Category Archives: Legal History

Library Highlights: Legal History

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
Eric Foner
E457.2 .F66 2010
From the Publisher: Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account of Lincoln’s lifelong engagement with the nation’s critical issue: American slavery. A master historian, Eric Foner draws Lincoln and the broader history of the period into perfect balance. We see Lincoln, a pragmatic politician grounded in principle, deftly navi-gating the dynamic politics of antislavery, secession, and civil war. Lincoln’s greatness emerges from his capacity for moral and political growth.

America’s Death Penalty: Between Past and Present
edited by David Garland, Randall McGowen and Michael Meranze
HV8699.U5 A745 2011

From the Publisher: Over the past three decades, the United States has embraced the death penalty with tenacious enthusiasm. While most of those countries whose legal systems and cultures are nor-mally compared to the United States have abolished capital punishment, the United States continues to employ this ultimate tool of punishment. The death penalty has achieved an unparalleled prominence in our public life and left an indelible imprint on our politics and culture. It has also provoked intense scholarly debate, much of it devoted to explaining the roots of American exceptionalism.

America’s Death Penalty takes a different approach to the issue by examining the historical and theoret-ical assumptions that have underpinned the discussion of capital punishment in the United States to-day. At various times the death penalty has been portrayed as an anachronism, an inheritance, or an in-novation, with little reflection on the consequences that flow from the choice of words. This volume represents an effort to restore the sense of capital punishment as a question caught up in history. Edited by leading scholars of crime and justice, these original essays pursue different strategies for unsettling the usual terms of the debate. In particular, the authors use comparative and historical investigations of both Europe and America in order to cast fresh light on familiar questions about the meaning of capital punishment. This volume is essential reading for understanding the death penalty in America.

The Immigration Battle in American Courts
Anna O. Law
KF4819 .L39 2010

From the Publisher: This book assesses the role of the federal judiciary in immigration and the institu-tional evolution of the Supreme Court and the US Courts of Appeals. Neither court has played a static role across time. By the turn of the century, a division of labor had developed between the two courts whereby the Courts of Appeals retained their original function as error-correction courts, while the Su-preme Court was reserved for the most important policy and political questions. Law explores the con-sequences of this division for immigrant litigants, who are more likely to prevail in the Courts of Ap-peals because of advantageous institutional incentives that increase the likelihood of a favorable out-come. As this book proves, it is inaccurate to speak of an undifferentiated institution called ‘the federal courts’ or ‘the courts’, for such characterizations elide important differences in mission and function of the two highest courts in the federal judicial hierarchy.

The Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution
Jack P. Greene
KF4541 .G743 2010
From the Publisher: Using the British Empire as a case study, this succinct study argues that the estab-lishment of overseas settlements in America created a problem of constitutional organization. The fail-ure to resolve the resulting tensions led to the thirteen continental colonies seceding from the empire in 1776. Challenging those historians who have assumed that the British had the law on their side during the debates that led to the American Revolution, this volume argues that the empire had long exhibited a high degree of constitutional multiplicity, with each colony having its own discrete constitution. Con-tending that these constitutions cannot be conflated with the metropolitan British constitution, it ar-gues that British refusal to accept the legitimacy of colonial understandings of the sanctity of the many colonial constitutions and the imperial constitution was the critical element leading to the American Revolution.

Radicals in Their Own Time: Four Hundred Years of Struggle for Liberty and Equal Justice in America
Michael Anthony Lawrence
KF4749 .L39 2011
From the Publisher: [This book] explores the lives of five Americans, with lifetimes spanning four hun-dred years, who agitated for greater freedom in America. Every generation has them: individuals who speak truth to power and crave freedom from arbitrary authority. This book makes two important ob-servations in discussing Roger Williams, Thomas Paine, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, W. E. B. Du Bois and Vine Deloria, Jr. First, each believed that government must broadly tolerate individual autonomy. Se-cond, each argued that religious orthodoxy has been a major source of society’s ills – and all endured serious negative repercussions for doing so. The book challenges Christian orthodoxy and argues that part of what makes these five figures compelling is their willingness to pay the price for their convic-tions – much to the lasting benefit of liberty and equal justice in America.

Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865
Christopher Tomlins
HD8068 .T66 2010
From the Publisher: Freedom Bound is about the origins of modern America. It is a history of migrants and migrations, of colonizers and colonized, of households and servitude and slavery, and of the freedom all craved and some found. Above all it is a history of the law that framed the entire process. Freedom Bound tells how colonies were planted in occupied territories, how they were populated with migrants – free and unfree – to do the work of colonizing and how the newcomers secured possession. It tells of the new civic lives that seemed possible in new commonwealths and of the constraints that kept many from enjoying them. It follows the story long past the end of the eighteenth century until the American Civil War, when – just for a moment – it seemed that freedom might finally be unbound.

Degradation: What the History of Obscenity Tells us About Hate Speech
Kevin W. Saunders
K5210 .S28 2011
From the Publisher: […] In this original study of the relationship between obscenity and hate speech, First Amendment specialist Kevin W. Saunders traces the legal trajectory of degradation as it moved from sexual depiction to hateful speech. Looking closely at hate speech in several arenas, including rac-ist, homophobic, and sexist speech in the workplace, classroom, and other real-life scenarios, Saunders posits that if hate speech is today’s conceptual equivalent of obscenity, then the body of law that dictat-ed obscenity might shed some much-needed light on what may or may not qualify as punishable hate speech.


New Titles for the Center for Law and Social Justice

Blessed are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders, and the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
S. Jonathan Bass
F334.B69 B37 2002

Citizenship and its Exclusions: A Classical, Constitutional, and Critical Race Critique
Ediberto Roman
K3224 .R66 2010

A Company of One: Insecurity, Independence, and the New World of White-Collar Unemployment
Carrie M. Lane
HD5724 .L276 2011

Feminist Legal History: Essays on Women and Law
edited by Tracy A. Thomas and Tracey Jean Boisseau
KF478 .F46 2011

The Law of Green Buildings: Regulatory and Legal Issues in Design, Construction, Operations, and Financing
edited by J. Cullen Howe and Michael B. Gerrard
KF5701 .L39 2010

Mediation Ethics: Cases and Commentaries
edited by Ellen Waldman
KF9084 .M435 2011 (Lobby Display)

Modern Constitutional Law
William J. Rich
KF4550 .A75 2011

Negotiating Sovereignty and Human Rights: International Society and the International Criminal Court
Sibylle Scheipers
KZ6310 .S353 2009

The One Percent: A Film
Jamie Johnson; a Wise & Good Film presentation
VIDEO HB835 .O54 2007 DVD-ROM (Reserve)

Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America
Walter Olson
KF272 .O474 2011

Student Loan Law
Deanne Loonin; contributing author, Geoff Walsh
KF4235 .L66 2010

Library Highlights: Legal History

The Supreme Court and Elections: Into the Political Thicket

Charles L. Zelden

KF4886 .Z45 2010

From the Publisher: Voting is simple in the United States, right? The process of voting (organizing, running and tabulating the results of a popular election) is, in fact, a highly contested act whose forms, meanings, and practical boundaries are open to widely differing interpretations. From questions of who can vote to the tricky problem of accurately counting the votes, popular democracy is still a work in progress in the United States. Add in the complexities of politics and the picture becomes even more complicated.

Taking a chronological approach to the topic, [This book] explores the ways that the Court has struggled with these questions. From the earliest days of the Union when the Supreme Court refused to address the topic, to the early struggles with the Fourteenth Amendment’s impact on the question of who can vote, to the rise and fall of race-based disenfranchisement, to our recent issues of proper districting, campaign finance reform and the struggle to find a workable voting technology, the essay and documents in this reference illuminate the multifaceted nature of voting and election laws. At the same time, this title provides in-depth analysis of the impact of the Court in shaping this ongoing history. Focusing on the practical problems of U.S. voting and its complex development within the framework of the political branches of the government, students and researchers will benefit from the clear picture painted by the author of the current elective structure. Essay and document based, The Supreme Court and Elections is the definitive reference on the application of U.S. law on Americans right to vote and the resulting participatory democracy.

Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America

Sharon Davies

HQ1031 .D37 2010

From the Publisher: It was among the most notorious criminal cases of its day. On August 11, 1921, in Birmingham, Alabama, a Methodist minister named Edwin Stephenson shot and killed a Catholic priest, James Coyle, in broad daylight and in front of numerous witnesses. The killer’s motive? The priest had married Stephenson’s eighteen-year-old daughter Ruth–who had secretly converted to Catholicism three months earlier–to Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican migrant and practicing Catholic. Having all but disappeared from historical memory, the murder of Father Coyle and the trial of Reverend Stephenson that followed are vividly resurrected in Sharon Davies’s Rising Road . As Davies reveals in remarkable detail, the case laid bare all the bigotries of its time and place: a simmering hatred not only of African Americans, but of Catholics and foreigners as well. In one of the case’s most interesting twists, Reverend Stephenson hired future U.S. Supreme Court justice Hugo Black to lead his defense team. Though Black would later be regarded as a champion of civil rights, at the time the talented defense lawyer was only months away from joining the Ku Klux Klan, which held fundraising drives to finance Stephenson’s defense. Entering a plea of temporary insanity, Black and his client used both religion and race–accusing the Puerto Rican husband of being “a Negro”–in the hopes of persuading the jury to forgive the priest’s murder. Placing this story in its full social and historical context, [the author] brings to life a heinous crime and its aftermath, in a brilliant, in-depth examination of the consequences of prejudice in the Jim Crow era.

The History of White People

Nell Irvin Painter

E184.A1 P29 2010

From the Publisher: A mind-expanding and myth-destroying exploration of “whiteness”—an illuminating work on the history of race and power. Eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter tells perhaps the most important forgotten story in American history. Beginning at the roots of Western civilization, she traces the invention of the idea of a white race—often for economic, scientific, and political ends. She shows how the origins of American identity in the eighteenth century were intrinsically tied to the elevation of white skin into the embodiment of beauty, power, and intelligence; how the great American intellectuals— including Ralph Waldo Emerson—insisted that only Anglo Saxons were truly American; and how the definitions of who is “white” and who is “American” have evolved over time. A story filled with towering historical figures, The History of White People closes an enormous gap in a literature that has long focused on the nonwhite, and it forcefully reminds us that the concept of “race” is an all-too-human invention whose meaning, importance, and reality have changed according to a long and rich history.

The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment: Judging Death

Michael E. Parrish

KF9227.C2 P37 2010

From the Publisher: From the late nineteenth century to the present, decisions by the Supreme Court have played a significant role in how American governments, especially at the state level, have carried out the death penalty. With more than 3,400 prisoners, including 118 foreign nationals, now on death rows, the Court’s role is not likely to diminish in this area over the next several decades, barring a major shift in state laws and public opinion.

Supreme Court and Capital Punishment, […] explores how Supreme Court rulings over its history have shaped and reshaped the rules under which Americans have been tried, convicted, sentenced and put to death for capital offenses. Through judicial decisions and other primary documents, this reference explores the impact of these rulings upon the behavior of legislators, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and defendants. Considerable emphasis is placed upon the twentieth century, especially the period since the 1972 Furman v. Georgia case. Since Furman, few areas of constitutional doctrine have undergone more abrupt changes than Court-mandated standards for administering capital punishment. A second principal theme of this volume is an examination of the impact of race upon the long evolution of the Court’s death penalty jurisprudence. As defendants and victims, African-Americans on trial for their lives in Southern courts became the central figures in the design and redesign of capital punishment in the twentieth century.

