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United States District Court Oral History Project Oregon. Supreme Court
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Oral history interview with Jacob B. Tanzer

This oral history interview with Jacob B. Tanzer was conducted by Peter C. Richter from October 5, 2005, to April 4, 2006. In this interview, Tanzer discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon. He briefly talks about his college experiences at the University of Oregon, Stanford University, and Reed College. He then talks about studying law at the University of Oregon, including his part-time jobs. He discusses practicing law in Portland and deciding to pursue a career as a public prosecutor instead. He talks about working for the U.S. Department of Justice in the organized crime division during the John F. Kennedy administration, particularly his work on the case of civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi in 1964. Tanzer discusses his reasons for leaving the U.S. Department of Justice that same year to return to Portland as a Multnomah County deputy district attorney. He talks about his fellow prosecutors, defense lawyers he argued against, and some of the judges he argued before. He discusses his appointment as Oregon's first solicitor general in 1969 and describes some of the cases he prosecuted. He also talks about serving as director of the Oregon Department of Human Services from its inception in 1971 until 1973. He describes the types of social welfare programs he administered, discusses fighting budget cuts, and talks about working with Governor Tom McCall. He also speaks at length about volunteering with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Mississippi for one month in 1967 and describes many of the cases he worked on. Tanzer discusses serving on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 1973 to 1980, and on the Oregon Supreme Court from 1980 to 1982. He talks about some of the judges he served with, particularly Hans Linde, and some of the opinions he wrote. He closes the interview by discussing the relationship between the legislative and judicial branches of state government; changes in the judiciary; and his advice for aspiring lawyers.

Tanzer, Jacob B., 1935-2018

Oral history interview with Betty Roberts

This oral history interview with Betty Roberts was conducted by Katherine Huff O'Neil at Roberts' home in Portland, Oregon, from October 24 to November 16, 2005. In addition to the audio recording of the interview, the collection includes 50 digital photographs depicting Roberts' childhood, family, and later judicial career and activities. The collection also includes an index to the photographs.

In the interview, Roberts discusses her family background and early life in Texas, including her father's disability and the financial strain her family suffered during the Depression. She also talks about her early education, including playing on a girls football team. She talks about attending Texas Wesleyan College; meeting Bill Rice and their subsequent marriage; and moving to Southern Oregon in 1946. She describes raising a family, and returning to college late in life to pursue a teaching career. She then talks about getting involved in Democratic politics while attending Portland State University; the difficulty of balancing school, work, politics, and family; and her 1962 marriage to Frank Roberts. She also discusses some of the discrimination she faced due to her age and gender. She talks about studying law at Northwestern College of Law, including her professors and fellow students.

Roberts discusses serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1965 to 1968. She talks about her experience as one of the few women in the Legislature, some of the legislation she worked on, and passing the Oregon bar in 1967. She talks about meeting Keith Skelton in the Legislature and their subsequent marriage in 1968. She then talks about serving in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1977. She describes the lack of a women's restroom in the Senate and other forms of discrimination she faced. She speaks at length about some of the legislation she worked on, particularly bills focusing on abortion and allowing married women to choose their names. She talks about other women legislators and the formation of the women's caucus in 1973, as well as much of the legislation on women's rights they worked on. She also discusses her committee assignments, practicing law in Portland while serving in the Legislature, and the formation of the Oregon Court of Appeals in 1977.

Roberts discussing serving as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 1977 to 1982. She discusses her appointment; her fellow judges, particularly Herb Schwab; and the sexism she faced. She then discusses serving as a justice on the Oregon Supreme Court from 1982 to 1986. She talks about her appointment, her fellow justices, and her experience as the first woman on the court. She also talks about some of the cases she heard and precedents set by her opinions. She then talks about her reasons for retiring in 1986, as well as her work as a mediator. Roberts and O'Neil close the interview by discussing the formation of Oregon Women Lawyers and some of that organization's activities.

Roberts, Betty, 1923-2011

Oral history interview with Frank A. Bauman

This interview with Frank Anthony Bauman was conducted by Karen E. Saul at Bauman's office at the Carriage House and in the Standard Plaza Building in Portland, Oregon, from November 5, 2005, to May 15, 2007. In the interview, while looking at family photographs, Bauman discusses his early life and childhood in Northeast Portland, including attending Grant High School and delivering newspapers. He then discusses attending Stanford University, including studying economics and his recollections of the lead-up to World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Bauman also talks about his experiences in the Navy during World War II, including learning Japanese; deployment to the South Pacific, particularly Peleliu; treatment and interrogation of Japanese prisoners of war; and visiting Hiroshima after the war. He goes on to describe studying at Yale Law School and establishing himself as a lawyer in Portland. He also discusses his wife, Mildred Bauman, and her involvement in the Great Books Program; studying international law at the University of London in England; and working at various law firms in Portland, including Veatch, Bauman & Lovett, and Keane, Haessler, Bauman & Harper. He goes on to talk about cases he argued before the Oregon Supreme Court and District Court, including Zucker v. Mitchell and Ritchie v. Lamb. Bauman also discusses volunteering as a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi; his involvement with the World Affairs Council; and his involvement with the United Nations, particularly focusing on UNICEF, General Paul Cullen, and his service as U.N. senior officer to Australasia.

Bauman, Frank A. (Frank Anthony), 1921-

Oral history interview with Edwin J. Peterson

This oral history interview with Edwin J. Peterson was conducted by Jeffrey C. Dobbins in Salem, Oregon, from August 21 to December 11, 2007. Throughout the interview, Peterson refers to photographs and letters. Copies of some, but not all, of these items are included in the related U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society collection, Coll 560.

