Woodward, Halbert O 1988-01-13

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Federal Judge Halbert O. Woodward discusses his career on the bench and the influence of the federal court system in general.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Halbert O Woodward

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: January 13, 1988

Location: None Given

Interviewer: Lawrence Graves

Length: 55 minutes


Abstract

Tape 1, Side 1: Background, Born: Coleman, Texas (April 8, 1918), Family in law practice, To Lubbock, Texas (1923), To Big Spring, Texas, Education, University of Texas (1940), Humble Oil and Refining Company, Military service, World War II, Return to Exxon Oil, Type of work performed, Promotion to Investigator, Return to Coleman, Texas (1939), Drought, Service on Texas State Highway Commission, Woodward & Randolph—San Angelo, Texas, Service on State Highway Commission (again), Type of work, Appointment to federal bench (1968), Senate approval process, Distinguished people coming from West Texas, Influences, Political strength of West Texas, Small town atmosphere, Role of Federal Courts in "Social Revolution", Social change, Reasons for involvement of federal courts, Congressional actions, Civil Rights legislation, Notable cases heard by Woodward, Voting Rights cases, Amarillo and Lubbock, School desegregation, Libel suit against Wall Street Journal, Topless bar cases, Federal courts on "cutting edge of social changes", Big jury verdicts, Malpractice suits, Increase in population, Marvin Sherbet Case, Process of hearing a case, Effect of District Court judgement on the nation at large, Wayne Justice, Views relative to prison system.

Tape 1, Side 2: Vies relative to prison system (continued), Overcrowding of prisons, Federal penal system, Sentencing guidelines, Role of Constitution, Alternate punishment and rehabilitation, Suggested changes for federal court system, Administrative control out of Washington, Substantive operations of court, Administration (again), Impact of federal courts on social change (again), Voting Rights cases (again), Relationship to appellate court, Office of Chief Judge, Appointment, Responsibilities, Jury trial at federal level, [Interview ends after 20 minutes on Side 2].

Tape 2, Side 1: Jury trail at federal level (continued), Attorneys, Preparedness, Conduct of court, Woodward’s philosophy, Questioning of witnesses, Grand Jury, Selection, Responsibilities, Dress code, Objection to service, Consideration of court, Constitutional structure of United States, Affect on average citizen, Compliance with law, [Interview ends after about 10 minutes on Side 1].

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Tape 3, Side 1: George Mahon, Character and abilities, Federal Building and Court house—Lubbock, Texas, Senior status in court, "Rule of 85", Docket load, Benefits of a new district, Lyndon B. Johnson, Sam Rayburn, Hobbies, Hunting, Working as a country lawyer, Differences from federal work, Election versus appointment of judges, District judges, [This side finished out with recordings of gospel music].

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1918-1988

Bulk Dates: 1960-1988


Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:

Transcript:



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