The Court that Tamed the West

Learn about the history of the United States District Court, Northern District Court of California.

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Two Supreme Court Justices; four former White House Counsel; a former Solicitor General; Pulitzer Prize- winning authors; a NYT Supreme Court Correspondent; and a host of local and national legal luminaries—these have been the guest speakers for the Northern District Court Historical Society.

About the Historical Society

Since 1977, the Northern District Court Historical Society has been protecting and enlivening the rich judicial history of the court. From the Chinese Exclusion Laws to Patty Hearst to cutting-edge technology disputes, the Northern District has been in the thick of the some of the thorniest problems and most interesting events in California history.

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Become a Member

Two Supreme Court Justices; four former White House Counsel; a former Solicitor General; Pulitzer Prize- winning authors; a NYT Supreme Court Correspondent; and a host of local and national legal luminaries—these have been the guest speakers for the Northern District Court Historical Society.

Join Today!

Browse the Northern District Historical Society Bookstore...

Browse Our Online Bookstore

The Historical Society has written, published, and/or collaborated on a number of excellent books covering important topics in the history of Northern California and its federal district court. We are pleased to offer Historical Society books for sale through our online bookstore.

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Oral Histories

The Northern District Historical Society has been collecting the oral histories of judges to gain insight on their significant contributions. The project’s purpose is to create an archive of primary data so that future generations will be able to study how—and by whom—governing decisions were made. For more information, please see the Oral Histories page.

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Recent Presentations

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California’s War of Extermination Against American Indians: Legislation & Litigation

Join us as our distinguished panel addresses California’s history with respect to the local Native American population from the mid-1850s through the present day.

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Perez v. Sharp: A California Landmark Case that Overturned a Century-Old Ban on Interracial Marriage

Join us for an engaging presentation on the 1948 case, Perez v. Sharp, where the California Supreme Court found unconstitutional the state’s laws prohibiting inter-racial marriage.