Oral Argument Memos 1970-1994

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.