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Featured Acquisitions - February 2017

 

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Fiduciaries of Humanity: How International Law Constitutes Authority by Evan J. Criddle and Evan Fox-Decent
Oxford, UK; New York, NY: Oxford University Press 2016
Basement KZ3410 .C745 2016

Public international law has embarked on a new chapter. Over the past century, the classical model of international law, which emphasized state autonomy and interstate relations, has gradually ceded ground to a new model. Under the new model, a state's sovereign authority arises from the state's responsibility to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights for its people. Fiduciaries of Humanity that these developments mark a turning point in the international community's conception of public authority. Under international law today, states serve as fiduciaries of humanity, and their authority to govern and represent their people is dependent on their satisfaction of numerous duties, the most general of which is to establish a regime of secure and equal freedom on behalf of the people subject to their power. International institutions also serve as fiduciaries of humanity and are subject to similar fiduciary obligations. In contrast to the receding classical model of public international law, which assumes an abiding tension between a state's sovereignty and principles of state responsibility, the fiduciary theory reconciles state sovereignty and responsibility by explaining how a state's obligations to its people are constitutive of its legal authority under international law. The authors elaborate and defend the fiduciary model while exploring its application to a variety of current topics and controversies, including human rights, emergencies, the treatment of detainees in counterterrorism operations, humanitarian intervention, and the protection of refugees fleeing persecution.


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The Erosion of Tribal Power: the Supreme Court's Silent Revolution by Dewi Loan Ball
Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press 2016
Basement KIE2055 .B35 2016

For the past 180 years, the inherent power of indigenous tribes to govern themselves has been a central tenet of federal Indian law. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's repeated confirmation of Native sovereignty since the early 1830s, it has, in the past half-century, incrementally curtailed the power of tribes to govern non-Indians on Indian reservations. The result, Dewi Ioan Ball argues, has been a "silent revolution," mounted by particular justices so gradually and quietly that the significance of the Court's rulings has largely evaded public scrutiny. Ball begins his examination of the erosion of tribal sovereignty by reviewing the so-called Marshall trilogy, the three cases that established two fundamental principles: tribal sovereignty and the power of Congress to protect Indian tribes from the encroachment of state law. Neither the Supreme Court nor Congress has remained faithful to these principles, Ball shows. Beginning with Williams v. Lee , a 1959 case that highlighted the tenuous position of Native legal authority over reservation lands and their residents, Ball analyzes multiple key cases, demonstrating how the Supreme Court's decisions weakened the criminal, civil, and taxation authority of tribal nations.

During an era when many tribes were strengthening their economies and preserving their cultural identities, the high court was undermining sovereignty. In Atkinson Trading Co. v. Shirley (2001) and Nevada v. Hicks (2001), for example, the Court all but obliterated tribal authority over non-Indians on Native land. By drawing on the private papers of Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justices Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Thurgood Marshall, William O. Douglas, Lewis F. Powell Jr., and Hugo L. Black, Ball offers crucial insight into federal Indian law from the perspective of the justices themselves. The Erosion of Tribal Power shines much-needed light on crucial changes to federal Indian law between 1959 and 2001 and discusses how tribes have dealt with the political and economic consequences of the Court's decisions.


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Stop and Frisk: the Use and Abuse of a Controversial Policing Tactic by Michael D. White and Henry F. Fradella
New York: New York University Press, 2016
Basement HV8080.P2 W45 2016

No policing tactic has been more controversial than "stop and frisk," whereby police officers stop, question and frisk ordinary citizens, who they may view as potential suspects, on the streets. As Michael White and Hank Fradella show in Stop and Frisk, the first authoritative history and analysis of this tactic, there is a disconnect between our everyday understanding and the historical and legal foundations for this policing strategy. First ruled constitutional in 1968, stop and frisk would go on to become a central tactic of modern day policing, particularly by the New York City Police Department. By 2011 the NYPD recorded 685,000 'stop-question-and-frisk' interactions with citizens; yet, in 2013, a landmark decision ruled that the police had over- and mis-used this tactic. Stop and Frisk tells the story of how and why this happened, and offers ways that police departments can better serve their citizens. They also offer a convincing argument that stop and frisk did not contribute as greatly to the drop in New York's crime rates as many proponents, like former NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have argued. While much of the book focuses on the NYPD's use of stop and frisk, examples are also shown from police departments around the country, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Newark and Detroit. White and Fradella argue that not only does stop and frisk have a legal place in 21st-century policing but also that it can be judiciously used to help deter crime in a way that respects the rights and needs of citizens. They also offer insight into the history of racial injustice that has all too often been a feature of American policing's history and propose concrete strategies that every police department can follow to improve the way they police. A hard-hitting yet nuanced analysis, Stop and Frisk shows how the tactic can be a just act of policing and, in turn, shows how to police in the best interest of citizens.


