Memoir of Justice Stevens

Justice Stevens is publishing a memoir in April. According to a New York Times article on the book, the Justice provides some behind-the-scenes discussion of at least one decision (Heller) from his time on the Court where none of the Justice’s papers are available.

This leads me to make a modest suggestion. Justice Stevens should release (when the memoir comes out in April) any materials from his papers that he relies upon in the book. For instance, he says that he circulated a draft dissent in Heller before Justice Scalia circulated his draft opinion. Let’s see that. He also says he persuaded Justice Kennedy to ask Justice Scalia for changes in Heller. What is that assertion based upon?

I think that these are fair questions. How can the accuracy of his accounts of the Court’s internal deliberations be assessed without access to the primary sources?

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2 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    That’s fair but judges and justices have made various comments — if not all writing books about it — over the years. There is a tradition about not releasing internal memorandum while the people involved are still alive. The rules can be bent. I wonder what his plans are involving his papers generally.

  2. Brett Bellmore says:

    Transparency would be nice, but I hope his history of his time on the Court is better sourced than his history of the 2nd amendment.