Volume 2, 2008
In this second issue of the Journal of the Federal Circuit Historical Society, the editors of the Journal and fellow Society Board member Terry Stewart present articles that illuminate some of the interesting and important history of the Federal Circuit and its predecessors, the U.S. Court of Claims, the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals ("CCPA"), and CCPA's predecessor, the U.S. Court of Customs Appeals ("CCA"), and their Judges.
David Cohen remembers Chief Judge Marvin Jones of the Court of Claims. One of the attractions of Judge Jones's life story is his distinction of having served as a Congressman from Texas from 1917 to 1940, as an Executive Branch Administrator in the Roosevelt Administration during the Second World War, and as Court of Claims judge for two decades after the War. The appendix of selected judicial opinions (extracts) provides some sense of Judge Jones through his own words.
Complementing the article on Judge Jones is the transcript of an interview of the late Judge Wilson Cowen, Judge Jones's fellow Texan and successor as Chief Judge of the Court of Claims. Two of Judge Cowen's earliest law clerks, Herbert Marks and Peter McCabe, conducted the interview as part of the Society's Oral History Project and provide their recollections as well.
George Hutchinson is the Society's resident expert on the history of Lafayette Square, and he has teamed up with David Cohen to provide a photographic essay entitled "Lafayette Square, Marvin Jones, and the U.S. Court of Claims," which recounts the Lafayette Square development project. Accompanying and supporting this article is the transcript of an event held on April 22, 1981, when some of the people most directly involved in the Lafayette Square project, including John Carl Warnecke, principle architect of the National Courts Building, gathered to present "A Twenty Year Retrospective Review of the Architecture of Lafayette Square." The remarks of those participants reveal the inside story of some of the nation's most historically significant square footage.
Part of the original Lafayette Square property was occupied by the home of Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, neighbors of Presidents and other Washington officials and luminaries and witnesses to the birth and early development of the United States. George Hutchinson presents his study of the fascinating life of this historical figure and the Tayloe house, which is now part of the National Courts Building complex.
Whereas the Tayloe story brings us back to the 18th and 19th centuries, Terry Stewart and Patrick McDonough take us through the origin and development of the trade jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit beginning early in the 20th century with the 1909 creation of the CCA. With this contribution, we can better appreciate the Federal Circuit's historical role in the commercial life of the United States.
Finally, Herb Mintz and Roberto Concepcion Jr. explore the somewhat rocky history of the constitutional status of the Federal Circuit's predecessor courts. While the Federal Circuit unquestionably is created and empowered under Article III of the Constitution, with its guarantees of tenure and no reduction in compensation for judges, the CCA, CCPA, and Court of Claims for long periods of time were considered legislative courts--created under Congress's general powers enumerated under Article I. The legislative and judicial record addressing this issue discussed in this paper coupled with the other articles in this issue of the Journal should give much insight into the natures and histories of the Federal Circuit's predecessor courts and, thus, of the Federal Circuit itself.
The Society thanks the authors and contributors to this second issue of the Journal of the Federal Circuit Historical Society. Also much appreciated is the support of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals for the work of the Society. Special thanks are due to Librarian Patricia M. McDermott for her assistance in locating certain of the documents used in whole or in part in the issue of the Journal.
For additional information, please contact Maria Mirra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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