Title: Yale Kamisar papers Creator: Kamisar, Yale. Dates: 1955-2010 (Majority of material found within 1965-2004) Extent: 28 linear feet Abstract:
Yale Kamisar, the Clarence Darrow Distinguished University Professor, was a professor in the University of Michigan Law School from 1965 to 2004. An expert in criminal law, particularly the exclusionary rule of the Fourth Amendment and the Miranda right based on the Fifth Amendment, Kamisar was a proponent of defendant rights, and wrote extensively on the subject. In the 1960s, his arguments were influential as Chief Justice Earl Warren's Supreme Court ruled on several key defendants' rights issues, such as search and seizure ( Mapp v. Ohio ), guaranteed legal counsel to the poor ( Gideon v. Wainwright ), the right to counsel while in custody ( Escobedo v. Illinois ), and the right to remain silent ( Miranda v. Arizona ). Kamisar also wrote and lectured extensively on assisted suicide, euthanasia, and mercy killing. His collection consists of research topical files; speech, debate, lecture, and presentation files; teaching files; and writings.
Call number: 0596 Aa 2 Language: The material is in English Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave. Ann Arbor, MI
email@example.com Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Marilyn M. McNitt, August 2005 Hannah Jenkins, June 2013
Access and Use
The papers were donated to the library by Yale Kamisar (Donor no. 9579) beginning in March 2005. An addition was made in 2012.
The collection is open to research without restriction.
To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS
tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital
formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more
information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.
Copyright remains with Yale Kamisar. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.
[item], folder, box, Yale Kamisar Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
Born August 29, 1929, in East Bronx, Yale Kamisar was the child of immigrant Jewish parents, Samuel and Mollie (Levine) Kamisar. Showing early promise in art, he attended the prestigious High School of Music and Art in New York City. Kamisar won an academic scholarship to New York University, graduating in 1950. He then attended Columbia Law School. Then the Korean War intervened. He enlisted in the army. Distinguishing himself as the commander of a platoon in the assault on T-Bone Hill, Kamisar earned a Purple Heart. He returned to law school in 1952, graduating with a L.L.B. in 1954.
In 1955, Kamisar began his law career as an associate in the prestigious firm of Covington and Burling in Washington, D.C. There, he practiced anti-trust law. In 1956, in one of the few times he was in the courtroom, he represented (pro bono) a convicted drug user, who was appealing his conviction. Kamisar was appalled, when federal prosecutors attempted to use statements (which they believed to be incriminating) from the man's barely literate, hand-written petition, against his client. His impassioned statements in the courtroom won the client his appeal. This and other experiences however, convinced Kamisar that he was better-suited for the classroom.
He began his teaching career, in 1957, as an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. In 1959 he was promoted to full professor. He left Minnesota in 1964 to be a visiting professor at Harvard University Law School. In 1965 Kamisar came to Ann Arbor as a professor in the University of Michigan Law School. In 1979 he was named the Henry K. Ransom Professor, a title that he retained until 1992. That year Kamisar was named the Clarence Darrow Distinguished University Professor. While at Michigan, he taught courses in Constitutional Law, Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, and Evidence.
Several decisions handed down by Justice Earl Warren's Supreme Court rendered criminal law a hot topic and with it, Yale Kamisar. These decisions included Mapp v. Ohio (1961), which prevented prosecutors from using evidence gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure; Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), guaranteeing that states must provide legal counsel (at least in felony cases) to defendants who could not afford to hire their own; Escobedo v. Illinois (1964), which established the defendant's right to legal counsel while in custody; and Miranda v. Arizona (1966), requiring police to inform a defendant of his right, according to the Fifth Amendment, to remain silent. All these cases had been championed by Kamisar in his earlier writings. In 1965, he wrote an article entitled "Equal Justice in the Gatehouses and Mansions of American Criminal Procedure." Often quoted by Time and other popular publications, it was critical of the free hand that was wielded by police interrogators, asking why the constitution required so much in courtrooms (mansions), but meant so little in police stations (gatehouses). The justices cited this article, and other Kamisar work, in their opinions on the Gideon and Miranda decisions. Kamisar also worked closely with the defending attorneys in the Gideon , Escobedo , and Miranda cases.
These cases were celebrated by civil libertarians but condemned by conservatives. Kamisar became a leader in the defense of the Warren court's rulings. While Miranda and the exclusionary rule have been somewhat weakened by rulings of the Burger and Rehnquist Courts, Kamisar stands as an obstacle to their total reversal.
Kamisar authored several prominent casebooks including Constitutional Law: Cases, Comments, and Questions with William B. Lockhart and Jesse H. Choper and Modern Criminal Procedure: Cases and Commentaries with Wayne R. LaFave and Jerold H. Israel. In 1958, Kamisar wrote an article entitled "Some Non-Religious Views Against Proposed 'Mercy-Killing' Legislation." This research interest was resumed in the mid-1970s, after the controversies surrounding Karen Ann Quinlan, Elizabeth Bouvia, and Sunny Von Bulow.
