New Books in the Library – June/July

Faculty Publication


The Logic of Securities Law

Georgakopoulos, Nicholas
KF1439 .G46 2017


This book opens with a simple introduction to financial markets, attempting to understand the action and the players of Wall Street by comparing them to the action and the players of main street. Firstly, it explores the definition of a security by its function, the departure from the buyer beware environment of corporate law and the entrance into the seller disclose environment of securities law. Secondly, it shows that the cost of disclosure rules is justified by their capacity to combat irrationalities, fads, and panics. The third section explains how the structure of class actions is designed to improve deterrence. Next it explores the economic harm from insider trading and how the law fights it. In sum, the book shows how all these parts of securities law serve the virtuous cycle from liquidity to accurate prices and more trading and how the great recession showed that our securities regulation reacted mostly adequately to the crisis.

More New Books


Animus: A Short Introduction to Bias in the Law

Araiza, William D.
KF4764 .A972 2017


If a town council denies a zoning permit for a group home for intellectually disabled persons because residents don’t want “those kinds of people” in the neighborhood, the town’s decision is motivated by the public’s dislike of a particular group.  Constitutional law calls this rationale “animus.”

Over the last two decades, the Supreme Court has increasingly turned to the concept of animus 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?

Animus engages these important questions, offering an original and provocative introduction to this type of unconstitutional bias.  William Araiza 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.  Animus 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.

Artistic License: The Philosophical Problems of Copyright and Appropriation

Hick, Darren Hudson
K1420.5 .H53 2017


The art scene today is one of appropriation—of remixing, reusing, and recombining the works of other artists. From the musical mash-ups of Girl Talk to the pop-culture borrowings of Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, it’s clear that the artistic landscape is shifting—which leads to some tricky legal and philosophical questions. In this up-to-date, thorough, and accessible analysis of the right to copyright, Darren Hudson Hick works to reconcile the growing practice of artistic appropriation with innovative views of artists’ rights, both legal and moral.

Engaging with long-standing debates about the nature of originality, authorship, and artists’ rights, Hick examines the philosophical challenges presented by the role of intellectual property in the artworld and vice versa. Using real-life examples of artists who have incorporated copyrighted works into their art, he explores issues of artistic creation and the nature of infringement as they are informed by analytical aesthetics and legal and critical theory. Ultimately, Artistic License provides a critical and systematic analysis of the key philosophical issues that underlie copyright policy, rethinking the relationship between artist, artwork, and the law.

Beyond Marriage: Continuing Battles for LGBT Rights

Mezey, Susan Gluck
KF4754.5 .M489 2017


In this book, Susan Gluck Mezey examines LGBT policymaking over the last several decades, highlighting advances in LGBT rights as well as formidable challenges that still confront the LGBT community. With an emphasis on courts, she traces developments in the struggles for LGBT rights in the United States and abroad. The chapters focus on employment discrimination, transgender rights, marriage equality, and the ongoing battles over discrimination against same-sex couples and transgender persons in education, employment, and public accommodations. It also adds a global perspective by appraising issues affecting LGBT rights in other parts of the world, discussing claims of discrimination in the Canadian and South African courts as well as in the European Court of Human Rights.

Mezey provides a succinct and accessible guide to the debates over sexual orientation and gender identity, evaluating the roles played by state and federal courts, legislatures, and chief executives in formulating and implementing LGBT policy. Suitable as an up-to-date resource for anyone interested in LGBT rights, Beyond Marriage will also help students in upper-level classes focusing on judicial politics, public policymaking, family law, civil rights, gender policy, and minority group politics understand ways forward for the LGBT community in the political realm.

Blaming Mothers: American Law and the Risks to Children’s Health

Fentiman, Linda C.
KF9323 .F46 2017


Are mothers truly a danger to their children’s health? In 2004, a mentally disabled young woman in Utah was charged by prosecutors with murder after she declined to have a Caesarian section and subsequently delivered a stillborn child.  In 2010, a pregnant woman who attempted suicide when the baby’s father abandoned her was charged with murder and attempted feticide after the daughter she delivered prematurely died. These are just two of the many cases that portray mothers as the major source of health risk for their children. The American legal system is deeply shaped by unconscious risk perception that distorts core legal principles to punish mothers who “fail to protect” their children.

