Featured Acquisitions - Special Edition for 2013 Sibley Lecture

“Toward a Jurisprudence of the Civil Rights Acts”
Robin L. West, Frederick Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy at Georgetown University

110th Sibley Lecture
Oct. 23 at 3:30 p.m.
Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom of Hirsch Hall, University of Georgia School of Law

The event is free and open to the public.

Book JacketPhoto  

Normative Jurisprudence: An Introduction  by Robin West
Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011
K230.W475 A36 2011

Normative Jurisprudence aims to reinvigorate normative legal scholarship that both criticizes positive law and suggests reforms for it, on the basis of stated moral values and legalistic ideals. It looks sequentially and in detail at the three major traditions in jurisprudence – natural law, legal positivism and critical legal studies – that have in the past provided philosophical foundations for just such normative scholarship. Over the last fifty years or so, all of these traditions, although for different reasons, have taken a number of different turns – toward empirical analysis, conceptual analysis or Foucaultian critique – and away from straightforward normative criticism. As a result, normative legal scholarship – scholarship that is aimed at criticism and reform – is now lacking a foundation in jurisprudential thought. The book criticizes those developments and suggests a return, albeit with different and in many ways larger challenges, to this traditional understanding of the purpose of legal scholarship.

Book JacketPhoto  

Re-imagining Justice: Progressive Interpretations of Formal Equality, Rights, and the Rule of Law by Robin West
Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, c2003
KF382 .W47 2003

Resurrecting the neglected question of what we mean by legal justice, this book seeks to re-imagine rather than simply critique our contemporary notions of the rule of law, rights and legal equality.


Book JacketPhoto  

Caring for Justice by Robin West
New York: New York University Press, c1997
K370 .W47 1997

Over the past decade, mainstream feminist theory has repeatedly and urgently cautioned against arguments which assert the existence of fundamental_or essential_differences between men and women. Any biological or natural differences between the sexes are often flatly denied, on the grounds that such an acknowledgment will impede women's claims to equal treatment. In Caring for Justice , Robin West turns her sensitive, measured eye to the consequences of this widespread refusal to consider how women's lived experiences and perspectives may differ from those of men. Her work calls attention to two critical areas in which an inadequate recognition of women's distinctive experiences has failed jurisprudence. We are in desperate need, she contends, both of a theory of justice which incorporates women's distinctive moral voice on the meaning of justice into our discourse, and of a theory of harm which better acknowledges, compensates, and seeks to prevent the various harms which women, disproportionately and distinctively, suffer. Providing a fresh feminist perspective on traditional jurisprudence, West examines such issues as the nature of justice, the concept of harm, economic theories of value, and the utility of constitutional discourse. She illuminates the adverse repercussions of the anti-essentialist position for jurisprudence, and offers strategies for correcting them. Far from espousing a return to essentialism, West argues an anti- anti-essentialism, which greatly refines our understanding of the similarities and differences between women and men.

Book JacketPhoto  

Progressive Constitutionalism: Reconstructing the Fourteenth Amendment by Robin West-
Durham: Duke University Press, 1994
KF4764 .W47 1994

"This book will be an extremely important and influential contribution to the literature. Readers will find the book of great help in understanding the important differences between various strands of constitutional and interpretative theory."--Mary E. Becker, University of Chicago Law School


Book JacketPhoto  

Narrative, Authority, and Law by Robin West
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, c1993
K235 .W47 1993

Challenges the moral basis for the authority of law.


Book JacketPhoto  

Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender by Robin West
Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, c2007
HQ536 .W44 2007

Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender examines contemporary debates about the meaning and value of civil marriage. The book analyzes arguments for traditional marriage, including those of neonaturalists, utilitarians, and communitarians or virtue theorists. The volume also considers a range of feminist, welfarist, and liberationist arguments for ending the institution altogether. It evaluates two major reform movements: one focused on expanding marriage to include same-sex couples and the other focused on the use of law to render marriage more internally just. The book concludes with a plea to activists to redirect marriage equality movements toward the creation of an entirely secular civil union law that would respect a broader range of private life-long commitments, including but not limited to same- and opposite-sex couples, without threatening the role of religious marriage in the lives of those who embrace it and without penalizing nonparticipants.

Book JacketPhoto  

The Rights of the People: How Our Search for Safety Invades Our Liberty by David K. Shipler
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
JC599.U5 S495 2011

From the best-selling author of The Working Poor, an impassioned, incisive look at the violations of civil liberties in the United States that have accelerated over the past decade-and their direct impact on our lives. How have our rights to privacy and justice been undermined? What exactly have we lost? Pulitzer Prize winner David K. Shipler searches for the answers to these questions by examining the historical expansion and contraction of our fundamental rights and, most pointedly, the real-life stories of individual men and women who have suffered. With keen insight and telling detail he describes how the Supreme Court's constitutional rulings play on the streets as D.C. police officers search for guns in poor African American neighborhoods, how a fruitless search warrant turns the home of a Homeland Security employee upside down, and how the secret surveillance and jailing of an innocent lawyer result from an FBI lab mistake. Each instance-shocking and compelling-is a clear illustration of the risks posed to individual liberties. And, in Shipler's hands, each serves as a powerful incitement for a retrieval of these precious rights. A brilliant, immeasurably important book for our time.

