by Brian Zylstra | September 12th, 2012
(The State Supreme Court in 1968. Photo courtesy of the State Archives’ Susan Parish Collection.)
As the repository for Washington’s governmental records and documents, the State Archives has files going waaay back. In the case of the Washington Supreme Court, all the way back to 1854, when we were just a fledgling territory after splitting from Oregon Territory.
The State Archives has more than 4,100 cubic feet of records that document the opinions and decisions of every case decided by the territory and later the state’s highest court. This enormous collection is the third and final Archives treasure for September.
The court’s records include correspondence, fiscal records, dockets, journals, opinions, case files, indexes, court exhibits, fee and cash books, lists of attorneys, reports, and Territorial Supreme Court records. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the state’s judicial system. Most of the Supreme Court’s documents since 1998 are still held by the court but will eventually be transferred to the State Archives.
Go here to read “A Century of Judging: A Political History of the Washington Supreme Court,” written by Charles H. Sheldon.
And go here to view what have been categorized as landmark cases heard by the Supreme Court, either because they were identified as significant in” The Washington State Constitution” by retired Justice Robert Utter and law professor Hugh Spitzer, or because they have been cited more than 50 times, or both. This list is a work in progress; more cases will be added over time.
We’ll launch an online poll Thursday that features the three Archives treasures this month, so be sure to check it out and vote.