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Collection of Supreme Court Justices’ Signatures Available at Law Library

With the recent confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, that brings the total number of justices that have served to 115. Amongst those, the James E. Faust Law Library has 97 signatures preserved in an oversized book on display in their rare collections.

The book was donated by law school alum Tom Green (Class of 1980). Green started collecting the signatures when he realized that no one else had created something like that. The book is ordered by date of when the justice was confirmed dating back as early as the first justice in 1789, John Jay, through Justice Clarence Thomas (1991).

Over the years, Mr. Green collected original, signed documents from nearly every U.S. Supreme Court Justice through Justice Thomas,” explained Law Library director Melissa Bernstein. “Mr. Green commissioned this beautiful book binder to make a large portfolio in which the documents are preserved to protect their integrity.  Although there are other collectors of Supreme Court Justice documents, this is the only collection in the world, to our knowledge, that includes signed documents from so many individual Justices in one place.

Dan Burns with the oversized book of signatures. The book is very ornate and takes up most of the picture.
Dan Burn, Tech Services Supervisor, with the collection of signatures in the Rare Books room. He manages the collection and hopes to collect all the signatures one day.
A close up of a signature by justice John Jay. The paper looks old but is preserved in a plastic.
Signature of the first Chief Justice, John Jay who was judge from 1789-1795. This signature is from a case concerning a debt in Virginia to Great Britain.

Although the book does not contain every single signature, Daniel Burn, Tech Services Supervisor at the Law Library, aims to fix that. “My goal is to get an original copy of every signature to supplement this book,” explained Burn. “Whether that’s a donation or an eventual acquisition, we’re hopeful.”

Among the signatures, Daniel Burn believes the most famous ones are those of Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O’ Connor, and William Taft. Some signatures are valued at over $10,000, but the collection together has been appraised at over $300,000.

Thurgood Marshall (1967) was the first African-American Supreme Court justice and played an instrumental role in promoting racial equality during the civil rights movement.
William Taft is the only person to have been both a president (27th) and a chief justice (10th).
Sandra Day O'Connor (1981) was the first female Supreme Court justice and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

The book is on display in the rare book room on the first floor of the Law Library near the service desk. For more information about this book, contact Daniel Burn at

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