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Featured Acquisitions - July and August 2017

 

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Ideology in the Supreme Court by Lawrence Baum
Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2017
Balcony KF8748 .B29 2017

Ideology in the Supreme Court is the first book to analyze the process by which the ideological stances of U.S. Supreme Court justices translate into the positions they take on the issues that the Court addresses. Eminent Supreme Court scholar Lawrence Baum argues that the links between ideology and issues are not simply a matter of reasoning logically from general premises. Rather, they reflect the development of shared understandings among political elites, including Supreme Court justices. And broad values about matters such as equality are not the only source of these understandings. Another potentially important source is the justices' attitudes about social or political groups, such as the business community and the Republican and Democratic parties. The book probes these sources by analyzing three issues on which the relative positions of liberal and conservative justices changed between 1910 and 2013: freedom of expression, criminal justice, and government "takings" of property. Analyzing the Court's decisions and other developments during that period, Baum finds that the values underlying liberalism and conservatism help to explain these changes, but that justices' attitudes toward social and political groups also played a powerful role. Providing a new perspective on how ideology functions in Supreme Court decision making, Ideology in the Supreme Court has important implications for how we think about the Court and its justices.


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Animus: A Short Introduction to Bias in the Law by William D. Araiza
New York: New York University Press, 2017
Balcony KF4764 .A972 2017

Over the last two decades, the Supreme Court has increasingly turned to the concept of "animus" - that is, a dislike of a particular group - to explain why some instances of discrimination are unconstitutional. However, the Court's condemnation of animus fails to address some serious questions. How can animus on the part of people and institutions be uncovered? Does mere opposition to a particular group's equality claims constitute animus? Does the concept of animus have roots in the Constitution? [This book] engages these important questions, offering an original and provocative introduction to this type of unconstitutional bias. The author analyzes some of the modern Supreme Court's most important discrimination cases through the lens of animus, tracing the concept from nineteenth century legal doctrine to today's landmark cases, including Obergefell vs. Hodges and United States v. Windsor, both related to the legal rights of same-sex couples. This book humanizes what might otherwise be an abstract legal question, illustrating what constitutes animus, and why the prohibition against it matters more today than ever in our pluralistic society.


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Prairie Defender: The Murder Trials of Abraham Lincoln by George R. Dekle, Sr.
Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2017
Balcony KF368.L52 D45 2017

The conventional wisdom says that most of Lincoln's practice involved collecting debt and representing railroads; that he only practiced law as a platform for his political career; that criminal law was only a minuscule part of his practice; and that he was particularly bad at defending homicide cases. A survey of Lincoln's murder cases demonstrates that he was first and foremost a trial lawyer, that the trial of criminal cases was an important part of his practice, and that he was not only a very good criminal trial lawyer, he was very capable of defending murder cases. Dekle devotes a chapter to each of Lincoln's well-documented criminal cases, paying particular attention to homicide cases. He consolidates cases for which we have little reference material into a single chapter and ends with an overall assessment of Lincoln as a criminal trial lawyer.


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The First Bilateral Investment Treaties: U.S. Postwar Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation Treaties by Kenneth J. Vandevelde
New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017
Balcony KF1575 .V355 2017

The First Bilateral Investment Treaties is the first and only history of the U.S. postwar Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation (FCN) treaty program, and focuses on the investment-related provisions of those treaties. The 22 U.S. postwar FCN treaties were the first bilateral investment treaties ever concluded, and nearly all of the core provisions in the modern network of more than 3000 international investment agreements worldwide trace their origin to these FCN treaties. This book explains the original understanding of the language of this vast network of agreements which have been and continue to be the subject of hundreds of international arbitrations and billions of dollars in claims. It is based on a review of some 32,000 pages of negotiating history housed in the National Archives.

