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


Petition to Decision
Home Page

Justice Powell's Miscellaneous Files
Relating to Section 1983

The Archive
The Justice's Papers in Archive Order
Researcher Information
Materials for Further Research




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 ActsGeneral," "Younger Doctrine," "11th Amendment," and "Section 1983History 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.