In Blaming Mothers, Professor Fentiman explores how mothers became legal targets. She explains the psychological processes we use to confront tragic events and the unconscious race, class, and gender biases that affect our perceptions and influence the decisions of prosecutors, judges, and jurors. Fentiman examines legal actions taken against pregnant women in the name of “fetal protection” including court ordered C-sections and maintaining brain-dead pregnant women on life support to gestate a fetus, as well as charges brought against mothers who fail to protect their children from an abusive male partner. She considers the claims of physicians and policymakers that refusing to breastfeed is risky to children’s health. And she explores the legal treatment of lead-poisoned children, in which landlords and lead paint manufacturers are not held responsible for exposing children to high levels of lead, while mothers are blamed for their children’s injuries.

Blaming Mothers is a powerful call to reexamine who – and what – we consider risky to children’s health. Fentiman offers an important framework for evaluating childhood risk that, rather than scapegoating mothers, provides concrete solutions that promote the health of all of America’s children.

Broken Scales: Reflections on Injustice

Cohen, Joel
KF384 .C64 2017


However rare, some injustices are “objectively” determined, often through DNA evidence, which allows us to squarely establish innocence despite a conviction. But the stories selected for this book represent a cross-section: some are such that (almost) every reader will see and acknowledge the wrong, and some interviews may leave the readers scratching his head, wondering “what was the author thinking?” By speaking with those impacted by injustices that occurred over the last 60 years–during the 1950s at the height of McCarthyism, the 1980s in Louisiana and New York when race played a large a role in how justice was dispensed and how the media portrayed the participants, the aftermath of 9/11 when many were prepared to believe the worst, and the time shortly before the Supreme Court decided that marriage could be granted to same-sex couples–this book requires readers to look at injustice in the context of our times. The stories told by the participants themselves give the reader insight into the challenges of dispensing, and even commenting on, justice. The author asks difficult questions: Is there an injustice when the game seems to have been played fairly, but the System still got it wrong? Is it an injustice when a jury, properly charged with the evidence fairly presented, convicts the wrong man? Or when people, so passionate in their own point of view, use over-the-top tactics to persuade others of their position? These interviews add to the important–and what must be ongoing–conversation about injustice in America.

The Case for Impeachment

Lichtman, Allan J.
KF5076 .T78 L53 2017


Professor Allan J. Lichtman, who has correctly forecasted thirty years of presidential outcomes, makes the case for impeaching the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump

In the fall of 2016, Distinguished Professor of History at American University Allan J. Lichtman made headlines when he predicted that Donald J. Trump would defeat the heavily favored Democrat, Hillary Clinton, to win the presidential election.

Now, in clear, nonpartisan terms, Lichtman lays out the reasons Congress could remove Trump from the Oval Office: his ties to Russia before and after the election, the complicated financial conflicts of interest at home and abroad, and his abuse of executive authority.

The Case for Impeachment also offers a fascinating look at presidential impeachments throughout American history, including the often-overlooked story of Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, details about Richard Nixon’s resignation, and Bill Clinton’s hearings. Lichtman shows how Trump exhibits many of the flaws (and more) that have doomed past presidents. As the Nixon Administration dismissed the reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as “character assassination” and “a vicious abuse of the journalistic process,” Trump has attacked the “dishonest media,” claiming, “the press should be ashamed of themselves.”

Historians, legal scholars, and politicians alike agree: we are in politically uncharted waters—the durability of our institutions is being undermined and the public’s confidence in them is eroding, threatening American democracy itself.

Most citizens—politics aside—want to know where the country is headed. Lichtman argues, with clarity and power, that for Donald Trump’s presidency, smoke has become fire.

The Choice Theory of Contracts

Dagan, Ḥanokh
K840 .D325 2017


This concise landmark in law and jurisprudence offers the first coherent, liberal account of contract law. The Choice Theory of Contracts answers the field’s most pressing questions: what is the ‘freedom’ in ‘freedom of contract’? What core values animate contract law and how do those values interrelate? How must the state act when it shapes contract law? Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller – two of the world’s leading private law theorists – show exactly why and how freedom matters to contract law. They start with the most appealing tenets of modern liberalism and end with their implications for contract law. This readable, engaging book gives contract scholars, teachers, and students a powerful normative vocabulary for understanding canonical cases, refining key doctrines, and solving long-standing puzzles in the law.

