Erwin Griswold On The Importance Of Time Limits For Law School Exam

The Supreme Court ruled June 30, 1971 New York Times v. United States. The so-called Pentagon PapersCourts were forced to rush cases. Justice Harlan’s dissension outlines the chronology.

The Court of Appeals of Second Circuit and Court of Appeals of District of Columbia Circuit both rendered judgment on June 23. This Court received the New York Times petition for certiorari and its motion for expedited consideration, as well as its application for interim relief, on June 24, at 11:15 a.m. This Court also received the application for interim relief from the United States in the Post Case case on June 24th at approximately 7:15 PM. The Court’s June 26th hearing was set for 11 AM. I only joined the course to prevent any further peremptory actions by the Court. While the Record in the Post Case was submitted to the Clerk just before noon on June 25, the Record in the Times Case did not reach the Clerk until either 7 or 8 that night. Less than two hours prior to argument on June 26, the briefs were received by both parties.

During oral argument the ex-Dean of Harvard Law School and Solicitor General Erwin Griswold addressed the audience about the shorting time.

While I doubt that the Post or Times are marking items as top-secret, the captions of items indicate they are. Recall that all three filed regular briefs. The exception being printed, the American Civil Liberties Union appears to have the necessary resources to create a printed brief. My understanding is that today’s law student are indignantly against final examinations. This is because they claim that no lawyer ever asked for such pressure to finish his work in just three hours.. My only opinion is that it may have been a good thing that Mr. [William]Glendon and Mr. [Alexander]Bickel and my name were in an earlier dispensation when we went to law school.

Agreed. It is something that all law students need to learn how to manage difficult time constraints.