Georgia Law

Alexander Campbell King Law Library

Featured Acquisitions - April 2008

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Recent Acquisitions in Selected Subject Areas

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The President Shall Nominate: How Congress Trumps Executive Power by Mitchel A. Sollenberger
Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, c2008
KF5050 .S66 2008 Balcony

The Constitution clearly states that the president "shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint" individuals to positions in the executive and judicial branches; yet the process may sometimes seem murky. While much has been written about the confirmation phase of those appointments, far less attention has been paid to the pre-nomination process--until now.

In this groundbreaking book, Mitchel Sollenberger takes readers behind the scenes to explain what happens before presidents publicly announce their nominees. A comprehensive history of this process, his book shows how political practice has shaped the use of a power that the Constitution declared must be shared by the executive and legislative branches.

Drawing on unpublished letters and papers of presidents, senators, and other public figures, Sollenberger unravels the way this struggle has been viewed and resolved from George Washington's day to the present. He reveals the extent to which the political process has shaped the outcomes of particular appointments and how these outcomes have reflected the fundamental principle of shared power. Along the way, he sheds new light on issues related to express and implied power, the validity of the unitary executive model, the tension between politics and professionalism, and the limits of originalism and textualism in interpreting the appointment process.

Sollenberger documents how the president and Senate have worked with or against each other in managing the pre-nomination process, examining both the tradition of the president's consulting with senators and the Senate's numerous ways of killing a nomination. He also shows how the two branches have often sought compromise rather than test public patience, yet another testament to the genius of our system of checks and balances. And while past observers of the process have looked most closely at judicial appointments, Sollenberger casts a much wider net, while critiquing the "spoils era," civil service reform, and implications of the Pendleton Act before concluding with George W. Bush and his appointment of Michael Brown to FEMA.

The first major study of the pre-nomination phase, Sollenberger's work asks important questions about our constitutional balance of powers and shows us how the appointments clause should ideally operate in a republican form of government.

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Judging the Supreme Court: Constructions of Motives in Bush v. Gore by Clarke Rountree
East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, c2007
KF5074.2 .R68 2007 Balcony

The Supreme Court's intervention in the presidential election of 2000, and its subsequent decision in favor of George W. Bush, elicited immediate, heated, and widespread debate.

Judging the Supreme Court examines this controversial case and the extensive attention it has received. To fully understand the case, Clarke Rountree argues, we must understand "judicial motives." These are comprised of more than each judge's personal opinions. Judges' motives, which Rountree calls "rhetorical performances," are as influential and publicly discussed as their decisions themselves.

In Bush v. Gore, Rountree concludes, the judges of the majority opinion were not motivated by judicial concerns about law and justice, but rather by their own political and personal motives.

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Beyond Citizenship: American Identity After Globalization  by Peter J. Spiro
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008
KF4700 .S65 2008 Balcony

Beyond Citizenship shows how American identity is unsustainable in the face of global change. Peter J. Spiro describes how citizenship law once reflected and shaped the national character. Spiro explores the histories of birthright citizenship, naturalization, and dual citizenship, and how those legal regimes helped reinforce an otherwise fragile national identity. But on a shifting global landscape, citizenship status is increasingly divorced from any sense of actual community on the ground. As the bonds of citizenship dissipate, membership in the nation-state becomes less meaningful. The rights and obligations distinctive to citizenship are now trivial. Naturalization requirements have been relaxed, dual citizenship embraced, and territorial birthright citizenship entrenched - developments that are all irreversible. Loyalties, meanwhile, are moving to transnational communities defined in many different ways: by race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, and sexual orientation. These communities, Spiro argues, are replacing bonds that once connected people to the nation-state, with profound implications for the future of governance.