The Commercial Appropriation of Fame: A Cultural Analysis of the Right of Publicity and Passing Off

Tan, David
K627 .T36 2017


Celebrities can sell anything from cars to clothing, and we are constantly fascinated by their influence over our lifestyle choices. This book makes an important contribution to legal scholarship about the laws governing the commercial appropriation of fame. Exploring the right of publicity in the US and the passing off action in the UK and Australia, David Tan demonstrates how an appreciation of the production, circulation and consumption of fame can be incorporated into a pragmatic framework to further the understanding of the laws protecting the commercial value of the celebrity personality. Using contemporary examples such as social media and appropriation art, Tan shows how present challenges for the law may be addressed using this cultural framework. This book will be of interest to intellectual property law academics, judges, practitioners and students in the US and common law jurisdictions, as well as those in the field of cultural studies.

Constitutional Courts, Gay Rights and Sexual Orientation Equality

Sperti, Angioletta
K3242.3 .S68 2017


In the last fifteen years constitutional issues regarding the rights of gays, lesbians and same-sex couples have emerged on a global scale. The pace of recognition of their fundamental rights, both at judicial and legislative level, has dramatically increased across different jurisdictions, reflecting a growing consensus toward sexual orientation equality.

This book considers a wide-range of decisions by constitutional and international courts, from the decriminalization of sexual acts to the recognition of same-sex marriage and parental rights for same-sex couples. It discusses analogies and differences in judicial arguments and rationales in such cases, focusing in particular on human dignity, privacy, liberty, equality and non-discrimination.

It argues that courts operate as major exporters of models and principles and that judicial cross-fertilization also helps courts in increasing the acceptability of gays’ and lesbians’ rights in public opinions and politics. Courts discuss changes in the social perception of marriage and family at national and international levels and at the same time confirm and reinforce them, forging the legal debate over sexual orientation equality. Furthermore, by promoting the political reception of the achievements of foreign gay movements in their own jurisdictions, courts play an essential role in breaking the political stalemate.

Copyright Litigation Strategies

KF3080 .C67 2017


This comprehensive handbook explores all aspects of copyright litigation strategies: pre-litigation considerations and analysis, alternative dispute resolution, formulating discovery plans, third-party discovery, foreign discovery, handling depositions, working with experts, motion practice, the trial, proving infringement, defeating infringement claims, evidence, appeals, and more.

Exonerated: A History of the Innocence Movement

Norris, Robert J.
KF9756 .N67 2017


Documentaries like Making a Murderer, the first season of 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.

Robert Norris also examines how and why the innocence movement took hold. He argues that while 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. Exonerated reveals the rich background story to this complex movement.

The Fourth Amendment in an Age of Surveillance

Gray, David C.
KF9630 .G67 2017


The Fourth Amendment is facing a crisis. New and emerging surveillance technologies allow government agents to track us wherever we go, to monitor our activities online and offline, and to gather massive amounts of information relating to our financial transactions, communications, and social contacts. In addition, traditional police methods like stop-and-frisk have grown out of control, subjecting hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens to routine searches and seizures. In this work, David Gray uncovers the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment to reveal how its historical guarantees of collective security against threats of ‘unreasonable searches and seizures’ can provide concrete solutions to the current crisis. This important work should be read by anyone concerned with the ongoing viability of one of the most important constitutional rights in an age of increasing government surveillance.

Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes: Women, Mediation, and Religious Arbitration

K672 .G46 2017


Recently, new methods of dispute resolution in matters of family law—such as arbitration, mediation, and conciliation—have created new forms of legal culture that affect minority communities throughout the world. There are now multiple ways of obtaining restitution through nontraditional alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. For some, the emergence of ADRs can be understood as part of a broader liberal response to the challenges presented by the settlement of migrant communities in Western liberal democracies. Questions of rights are framed as “multicultural challenges” that give rise to important issues relating to power, authority, agency, and choice. Underpinning these debates are questions about the doctrine and practice of secularism, citizenship, belonging, and identity.

Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes offers insights into how women’s autonomy and personal decision-making capabilities are expressed via multiple formal and nonformal dispute-resolution mechanisms, and as part of their social and legal lived realities. It analyzes the specific ways in which both mediation and religious arbitration take shape in contemporary and comparative family law across jurisdictions. Demarcating lines between contemporary family mediation and new forms of religious arbitration, Bano illuminates the complexities of these processes across multiple national contexts.

