Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Wilfred Feinberg Papers, 1936-2011, bulk 1960-2011

Series V: Judicial Conference of the United States, 1974-2007

The Judicial Conference of the United States is charged by Congress to "serve as the principal policy-making body concerned with the administration of the U.S. Courts." Although the court system is largely decentralized, with each circuit and district having unique customs, practices, and rules, the Judicial Conference is the formal center for procedural recommendations. The Chief Justice of the United States presides over the Conference; other members include the Chief Judges of each circuit and a representative from each district and trade court. Feinberg was Chief Judge of the Second Circuit, and therefore a member of the Judicial Conference, from 1980 through 1988.

Traditionally, each new Chief Justice begins his tenure with a study of the Judicial Conference and the court system. Upon William Rehnquist's confirmation as Chief Justice, he created the Committee to Study the Judicial Conference, which lasted for a year. Prompted by the reports of the Rehnquist Committee and the Federal Courts Study Committee, Rehnquist created the Long Range Planning Committee as the anticipated first phase in a permanent planning effort. Having served eight years as a member of the Judicial Conference, Feinberg was appointed to the Long Range Planning Committee.

This series includes comprehensive agendas (including lengthy appendices of supplementary reports), correspondence, drafts, minutes, reports, and research. It is divided into three subseries derived from Feinberg's original filing system: Committee to Study the Judicial Conference; Judicial Conference; and Long Range Planning Committee.

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Subseries V.1: Committee to Study the Judicial Conference, 1986-1987

The Committee to Study the Judicial Conference was created shortly after William Rehnquist was confirmed as Chief Justice. Materials in this subseries include correspondence, drafts, meeting agendas, meeting programs, and reports. This subseries is arranged reverse-chronologically.

Box 206 Correspondence, 1986-1987, (4 folders)

Box 207 Meeting Agendas, 1986-1987, (3 folder)

Box 207 Reports, 1986-1987, (6 folders)

Box 207 Requests for Comment, 1986-1987, (7 folders)

Subseries V.2: Judicial Conference, 1974-2007

The Judicial Conference is made up of the Chief Justice, the Chief Judges of each circuit, and representatives from the district and trade courts. The Conference meets twice a year to discuss procedure and policy within the court system, and following the full conference the Chief Judges of the circuits have a separate meeting. Feinberg served as Chief Judge from 1980 through 1988 and therefore was a member of the Conference for that period. He also received courtesy copies of reports and correspondence both before and after his tenure as Chief Judge.

This subseries includes correspondence, meeting agendas (each with sizable appendices containing reports from court committees and administrative offices), meeting minutes, reports, and research materials. Within each file, materials are arranged reverse-chronologically

Box 207 Correspondence, 1974-2007, (13 folders)

Box 208 Judiciary Budget Reports, 1982-1990, (6 folders)

Box 208-212 Meeting Agendas, 1980-1988, (76 folders)

Box 212-213 Post-Conference Chief Judges' Meetings, 1980-1988, (18 folders)

Box 213-214 Supplementary Reports, 1980-1988, (17 folders)

Subseries V.3: Long Range Planning Committee, 1989-2007

The Long Range Planning Committee was created by the Judicial Conference in response to the recommendations of the Federal Courts Study Committee. In addition to Judge Feinberg, the committee consisted of three other appellate judges, three district judges, a bankruptcy judge, and a magistrate. Created in 1990 the committee published its formally approved plan in December 1995 after a multi-phase process of meetings, research, reports, and requests for comment. There now exists within the Administrative Office of the United States Courts a permanent Long-Range Planning Office that accounts for subseries correspondence between 1996 and 2007.

This subseries includes correspondence (both between committee members and among the wider judicial system and affiliated groups and professions), meeting agendas, research materials, subcommittee reports, and the proposed Long Range Plan for the Federal Courts that was submitted for public comment and Judicial Conference approval. The approved Long Range Plan for the Federal Courts is not included, but a PDF is available here on the United States Court website.

Within each file, materials are arranged reverse-chronologically.

Box 214-215 Correspondence, 1989-2007, (32 folders)

Box 215-216 Meeting Agendas, 1991-1994, (24 folders)

Box 217 Meeting Planning, 1992-1996, (22 folders)

Box 217-219 Subcommittee Reports, 1991-1995, (49 folders)

Box 219-220 Supplementary Research Materials, 1992-1995, (24 folders)

Box 220 Proposed Long Range Plan for the Federal Courts, 1994, (1 folder)