Series SR 1286 - Oral history interview with Edward Leavy

Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 02] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 03] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 04] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 05] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 06] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 07] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 08] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 09] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 10] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 11] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 12] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 13] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 14] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 15] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 16] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 17] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 18] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 19] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 20] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 21] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 22] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 23] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 24] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 25] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 26] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 27] Oral history interview with Edward Leavy [Sound Recording 28]
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Identity elements

Reference code

SR 1286

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Series

Title

Oral history interview with Edward Leavy

Date(s)

  • 2004-03-02 - 2004-04-13 (Creation)

Extent

.1 cubic feet 15 audiocassettes (15 hr., 2 min., 36 sec.) + transcript (239 pages)

Name of creator

(1929-)

Biographical history

Edward Leavy (1929- ) was born near Aurora, Oregon. In 1953, Leavy graduated from Notre Dame Law School. He spent a few years in private practice from 1953 to 1954. He worked as deputy district attorney, a district court judge, circuit court judge for Lane County, Oregon and Justice pro tempore Oregon Supreme Court. He also was U.S. District Magistrate for U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon from 1976 to 1984. He was nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1984 for the U.S. District Court of Oregon and in 1987 he became a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with Edward Leavy was conducted by Clark Hansen in Leavy's chambers at the U.S. District Courthouse (known as the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse) in Portland, Oregon, from March 2 to April 13, 2004. The portion of the interview conducted on March 30, 2004 (Tapes 10 through 12) appears to have been simultaneously recorded on audiocassette and video. In the audio recording, the parties make reference to the video recording, which is not included in this collection.

In this interview, Leavy discusses his family background and early life on a hops farm in Butteville, Oregon, including his memories of the Depression and his education. He talks about attending the University of Portland and studying at Notre Dame Law School, including his reasons for attending Catholic schools. He also speaks about how his faith informs his morality and judicial decisions, particularly regarding the Fifth Amendment. He discusses serving as a deputy district attorney for Lane County and some of the cases he prosecuted. He reflects at length upon the byzantine workings of the justice system, its strengths and weaknesses, and a judge's role within it.

Leavy discusses his election to the positions of Lane County District Court judge and Circuit Court judge, as well as the elections of other judges in Oregon. He talks about some of the cases he heard and some decisions of his that were reversed. He speaks at length about many of the judges he knew, including Ted Goodwin and Otto Skopil. He discusses the differences between state and federal courts. Leavy describes the magistrate system during the years he was a U.S. Magistrate for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He then speaks at length about mediating cases and reaching settlements. He discusses some controversial issues he's had to rule on, including drug use, the death penalty, and abortion. He also speaks briefly about his family life.

Leavy discusses serving as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, beginning with his appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. He discusses some of the cases he heard, including on Rajneeshpuram. He describes the various duties of federal judges; the processes and procedures of the Court of Appeals; and how it differs from the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He talks about his experience as a senior judge on the Court of Appeals since 1997, including mediating for U.S. v. Wen Ho Lee. He then talks about serving on the Surveillance Court of Review from 2001 to 2008, including the history and duties of that court. He also talks about writing opinions, his staff and law clerks, and the workload on the Court of Appeals. He closes the interview by discussing his thoughts on the trend of civil penalties in lieu of criminal, and concerns about the right to privacy.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Collection is open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Edward Leavy, by Clark Hansen, SR 1286, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Forms part of the United States District Court Oral History Project.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Sarah Stroman

Access points

Genre access points

Accession area