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An Inventory of the Abraham D. Sofaer Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Abraham D. Sofaer Papers
    Dates: 1934-2007
    Collection number: 96040
    Creator: Sofaer, Abraham D.
    Collection Size: 149 manuscript boxes, 3 oversize boxes 61.4 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: The Abraham D. Sofaer Papers record his accomplishments as a legal adviser, a judge, a professor, and a writer. The most important segment of this collection is his handling of the libel suit brought against Time magazine by Ariel Sharon in 1984. He also deals with the international laws of warfare and the presidential war-making powers in the United States. The legal interpretation of the 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty and its effects on development of the Strategic Defense Initiative form a significant part of his legal proceedings. Materials include writings, reports, notes, studies, correspondence, memoranda, legal records, and printed matter. They help focus on such cases as well as issues relating to airline industry of the United States, water use law, and terrorism.
    Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English and Hebrew

    Administrative Information


    Box numbers 36, 122, and 138-139 are closed during the lifetime of Abraham D. Sofaer, the remainder of the collection is open for research
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Abraham D. Sofaer Collection, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1996


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biography Note

    1938 May 6 Born, Bombay (Mumbai), India
    1956-1959 Served with United States Air Force
    1959 Naturalized as a citizen of the United States
    1962 Graduated magna cum laude in history, Yeshiva College, New York
    1964-1965 Editor-in-Chief, New York Law Review
    1965 LL.B cum laude (Root-Tilden scholar), New York University
      Passed the bar
    1965-1966 Law clerk, J. Skelly Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals, Washington, D.C.
    1966-1967 Law clerk, William J. Brennan Jr., U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.
    1967-1969 Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. District Court, Southern District, New York City, New York
    1969-1979 Professor of Law, Columbia University, New York City, New York
    1974-1975 Meyer Professor of Law and Social Research, Columbia University
    1975 Brainerd Currie lecturer, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
    1975-1976 Hearing Officer, New York Department of Environment Conservation
    1976 Author, War, Foreign Affairs and Constitutional Power: The Origins
    1976-1978 Member, Board of Directors, Citizens Union and Mobilization for Youth Legal Services
    1979-1985 Adjunct Professor of Law, Columbia University
    1979-1985 Judge, U.S District Court, Southern District of New York City, New York
    1980 Doctor of Law, honoris causa, Yeshiva University, New York
    1985 Author, The Political Offense and Terrorism and The United States and the World Court
    1985-1990 Legal advisor, Department of State, Washington, D.C.
    1986 Author, The War Powers Resolution and Antiterrorist Operations
    1988 Author, The War Powers Resolution
    1990 Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
    1990-1994 Practiced law with Hughes, Hubbard, and Reed, Washington, D.C.
    1994- Senior Fellow and George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
    1999 Author, The New Terror: Facing the Threat of Biological and Chemical Weapons
    2001 Author, The Transnational Dimension of Cyber Crime and Terrorism

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Abraham Sofaer papers illustrate his career and accomplishments as a legal advisor, an editor of Law Review, a professor, a judge, and a prolific writer. Includes information about his prominent legal cases, especially the libel suit against Time magazine brought by Ariel Sharon in 1984.
    Abraham Sofaer's legal expertise and judicial opinions contained in this collection relate to international law and its interpretation, constitutional aspects of United States laws, defense programs, transportation issues, environmental conservation, and safety and security of the world community.
    Materials include writings, reports, notes, studies, correspondence, memoranda, legal records, and printed matter. Documents bring to life the international laws of warfare, the presidential war-making powers in the United States, defense concerns, the legal interpretation of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative.
    Transportation issues relate to airline industry in the United States. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and contamination of Upper Hudson River raised the issues of elimination of contamination, environmental conservation, water use law, and the need for developing a new approach to resolve environmental conflicts.
    Terrorism is linked to the question of security and became an important part of his judicial proceedings. Even foreign countries like Korea, Libya, and Panama, and Nicaragua find their places in his courtroom.
    His legal opinions and method of handling these issues reflect his expertise and contribution to the legal profession.
    The original order of the collection has been maintained.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in Stanford University's online catalog.


    Sharon, Ariel.
    United States. Dept. of State.
    National Commission to Ensure a Strong Competitive Airline Industry(U.S.)
    Time, inc.
    Strategic Defense Initiative.
    Arms Control.
    Nuclear weapons.
    Airlines--United States.
    Journalism--United States.
    War (International law)
    International law.
    War and emergency powers--United States.
    Water--Law and legislation.
    Antimissile missiles.