Featured Acquisitions - January 2011


Book Jacket Photo A More Perfect Military: How The Constitution Can Make Our Military Stronger by Diane H. Mazur
New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
KF7209 .M39 2010   Balcony

Surveys show that the all-volunteer military is our most respected and trusted institution, but over the last thirty-five years it has grown estranged from civilian society. Without a draft, imperfect as it was, the military is no longer as representative of civilian society. Fewer people accept the obligation for military service, and a larger number lack the knowledge to be engaged participants in civilian control of the military.

The end of the draft, however, is not the most important reason we have a significant civil-military gap today. A More Perfect Military explains how the Supreme Court used the cultural division of the Vietnam era to change the nature of our civil-military relations. The Supreme Court describes itself as a strong supporter of the military and its distinctive culture, but in the all-volunteer era, its decisions have consistently undermined the military's traditional relationship to law and the Constitution. Most people would never suspect there was anything wrong, but our civil-military relations are now as constitutionally fragile as they have ever been.

A More Perfect Military is a bracingly candid assessment of the military's constitutional health. It crosses ideological and political boundaries and is challenging-even unsettling-to both liberal and conservative views. It is written for those who believe the military may be slipping away from our common national experience. This book is the blueprint for a new national conversation about military service

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The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Structuring Legal Reform  by Catherine Y. Kim, Daniel J. Losen, and Damon T. Hewitt
New York : New York University, c2010
KF4159 .K56 2010  Balcony

The "school-to-prison pipeline" is an emerging trend that pushes large numbers of at-risk youth - particularly children of color - out of classrooms and into the juvenile justice system. The policies and practices that contribute to this trend can be seen as a pipeline with many entry points, from under-resourced public schools, to the over-use of zero-tolerance suspensions and expulsions, and to the explosion of policing and arrests in public schools. The confluence of these practices threatens to prepare an entire generation of children for a future of incarceration.

In this comprehensive study of the relationship between American law and the school-to-prison pipeline, co-authors Catherine Y. Kim, Daniel J. Losen, and Damon T. Hewitt - all civil rights attorneys specializing in juvenile justice - analyze the current state of the law for each entry point on the pipeline and propose legal theories and remedies to challenge them. Using specific state-based examples and case studies, the authors assert that law can be an effective weapon in the struggle to reduce the number of children caught in the pipeline, address the devastating consequences of the pipeline on families and communities, and ensure that our public schools and juvenile justice system further the goals for which they were created: To provide meaningful, safe opportunities for all the nation's children.

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Because It Is Wrong: Torture, Privacy and Presidential Power in the Age of Terror by Charles Fried and Gregory Fried
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2010
HV8593 .F75 2010  Basement

This book is born of conversations between father and son Charles and Gregory Fried (respectively of Harvard Law School and Suffolk U.) over controversial aspects of the so-called "war on terror," specifically the use of torture (euphemistically called "enhanced interrogations" in the media) on suspected terrorists and the deployment of pervasive warrantless electronic surveillance domestically. Together, they take a deontological perspective that both of these tactics are simply wrong in their very nature (as opposed to the possible utilitarian perspective that some things can be justified because of the good that might result) and that to support them would be to support the right of the executive to break the law in time of crisis. Addressing the general reader, they support this view through a broad discussion of law, ethics, and American history.

Book Jacket Photo The Promises of Liberty: The History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment edited by Alexander Tsesis
New York : Columbia University Press, c2010
KF4545.S5 P76 2010  Balcony

In these original essays, America's leading historians and legal scholars reassess the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment and its relevance to issues of liberty, justice, and equality. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States, reasserting the radical, egalitarian dimensions of the Constitution. It also laid the foundations for future civil rights and social justice legislation. Yet subsequent reinterpretation and misappropriation have curbed more substantive change. With constitutional jurisprudence undergoing a revival, The Promises of Liberty provides a full portrait of the Thirteenth Amendment and its potential for ensuring liberty.

The collection begins with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Brion Davis, who discusses the failure of the Thirteenth Amendment to achieve its framers' objectives. The next piece, by Alexander Tsesis, provides a detailed account of the Amendment's revolutionary character. James M. McPherson, another Pulitzer recipient, recounts the influence of abolitionists on the ratification process, and Paul Finkelman focuses on who freed the slaves and President Lincoln's commitment to ending slavery. Michael Vorenberg revisits the nineteenth century's understanding of freedom and citizenship and the Amendment's surprisingly small role in the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction periods. William M. Wiecek shows how the Supreme Court's narrow interpretation once rendered the guarantee of freedom nearly illusory, and the collection's third Pulitzer Prize winner, David M. Oshinsky, explains how peonage undermined the prohibition against compulsory service.

Subsequent essays relate the Thirteenth Amendment to congressional authority, hate crimes legislation, the labor movement, and immigrant rights. These chapters analyze unique features of the amendment along with its elusive meanings and affirm its power to reform criminal and immigration law, affirmative action policies, and the protection of civil liberties.