A Global Political Morality: Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism

Perry, Michael J.
KF4749 .P4334 2017


In A Global Political Morality, Michael J. Perry addresses several related questions in human rights theory, political theory and constitutional theory. He begins by explaining what the term ‘human right’ means and then elaborates and defends the morality of human rights, which is the first truly global morality in human history. Perry also pursues the implications of the morality of human rights for democratic governance and for the proper role of courts – especially the US Supreme Court – in protecting constitutionally entrenched human rights. The principal constitutional controversies discussed in the book are capital punishment, race-based affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide and abortion.

Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court: From Brandeis to Kagan

Dalin, David G.
KF8744 .D35 2017


Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court examines the lives, legal careers, and legacies of the eight Jews who have served or who currently serve as justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Elena Kagan.

David Dalin discusses the relationship that these Jewish justices have had with the presidents who appointed them, and given the judges’ Jewish background, investigates the antisemitism some of the justices encountered in their ascent within the legal profession before their appointment, as well as the role that antisemitism played in the attendant political debates and Senate confirmation battles.

Other topics and themes include the changing role of Jews within the American legal profession and the views and judicial opinions of each of the justices on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the death penalty, the right to privacy, gender equality, and the rights of criminal defendants, among other issues.

Judgment: What Law Judges Can Learn from Sports Officiating and Art Criticism

Popkin, William D.
KF8775 .P668 2017


In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton tells us that judges have ”merely” judgment but does not explain what judgment means. This book provides that explanation. It compares judgment across a range of activities¿consumer choices, religion, sports officiating, art and food criticism, and law¿with the goal of better understanding legal judgment. After exploring these various modes of comparison, the book concludes that law judging is fundamentally discretionary and uncertain. It then falls to the legal profession to explain to the public, without undermining respect for law, why this is so. In this way, not unlike our perception of the uncertainties that confront sports officials or that pervade scientific research, the public will come to appreciate the struggles that law judges encounter when making judgment.

Judicial Independence and the American Constitution: A Democratic Paradox

Redish, Martin H.
KF5130 .R43 2017


The Framers of the American Constitution took special pains to ensure that the governing principles of the republic were insulated from the reach of simple majorities. Only super-majoritarian amendments could modify these fundamental constitutional dictates. The Framers established a judicial branch shielded from direct majoritarian political accountability to protect and enforce these constitutional limits. Paradoxically, only a counter-majoritarian judicial branch could ensure the continued vitality of our representational form of government. This important lesson of the paradox of American democracy has been challenged and often ignored by office holders and legal scholars. Judicial Independence and the American Constitution provocatively defends the centrality of these special protections of judicial independence. Martin H. Redish explains how the nation’s system of counter-majoritarian constitutionalism cannot survive absent the vesting of final powers of constitutional interpretation and enforcement in the one branch of government expressly protected by the Constitution from direct political accountability: the judicial branch. He uncovers how the current framework of American constitutional law has been unwisely allowed to threaten or undermine these core precepts of judicial independence.

Merry and Mccall Smith’s Errors, Medicine and the Law

Merry, Alan
K637 .H856 2017


There is an understandable tendency or desire to attribute blame when patients are harmed by their own healthcare. However, many cases of iatrogenic harm involve little or no moral culpability. Even when blame is justified, an undue focus on one individual often deflects attention from other important factors within the inherent complexity of modern healthcare. This revised second edition advocates a rethinking of accountability in healthcare based on science, the principles of a just culture, and novel therapeutic legal processes. Updated to include many recent relevant events, including the Keystone Project in the USA and the Mid Staffordshire scandal in the UK, this book considers how the concepts of a just culture have been successfully implemented so far, and makes recommendations for best practice. This book will be of interest to anyone concerned with patient safety, medical law and the regulation of healthcare.

Network Neutrality: From Policy to Law to Regulation

Marsden, Christopher T.
K4345 .M37 2017


Network Neutrality examines the development of the law, policy and regulation of the most contested internet access policy of our time, network ‘net’ neutrality.

This study explains the concept of network neutrality and its history as an extension of the rights and duties of common carriers, as well as its policy history as examined in US and European regulatory proceedings from 1999. The book compares national and regional legislation and regulation of net neutrality from an interdisciplinary and international perspective. It also examines the future of net neutrality battles in Europe, the United States and in developing countries such as India and Brazil, and explores the case studies of Specialised Services and Content Delivery Networks for video over the Internet, and zero rating or sponsored data plans. Finally, Network neutrality offers co-regulatory solutions based on FRAND and non-exclusivity.

