Skip to main content

Robert E. DeMascio Papers

Identifier: LP002075

Scope and Contents

All of the materials in this collection are from Judge DeMascio’s work as a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. While the dates included in the collection stretch from 1970-1997, the majority of documents are from 1975-1980. The files in this collection are all related to his work as a U.S. District Judge and have been placed in three series: Administrative files, Bankruptcy, and Bradley v. Milliken – desegregation case.

Sseries 1: Administrative files. Consists of biographical questionnaires, court correspondence, Judges’ meeting minutes and agendas, and files related to DeMascio’s nomination and appointment to the court. Also found in this series are newspaper clippings, speeches given at naturalization ceremonies, and a monograph written by DeMascio for publication.

Series 2: Bankruptcy files. This series consists of folders relating to DeMascio’s work with bankruptcy law including papers from the Ad Hoc Committee on Bankruptcy Legislation and Judicial Conference of the United States’ Bankruptcy Committee.

Series 3: Bradley v. Milliken – desegregation case. This series consists of papers from DeMascio’s work as the assigned judge to the Bradley v. Milliken case. Case law and reference materials with notes, DeMascio’s personal working papers, meetings and correspondence with the Monitoring Commission, and newspaper clippings, are all included in this subseries.


  • 1970 - 1997
  • Majority of material found within 1975 - 1980


Lanugage of Materials

Material entirely in English

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Robert Edward DeMascio was born in Corapolis, Pennsylvania on January 11, 1923 to Peter and Rosa Baretta DeMascio. DeMascio attended Wayne State University from 1942-1943, before serving in the U.S. Navy reserves during WWII from 1943-1946. He attended University of Illinois from 1944-1945 before returning to Wayne State University for 1947-1948. After completing his degree DeMascio attended law school at Wayne, graduating with an LL.B in 1951. Upon graduation, DeMascio worked as a private practice lawyer in Detroit until his appointment to the Office of U.S. Attorneys serving from 1954-1961 as Assistant U.S. Attorney and rising to the position of Chief of the Criminal Division. He returned to private legal practice from 1961-1966, before becoming a Judge in Detroit Recorder’s Court in 1967.

On June 14, 1971, Judge DeMascio was nominated by President Nixon to the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan. The Senate confirmed his appointment on July 22, 1971. In 1975, DeMascio took over the complicated desegregation case of Bradley v. Milliken from Judge Roth. For five years DeMascio worked to enforce desegregation in Detroit schools and a number of court-ordered improvements. With the involvement of the state of Michigan, Detroit public schools, the NAACP, and teacher unions, DeMascio worked to enforce changes in busing and district attendance, working closely with the established Monitoring Commission to implement plans and evaluate progress. In 1980, after an attorney involved in the case accused Judge DeMascio of no longer being impartial, DeMascio was encouraged to recuse himself from the case even though a review of his work did not support the attorney’s claims. During his time as a U.S. District Judge, DeMascio served on an Ad Hoc Committee on Bankruptcy Legislation and also as a member of the Judicial Conference’s Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System. In January 16, 1988, Judge DeMascio achieved senior status and continued to serve as a U.S. District Judge until his death on March 23, 1999.

Robert E. DeMascio married Margaret Loftus in 1955, they had three children: Robert Jr., Thomas, and Mary.


5 Linear Feet (5 SB)


Robert E. DeMascio, a Detroit lawyer, was appointed to the U.S. District Court Eastern Michigan District in 1971. He served as a U.S. District Judge from this time, until his death in 1999. During his tenure as a Judge he worked with bankruptcy law, including serving multiple committees relating to bankruptcy legislation and the Judicial Conference’s Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System. Notably, Judge DeMascio was assigned the Bradley v. Milliken case of school desegregation in Detroit Public Schools. DeMascio worked on this case from 1975 until 1980, creating court ordered improvements to the school system. He also established the Monitoring Commission, to audit the implementation of court ordered changes to the schools.


The collection is arranged in 3 series. Folders in all series are arranged alphabetically by subject. Series 1: Administrative files (Box 1-2) Series 2: Bankruptcy (Box 2-3) Subseries 3: Bradley v. Milliken – desegregation case (Box 3-5)

Related Materials

Fay O'Hare Papers; Wayne State University College of Edcuation, Dean's office: Detroit Public Schools Monitoring Commission on Desegregation Records; Merle Henrickson Papers; Detroit Public Schools Community Relations Division Records; Mary Ellen Riordan Papers

Processing Information

Processed and finding aid written by Shae Rafferty on October 6, 2017
Guide to the Robert E. DeMascio Papers
Processed by Shae Rafferty
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA