Something completely different for leap day, a sports story. This Friday, March 2, will mark 50 years since Philadelphia Warrior Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks contested in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Eleven years later, with Wilt in the twilight of his career but still an indomitable force with the Los Angeles Lakers, the intrepid sports staff of the fledgling paper, The W&L Law News, were able to get a rare interview with “The Stilt.” You can read both the story and the interview transcript.
This term, Powell’s first full term, extended from October 1972 to the summer of 1973, and presented the Court with a host of social and political issues, many of which remain contentious today. Abortion and obscenity are perhaps the most celebrated of these. But there were also questions of public school funding, public school desegregation, the rights of illegitimate children, alien rights, water rights, Congressional gerrymandering, gender based equal protection, and parental reimbursement for non-public education.
Almost two dozen complete case files from this historic term are now available online. Many of them have been added this month.
Abortion is in the news in both the Presidential election and in state legislation. See some of the machinations of the Justices in deciding the landmark Roe v. Wade case by looking at Justice Powell’s case file. Doe v. Bolton is also available
It is well known that, before she became a jurist, Justice Ginsburg argued several equal protection cases before the Supreme Court. One of these,Kahn v. Shevin, has recently been added to the cases available online. See how Justice Powell summarized Ginsburg’s argument in his bench notes from oral argument.
Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum’s remarks on state interest in operating public schools brings to mind the 1972 case, San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodrigeuz. The case challenged the public education funding scheme of this school district. Justice Powell authored the opinion, and his extensive case file is now available online.
This photograph of the sculptor Edward V. Valentine’s bust of John Randolph Tucker, first dean of the Washington and Lee University School of Law, was generously given to the Powell Archives by the Virginia Military Institute’s archives. The bust was lost in the 1934 fire that destroyed the first law building which bore Tucker’s name.
The dedication on the photo’s mat was written by J. R. Tucker’s son, Henry St. George Tucker, third dean of the law school. The recipient, William M. McAllister, was likely the Oregon politician and jurist, whom the younger Tucker would have known from his own political career, and from ABA service.
The photographer is unknown, though it could have been the sculptor, himself, as he created some notable images. Much of the provenance of the photo after it was given to McAllister is unknown. Eventually it was offered on ebay, purchased by a VMI alum, and given to that institution.
Apropos the sesquisentennial Civil War observance, this volume of the Confederate States Statutes at Large can be found in the collection of Charles Edward Burks.
See a selection of Valentine’s Day greetings and a reminiscence from Justice Powell’s papers.
Several case files concerning obscenity from October Term 1972 are now available online. These include Miller v. California and Paris Adult Theater I v. Slaton.
February, of course, is Black History Month. This coming weekend is the Washington and Lee University’s Mock Convention, a venerable institution more than a century old. This image of Adlai Stevenson from an October 1956 issue ofThe Richmond Afro-American has echos of both.
At the 1956 Mock Convention, Alben Barkleyboth finished his speech and expired in one final breath. That convention, like the real one, nominated Adlai Stevenson.
First published in 1941 The Richmond Afro-American was a direct descendant of The Richmond Planet which was started in 1882. Though Afro-American ceased publication in 1996, black newspapers are are very much alive in Richmond and throughout the United States.