A Guide to the George D. Braden Papers, 1971-1980
Legal scholar George D. Braden (1914-2000) was born in Indianapolis and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. After attending Swathmore College, Braden graduated cum laude from Yale Law School in 1941. From 1941 to 1942, he worked as a law clerk for judges Sherman Minton and Charles Clark. Braden served as an Army officer during World War II and retired from the Army Reserve as a colonel in 1966. Specializing in constitutional law, Braden taught at Yale Law School from 1946 to 1951. After leaving academia, he practiced law privately (1951-1954), worked as legal staff for General Electric (1954-1979), and served as New York’s Assistant Attorney General (1967-1983).
From 1979 to 1983, Braden also consulted on issues of state constitutional law for New York, Illinois, and Texas. His books, Citizens’ Guide to the Proposed New Texas Constitution (1975) and The Constitution of the State of Texas: An Annotated and Comparative Analysis (1977), are the result of his work with the unsuccessful 1974 Texas Constitutional Convention. In May 1971, the Texas Legislature passed a resolution calling for the convening of the Sixty-third Legislature as a constitutional convention. Legislators convened in January 1974 to draft and approve a new document to replace the state constitution, created at the Constitutional Convention of 1876. Due to divisive political disagreements, the convention adjourned on July 30, 1974, two months after their original deadline, without agreeing on a new constitution. The next year, the legislature finally approved eight amendments to the original constitution, all of which were defeated by voters in a November 1975 special election.
“George D. Braden, 85,” Portland Press Herald, January 5, 2000.
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Constitutional Convention of 1974," (accessed October 25, 2010).
The George D. Braden Papers, 1971-1980, document the proceedings of and Braden’s research on the 1974 Texas Constitutional Convention through correspondence and printed material. The papers include publications on the history of the Texas constitution; research notes and correspondence with delegates from Braden’s consulting work on the convention; and copies of rules, resolutions, and other official publications from the convention. The collection also includes correspondence, notes, and clippings related to Braden’s Citizens’ Guide to the Proposed New Texas Constitution (1975).
This collection is open for research use.
George D. Braden Papers, 1971-1980, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers