Justice Powell maintained a number of files that appear to have served
as general reference material relating to Section 1983. Many
of the documents in these files were prepared for particular cases, but
appear to have been put in notebooks or subject-titled memoranda files
for future use. For example, the files include a "Civil Rights Act
Notebook" containing numerous memoranda dealing with Section 1983, as
well as files with titles such as "Civil Rights Acts—General,"
"Younger Doctrine," "11th Amendment," and "Section 1983—History
and Interpretation." There are also some documents that reflect
how Justice Powell dealt with his clerks and a few that illustrate substantive
debates among the Justices.
This is not an ordinary case file. Unlike
digital case files (e.g., the case file on
Monell), the digital boxes and files
in this portion of the website are not complete
duplicates of the original hard copy boxes and files. Instead, I have
included copies of documents that seemed relevant and omitted ones that
did not. All of the documents are from the 1970's.
Since portion of the website does not tell the story of a case, there is no timeline for this file and only very
limited researcher information. The best way to access the
documents is through
the Archive Page which
contains a description of each document.