From Demon to Darling: A Legal History of Wine in America

Richard Mendelson

KF3924.W5 M46 2009

From the Publisher: Mendelson brings together his expertise as both a Napa Valley lawyer and a winemaker into this accessible overview of American wine law from colonial times to the present. It is a story of fits and starts that provides a fascinating chronicle of the history of wine in the United States told through the lens of the law. From the country’s early support for wine as a beverage to the moral and religious fervor that resulted in Prohibition and to the governmental controls that followed Repeal, Mendelson takes us to the present day—and to the emergence of an authentic and significant wine culture. He explains how current laws shape the wine industry in such areas as pricing and taxation, licensing, appellations, health claims and warnings, labeling, and domestic and international commerce. As he explores these and other legal and policy issues, [the author] lucidly highlights the concerns that have made wine alternatively the demon or the darling of American society—and at the same time illuminates the ways in which lives and livelihoods are affected by the rise and fall of social movements.

Law & Social Justice — Recent Acquisitions

Bankruptcy Step-by-step
James John Jurinski
KF1524.6 .J87 2003
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Constitutional Engagement in a Transnational Era
Vicki C. Jackson
K3165 .J3253 2010 (New Book Shelf)
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Constitutional Law: National Power and Federalism: Examples & Explanations
Christopher N. May, Allan Ides
KF4550 .M29 2010
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii
Haunani- Kay Trask
DU627.8 .T73 1999
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

In the Light of Reverence [videorecording]
produced & directed by Christopher McLeod; writer, Jessica Abbe; produced in ass’n with the Independent Television Service & Native American Public Telecommunications
VIDEO E98.R3 I5 2002 (Reserve)
Find this book in ThomCat

The International Legal Governance of the Human Genome
Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy
K3611.A77 K87 2009
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Law for Dummies
John Ventura
KF387 .V465 2005
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Let’s Get Free: A Hip-hop Theory of Justice
Paul Butler
KF9223 .B88 2009 (New Book Shelf)
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

The Owl of Minerva: Essays on Human Rights
Bostjan M. Zupancic; edited by Nandini Shah
KJC5132 .Z86 2008
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Pimps up, Ho’s Down: Hip Hop’s hold on Young Black Women
T. Denean Sharpley- Whiting
E185.86 .S515 2007
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Re-envisioning Sovereignty: The End of Westphalia?
edited by Trudy Jacobsen , Charles Sampford, Ramesh Thakur
KZ4041 .R44 2008
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Reaching the Bar: Stories from Women at all Stages of their Law Careers
edited by Robin Sax
KF299.W6 R43 2009
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Religious Pluralism and Human Rights in Europe: Where to Draw the Line?
edited by M.L.P. Loenen and J.E. Goldschmidt
BL695 .R45 2007
Find this book in ThomCat

When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women, from 1960 to the Present
Gail Collins
HQ1421 .C64 2009
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Words that Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment
Mari J. Matsuda et al.
KF9345 .W67 1993
Find this book in ThomCat
More about this title from

Global Legal Studies — Recent Acquisitions

Adjudicating Climate Change: State, National, and International Approaches
edited by William C.G. Burns, Hari M. Osofsky
K3593 .A93 2009 (New Book Shelf)
Find this book in ThomCat | More about this title from

The Confluence of Public and Private International Law: Justice, Pluralism and Subsidiarity in the International Constitutional Ordering of Private Law
Alex Mills
K7040 .M55 2009
Find this book in ThomCat | More about this title from

Evidence before the International Court of Justice
Anna Riddell and Brendan Plant
KZ6287 .R53 2009
Find this book in ThomCat | More about this title from

Frederick William Maitland and the History of English Law
James R. Cameron
KD626 .C35 1961
Find this book in ThomCat

Global Standards–Local Action: 15 Years Vienna World Conference on Human Rights: Conference Proceedings of the International Expert Conference held in Vienna on 28 and 29 August 2008
edited by Wolfgang Bendek et al.
K3239.8 .G56 2009
Find this book in ThomCat