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The Governance of Western Public Lands: Mapping Its Present and Future by Martin Nie
Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, c2008
KF5605 .N54 2008 Balcony

In this book Martin Nie particularly cites the problem of vague statutory language, which tells our public land agencies little about what they should be doing but lots about how they should be doing it. Nie reexamines this confusing body of law and policy, in which the rulemaking process dominates and agencies are caught in political quagmires, to show how the pieces fit - but more often don't.

Throughout the book, Nie considers the factors that make some public land conflicts so controversial, revisits how they have been dealt with in the past, and proposes ways they might be better managed in the future. Eschewing the single-policy approach to public lands management - such as encouraging free markets - he instead surveys a diverse array of other available options. His big-picture outlook for the twenty-first century is a bold call for reshaping ongoing conflicts - and for reinvesting in our public lands.

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The War on Human Trafficking: U.S. Policy Assessed  by Anthony M. DeStefano
New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, c2007
HQ125.U6 D47 2007 Basement

The United States has taken the lead in efforts to end international human trafficking - the movement of peoples from one country to another, usually involving fraud, for the purpose of exploiting their labor. Examples that have captured the headlines include the three hundred Chinese immigrants who were smuggled to the United States on the ship Golden Venture and the young Mexican women smuggled by the Cadena family to Florida where they were forced into prostitution and confined in trailers.

The public's understanding of human trafficking is comprised of terrible stories like these, which the media covers in dramatic, but usually short-lived bursts. The more complicated, long-term story of how policy on trafficking has evolved has been largely ignored. In The War on Human Trafficking, Anthony M. DeStefano covers a decade of reporting on the policy battles that have surrounded efforts to abolish such practices, helping readers to understand the forced labor of immigrants as a major global human rights story.

DeStefano details the events leading up to the creation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the federal law that first addressed the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. He assesses the effectiveness of the 2000 law and its progeny, showing the difficulties encountered by federal prosecutors in building criminal cases against traffickers. The book also describes the tensions created as the Bush Administration tried to use the trafficking laws to attack prostitution and shows how the American response to these criminal activities was influenced by the events of September 11th and the war in Iraq.

Sorting out politics from practice, this book gets beyond sensational stories of sexual servitude to show that human trafficking has a much broader scope and is inextricable from the powerful economic conditions that impel immigrants to put themselves at risk. 

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Sprawl: A Compact History  by Robert Bruegmann
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, c2005
HT371 .B74 2005 Basement

As anyone who has flown into Los Angeles at dusk or London at midday knows, urban areas today defy traditional notions of what a city is. Our old definitions of urban, suburban, and rural fail to capture the complexity of these vast regions with their superhighways, subdivisions, industrial areas, office parks, and resorts pushing far out into the countryside. Detractors call it sprawl and assert that it is economically inefficient, socially inequitable, environmentally irresponsible - and ugly. Robert Bruegmann calls it a logical consequence of economic growth and the democratization of society, with benefits that urban planners have failed to recognize.

In his history of the expanded city, Bruegmann overturns every assumption we have about sprawl. Taking a long view of urban development, he demonstrates that sprawl is neither recent nor particularly American but as old as cities themselves, just as characteristic of ancient Rome and eighteenth-century Paris as it is of Atlanta or Los Angeles. Nor is sprawl the disaster claimed by many contemporary observers. Although sprawl, like any settlement pattern, has undoubtedly produced problems that must be addressed, it has also provided millions of people with the kinds of mobility, privacy, and choice that were once the exclusive prerogatives of the rich and powerful.

The first major book to strip urban sprawl of its pejorative connotations, Sprawl offers a completely new vision of the city and its growth. Bruegmann provides readers with many provocative insights that confound received opinion about what urban life has been and could be.

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Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives  edited by Christine Trost and Alison L. Gash
Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008
K3174 .C63 2008 Balcony

This volume features a comparative account of ethics in regulations across four Western democracies.

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Human Rights in Turkey by edited by Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, c2007
JC599.T87 H83 2007 Basement

In Human Rights in Turkey, twenty-one Turkish and international scholars from a number of different disciplines examine a wide range of human rights issues and government polices since the 1920s at the intersection of domestic and international politics.

