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


Owen Home
Marshall Files
White Files
Owen v. City of Independence

Digital Archive


The Blackmun
The Brennan
The Marshall
The Powell
The Stewart Papers The White


          Coverage:  This page links you to the digital archive of all the available papers of Supreme Court Justices dealing with Owen v. City of IndependenceCurrently, Owen papers are available for Justices Blackmun, Brennan, Marshall, Powell, and White.  (Justice Stewart's papers, which became available in 2010, will be added as soon as possible.) 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 Powell Papers page of the digital archives, Box 213 File 2 appears as shown below.  In the physical Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives (located at Washington & Lee Law School), Box 213 File 2 of the Powell papers contains two documents totaling 36 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 (a draft of Justice Powell's dissenting opinion) can be accessed by clicking on the "Begins" image number (LFP213F20002).


Box 213 File 2
Brief Description Date Begins Ends
LFP Dissent - DOS  Draft with LFP Comments 3/20/1980 LFP213F20002 LFP213F20032
Memo LFP to DOS 3/22/1980 LFP213F20033 LFP213F20036



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 Owen.  For example, the digital "Docket File" below (Box 495 File 3) contains Brennan's notes only on the certiorari conference (9/24/79) and merits conference (1/11/80) at which Owen was discussed.


  Box 495 File 3  
  Brief Description Date Begins Ends  
  WJB Docket Sheet (Vote Record) 9/24/1979 WJB495F30001    
  WJB Conference Notes 1/11/1980 WJB495F30002 WJB495F30004  




          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.