California Supreme Court Historical Society Funds Grant for Los Angeles Superior Court

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The Los Angeles Superior Court recognizes courthouse namesake with permanent display.

The Los Angeles Superior Court has memorialized the late California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk by installing a permanent display of mementos in the Los Angeles County Courthouse named for Justice Mosk.

In 2005, the Los Angeles Superior Court was awarded a grant from the California Supreme Court Historical Society, to fund the purchase of a display case so that mementos of the archives could be on permanent display in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse located at First Street and Grand Avenue. The display, put together by California Judicial Center Library’s director Fran Jones and assistant Martha Noble, contains photographs and memorabilia from Justice Mosk’s long and illustrious life. The display immediately gives one a sense of the life of Stanley Mosk in pictures alongside Indira Ghandi, John F Kennedy, Robert F Kennedy and Martin Luther King in addition to entertainment legends Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Justice Mosk served on the cabinet of Governor Culbert Olson from 1939-1943 followed by 16 years on the Los Angeles Superior Court till 1959. While on the bench of the Superior Court In 1947, Justice Mosk struck down whites-only real estate clauses in a Los Angeles neighborhood – a year before the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed “restrictive covenants” nationally. From 1959-1964, he served as the Attorney General of the state of California and continued to fight for equality. In the early 1960’s, he issued opinions denouncing discriminatory licensing and school segregation, in addition to threatening to block a PGA golf course if qualified African American players were barred from taking part. He ultimately sat on the bench of the Supreme Court from 1964-2001 at the time of his death. As one enters the Stanley Mosk Courthouse through the Hill Street entrance, the exhibit is in clear view to the public.

Justice Mosk was integral and active in the founding of the California Supreme Court Historical Society in the 1980’s. It has grown into the largest court-based historical organization in the country. Previously in both 2003 and 2004, the Society helped subsidize a project to archive the papers and memorabilia donated by the Mosk family to the Supreme Court. The Judicial Center Library, under the leadership of Director Fran Jones, was awarded the grants and is the repository for these materials. Associate Justice Richard Mosk of the California Court of Appeal -- son of the late justice and member of the historical society’s advisory board -- was instrumental in these projects to commemorate his father.

The California Supreme Court Historical Society was founded in 1989 as a non-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to recovering, preserving, and promoting California’s legal and judicial history, with a particular emphasis on the State’s highest court. The Society serves the interests of the bench and bar, the academic community, and the general public through its publications, educational programs and support of scholarly research. In addition, the Society assists private and public agencies with exhibitions, oral histories, court tours, and the acquisition and archiving of judicial materials.

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