Inside the Supreme Court

Petition to Decision

Papers of Supreme Court Justices on Civil Rights Cases

David Achtenberg

Professor & Law Foundation Scholar

UMKC School of Law

Kansas City, MO 64110-2499


Canton Home
Brennan Files
Marshall Files
White Files
City of Canton v. Harris

Digital Archive


The Blackmun Papers The Brennan Papers The Marshall Papers The White Papers


          Coverage:  This page links you to the digital archive of all the available papers of Supreme Court Justices dealing with City of Canton v. HarrisCurrently, Canton papers are available for Justices Blackmun, Brennan, Marshall and White.   The digital archive presents the papers just as you would find them in the archives where the originals are stored.   


          Alternative Ways to View the Justices' Papers:  Many researchers may prefer to view the papers in chronological (rather than archival) order.  To do so, you should click here to go to the Timeline Page


          Examples of Digital Box and File:  In the Brennan Files page of the digital archives, Box 799 File 3 appears as shown below.  In the William F. Brennan Papers at the Library of Congress, Box 799 File 3 of the Brennan papers contains twenty-six documents totaling eighty-two pages.  The digital "file" contains the same documents in the order that you would find them if you examined the originals in the Archives. For example, the first document (Brennan's typewritten notes laying out what he would say at the conference in which the Court voted on the case) can be accessed by clicking on the "Begins" image number (WJB799F300231) highlighted in red in the document below.


Box 799 File 3
Brief Description Date Begins Ends
WJB Notes for Conference 11-09-88 WJB799F300231 WJB799F300232
BRW Opinion 1st Draft 12-20-88 WJB799F300233 WJB799F300245
Memo SDO to BRW 12-23-88 WJB799F300246 WJB799F300248
Memo BRW to SDO 12-29-88 WJB799F300249  
Memo BRW to JPS 12-29-88 WJB799F300250  
Memo WJB to BRW 12-29-88 WJB799F300251  
Memo JPS to BRW 12-30-88 WJB799F300252  
Memo WHR to BRW 12-30-88 WJB799F300253  
Memo AMK to BRW 12-30-88 WJB799F300254  
BRW Opinion 2nd Draft 01-03-89 WJB799F300255 WJB799F300267
Memo HAB to BRW 01-03-89 WJB799F300268  
Memo AGS to BRW 01-03-89 WJB799F300269  
Memo WJB to BRW 01-04-89 WJB799F300270  
Memo HAB to BRW 01-04-89 WJB799F300271  
Memo SDO to BRW 01-04-89 WJB799F300272  
Memo WHR to BRW 01-05-89 WJB799F300273  
Memo TM to BRW 01-05-89 WJB799F300274  
Memo BRW to WJB 01-05-89 WJB799F300275  
SDO Concurrence 1st Draft 02-04-89 WJB799F300276 WJB799F300283
Memo AMK to SDO 02-08-89 WJB799F300284  
SDO Concurrence 2nd Draft 02-14-89 WJB799F300285 WJB799F300292
WJB Concurrence 1st Draft 02-17-89 WJB799F300293  
Memo TM to BRW 02-17-89 WJB799F300294  
Memo WJB to BRW 02-17-89 WJB799F300295  
BRW Opinion 3rd Draft 02-22-89 WJB799F300296 WJB799F300308
Memo BRW to Conference 03-01-89 WJB799F300309 WJB799F300313



While the justices have files dedicated to particular cases, they also have files where they kept particular types of document for all the cases decided in a particular term.  For example, Justice Brennan maintained "Docket Files" which contained his hand-written notes on certiorari and merits conferences, i.e., the meetings during which the Court discussed and voted on each case.  Since each of these files contained notes on various cases, the digital version of the file only includes the documents related to Canton.  For example, the digital "Docket File" below (Box 795 File 1) contains Brennan's notes only on the votes and discussion at certiorari conference and merits conference at which Canton was discussed.


Box 795 File 1
Brief Description Date Begins Ends
WJB Conference Notes 11-10-88 WJB795F010201 WJB795F010202
WJB Docket (Vote Record) various WJB795F010203 WJB795F010204




          Abbreviations:  I have abbreviated the names of the justices, their clerks, and a few other persons.    A key to all abbreviations that can be accessed by clicking the abbreviations button in the yellow navigation area.      


          Higher Resolution Copies:  Most of the documents are presented in comparatively small pdf files which should be adequate for most uses.  Please let me know if you think that any particular image needs to be replaced with a higher resolution version.  I will also be happy to send higher resolution copies (or original JPEGs) of any images to anyone who needs them.  For further information about how the documents were photographed, edited and converted to pdf files, click here to go to the Image Creation and Conversion Protocol Page


          Sources and Citation:  For an explanation of how to determine the original archive location of any document, click here to go to the Document Source Page.