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Featured Acquisitions - September 2012

 

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Papa’s Baby: Paternity and Artificial Insemination by Browne C. Lewis
New York: New York University Press, 2012
KF542 .L49 2012 Balcony

When a child is conceived from sexual intercourse between a married, heterosexual couple, the child has a legal father and mother. Whatever may happen thereafter, the child's parents are legally bound to provide for their child, and if they don't, they're held accountable by law. But what about children created by artificial insemination? When it comes to paternity, the law is full of gray areas, resulting in many cases where children have no legal fathers. In Papa's Baby, Browne C. Lewis argues that the courts should take steps to insure that all children have at least two legal parents. Additionally, state legislatures should recognize that more than one class of fathers may exist and allocate paternal responsibility based, again, upon the best interest of the child. Lewis supplements her argument with concrete methods for dealing with different types of cases, including anonymous and non-anonymous sperm donors, married and unmarried women, and lesbian couples. In so doing, she first establishes different types of paternity, and then draws on these to create an expanded definition of paternity.


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No Slack: The Financial Lives of Low-Income Americans by Michael S. Barr
Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2012
HC110.P6 B33 2012 Basement

This book examines the financial management practices of low-income people and households, as well as the influence of different institutions and services--banking, credit, debit, taxes, property-ownership--on these groups. Barr (law, U. of Michigan) draws on a limited set of survey data from the Detroit metro-region collected in 2005-2006 by U. of Michigan, which includes low- and moderate-income households. Barr explores alternative financial services and how they may benefit low-income households, the mortgage crisis, tax-filing behavior and how low-income households use taxes to save money, and behavioral economics. In the end he presents his findings in the context of regulatory reforms and other policy directions that promote financial education, improve financial services, and increase consumer protections. Most of the chapters are collaborations between Barr and others including economists, consumer analysts, statisticians, and psychologists.


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More Essential Than Ever: The Fourth Amendment in the Twenty-first Century by Stephen J. Schulhofer
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012
KF9630 .S38 2012

When the states ratified the Bill of Rights in the eighteenth century, the Fourth Amendment seemed straightforward. It requires that government respect the right of citizens to be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." Of course,"papers and effects" are now digital and thus more vulnerable to government spying. But the biggest threat may be our own weakening resolve to preserve our privacy. In this potent new volume in Oxford's Inalienable Rights series, legal expert Stephen J. Schulhofer argues that the Fourth Amendment remains, as the title says, more essential than ever. From data-mining to airport body scans, drug testing and aggressive police patrolling on the streets, privacy is under assault as never before - and we're simply getting used to it. But the trend is threatening the pillars of democracy itself, Schulhofer maintains. "Government surveillance may not worry the average citizen who reads best-selling books, practices a widely accepted religion, and adheres to middle-of-the-road political views," he writes. But surveillance weighs on minorities, dissenters, and unorthodox thinkers, "chilling their freedom to read what they choose, to say what they think, and to associate with others who are like-minded." All of us are affected, he adds. "When unrestricted search and surveillance powers chill speech and religion, inhibit gossip and dampen creativity, they undermine politics and impoverish social life for everyone." Schulhofer offers a rich account of the history and nuances of Fourth Amendment protections, as he examines such issues as street stops, racial profiling, electronic surveillance, data aggregation, and the demands of national security. The Fourth Amendment, he reminds us, explicitly authorizes invasions of privacy - but it requires justification and accountability, requirements that reconcile public safety with liberty. Combining a detailed knowledge of specific cases with a deep grasp of Constitutional law, More Essential than Ever offers a sophisticated and thoughtful perspective on this important debate.


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The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law edited by Peter M. Tiersma and Lawrence M. Solan
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012
K213 .O94 2012 Balcony

A comprehensive guide to the field of language and law.

 

 


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Veterans on Trial: The Coming Court Battles over PTSD by Barry R. Schaller
Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2012
RC550 .S35 2012 Basement

Experts anticipate that more than 350,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will return to civilian life with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Barry R. Schaller, a judge and a bioethicist, chronicles the events leading to what he predicts will be the most challenging PTSD epidemic in U.S. military history. Although combat veterans have experienced similar disorders in previous wars, Schaller explains why these two contemporaneous wars in particular are a breeding ground for the condition.
Veterans on Trial deals with the problem of PTSD from the ground up, starting with the issues that returning veterans and their families face. When they leave the battlefield to become civilians again, many soldiers are not prepared, or are unable, to cope successfully with the challenges. Their compounded anxieties often result in serious trouble: divorce, job loss, homelessness, substance abuse, suicide, and even murder. Schaller also explains how PTSD now operates as a means of defense in the criminal court system and how it will affect the courts in the next decade.
After unveiling this invisible injury among the walking wounded, Schaller offers far-reaching solutions for returning veterans and their families. He specifies what political and judicial officials, military leaders, legislators, and the mental health communities can do to meet their responsibilities to the men and women who serve our nation.