Human Rights as Indivisible Rights: The Protection of Socio-economic Demands under the European Convention on Human Rights
Ida Elisabeth Koch
KJC5132 .K63 2009
Find this book in ThomCat | More about this title from

International Children’s Rights
Sara Dillon
K639 .D555 2010
Find this book in ThomCat | More about this title from

Justifying International Acts
Lea Brilmayer
KZ3110.B75 A33 1989
Find this book in ThomCat

Means to an End: U.S. Interest in the International Criminal Court
Lee Feinstein, Tod Lindberg
KZ6311 .F45 2009
Find this book in ThomCat | More about this title from

The Protection of Ambient Air in International and European Law
edited by Harry Post
K3593 .P75 2009
Find this book in ThomCat

Public Law and Democracy in the United Kingdom and the United States of America
P.P. Craig
K3150 .C73 1990
Find this book in ThomCat | More about this title from

The Treatment of Prisoners under International Law
Nigel Rodley with Matt Pollard
K5519 .R63 2009
Find this book in ThomCat | More about this title from

U.S. Customs: A Practitioner’s Guide to Principles, Processes, and Procedures
editors, Michael D. Sherman, J. Steven Jarreau, John B. Brew
KF6694 .U15 2009 (New Book Shelf)
Find this book in ThomCat | More about this title from

Bill of Rights Day

Bill of Rights Day first became a federal day of observance on November 27th, 1941 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt designated December 15th as a “day to be remembered and observed by those institutions of a democratic people which owe their very existence to the guarantees of the Bill of Rights.” On that day in 1791, the first Congress of the United States ratified the Bill of Rights, a document which spelled out some of the essential freedoms and rights of individual citizens of the United States as the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution.

Come by the Library lobby to check out our display of Library books and videos highlighting the importance of our Bill of Rights.

Library Highlights — Legal Biography

“Whereas the law is passionless, passion must ever sway the heart of man.”

– Aristotle

Federal_Judges_RevealedFederal Judges Revealed
William Domnarski
KF372 .D66 2009
From the Publisher: The power and influence of the federal judiciary has been widely discussed and understood. And while there have been a fair number of institutional studies-studies of individual district courts or courts of appeal–there have been very few studies of the judiciary that emphasize the judges themselves. Federal Judges Revealed considers approximately one hundred oral histories of Article Three judges, extracting the most important information, and organizing it around a series of presented topics such as “How judges write their opinions” and “What judges believe make a good lawyer.”

BrandeisLouis D. Brandeis: A Life
Melvin I. Urofsky
KF8745.B67 U749 2009
From the Publisher: Louis Dembitz Brandeis had at least four “careers.” As a lawyer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he pioneered how modern law is practiced. He, and others, developed the modern law firm, in which specialists manage different areas of the law. He was the author of the right to privacy; led the way in creating the role of the lawyer as counselor; and pioneered the idea of pro bono publico work by attorneys. As late as 1916, when Brandeis was nominated to the Supreme Court, the idea of pro bono service still struck many old-time attorneys as somewhat radical.

Between 1895 and 1916, when Woodrow Wilson named Brandeis to the Supreme Court, he ranked as one of the nation’s leading progressive reformers. Brandeis invented savings bank life insurance in Massachusetts (he considered it his most important contribution to the public weal) and was a driving force in the development of the Federal Reserve Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the law establishing the Federal Trade Commission.

[…] Brandeis as an economist and moralist warned in 1914 that banking and stock brokering must be separate, and twenty years later, during the New Deal, his recommendation was finally enacted into law (the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933) but was undone by Ronald Reagan, which led to the savings-and-loan crisis in the 1980s and the world financial collapse of 2008.
We see the brutal six-month confirmation battle after Wilson named the fifty-nine-year-old Brandeis to the court in 1916; the bitter fight between progressives and conservative leaders of the bar, finance, and manufacturing, who, while never directly attacking him as a Jew, described Brandeis as “a striver,” “selfadvertiser,” “a disturbing element in any gentleman’s club.” Even the president of Harvard, A. Lawrence Lowell, signed a petition accusing Brandeis of lacking “judicial temperament.” And we see, finally, how, during his twenty-three years on the court, this giant of a man and an intellect developed the modern jurisprudence of free speech, the doctrine of a constitutionally protected right to privacy, and suggested what became known as the doctrine of incorporation, by which the Bill of Rights came to apply to the states.

