Powell | Lewis F.

Retirement Announcement of Justice Lewis F. Powell

Tls / Signed Photograph



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From the retirement announcement of Justice Lewis F. Powell on June 26, 1987, a letter and photograph inscribed to Toni House, the chief spokeswoman of the Supreme Court.

Both pieces individually framed in gold, black matte backing. Framed TLS measures 21″ x 12″. Framed photograph measures 12″ x 14″. Both photographs feature the recipient in the background.

The inscription reads: “For my friend Toni House / She had been – and is – an exceptionally able Public Information Office for the Court. Lewis F. Powell, Jr. 1987.” The letter, on Supreme Court Stationery, thanks Ms. House for her help during his resignation announcement.

The retirement of Justice Powell cleared the way for the nomination of a conservative justice by the Reagan Administration. They began by nominating Robert Bork, whose nomination was denied by the Senate. Powell was eventually replaced by Judge Anthony Kennedy. The chief spokeswoman of the Supreme Court, Toni House (1943-1998), was a leading advocate for women’s rights in Washington D.C. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, she advocated for the inclusion of women in traditionally all-male events in Washington D.C, such as the Gridiron Dinner. In 1982, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger announced that House would become the public information officer of the court, where she was “the Court’s public voice, although not, as she often stressed, its interpreter.” She would serve in this position for 16 years, before an untimely death due to lung cancer in 1998.

Additional information

Location Published

[Washington, D.C.]


[Supreme Court of the United States]


Tls / Signed Photograph

Date Published





Near Fine


Powell | Lewis F.

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Lewis F. Powell