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Who Gets What: Fair Compensation After Tragedy and Financial Upheaval by Kenneth R. Feinberg
New York: PublicAffairs, 2012
KF1250 .F45 2012 Balcony

Feinberg (What Is Life Worth?) is quick to point out that his illustrious career as a lawyer "has been defined by disasters and tragedies." Since his work on the Agent Orange settlement for Vietnam vets (which Feinberg declares "the poster child of `judicial activism'"), the author has been at the forefront of many significant compensation cases, including the deliberations regarding some of this country's most horrific disasters in recent memory-from the 9/11 attacks, to the Virginia Tech shootings and BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Feinberg has spent his career asking the grim titular question on behalf of those who have lost loved ones or livelihoods, and in the process, he's been involved in provocative intellectual and judicial disputes. For legal scholars, there's a lot here that is by turns fascinating and unsettling: discussions about tort calculations and potential lifetime earnings, philosophical examinations of the value of human life, and investigations into the dark side of corporate cases and the questionable motives of independent compensation consultants. The answers to Feinberg's overarching question are rarely simple, except when it comes to who gets the credit for the reparations; in that case, it's Feinberg. If readers can look past the enormous ego that permeates the text, they'll find an intriguing account of a seldom considered side of tragedy.


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The Congressional Black Caucus, Minority Voting Rights, and the US Supreme Court by Christina R. Rivers
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012
KF4893 .R58 2012 Balcony

Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) claim to advocate minority political interests, yet they disagree over the intent and scope of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), as well as the interpretation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Whereas the Court promotes color-blind policies, the CBC advocates race-based remedies. Setting this debate in the context of the history of black political thought, Rivers examines a series of high-profile districting cases, from Rodgers v. Lodge (1982) through NAMUDNO v. Holder (2009). She evaluates the competing approaches to racial equality and concludes, surprisingly, that an originalist, race-conscious interpretation of the 14th Amendment, along with a revised states' rights position regarding electoral districting, may better serve minority political interests.


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Legal Intellectuals in Conversation: Reflections on the Construction of Contemporary American Legal Theory by James R. Hackney, Jr.
New York: New York University Press, 2012
KF380 .H33 2012 Balcony

In this unique volume, James Hackney invites readers to enter the minds of 10 legal experts that in the late 20th century changed the way we understand and use theory in law today. True to the title of the book, Hackney spent hours in conversation with legal intellectuals, interviewing them about their early lives as thinkers and scholars, their contributions to American legal theory, and their thoughts regarding some fundamental theoretical questions in legal academe, particularly the law/politics debate. Legal Intellectuals in Conversation is a veritable “Who’s Who” of legal thought, presented in a sophisticated yet intimate manner.


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Religious Lessons: Catholic Sisters and the Captured Schools Crisis in New Mexico by Kathleen Holscher
New York: Oxford University Press, 2012
KF228.Z45 H65 2012 Balcony

Religious Lessonstells the story of Zellers v. Huff, a court case that challenged the employment of nearly 150 Catholic sisters in public schools across New Mexico in 1948. Known nationally as the "Dixon case," after one of the towns involved, it was the most famous in a series of midcentury lawsuits, all targeting what opponents provocatively dubbed "captive schools." Spearheaded by Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the publicity campaign built around Zellers drew on centuries-old rhetoric of Catholic captivity to remind Americans about the threat of Catholic power in the post-War era, and the danger Catholic sisters dressed in full habits posed to American education.
Americans at midcentury were reckoning with the U.S. Supreme Court's new mandate for a "wall of separation" between church and state. At no time since the nation's founding was the Establishment Clause studied so carefully by the nation's judiciary and its people. While Zellers never reached the Supreme Court, its details were familiar to hundreds of thousands of citizens who read about them in magazines and heard them discussed in church on Sunday mornings. For many Americans, Catholic and not, the scenario of sisters in veils teaching children embodied the high stakes of the era's church-state conflicts, and became an occasion to assess the implications of separation in their lives.
Through close study of the Dixon case, Kathleen Holscher brings together the perspectives of legal advocacy groups, Catholic sisters, and citizens who cared about their schools. She argues that the captive school crusade was a transitional episode in the Protestant-Catholic conflicts that dominate American church-state history. Religious Lessons also goes beyond legal discourse to consider the interests of Americans--women religious included--who did not formally articulate convictions about the separation principle. The book emphasizes the everyday experiences, inside and outside classrooms, that defined the church-state relationship for these people, and that made these constitutional questions relevant to them.


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The Seaside Debates: A Critique of the New Urbanism edited by Todd W. Bressi
New York: Rizzoli, 2002
HT166 .S337 2002 Balcony

This series of presentations and critiques, which took place at the Seaside Institute in Seaside, Florida, highlights the major issues of New Urbanism as they were discussed by the key players in the field, such as Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater Zyberk, Stefanos Polyzoides, and Daniel Solomon, as well as such academic critics as Witold Rybczynski, Colin Rowe, Judith DiMaio, Alex Krieger, Alan Plattus, and others. Issues of growth management, promotion of civic life, land conservation, and rational transportation were discussed, focusing on eight U.S. and Canadian cities as examples.