Book JacketPhoto  

The Myth of Rights: the Purposes and Limits of Constitutional Rights by Ashutosh A Bhagwat
New York: Oxford University Press, c2010
KF4749 .B48 2010

What is a constitutional right? If asked, most Americans would say that it is an entitlement to act as one pleases - i.e., that rights protect autonomy. That understanding, however, is wrong; it is, indeed, The Myth of Rights. The primary purpose and effect of constitutional rights in our society is structural. These rights restrain governmental power in order to maintain a balance between citizens and the State, and an appropriately limited role for the State in our society. Of course, restricting governmental power does have the effect of advancing individual autonomy, but that is not the primary purpose of rights, and furthermore, constitutional rights protect individual autonomy to a far lesser degree that is generally believed. Professor Bhagwat brings clarity to many difficult controversies with a structural approach towards constitutional rights. Issues discussed include flag-burning, the ongoing debates over affirmative action and same-sex marriage, and the greatbattles over executive power fought during the second Bush Administration. The Myth of Rights addresses the constitutional issues posed in these and many other areas of law and public policy, and explains why a structural approach to constitutional rights illuminates these disputes in ways that an autonomy-based approach cannot. Readers will understand that while constitutional rights play a critical role in our legal and political system, it is a very different role from what is commonly assumed.

Book JacketPhoto  

Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues by James E. Fleming and LindaC. McClain
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2013
KF4749 .F55 2013

Many have argued in recent years that the U.S. constitutional system exalts individual rights over responsibilities, virtues, and the common good. Answering the charges against liberal theories of rights, James Fleming and Linda McClain develop and defend a civic liberalism that takes responsibilities and virtues as well as rights seriously. They provide an account of ordered liberty that protects basic liberties stringently, but not absolutely, and permits government to encourage responsibility and inculcate civic virtues without sacrificing personal autonomy to collective determination. The battle over same-sex marriage is one of many current controversies the authors use to defend their understanding of the relationship among rights, responsibilities, and virtues. Against accusations that same-sex marriage severs the rights of marriage from responsible sexuality, procreation, and parenthood, they argue that same-sex couples seek the same rights, responsibilities, and goods of civil marriage that opposite-sex couples pursue. Securing their right to marry respects individual autonomy while also promoting moral goods and virtues. Other issues to which they apply their idea of civic liberalism include reproductive freedom, the proper roles and regulation of civil society and the family, the education of children, and clashes between First Amendment freedoms (of association and religion) and antidiscrimination law. Articulating common ground between liberalism and its critics, Fleming and McClain develop an account of responsibilities and virtues that appreciates the value of diversity in our morally pluralistic constitutional democracy.

Book JacketPhoto  

Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change, Jeffrey Rosen and Benjamin Wittes, eds
Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, c2011
KF4550 .C569 2011

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, breathtaking changes in technology are posing stark challenges to our constitutional values. From free speech to privacy, from liberty and personal autonomy to the right against self-incrimination, basic constitutional principles are under stress from technological advances unimaginable even a fewdecades ago, let alone during the founding era. In this provocative collection, America's leading scholars of technology, law, and ethics imagine how to translate and preserve constitutional and legal values at a time of dizzying technological change. Constitution 3.0 explores some of the most urgent constitutional questions of the near future. Will privacy become obsolete, for example, in a world where ubiquitous surveillance is becoming the norm? Imagine that Facebook and Google post livefeeds from public and private surveillance cameras, allowing 24/7 tracking of any citizen in the world. How can we protect free speech now that Facebook and Google have more power than any king, president, or Supreme Court justice to decide who can speak and who can be heard? How will advanced brain-scan technology affect the constitutional rightagainst self-incrimination? And on a more elemental level, should people have the right to manipulate their genes and design their own babies? Should we be allowed to patent new forms of life that seem virtually human? The constitutional challenges posed by technological progress are wide-ranging, with potential impacts on nearly every aspect of life in America and around the world.

Book JacketPhoto  

Jurisprudential Regimes: the Supreme Court, Civil Rights, and the Life Cycle of Judicial Doctrine by Marcella Marlowe
El Paso: LFB Scholarly Pub., 2011
KF8742 .M275 2011

Contents: Introduction to jurisprudential regimes; Regimes & phases: telling a story; The Jim Crow era;  The civil rights era ; The affirmative action era; Bringing it all together


Book JacketPhoto  

A Freedom Budget for All Americans: Recapturing the Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in the Struggle for Economic Justice Today by Paul Le Blanc and Michael D. Yates
New York: Monthly Review Press, [2013]
HC106.6 .L385 2013

While the Civil Rights Movement is remembered for efforts to end segregation and secure the rights of African Americans, the larger economic vision that animated much of the movement is often overlooked today. That vision sought economic justice for every person in the United States, regardless of race. It favored production for social use instead of profit; social ownership; and democratic control over major economic decisions. The document that best captured this vision was the Freedom Budget for All Americans: Budgeting Our Resources, 1966-1975, to Achieve Freedom from Want published by the A. Philip Randolph Institute and endorsed by a virtual 'who's who' of U.S. left liberalism and radicalism. Now, two of today's leading socialist thinkers return to the Freedom Budget and its program for economic justice. Paul Le Blanc and Michael D. Yates explain the origins of the Freedom Budget, how it sought to achieve "freedom from want" for all people, and how it might be reimagined for our current moment. Combining historical perspective with clear-sighted economic proposals, the authors make a concrete case for reviving the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement and building the society of economic security and democratic control envisioned by the movement's leaders--a struggle that continues to this day.