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Black Communists Speak on Scottsboro: A Documentary History edited by Walter T. Howard
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007, c2008
KF224 .S34 B53 2007 Balcony

On March 25, 1931, Alabama police detained nine young African American men at a railroad stop not far from Scottsboro. In the process, they encountered two white women - who promptly accused the young men of raping them. Soon after, all-white juries found the nine youths guilty, and eight of them were sentenced to death. Although many Americans were outraged by the injustices of the case, the loudest voices raised in protest were those of members of the American Communist Party.

Many white Communists spoke out, but black Communists took the lead in organizing public protests and legal responses. As this surprising book makes clear, they were acting at the direction of the Communist International (Comintern), which had directed them to address the "Negro problem." Now, with the opening of formerly inaccessible Communist party archives, this collection of primary documents reveals the little-known but major roles played by black Communists in the case of "the Scottsboro Boys."

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Damned to Eternity: The Story of the Man Who They Said Caused the Flood by Adam Pitluck
Philadelphia: Da Capo, 2007
KF9756 .P58 2007 Balcony

During the summer of 1993, rain fell day after day across the Midwest. Levees up and down the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Missouri gave way, flooding farmlands and towns. But one small town - West Quincy, Missouri - seemed about to escape nature's wrath: The levee that protected the town still held.

For several days in July, James Scott, a troubled twenty-four-year-old native of Quincy, Illinois, right across the river from West Quincy's massive relief effort, hefted sandbag after sandbag alongside other volunteers to shore up the levee - and perhaps in the process gain back some measure of redemption from his fellow residents. But on the afternoon of July 16, while walking along a section of the dam, Scott noticed water pooling. Later, after attempting to enlist aid, Scott inspected the section again, saw that the water was still pooling, threw a few sandbags on the puddle, and left.

At around 8 o'clock that night, the levee gave way. Over 14,000 acres of farmland flooded, and the bridge that connected Illinois and Missouri was almost entirely submerged. Some thought it a miracle that no one was injured, let alone killed.

The story should have ended there, but it didn't.

The state of Missouri charged Scott with the levee break, contending that he had intentionally "caused a catastrophe." Because Scott was charged under this obscure law - put on the books in 1979, yet never previously used - farmers who would otherwise not have collected a dime on their insurance now could, because the levee breach was deemed an act of sabotage.

James Scott was convicted in 1994 and again in 1998. He is now serving a life sentence - despite the fact that no one died in the West Quincy flood. And he won't be eligible for his first parole hearing until 2023, when he will be fifty-five years old.

James Scott has steadfastly maintained his innocence. Was he the victim of an overzealous prosecutor, the Army Corps of Engineers - whose internal documents, never presented at either trial, concluded that the dam overtopped on its own - and a town hell-bent on putting away a local bad boy once and for all? In Damned to Eternity, Adam Pitluk answers these questions and many more.

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Global Responsibility for Human Rights: World Poverty and the Development of International Law  by Margot E. Salomon
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007
K3240 .S255 2007 Sohn Library

This book considers the evolving nature of public international law and human rights with respect to international cooperation as a basis for addressing the role and responsibility of the international community in the creation of an environment conducive to a human-centred globalization. It offers a detailed examination of the historically controversial right to development and, through a careful consideration of its current significance and application, reflects the importance of the rationale of the right to development onto the critical challenge of poverty in the 21st century. Through doctrine and jurisprudence, this book charts recent changes in international law relevant to the ability of states to develop and to fulfill their human rights obligations, and the reality that they are constrained by the actions and structural arrangements of the powerful members of the international community.

This book explores developments in the system of international safeguards meant to correspond to the deprivation of economic, social, and cultural rights today. By analysing the approach, contribution, and current limitations of the international law of human rights to the manifestations of world poverty, the reader is challenged to rethink human rights and, in particular, the framing of responsibilities that are essential to their protection.

