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-