The Law School was fortunate to hear today from the Honorable Jennifer W. Elrod of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Her lecture was titled “State Courts: The Immediate and Visible Guardians of Life and Property.” In discussing the state courts, Judge Elrod mentioned Judge Friendly’s historical study of bias (or lack thereof) in state courts. It appears that the study she was referencing was The Historic Basis of Diversity Jurisdiction which was published in the Harvard Law Review in 1928 and is available on HeinOnline.
In connection with this study, Judge Elrod also spoke some of the views of state courts by the founders as well as those in the states that ratified the Constitution. If you’re interested in researching this issue or others from the ratification of the Constitution, one source you will want to consult is The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution that we subscribe to. This collection contains many documents and records of the State debates surrounding the ratification of the Constitution and is a great searchable resource.
Judge Elrod also brought along her Green Bag bobblehead of Chief Justice John Jay. (The Green Bag’s bobbleheads are quite sought-after.) I agree wholeheartedly with Judge Elrod that if you haven’t read the Green Bag, you should.