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Who Owns the Dead?: the Science and Politics of Death at Ground Zero by Jay D. Aronson
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2016
Basement RA1055 .A76 2016

This book is not for the faint of heart. It tells the story of the recovery, identification, and memorialization of the 2,749 people killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. The twin towers were attacked at just the moment in history when large-scale DNA identification efforts were becoming possible. Innovations made in the context of the biotechnology boom of the 1990s, combined with innovations in forensic science that emerged out of investigations of previous disasters and episodes of mass violence (e.g., in Argentina, Guatemala, and Bosnia), led NYC Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch to promise that he and his staff would endeavor to identify and return to families every human body part recovered from the site that was bigger than a thumbnail (rather than just confirming the identity of all those individuals believed to have died). This would prove to be a monumentally difficult task given the condition in which remains were recovered. Only 293 bodies were found whole. The rest were painstakingly recovered in 21,800 bits and pieces scattered throughout the debris of the fallen towers. Well over $80 million has been spent on the effort to date, with a commitment to continue the identification process in perpetuity as technologies improve, making it the largest and most costly forensic investigation in history. This massive effort was undertaken in part to provide conclusive knowledge about death for victims' families, but also for a range of social, cultural, and political reasons that created a decade of contention and debate both within the community of families and between families and officials responsible for finding, identifying, and memorializing the dead. These debates comprise the second half of the book.


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A President in our Midst: Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Georgia by Kaye Lanning Minchew
Athens: Published in association with the Georgia Humanities Council, The University of Georgia Press, 2016
Basement E807 .M55 2016

Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Georgia forty-one times between 1924 and 1945. This rich gathering of photographs and remembrances documents the vital role of Georgia's people and places in FDR's rise from his position as a despairing politician daunted by disease to his role as a revered leader who guided the country through its worst depression and a world war. A native New Yorker, FDR called Georgia his "other state." Seeking relief from the devastating effects of polio, he was first drawn there by the reputed healing powers of the waters at Warm Springs. FDR immediately took to Georgia, and the attraction was mutual. Nearly two hundred photos show him working and convalescing at the Little White House, addressing crowds, sparring with reporters, visiting fellow polio patients, and touring the countryside. Quotes by Georgians from a variety of backgrounds hint at the countless lives he touched during his time in the state. In Georgia, away from the limelight, FDR became skilled at projecting strength while masking polio's symptoms. Georgia was also his social laboratory, where he floated new ideas to the press and populace and tested economic recovery projects that were later rolled out nationally. Most important, FDR learned to love and respect common Americans - beginning with the farmers, teachers, maids, railroad workers, and others he met in Georgia.


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The Drone Memos: Targeted Killing, Secrecy, and the Law edited and introduced by Jameel Jaffer
New York: The New Press, 2016
Balcony KF7225 .D76 2016

The Drone Memos collects and explains the legal documents underlying the Obama administration's hugely controversial program of remote-control assassination. Jameel Jaffer led the ACLU legal team that sued for the release of these documents. In The Drone Memos, he compiles the legal memos, white papers, and government speeches that, taken together, ratified and even expanded the Bush administration's "war on terror.


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Closing the Courthouse Door: How your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable by Erwin Chemerinsky
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017
Balcony KF8748 .C546 2017

The Supreme Court's decisions on constitutional rights are well known and much talked about. But individuals who want to defend those rights need something else as well: access to courts that can rule on their complaints. And on matters of access, the Court's record over the past generation has been almost uniformly hostile to the enforcement of individual citizens' constitutional rights. The Court has restricted who has standing to sue, expanded the immunity of governments and government workers, limited the kinds of cases the federal courts can hear, and restricted the right of habeas corpus. Closing the Courthouse Door, by the distinguished legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, is the first book to show the effect of these decisions. Taken together, they add up to a growing limitation on citizens' ability to defend their rights under the Constitution. Using many stories of people whose rights have been trampled yet who had no legal recourse, Chemerinsky argues that enforcing the Constitution should be the federal courts' primary purpose, and they should not be barred from considering any constitutional question.