This is a must-read for researchers and advocates in net neutrality debate, and those interested in the context of communications regulation, law and economic regulation, human rights discourse and policy, and the impact of science and engineering on policy and governance.

The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection

Schmitz, Amy J.
KF9084 .R85 2017


The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection focuses on resolving disputes arising from online transactions. This groundbreaking book proposes a design to provide fast and fair resolutions for low-dollar claims, such as those in most B2C transactions. This revolutionary system is designed to operate independently of the courts, thereby eliminating procedural complexities and choice of law concerns. Furthermore, it can be integrated directly into the websites where transactions take place. It provides consumers with free access to remedies, while saving businesses from costs and complexities of court. The New Handshake aims to rebuild trust in the B2C marketplace, and to provide a blueprint for the future of online consumer protection.

This book is an essential resource for online merchants, payment providers, customer service professionals, lawyers, judges, law and business students, consumer advocates, policy makers and ODR systems designers.

The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Health Law

KF3821 .O98 2017


The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Health Law covers the breadth and depth of health law, with contributions from the most eminent scholars in the field. The Handbook paints with broad thematic strokes the major features of American healthcare law and policy, its recent reforms including the Affordable Care Act, its relationship to medical ethics and constitutional principles, and how it compares to the experience of other countries. It explores the legal framework for the patient experience, from access through treatment, to recourse (if treatment fails), and examines emerging issues involving healthcare information, the changing nature of healthcare regulation, immigration, globalization, aging, and the social determinants of health. This Handbook provides valuable content, accessible to readers new to the subject, as well as to those who write, teach, practice, or make policy in health law.

Permanent State of Emergency: Unchecked Executive Power and the Demise of the Rule of Law

Alford, Ryan Patrick
KF5060 .A955 2017


In the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States launched initiatives that test the limits of international human rights law. The indefinite detention and torture of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, targeted killing, and mass surveillance require an expansion of executive authority that negates the rule of law. In Permanent State of Emergency, Ryan Alford establishes that the ongoing failure to address human rights abuses is a symptom of the most serious constitutional crisis in American history. Instead of curbing the increase in executive power, Congress and the courts facilitated the breakdown of the nation’s constitutional order and set the stage for presidential supremacy. The presidency, Alford argues, is now more than imperial: it is an elective dictatorship. Providing both an overview and a systematic analysis of the new regime, he objectively demonstrates that it does not meet even the minimum requirements of the rule of law. At this critical juncture in American democracy, Permanent State of Emergency alerts the public to the structural transformation of the state and reiterates the importance of the constitutional limits of the American presidency.

Premarital Agreements

Ravdin, Linda J.
KF529 .R38 2017


Premarital Agreements, Second Edition is an updated clearly written primer that focuses on the fundamentals involved in negotiating and drafting these agreements, explaining the most critical aspects involved in creating a premarital agreement. A premarital agreement is a contract between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage. Historically courts refused to enforce premarital agreements at divorce, believing that such contracts made divorce too easy. That began to change in the early 1970s until every state, by statute or case law, permitted prospective spouses to predetermine in a premarital agreement their rights to property at divorce and, in the majority of states, to fix or waive the right to support.

Regulating Patient Safety: The End of Professional Dominance?

Quick, Oliver
K3601 .Q85 2017


Systematically improving patient safety is of the utmost importance, but it is also an extremely complex and challenging task. This illuminating study evaluates the role of professionalism, regulation and law in seeking to improve safety, arguing that the ‘medical dominance’ model is ill-suited to this aim, which instead requires a patient-centred vision of professionalism. It brings together literatures on professions, regulation and trust, while examining the different legal mechanisms for responding to patient safety events. Oliver Quick includes an examination in areas of law which have received little attention in this context, such as health and safety law, and coronial law, and contends in particular that the active involvement of patients in their own treatment is fundamental to ensuring their safety.

Reproductive Justice: An Introduction

Ross, Loretta
KF3760 .R67 2017


Reproductive Justice is a first-of-its-kind primer that provides a comprehensive yet succinct description of the field. Written by two legendary scholar-activists, Reproductive Justice introduces students to an intersectional analysis of race, class, and gender politics. Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger put the lives and lived experience of women of color at the center of the book and use a human rights analysis to show how the discussion around reproductive justice differs significantly from the pro-choice/anti-abortion debates that have long dominated the headlines and mainstream political conflict. Arguing that reproductive justice is a political movement of reproductive rights and social justice, the authors illuminate, for example, the complex web of structural obstacles a low-income, physically disabled woman living in West Texas faces as she contemplates her sexual and reproductive intentions. In a period in which women’s reproductive lives are imperiled, Reproductive Justice provides an essential guide to understanding and mobilizing around women’s human rights in the twenty-first century.

