Article on Justice Harlan’s Lecture Notes Featured in National Law Journal

July 31st, 2013

Marcia Coyle wrote a great piece profiling the articles I co-authored with Brian Frye and Mike McCloskey in the George Washington Law Review on Justice Harlan’s constitutional law lecture notes.

You can download Justice John Marshall Harlan, Professor of Law here.

You can download Justice John Marshall Harlan: Lectures on Constitutional Law, 1897-98 here.

The article is behind a paywall. Here is one of the better quotes from Brian about how our collaboration began.

Blackman, Frye and Michael McCloskey of the Harlan Institute recount Johannes’ story in their law review article, “John Marshall Harlan: Professor of Law,” George Washington Law Review, July 2013.

“I was looking around for projects as a student and was in D.C. for a while,” Frye said. “I went ahead and ordered a copy of the micro filmroll and made pdfs and printouts of all the material.”

After graduating from New York University School of Law and completing two clerkships, Frye became an associate with Sullivan & Cromwell. “During my spare time, I would just type in the notes as I was working on them, thinking I would pursue it as a project,” he said. “But ultimately it sort of fell by the wayside for a while because I was working on other projects. I did ultimately copy all 500 pages into a series of Word files, but I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with them. Tackling the annotations seemed like a project a little too daunting at the time. I also was trying to get an academic job and was advised that going on the job market as a legal historian was probably not wise.”

“I had all this material on the lectures so I threw everything up on the Internet so other people would have access to it,” he said.

Enter Josh Blackman. “Within six hours of posting, I got a note from Josh saying he was looking to finalize his article on Harlan as law professor and he asked if I would be interested in collaborating on the article and the lecture note project. I said, ‘Fantastic.’ I had someone to light a fire under me.”

I’m pretty sure it was within seconds of when I saw Brian’s blog post. But 6 hours works also.

I should point out that Brian and his colleague Penny Lane are the producers of the groundbreaking documentary, Our Nixon, that will air on CNN Thursday, August 1 at 9 p.m.