This book demonstrates that the investment provisions were founded on the New Deal liberalism of the Roosevelt-Truman administrations and were intended to acquire for U.S. companies investing abroad the same protections that foreign investors already received in the United States under the U.S. Constitution. It chronicles the failed U.S. attempt to obtain protection for investment through the proposed International Trade Organization (ITO), providing the first and only history of the investment-related provisions in the ITO Charter. It then shows how the FCN treaties, which dated back to 1776 and originally concerned with establishing trade and maritime relations, were re-conceptualized as investment treaties to provide investment protection bilaterally. This book is also a work of diplomatic history, offering an account of the negotiating history of each of the 22 treaties and describing U.S. negotiating policy and strategy.


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Exonerated: A History of the Innocence Movement by Robert J. Norris
New York: New York University Press, 2017
Balcony KF9756 .N67 2017

Documentaries like Making a Murderer, the NPR podcast Serial, and the cause célèbre that was the West Memphis Three captured the attention of millions and focused the national discussion on wrongful convictions. This interest is warranted: more than 1,800 people have been set free in recent decades after being convicted of crimes they did not commit. In response to these exonerations, federal and state governments have passed laws to prevent such injustices; lawyers and police have changed their practices; and advocacy organizations have multiplied across the country. Together, these activities are often referred to as the "innocence movement." Exonerated provides the first in-depth look at the history of this movement through interviews with key leaders such as Barry Scheck and Rob Warden as well as archival and field research into the major cases that brought awareness to wrongful convictions in the United States. Norris also examines how and why the innocence movement took hold. He argues that although the innocence movement did not begin as an organized campaign, scientific, legal, and cultural developments led to a widespread understanding that new technology and renewed investigative diligence could both catch the guilty and free the innocent.


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Unequal: How America's Courts Undermine Discrimination Law by Sandra F. Sperino and Suja A. Thomas
New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017
Balcony KF4755 .S695 2017

It is no secret that since the 1980s, American workers have lost power vis-à-vis employers through the well-chronicled steep decline in private sector unionization. American workers have also lost power in other ways. Those alleging employment discrimination have fared increasingly poorly in the courts. In recent years, judges have dismissed scores of cases in which workers presented evidence that supervisors referred to them using racial or gender slurs. In one federal district court, judges dismissed more than 80 percent of the race discrimination cases filed over a year. And when juries return verdicts in favor of employees, judges often second guess those verdicts, finding ways to nullify the jury's verdict and rule in favor of the employer. Most Americans assume that that an employee alleging workplace discrimination faces the same legal system as other litigants. After all, we do not usually think that legal rules vary depending upon the type of claim brought.

The employment law scholars Sandra A. Sperino and Suja A. Thomas show in Unequal that our assumptions are wrong. Over the course of the last half century, employment discrimination claims have come to operate in a fundamentally different legal system than other claims. It is in many respects a parallel universe, one in which the legal system systematically favors employers over employees. A host of procedural, evidentiary, and substantive mechanisms serve as barriers for employees, making it extremely difficult for them to access the courts. Moreover, these mechanisms make it fairly easy for judges to dismiss a case prior to trial. Americans are unaware of how the system operates partly because they think that race and gender discrimination are in the process of fading away. But such discrimination still happens in the workplace, and workers now have little recourse to fight it legally. By tracing the modern history of employment discrimination, Sperino and Thomas provide an authoritative account of how our legal system evolved into an institution that is inherently biased against workers making rights claims.


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Environmental Law and Governance for the Anthropocene Edited by Louis J Kotzé
Oxford; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2017
Balcony K3585.5 .E58 2017

The era of eco-crises signified by the Anthropocene trope is marked by rapidly intensifying levels of complexity and unevenness, which collectively present unique regulatory challenges to environmental law and governance. This volume sets out to address the currently under-theorised legal and consequent governance challenges presented by the emergence of the Anthropocene as a possible new geological epoch. While the epoch has yet to be formally confirmed, the trope and discourse of the Anthropocene undoubtedly already confront law and governance scholars with a unique challenge concerning the need to question, and ultimately re-imagine, environmental law and governance interventions in the light of a new socio-ecological situation, the signs of which are increasingly apparent and urgent. This volume does not aspire to offer a univocal response to Anthropocene exigencies and phenomena. Any such attempt is, in any case, unlikely to do justice to the multiple implications and characteristics of Anthropocene forebodings. What it does is to invite an unrivalled group of leading law and governance scholars to reflect upon the Anthropocene and the implications of its discursive formation in an attempt to trace some initial, often radical, future-facing and imaginative implications for environmental law and governance.


