D.H. Overmyer Co. v. Frick Co. - [405 U.S. 174]
    • Swarb v. Lennox - [405 U.S. 191]
    • Richardson v. Wright - [405 U.S. 208]

  Mar 7, 1972 (1), (2)

  • Unknown

  Mar 23, 1972

  • Cases Heard:
    • Brunette Machine Works, Ltd. v. Kockum Industries, Inc. - [406 U.S. 706]
    • Socialist Labor Party v. Gilligan - [406 U.S. 583]
    • Grubbs v. General Electric Credit Corp. - [405 U.S. 699]
  • Cases Decided:
    • Gooding v. Wilson - [405 U.S. 518]
    • Lynch v. Household Finance Corp.- [405 U.S. 538]

  Apr 17, 1972

  • Cases Heard:
    • Mancusi v. Stubbs - [408 U.S. 204]
    • Colten v. Ky. - [407 U.S. 104]
    • Laird v. Nelms - [406 U.S. 797]

  Apr 17, 1972

  • Cases Heard:
    • Mancusi v. Stubbs - [408 U.S. 204]
    • Colten v. Ky. - [407 U.S. 104]
    • Laird v. Nelms - [406 U.S. 797]

  Apr 18, 1972

  • Cases Heard:
    • Kleindienst v. Mandel - [408 U.S. 753]
    • Central Hardware Co. v. NLRB - [407 U.S. 539]
    • Lloyd Corp. v. Tanner - [407 U.S. 551]
  • Cases Decided:
    • Cole v. Richardson - [405 U.S. 676]
    • Grubbs v. General Electric Credit Corp. - [405 U.S. 699]
Comments