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Overview

The microfilm collection begins with the case files for opinions written by Warren. These files include drafts of Warren_s opinions, notes and correspondence with law clerks and other justices, and background material on the cases. The opinion files offer an inside view of how the opinions were written and of the debates that occurred behind the scenes between the clerks and other justices. Civil rights and civil liberties cases are a major focus during the first eight years of Warren_s tenure, and there are also important cases dealing with religion, crime and rights of criminals, and citizenship. Cases pertaining to the black freedom struggle begin with the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. These files include Warren_s handwritten draft of the Brown opinion, discussion of a possible unanimous decision, and Felix Frankfurter_s analysis of the congressional intent in passing the Fourteenth Amendment. The files for Brown II, decided in 1955, show the justices and Warren_s law clerks grappling with the difficult issue of how to implement Brown I. Other civil rights cases include Cooper v. Aaron (1958) involving the desegregation of Little Rock_s Central High School. In this case, the Supreme Court reasserted the rights of African American students and took the opportunity to declare that, under the Supremacy Clause, state legislatures and governors had to uphold Supreme Court decisions. The files include Warren_s _reading copy_ when he read the Court_s opinion in the case. Other civil rights cases in this edition include Garner v. Louisiana, relating to a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter, and background material on nineteen additional sit-in cases that were decided in 1962.

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