In this interview, Peterson discusses his family background in Gilmanton, Wisconsin, including the local creamery managed by his father; his childhood activities; and his early education. He also talks about his memories of rural life during World War II. He discusses having asthma and moving to Oregon in 1944 in an effort to improve his health, as well as his high school experience in Eugene. He talks about studying music at the University of Oregon, including his social life, his summer activities, and his involvement with the Young Republicans. He describes his service as a personnel officer in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, particularly his experience in administration. He then discusses attending the University of Oregon law school, including the dean, Orlando Hollis; his social life; and his summer jobs. He talks about relocating to Portland to practice law at Tooze, Kerr, Peterson, Marshall & Shenker. He speaks at length about the practice of law, as well as some of the cases he tried, some of his fellow lawyers, and judges he argued before. He particularly focuses on trial preparation and procedures. He also talks about his involvement with the Oregon State Bar, and his friendship with Clay Myers.

Peterson discusses serving on the Oregon Supreme Court from 1979 to 1993. He talks about his appointment by Governor Vic Atiyeh. He describes his fellow judges on the Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals. He also shows Dobbins his collection of photographs and speaks about them at length. He discusses the procedures of the Supreme Court, some of the cases he heard, and his re-election in 1980. He talks about serving as chief justice from 1983 to 1991, including implementing an integrated court system, the court's budget, and the court's staff. He reads entries from his journals detailing this part of his career. He also discusses the changes in technology, rules of professionalism, and diversity training. He closes the interview by talking about his activities since retiring in 1993, including teaching at the Willamette University law school and working as a mediator.

Peterson, Edwin J. (Edwin Junior), 1930-

Oral history interview with Alfred T. Goodwin

This oral history interview with Alfred T. Goodwin was conducted by Rick Harmon at the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, from May 10, 1985, to September 3, 1986. The audio for this interview is incomplete; Tape 22 was discovered to be blank in 2020, but its content is represented in both an incomplete transcript and a completed index.

In this interview, Goodwin discusses his family background and early life in Bellingham, Washington, and Portland and Prineville, Oregon, including his early education, his memories of the Depression, and life on a farm. He talks about studying journalism at the University of Oregon, including his social life. He speaks at length about his Army service in Europe during World War II, including his experiences in combat and freeing prisoners. He also talks about his marriages and family life. He discusses returning to the University of Oregon to study law, and how his background in journalism influenced his decision-making as a judge. He speaks at length about working for the Eugene Register-Guard newspaper, as well as his support for and later disillusionment with U.S. Senator Wayne Morse.

Goodwin discusses practicing law in Eugene. He talks about cases he argued, including as a court-appointed lawyer. He also talks about his involvement in the Republican Party, including serving as a precinct committee member. He discusses serving as a judge on the Lane County Circuit Court, including his appointment and later re-election, cases he heard, and his decision-making process. He then discusses serving on the Oregon Supreme Court, including his appointment and later re-election, his fellow justices, and some of the cases they heard. He talks about opinions he wrote, as well as his involvement in the effort to revise the Oregon state constitution in the 1960s. He discusses the changes in laws regarding the criminal code and civil rights, and how that affected the decisions of the Oregon Supreme Court. He also discusses his views on the Vietnam War, the criminalization of drug use, and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He discusses serving as a judge on the U.S. District Court, including his appointment and confirmation, his fellow judges, and some of the cases he heard. He discusses serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, including his appointment and confirmation; cases he heard, particularly concerning immigration and anti-trust law; and his opinion on Roe v. Wade. He also discusses the role of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, his fellow judges, and his involvement with the American Bar Association. He talks about continuing education opportunities for members of the judiciary; his children, their careers, and their families; and his involvement with the Presbyterian Church. He closes the interview by discussing his move to California.

Goodwin, Alfred T. (Alfred Theodore), 1923-

Oral history interview with Wallace P. Carson, Jr.

This oral history interview with Wallace P. Carson, Jr. was conducted by Clark Hansen at the Oregon Supreme Court in Salem from June 12 to October 24, 1996. In the interview, Carson discusses his early life and childhood in Salem, including his memories of World War II. He also discusses his education, from elementary school to attending Stanford University and Willamette University Law School. He also discusses meeting his wife, Gloria Stolk, and his involvement with the Republican Party. Carson describes his 34-year military career in the Air Force and the Oregon National Guard, as both a pilot and a lawyer. He also talks about practicing law in Salem.

Carson then talks about his political career, beginning with his election to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1966. He discusses legislation on topics including taxes, particularly a sales tax; land use; education; and women's rights. Carson describes his time in the Oregon Senate, from 1970 to 1977, including his campaign, the Vietnam War, taxes, his relationship with the media, the criminal code, labor, utilities, and health care. He also discusses working with Oregon legislators and governors, including Tony Yturri, Mark Hatfield, Tom McCall, Senate Secretary Cecil Edwards, Vic Atiyeh, Bob Straub, and Jason Boe.

Carson then discusses his experience on the Marion County Circuit Court from 1977 to 1982, including cases on medical malpractice. Carson next turns to his service on the Oregon Supreme Court from 1982 to 2006. He discusses cases he presided over on topics including capital punishment, mental illness, privacy, search and seizure, and elections. He also discusses the role of the chief justice, court procedure, and his interactions with attorneys. Carson discusses his fellow justices, including Betty Roberts, Jacob Tanzer, Arno Denecke, Hans Linde, and Mitch Gillette. He also discusses the history of penal systems, his re-election campaigns, and his home life.

Carson, Wallace P., Jr., 1934-