Brandeis took his seat when the old classical jurisprudence still held sway, and he tried to teach both his colleagues and the public– especially the law schools–that the law had to change to keep up with the economy and society. Brandeis often said, “My faith in time is great.” Eventually the Supreme Court adopted every one of his dissents as the correct constitutional interpretation. A huge and galvanizing biography, a revelation of one man’s effect on American society and jurisprudence, and the electrifying story of his time.

BlackmunHarry A. Blackmun: The Outsider Justice
Tinsley E. Yarbrough
KF8745.B555 Y37 2008
From the Publisher: Harry A. Blackmun: The Outsider Justice is Tinsley E. Yarbrough’s penetrating account of one of the most outspoken and complicated figures on the Supreme Court. As a justice, Blackmun stood at the pinnacle of the American judiciary. Yet when he took his seat on the Court, Justice Blackmun felt “almost desperate,” overwhelmed with feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy over the immense responsibilities before him. Blackmun had overcome humble roots to achieve a Harvard education, success as a Minneapolis lawyer and resident counsel to the prestigious Mayo Clinic, as well as a distinguished record on the Eighth Circuit federal appeals court. But growing up in a financially unstable home with a frequently unemployed father and an emotionally fragile mother left a permanent mark on the future justice.

All his life, Harry Blackmun considered himself one of society’s outsiders, someone who did not “belong. Remarkably, though, that very self-image instilled in the justice, throughout his career, a deep empathy for society’s most vulnerable outsiders–women faced with unwanted pregnancies, homosexuals subjected to archaic laws, and ultimately, death-row inmates. To those who saw his career as the constitutional odyssey of a conservative jurist gradually transformed into a champion of the underdog, Blackmun had a ready answer: he had not changed; the Court and the issues before them changed. The justice’s identification with the marginalized members of society arguably provides the overarching key to that consistency.

SotomayorSonia Sotomayor:An Introduction to the Prospective Supreme Court Justice
Margarita Amador
KF8745.S68 A437 2009
From the Publisher: Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Bronx-born Puerto Rican is an embodiment of the American Dream, working hard since childhood to rise from poverty to wealth and influence. With a strong Democratic majority in the Senate, she should easily be confirmed. So, who is the woman well-positioned to become the next Supreme Court Justice? Where did she come from and how did she reach this point in her career? Most importantly, what does she believe, and what might Americans expect from her as a judge? Sonia Sotomayor: An Introduction to the Prospective Supreme Court Justice is an overview of her inspiring life story, a record of some of her major decisions as a judge, and a brief sample of the dramatic controversy which has accompanied her nomination.

Yes_We_CanYes We Can: A Biography of Barack Obama

Garen Thomas
E901.1.O23 T46 2008
From the Publisher: In third grade, Barack Obama wrote an essay titled, “I Want to Become President”— and he is, to this day, determined to show the world that, yes, he can. Born in the U.S.A., the son of an African father and an American mother, a boy who spent his childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii, Barack Obama is truly a citizen of the world. His campaign for the presidency is powered by a fierce optimism, an exuberant sense of purpose and determination, and, above all, a belief that change can happen.
Garen Thomas takes us through the life of Barack Obama, from his struggle to fit in with his classmates and concern about not knowing his biological father, through his term as Illinois senator, to his historic and momentum-building run for president of the United States. Barack Obama is a man who uses his words to inspire us. We can have a better future. We can be whatever we want to be. Yes. We. Can.