Project SummaryThe John G. Heyburn II Initiative for Excellence in the Federal Judiciary (Heyburn Initiative) is a national, non-partisan program devoted to ever improving the legal system that is considered the envy of the world, with a particular focus on Kentuckians' contributions to American legal discourse and the interaction of the three branches of our government. Inspired by Judge John G. Heyburn of the Western District Court of Kentucky, the Heyburn Initiative is a resource for our nation's judges and consists of four pillars: 1) Conferences and speakers, 2) Archives and oral histories, 3) Student awards for achievement in public service and study of the Federal Judiciary, and 4) Inspiring small-group interactions between leaders of the Federal Judiciary, students, and other members of the public.
The oral history interviews in this collection, along with archival materials in the Special Collections Research Center, anchor the scholarly component of the Heyburn Initiative. They document the Kentuckians who have served in the Third Branch at all levels and provide insight into interactions of the Third Branch with the Executive and Legislative branches. Members of the Federal Judiciary, particularly judges from United States district courts, circuit courts, and the Supreme Court, discuss their legal and judicial careers, the nomination process for the federal bench, notable opinions, their perspectives on the three branches of federal government, and their reflections on Judge John G. Heyburn himself.
This oral history project is ongoing. This description may change as new interviews are added to the collection.