Judge Richard Harvey Chambers served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from his appointment in 1954 to his death in 1994.
Serving for seventeen years as chief judge (1959-1976), Chambers fundamentally shaped the court in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s. In addition to the imprint he left on legal matters through over 1,600 opinions, he promoted the development of a modern judiciary in the Pacific Trust Territories, helped defeat efforts to split the Ninth Circuit, worked tirelessly to protect the independence of the judiciary, and ensured that the beautiful and historic courthouses of the circuit would be preserved for future generations.
Born into a disappearing world of horses, buggies, and steam locomotives, and growing up in the small cotton-farming community of Safford, Arizona, before moving to Tucson and later to San Francisco, Chambers was both an eyewitness to and a participant in the economic, social, political, and demographic changes that shaped the twentieth-century American West.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Lee M. A. Simpson is professor of history and director of the General Education Honors Program at California State University, Sacramento. She received her M.A. in public history and Ph.D. in American urban history from the University of California, Riverside. She has authored books and articles on the history of historic preservation and urban planning in California and Oregon. Her most recent book, co-edited with Christopher Castaneda, is River City and Valley Life: An Environmental History of Sacramento.