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Legal Interpretation:  Perspectives From Other Disciplines and Private Texts by Kent Greenawalt
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
K296 .G744 2010  Balcony

Legal Interpretation focuses on textual interpretation of the law. All law needs to be interpreted, and there are many ways to do it. Greenawalt covers the dominant methods of legal interpretation, explaining their underlying structure and efficacy. But there are other issues involved. Which perspective should we prioritize--the writer or the reader? Should interpretation be abstract or contextual? Should it have a specific aim or a general objective? To answer these tough questions, he explores how interpretive strategies from other disciplines--the philosophy of language, literary and musical interpretation, religious interpretation, and general interpretive theory--can augment and enrich our methods of legal interpretation.

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God, Justice, and Society : Aspects of Law and Legality in the Bible by Jonathan Burnside
New York : Oxford University Press, 2011
BS680.L33 B87 2011  Basement

What is the real meaning of 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'? Where did the idea for the 'Jubilee 2000' and 'Drop the Debt' campaigns come from? And what, really, are the 'Ten Commandments'? In God, Justice, and Society, Jonathan Burnside looks at aspects of law and legality in the Bible, from the patriarchal narratives in the Hebrew Bible through to the trials of Jesus in the New Testament. He explores the nature of biblical law, legal thinking, and legal institutions by setting the biblical texts in their literary, social, and theological context. Burnside questions the biblical texts from the perspective of an academic lawyer and criminologist and asks what the biblical materials contribute to our understanding about the nature and character of law. He examines much of biblical law and narrative that has formed the basis of Western civilization, while at the same time exploring differences between biblical law and modern legal concepts and legal assumptions. The resulting book is a cross-disciplinary analysis which recognizes the integration of law and theology. God, Justice and Society presents biblical law as an integration of instructional genres in the Bible which together express a vision of a society ultimately accountable to God. Burnside seeks to understand both the application of law and legal theory to the Bible and the extent to which biblical law contributes important insights into legal dilemmas in today's world.

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Essentials of Sports Law by Glenn M. Wong
Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, c2010
KF3989 .W66 2010  Balcony

Sports law specialist Wong (sport management program, U. of Massachusetts) has prepared a completely revised fourth edition of his undergraduate and graduate textbook on sports law. The author provides a comprehensive review of sports law issues in professional, intercollegiate, Olympic, high school, youth, and adult recreational sports. Key subjects include: tort liability, contracts and waivers, antitrust law, labor and constitutional law, gender discrimination, drug testing, intellectual property law, broadcasting laws relevant to sports agents, business and employment law, Internet gambling, and athletes with disabilities. This edition includes new court decisions, legislation, and institutional rules.

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Where the Evidence Leads : An Autobiography, Revised and Updated  by Dick Thornburgh
Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010
KF373.T56 A3 2010  Balcony

Dick Thornburgh, former Governor of Pennsylvania and U.S. Attorney General under Presidents Reagan and Bush, reveals painful details of his personal life, including the 1960 automobile accident that claimed the life of his first wife and permanently disabled his infant son. He presents a frank analysis of the challenges of raising a family as a public figure, and tells the moving story of his personal and political crusade that culminated in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

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Pink Pirates : Contemporary American Women Writers and Copyright  by Caren Irr
Iowa City : University of Iowa Press, c2010
PS374.W6 I77 2010  Basement

Today, copyright is everywhere, surrounded by a thicket of no trespassing signs that mark creative work as private property. Caren Irr’s Pink Pirates asks how contemporary novelists-represented by Ursula Le Guin, Andrea Barrett, Kathy Acker, and Leslie Marmon Silko-have read those signs, arguing that for feminist writers in particular copyright often conjures up the persistent exclusion of women from ownership. Bringing together voices from law schools, courtrooms, and the writer's desk, Irr shows how some of the most inventive contemporary feminist novelists have reacted to this history. Explaining the complex, three-century lineage of Anglo-American copyright law in clear, accessible terms and wrestling with some of copyright law's most deeply rooted assumptions, Irr sets the stage for a feminist reappraisal of the figure of the literary pirate in the late twentieth century-a figure outside the restrictive bounds of U.S. copyright statutes. Going beyond her readings of contemporary women authors, Irr’s exhaustive history of how women have fared under intellectual property regimes speaks to broader political, social, and economic implications and engages digital-era excitement about the commons with the most utopian and materialist strains in feminist criticism.   

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Forensic Science in Court: Challenges in the Twenty First Century by Donald E. Shelton
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2011
KF9674 .S54 2011  Balcony

Forensic Science in Court explores the legal implications of forensic science--an increasingly important and complex part of the legal system. Judge Donald Shelton provides an accessible overview of the legal issues, then examines the strengths and limitations of various kinds of forensic science, including DNA, fingerprints, handwriting, hair, bite marks, tool marks, firearms and bullets, fire and arson investigation, and bloodstain evidence. Case studies illustrate the issues and their application in depth.

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The Lisbon Treaty : A Legal and Political Analysis by Jean-Claude Piris
Cambridge [U.K.] ; New York, N.Y. : Cambridge University Press, 2010
KJE4443.32007 .P57 2010  Basement

Given the controversies and difficulties which preceded the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it is easy to forget that the Treaty is a complex legal document in need of detailed analysis for its impact to be fully understood. Jean-Claude Piris, the Director General of the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union, provides such an analysis, looking at the historical and political contexts of the Treaty, its impact on the democratic framework of the EU and its provisions in relation to substantive law. Impartial legal analysis of the EU's functions, its powers and the treaties which govern it make this the seminal text on the most significant recent development in EU law