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Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America's First Constitution by William J. Watkins, Jr
Oakland, California: Independent Institute, 2016
Balcony KF4515 .W38 2016

What did the American Founders actually intend for the country, and does it even matter today? If America began as an idea, then what kind of idea? In a time of increasing turmoil over American history, politics, and society, Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America’s First Constitution takes a surprising and thought-provoking look at the American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, and asks what we can learn from them. Crossroads for Liberty arrives at an important time in American political life, and its reexamination of the American Founding presents a significant contribution to the story about America. Readers will come away with a greater understanding of current political and constitutional issues, as well as a new perspective on American history.


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Fatal Fictions: Crime and Investigation in Law and Literature edited by Alison L. LaCroix, Richard H. McAdams, Martha C. Nussbaum
New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017
Basement PN56.L33 F38 2017

Lawyers and fiction writers have always confronted crime and punishment. This age-old fascination with crime on the part of both authors and readers is not surprising, given that criminal justice touches on so many political and psychological themes essential to literature, and comes equipped with a trial process that contains its own dramatic structure. This essay collection explores this profound and enduring literary engagement with crime and criminal justice. The essays in this collection span a wide array of genres, including tragic drama, science fiction, lyric poetry, autobiography, and mystery novels. The works discussed include works as old as fifth-century BCE Greek tragedy and as recent as contemporary novels, memoirs, and mystery novels. The cumulative result is arresting: there are "killer wives" and crimes against trees; a government bureaucrat who sends political adversaries to their death for treason before falling to the same fate himself; a convicted murderer who doesn't die when hanged; a psychopathogical collector whose quite sane kidnapping victim nevertheless also collects; Justice Thomas' reading and misreading of Bigger Thomas; a man who forgives his son's murderer and one who cannot forgive his wife's non-existent adultery; fictional detectives who draw on historical analysis to solve murders. These essays begin a conversation, and they illustrate the great depth and power of crime in literature.


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American Justice 2016: the Political Supreme Court by Lincoln Caplan
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016
Balcony KF8742 .C278 2016

When the Democrat-appointed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, she triggered concerns about judicial ethics. But the political concerns were even more serious. The Supreme Court is supposed to be what Alexander Hamilton called "the least dangerous" branch of government, because it is the least political. Justices have lifetime appointments to ensure their "complete independence" when deciding cases and controversies. But in the Roberts Court's most contested and important rulings, it has divided along partisan lines for the first time in American history: Republican presidents appointed the conservatives, Democrats appointed the liberals. Justice Ginsburg's criticisms suggested that partisan politics drive the Court's most profound disagreements. Well-respected political science supports that view. Has this partisan turn made the Court less independent and less trustworthy than the nation requires? The term ending in 2016 included more decisions and developments in almost fifty years for analyzing this question. Among them were major cases about abortion rights, the death penalty, immigration, and other wedge issues, as well as the death of Justice Antonin G. Scalia, leaving the Court evenly divided between conservatives and liberals. Legal journalist Lincoln Caplan dissects the recent term, puts it in historical context, and recommends ways to strengthen trust in the Supreme Court as the pinnacle of the American constitutional system.


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The Ulysses Trials: Beauty and Truth Meet the Law by Joseph M. Hassett
Dublin, Ireland: The Lilliput Press, 2016
Basement PR6019.O9 Z579 2016

The publishers of Ulysses by James Joyce were brought to trial and convicted of obscenity in the USA in 1921. The immortal prose, ultimately recognized as the greatest English language novel of the twentieth century, was first published by the pioneering literary magazine The Little Review. Its founder Margaret Anderson along with her publishing partner and lover, Jane Heap, were famously convicted of a crime for their extraordinary contribution to society. From then until its eventual publication in the US in 1934 the book ran the gamut of legal obstruction. The Ulysses Trials chronicles that progress and adds not only to the understanding of Joyce but also to the history of the laws of obscenity, censorship and freedom of speech. Its appeal is to Joyceans, all those interested in modernism and to the legal community and students of literature and law. The author is a fluent writer and through his experience as a lawyer he brings a deep understanding and analysis to the course of the court proceedings and the workings and ramifications of each case. He weaves a narrative of the text of Ulysses, the contemporaneous historical context and the motives of the players (John Quinn, Judge Woolsey et al) involved in each step of the trial. His manuscript is unique given his legal perspective on such a milestone legal battle over obscenity laws and hence freedom of speech in the English speaking world in the early twentieth century.