from Third Branch News Blog –
A 225th anniversary ceremony honoring the first-ever federal court session held under the U.S. Constitution and Judiciary Act, was held Nov. 4th in the ceremonial courtroom of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The ceremony honored a court session held Nov. 3, 1789, in the Royal Exchange Building in Manhattan. The session, conducted by Judge James Duane, occurred three months before the U.S. Supreme Court also met in the Royal Exchange, which no longer exists. The 1789 session gives the Southern District of New York claiming rights as the nation’s “Mother Court”—although the first sitting was not momentous, adjourning immediately without hearing any cases.
The Library recently acquired the book, The Mother Court: Tales of Cases That Mattered in America’s Greatest Trial Court. It is the first book to chronicle the history of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the most influential District court in the United States. It gives first-hand insight into the evolution of our justice system where it has been, where it is now and where it is going. It provides an anatomy of what a trial is all about in an American courtroom, featuring the most famous trials of the period in the greatest court in the nation.