Kamisar presented many lectures at leading law schools, including the Mitchell Lecture at the State University of New York in Buffalo in 1977 and the Marks Memorial Lecture at the University of Arizona Law School in 1990. In 1978 Kamisar received an L.L.D honorary degrees from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and an honorary degree from the University of Puget Sound in 1979. He was named Lee Distinguished Professor at the College of William and Mary for the 1987-1988 academic year. In 1990, he was cited by the National Law Journal as one of the hundred most influential lawyers in the country.
In 2002, Kamisar began to plan for his retirement from the University of Michigan and accepted a position, as professor of law, at the University of San Diego Law School. He officially retired from the University of Michigan at the end of the fall term in 2003.
Kamisar married Esther Englander on September 7, 1953. They had three sons, David, Gordon, and Jonathan. They divorced in 1973. Kamisar married Christine Keller in 1974. She died on June 12, 1997. Kamisar married Joan Russell, in February 1999.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Yale Kamisar papers include biographical information, topical files, correspondence with law school colleagues, Supreme Court justices, judges, lawyers, and students. They also include teaching files and articles on constitutional and criminal law, particularly the exclusionary rule and the Miranda rule, as well as material on Kamisar’s work on assisted suicide, euthanasia, and mercy-killing and other topics. The papers are divided into four series: Research Topical Files; Speech, Debate, Lecture, and Presentation Files; Teaching Files; and Writings.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.
Law -- Study and teaching -- Michigan.
Criminal law -- United States.
Exclusionary rule (Evidence) -- United States.
Self-incrimination -- United States -- History.
Police questioning -- United States.
Euthanasia -- Law and legislation.
University of Michigan -- Law School.
University of Michigan -- Faculty.
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Container / Location
Research Topical Files 2003-2004 [series]
(14.4 linear feet)
Research Topical Files series (14.4 linear feet), covering the period from 1955 to 2004, documents Kamisar's standing in the legal and academic communities throughout the United States. The files were received in two accessions, but in fact represent a single run of files kept over his career.
The Research Files include correspondence with Supreme Court justices, colleagues, judges, students, editors of law reviews, and publishers; articles by Kamisar and others, describing and arguing various cases and topics; Supreme Court and other judicial opinions and legal precedents; news clippings and op-ed pieces commenting on many aspects of legal opinion; and biographical information, including photographs. The original filing order was maintained. In most cases, Kamisar's secretarial staff used acronyms when filing, so the American Bar Association will be found under ABA and the Bureau of National Affairs will be found under BNA, though researchers should also consult the full name of the organization as well. His original folders were maintained, whenever possible, so that any notes Kamisar made on the folders are available for researchers. These include cross references which will aid in locating related material in the Research Topical Files series.
Two principal areas of research interest for Kamisar are patient rights and defendant rights (Exclusionary rule of the Fourth Amendment and the Miranda warning, guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment). This series includes strong coverage of the protection of the rights of criminal defendants. The researcher will find multiple folders under the headings Confessions, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Death Penalty, Drugs, and the Supreme Court. Early in his career, Kamisar became interested in patient rights as they pertain to criminal law, in such areas as assisted suicide, euthanasia, and mercy-killing. There are multiple folders relating to these topics in this series, including Euthanasia (with folders discussing the cases of Baby Jane Doe, Paul Brophy, children, Medical Economics, and Karen Ann Quinlan's guardians) and Suicide (folders on assisted suicide and the Elizabeth Bouvia case). For more material on these subjects, researchers should consult folders in the Speeches Files, and Teaching Files under the heading "Criminal Law." In his Writings Files, researchers will find the 1958 article, published in the University of Minnesota Law Review, entitled "Some Non-Religious Views Against Proposed 'Mercy-Killing' Legislation" and another copy with a forward from 1973.
Photographs of Kamisar can be found under Biography-Miscellaneous (Box 2) and Photographs (Box 12) and Vita (box 14),. There is also a photograph of Baltimore police chief Otto Urban (box 14).
ABA (American Bar Association)
Criminal Justice 1988, undated
Human Rights 1981-1982
Individual Rights 1983
Oberman, Jim 1984
Abraham, Gerald 1982
Abrams, Floyd 1990
Abramson, Jeffrey 1996, undated
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)
Activities and Publications 1979-1982
Adler, Joel 1985-1991
Adler, Mitchell 1991
Admissions Data 1999
New York Times 1991
University of Michigan Press 1979-1981
West Publishing Company 1974-1997
Affirmative Action 1987-1996
Agee Case 1981
Ahronheim, Judith 1990, 1993
Aigler, William F. 1983
Alaska Bar Trip 1972-1973
Alexander, George undated
Allen, Francis A. 1960-1994
American Law Institute 1979-1985
Alschuler, Albert W. 1985-1996
Amar, Akhil 1993
American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants 1991
American Bar Association (See also ABA) 1995
American Criminal Law Review 1980-1991
American Judicature Society 1981-1982
American Law Institute 1997
The American Lawyer (includes cassette tape of Biron Confession) 1990