About the Northern District Court 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 some of the thorniest problems and most interesting events in California history.

The goal of the Society is to preserve, share, and enliven the court’s history with lawyers, educators, scholars, and students.

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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The Demonization of (Im)migrants: Dust Bowl Refugees and the Supreme Court

April 20, 2021

This engaging presentation centered on the constitutionality of the “anti-Okie” law at issue in the 1941 United States Supreme Court case, Edwards v. California.

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The Mistrial of Iva Toguri and the Myth of “Tokyo Rose”

November 18, 2020

This is the story of a brave and loyal American citizen mistreated by our justice system, and of the heroic efforts to defend her by lawyers of deep conviction.

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Citizen Justice: The Environmental Legacy of William O. Douglas

October 28, 2020

Ninth Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown explored the politics and ethics of advocacy by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.