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National Archives

WHORM - Judicial - Legal Matters (JL)

(25.5 linear feet; boxes 1-62)

A Primary category containing information pertaining to the judiciary and judicial procedure; crimes and criminal procedure, including criminals, crime conditions, investigations, wire tapping; and legal material of a general nature pertaining to claims, mitigations, decisions, opinions, interpretations, and notaries. The bulk of this series consists of materials relating to civil cases (JL002), frivolous and substantive, in which the President was named as a defendant and criminal matters (JL003) such as prominent cases and crime-related legislation. Duplication of materials among subject categories within this series is common because of the similarity of the subject categories. For example, information about a particular pardon case may be available in JL Judicial-Legal Matters, JL001 Amnesty - Clemency - Pardons, JL001-01 Pardon Applications (Approved), and JL003 Criminal Matters. The same is true with materials relating to legislation. Major correspondents in this series include the President's legal counsel, C. Boyden Gray, as well as associate counsels Nelson Lund and John Schmitz. Other correspondents include Department of Justice pardon attorney Margaret Love and counsels from the various cabinet departments. This series does not contain information related to the selection or confirmation of federal judges or Supreme Court justices. Because of the extremely sensitive nature of some of the materials in this series, many items have been restricted for reasons of personal privacy.


JL Judicial-Legal Matters (1.33 ft.; boxes 1-4)

A secondary subject category containing letters, testimony, and copies of legislation. Most letters concern legal problems presented to the President by the general public. Other letters in this category are from members of Congress who write urging White House support for pending legislation. Testimony relates to pending legislation and provides insight into administration positions on legal issues.

JL001 Amnesty - Clemency - Pardons (3.46 ft.; boxes 4-11a)

A secondary subject category containing letters, petitions for executive clemency, and justifications for granting or denying executive clemency. Many letters to the President in this subject category request a Presidential pardon for Oliver North and others involved in Iran-Contra. Petitions for executive clemency contain detailed information about an individual and his or her crime.

JL001-01 Pardon Applications (Approved) (.13 ft.; box 12)

A secondary subject category containing petitions for executive clemency and justifications for granting executive clemency. The category also contains a small number of letters generally requesting executive clemency and subsequent routine responses from the White House.

JL001-02 Pardon Applications (Disapproved) (.46 ft.; boxes 12-13)

A secondary subject category containing petitions for executive clemency and justifications for denying executive clemency. It is larger than the previous subject category because the overwhelming majority of clemency requests were denied rather than granted. The category also contain letters requesting executive clemency and subsequent routine responses from the White House.

JL002 Civil Matters (7.2 ft.; boxes 13-31)

A large secondary subject category containing letters, policy memoranda, summonses, subpoenas, petitions, and copies of court records relating to civil suits. Letters to the President are often from counsel representing individuals who have sued the President and inform him of pending legal action. Many letters are also from private citizens who have filed claims against the President in civil suits. Often attached to the letters are copies of court records including petitions, subpoenas, and summonses. Routine responses to the White House are also attached. Included in this subject category are records relating to a suit against the President by members of Congress seeking an injunction to prohibit him from launching any offensive action in the Persian Gulf without Congressional approval. Other prominent materials relate to "Armstrong versus Bush." Policy memoranda by White House staff members discuss tort reform and civil justice reform.

JL002-01 Anti-Trust Cases (.2 ft.; box 31)

A secondary subject category includes memoranda, letters, and testimony. Letters and memoranda from the general public and White House staffers discuss anti-trust cases. The category also contains legislative referral memoranda which provide information about federal bankruptcy and anti-trust laws. Draft testimony prepared for staff appearances before congressional committees includes views of the administration regarding anti-trust laws.

JL002-02 Special Prosecutor/Independent Counsel (.13 ft.; box 32)

A small secondary subject category containing the final report of the independent counsel regarding the Michael Deaver investigation, as well as letters from the independent counsel to the White House concerning the ongoing Iran-Contra investigation. Letters from the general public, members of Congress, and national organizations document views in support of or against the independent counsel investigation into Iran-Contra.

JL003 Criminal Matters (9.06 ft.; boxes 32-53)

A secondary subject category containing letters, copies of court records, memoranda, and legislation relating to criminal matters. Letters cover a broad range of topics from particular criminal cases to crime-related issues. Letters are from the general public, members of Congress, and private organizations and discuss gun control legislation, violent crime, environmental law, the death penalty, drunk driving, police brutality, drug use, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, and the Los Angeles riots of 1992. Some letters from citizens request investigations into alleged criminal wrongdoing on the state and local level. Some letters include attached records relating to particular criminal cases pending in state or federal courts. A large amount of the material in this category relates to crime-related legislation. Included are memoranda and legislation concerning the 1990 Hate Crime Statistics Act, the 1991 Violent Crime Prevention Act, and the 1991 Torture Victims Protection Act. Additional materials concern the Brady Bill.

JL003-01 Assassination - Attempted Assassination (.13 ft.; box 54)

A secondary subject category containing letters from individuals and organizations regarding deaths of U.S. citizens abroad. Other material in this series include memoranda, letters, and legislation concerning the Assassination Materials Disclosure Act.

JL003-02 Hijacking - Skyjacking (.13 ft.; box 54)

A secondary subject category containing letters from individuals and public and private organizations regarding airplane hijacking cases. Routine responses from the administration are also included.

JL003-03 Kidnapping - Hostages (.4 ft.; boxes 54-55)

A secondary subject category containing letters and memoranda relating primarily to U.S. citizens held abroad as hostagages, particularly hostages held in Lebanon. Letters from the hostages' families and friends request continued U.S. efforts to obtain their release. Letters from the general public often offer suggestions on ways in which to obtain the hostages' release. Other letters and memoranda concern hostages held by Iraq prior to and during the Persian Gulf War. Responses from White House staffers and the President outline administration policy regarding the hostage crisis.

JL004 Decisions - Opinions - Interpretations (.53 ft.; boxes 55-56)

A secondary subject category containing letters from the general public and public and private organizations relating to "ADAPT versus Burnley" (access to public transportation for disabled persons) and flag burning. Letters from the administration outline the President's views and policies regarding the issues effected by the decisions. Memoranda among White House staffers relate to the formulation of administration policy in the wake of judicial decisions.

JL004-01 Attorney General's Opinions (1 folder; box 57)

JL004-02 Comptroller General's Opinions (1 folder; box 57)

JL004-03 Judicial Opinion (.8 ft.; boxes 57-58)

A secondary subject category containing materials similar to those found in JL004 Decisions - Opinions - Interpretations. The category primarily includes letters from the general public, members of Congress, and public and private organizations regarding flag burning, abortion, and union use of members' dues.

JL005 Juvenile Delinquency (.2 ft.; box 59)

A secondary subject category containing letters, reports, and legislation concerning juvenile delinquency. Letters are primarily from the general public and include suggestions for dealing with the problem of juvenile delinquency and voice support or opposition to the President's policies in this area. Letters, reports, and legislation also concern the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1992.

JL006 Law Enforcement - Police Matters (.6 ft.; boxes 59-60)

A secondary subject category containing letters and memoranda. A number of letters are from police officers or police organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police and outline views regarding pending legislation, administration policy, and criminal matters. Many letters call for increased funding in order to hire additional police officers to fight violent crime, especially drug-related crime. Letters from the general public voice concerns about police brutality in the wake of the Rodney King incident and the subsequent Los Angeles riots in 1992. Letters of response from the White House outline the administration's support for additional police officers, and the administration's views regarding the Rodney King beating and the Los Angeles riots.

JL006-01 Secret Service Protection (.13 ft.; box 61)

A secondary subject category containing memoranda regarding Secret Service protection of U.S. officials on overseas trips and protection of members of the First Family.

JL007 Lawyers - Legal Aid (.4 ft.; boxes 61-62)

A secondary subject category containing letters, resolutions, and memoranda concerning the legal profession, the American Bar Association, and legal services legislation. Letters from attorneys or attorney organizations voice complaints about the portrayal of attorneys by the administration. Letters from attorneys also note support of or opposition to views expressed by the American Bar Association, especially the ABA's role in recommending court appointees. Resolutions support or oppose a number of issues relating to administration policy or current legal questions. Letters and White House memoranda also discuss the Legal Services Reform Act of 1991 and outline administration policy on this subject.

JL008 Missing Persons (.13 ft.; box 62)

A small secondary subject category containing letters from families regarding the abductions of loved ones, as well as copies of the Attorney General's annual report on missing children.

JL009 War Claims - Alien Property (.13 ft.; box 62)

A small secondary subject category containing letters from the general public and members of Congress relating to reparations for Japanese-Americans and Aleuts interned by the U.S. Government during World War II. It also contains some letters from citizens supporting or opposing reparations to the families of Iranians killed when the U.S. shot down an Iranian passenger plane over the Persian Gulf on 30 July 1988. Additional materials concern the return of Native American remains and funerary objects held in museums to Native American tribes.

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