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The Power of Precedent by Michael J. Gerhardt
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008
KF429 .G47 2008 Balcony

The Power of Precedent clearly outlines the major issues in the continuing debates on the significance of precedent and evenly considers all sides. For the Supreme Court, precedents take many forms, including not only the Court's past opinions, but also norms, historical practices, and traditions that the justices have deliberately chosen to follow. In these forms, precedent exerts more force than is commonly acknowledged. This force is encapsulated in the implementation and recognition of what Gerhardt calls the "golden rule of precedent," a major dynamic in constitutional law. The rule calls upon justices and other public authorities to recognize that since they expect their precedents to be respected by others, they must provide the same respect to others' precedents. Gerhardt's extensive exploration of precedent leads him to formulate a more expansive definition of it, one that encompasses not only the prior constitutional decisions of courts but also the constitutional judgments of other public authorities. Gerhardt concludes his study by looking at what the future holds for the concept, as he examines the decisions and attitudes toward precedent that have prevailed since the shift from the Rehnquist to the Roberts Court.

Authoritative and incisive, Gerhardt presents an in-depth look at this central yet insufficiently studied phenomenon at the core of all constitutional conflicts and one of undeniable importance to American law and politics. Ultimately, The Power of Precedent vividly illustrates how constitutional law is made and evolves both in and outside of the courts.

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The Origins of African-American Interests in International Law by Henry J. Richardson, III
Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, c2008
KF4757 .R53 2008 Balcony

African Americans claiming rights and interests under international law continue today to cause conflicts, as shown by the book's opening story of W.E.B. DuBois' Senate testimony on the United Nations Charter. Understanding these conflicts requires that we travel back to the origins of the slave trade and work forward to explore the roots of African Americans' stake in international law and the birth of the Afro-American International Tradition. The Origins of African-American Interests in International Law explores these roots for the first Blacks brought by the Spanish, for those in Dutch New York and otherwise prior to the Jamestown landing of the Twenty in 1619, through the growth of North America as an important part of the international slavery system, through the American Revolution and the Constitutional Convention, and through the forced westward march of African-heritage people to the Mississippi River during and following the Haitian Revolution. The book ends at around 1820, just following the close of the War of 1812 between America and Britain.

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Freedom for the Thought that We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment by Anthony Lewis
New York: Basic Books, c2007
KF4770 .L49 2007 Balcony

More than any other people on earth, Americans are free to say and write what they think. They can criticize the White House or air the secrets of the bedroom with little fear of punishment. This extraordinary freedom is based on just fourteen words in our Constitution: the free expression clauses of the First Amendment.

But the freedom we now take for granted did not take hold when the First Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1791. It was more than a century later, in 1931, when the Supreme Court first enforced the Amendment to protect speakers and the press. Since then judges have interpreted the sweeping language of the First Amendment to build a great structure of American liberty.

In Freedom for the Thought that We Hate, Anthony Lewis tells the story of legal and political conflict, hard choices, and determined, sometimes eccentric Americans who led the legal system to realize one of America's great founding ideas.

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How to Label a Goat: The Silly Rules and Regulations that Are Strangling Britain  by Ross Clark
Petersfield, Hampshire: Harriman House, 2006
K184.2 .C58 2006 Balcony

Ross Clark, a writer with an angry swarm of bees in his bonnet, leaves no stone unturned in his mission to expose how far we have sunk into a Kafkaesque world of intrusive and often pointless nannying. But he does it with such a light touch that the barrage of bonkers bureaucracy never palls.

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Lincoln and the Court  by Brian McGinty
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008
KF8742 .M32 2008 Balcony

In this book Brian McGinty rescues the story of Abraham Lincoln and the Supreme Court from long and undeserved neglect, recounting the history of the Civil War president's relations with the nation's highest tribunal and the role it played in resolving the agonizing issues raised by the conflict. 
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