While meetings of judges to discuss policy are routine today, that first Judicial Conference was a unique milestone in the Judiciary’s history. Chief Justice William Howard Taft had a vision that federal judges could chart their own path as an efficient and independent branch of government. It would begin with judges working together on issues of common interest.

Fast forward 100 years; what Taft envisioned has evolved into the Judicial Conference of the United States, a body that is central to the modern federal Judiciary.