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Visiting the D.C. Federal Courthouse

William Benson Bryant Annex of the D.C. courthouse. Photo courtesy of Tate Access Floors, Inc.

By the nature of the work they do, the courts make history almost every day. Not just the Supreme Court of the United States, but federal courts across the nation, hear high-profile cases. Every case is significant in its own way. All are important to the judges, lawyers, jurors, and parties involved. The Supreme Court handles about 100 cases a year. The rest of the cases that come through the federal court system are settled in district courts, appellate courts, and bankruptcy courts. These decisions can have a huge impact on American life and law.

The E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse (dcd.uscourts.gov) in the District of Columbia, because of its location in the nation's capital, handles many cases that shape the history of our country. By January 2006, there will be an exhibit of some of these cases in the William Benson Bryant Annex (dcd.uscourts.gov) of the D.C. courthouse. The next time you are in Washington, you are invited to visit the courthouse to learn about these cases from the past that have an impact on American life today. You also may want to observe a live trial. Courthouses are public buildings and courtrooms are open to the public.

The following are some of the historic cases heard at the U.S. Courthouse in the District of Columbia.

WATERGATE
The Nixon Tapes
Executive Privilege
Executive Privilege and the Fifth Amendment
COURTS IN WAR TIME
Military Commissions
"Axis Sally"
The President at War

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

The Pentagon Papers
Arthur Miller
The Mayday Protestors

ENFORCING EQUAL JUSTICE GUARANTEES

School Desegregation
Equal Pay for Women
Women on Navy Ships

CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINAL TRIALS

The Assassination of President Lincoln
The Assassination of President Garfield
Due Process Rights
A Union Leader and the Law
Temporary Insanity Defense
The Attempt to Assassinate President Reagan