Rights and Retrenchment: The Counterrevolution Against Federal Litigation

Burbank, Stephen B.
KF1325 .C58 B87 2017


This groundbreaking book contributes to an emerging literature that examines responses to the rights revolution that unfolded in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. Using original archival evidence and data, Stephen B. Burbank and Sean Farhang identify the origins of the counterrevolution against private enforcement of federal law in the first Reagan Administration. They then measure the counterrevolution’s trajectory in the elected branches, court rulemaking, and the Supreme Court, evaluate its success in those different lawmaking sites, and test key elements of their argument. Finally, the authors leverage an institutional perspective to explain a striking variation in their results: although the counterrevolution largely failed in more democratic lawmaking sites, in a long series of cases little noticed by the public, an increasingly conservative and ideologically polarized Supreme Court has transformed federal law, making it less friendly, if not hostile, to the enforcement of rights through lawsuits.

Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America’s Origins to the Twenty-First Century

Stone, Geoffrey R.
KF9325 .S76 2017


Beginning his volume in the ancient and medieval worlds, Geoffrey R. Stone demonstrates how the Founding Fathers, deeply influenced by their philosophical forebears, saw traditional Christianity as an impediment to the pursuit of happiness and to the quest for human progress. Acutely aware of the need to separate politics from the divisive forces of religion, the Founding Fathers crafted a constitution that expressed the fundamental values of the Enlightenment.

Although the Second Great Awakening later came to define America through the lens of evangelical Christianity, nineteenth-century Americans continued to view sex as a matter of private concern, so much so that sexual expression and information about contraception circulated freely, abortions before “quickening” remained legal, and prosecutions for sodomy were almost nonexistent.

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reversed such tolerance, however, as charismatic spiritual leaders and barnstorming politicians rejected the values of our nation’s founders. Spurred on by Anthony Comstock, America’s most feared enforcer of morality, new laws were enacted banning pornography, contraception, and abortion, with Comstock proposing that the word “unclean” be branded on the foreheads of homosexuals. Women increasingly lost control of their bodies, and birth control advocates, like Margaret Sanger, were imprisoned for advocating their beliefs. In this new world, abortions were for the first time relegated to dank and dangerous back rooms.

The twentieth century gradually saw the emergence of bitter divisions over issues of sexual “morality” and sexual freedom. Fiercely determined organizations and individuals on both the right and the left wrestled in the domains of politics, religion, public opinion, and the courts to win over the soul of the nation. With its stirring portrayals of Supreme Court justices, Sex and the Constitution reads like a dramatic gazette of the critical cases they decided, ranging from Griswold v. Connecticut (contraception), to Roe v. Wade (abortion), to Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage), with Stone providing vivid historical context to the decisions that have come to define who we are as a nation.

Now, though, after the 2016 presidential election, we seem to have taken a huge step backward, with the progress of the last half century suddenly imperiled. No one can predict the extent to which constitutional decisions safeguarding our personal freedoms might soon be eroded, but Sex and the Constitution is more vital now than ever before.

Unequal: How America’s Courts Undermine Discrimination Law

Sperino, Sandra F.
KF4755 .S965 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.

Wrongful Convictions and the DNA Revolution: Twenty-Five Years of Freeing the Innocent

KF9756 .W76 2017


For centuries, most people believed the criminal justice system worked – that only guilty defendants were convicted. DNA technology shattered that belief. DNA has now freed more than three hundred innocent prisoners in the United States. This book examines the lessons learned from twenty-five years of DNA exonerations and identifies lingering challenges. By studying the dataset of DNA exonerations, we know that precise factors lead to wrongful convictions. These include eyewitness misidentifications, false confessions, dishonest informants, poor defense lawyering, weak forensic evidence, and prosecutorial misconduct. In Part I, scholars discuss the efforts of the Innocence Movement over the past quarter century to expose the phenomenon of wrongful convictions and to implement lasting reforms. In Part II, another set of researchers looks ahead and evaluates what still needs to be done to realize the ideal of a more accurate system.

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This entry was posted on August 1, 2017 by in Announcements.

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