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The Malmedy Massacre: The War Crimes Trial Controversy by Steven P. Remy
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2017
Basement D804.G3 R46 2017

During the Battle of the Bulge, Waffen SS soldiers shot 84 American prisoners near the Belgian town of Malmedy-the deadliest mass execution of U.S. soldiers during World War II. The bloody deeds of December 17, 1944, produced the most controversial war crimes trial in American history. Drawing on newly declassified documents, Steven Remy revisits the massacre-and the decade-long controversy that followed-to set the record straight. After the war, the U.S. Army tracked down 74 of the SS men involved in the massacre and other atrocities and put them on trial at Dachau. All the defendants were convicted and sentenced to death or life imprisonment. Over the following decade, however, a network of Germans and sympathetic Americans succeeded in discrediting the trial. They claimed that interrogators-some of them Jewish émigrés-had coerced false confessions and that heat of battle conditions, rather than superiors' orders, had led to the shooting. They insisted that vengeance, not justice, was the prosecution's true objective. The controversy generated by these accusations, leveled just as the United States was anxious to placate its West German ally, resulted in the release of all the convicted men by 1957. The Malmedy Massacre shows that the torture accusations were untrue, and the massacre was no accident but was typical of the Waffen SS's brutal fighting style. Remy reveals in unprecedented depth how German and American amnesty advocates warped our understanding of one of the war's most infamous crimes through a systematic campaign of fabrications and distortions.


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The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017
Basement E185.61 .R8185 2017

In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation--that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes it clear that it was de jure segregation--the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments--that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research ... Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the South to the North.

As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post-World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Milwaukee show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest.


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The Art of Law in Shakespeare by Paul Raffield
Oxford: Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2017
Basement PR3028 .R335 2017

Through an examination of five plays by Shakespeare, Paul Raffield analyses the contiguous development of common law and poetic drama during the first decade of Jacobean rule. The broad premise of [this book] is that the 'artificial reason' of law was a complex art form that shared the same rhetorical strategy as the plays of Shakespeare. Common law and Shakespearean drama of this period employed various aesthetic devices to capture the imagination and the emotional attachment of their respective audiences. Common law of the Jacobean era, as spoken in the law courts, learnt at the Inns of Court and recorded in the law reports, used imagery that would have been familiar to audiences of Shakespeare's plays. In its juridical form, English law was intrinsically dramatic, its adversarial mode of expression being founded on an agonistic model.
<br.conversely, shakespeare="" borrowed="" from="" the="" common="" law="" some="" of="" its="" most="" critical="" themes:="" justice,="" legitimacy,="" sovereignty,="" community,="" fairness,="" and="" (above="" all="" else)="" humanity.="" each="" chapter="" investigates="" a="" particular="" aspect="" law,="" seen="" through="" lens="" specific="" play="" by="" shakespeare.="" topics="" include="" unprecedented="" significance="" rhetorical="" skills="" to="" practice="" learning="" (love's="" labour's="" lost);="" early="" modern="" treason="" trial="" as="" exemplar="" theatre="" (macbeth);="" art="" legitimate="" distillation="" nature="" (the="" winter's="" tale);="" efforts="" lawyers="" create="" an="" image="" nationhood="" both="" classical="" judeo-christian="" mythography="" (cymbeline);="" theatrical="" device="" island="" microcosm="" jacobean="" state="" project="" imperial="" expansion="" tempest).=""