About the Conference

Cartoon depicting three judges named Paper, Rock, and Scissors

The University of Texas School of Law will host a conference on judicial biography and the Supreme Court on Friday, January 29, 2010, in memory of Professor Roy M. Mersky, the longtime director of the Tarlton Law Library and Jamail Center for Legal Research who died in May 2008.

Prominent history and legal scholars—most of whom have written biographies about Supreme Court justices—will participate in discussions about great lawyers who were appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court; justices who would have merited a biography even if never appointed to the Court; international jurists who served on the Supreme Courts of Australia, Canada and Israel; and writing Supreme Court history. Speakers include noted O.W. Holmes scholar G. Edward White and Cardozo biographer Andrew L. Kaufman. UT professors H.W. Brands and David Oshinsky are among the moderators.

The event, free and open to the public, will be held in the Law School’s Eidman Courtroom, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday with a welcome and introduction by UT Law School Dean Larry Sager and Terry Martin, interim director of the Tarlton Law Library and the Jamail Center for Legal Research and a visiting professor of law.

UT Law professors Sanford Levinson and Lucas A. (Scot) Powe, Jr., also a panelist, organized the conference originally as a tribute, not as a memorial, to Mersky. His interest in judicial biography and particularly in the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States was longstanding.