Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Release: "Patriation and Its Consequences"

Just released is Patriation and its Consequences: Constitution Making in Canada, ed. Lois Harder and Steve Patten (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015):
Few moments in Canadian history are as intriguing as the "patriation" of Canada’s constitution from Britain. Over the years, the tale of the political battle between Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the "Gang of Eight" provincial premiers opposing his patriation plans has developed mythical status. Constitutional lore suggests Canadians would not have a patriated constitution and entrenched the Charter of Rights and Freedoms if not for some last-minute negotiations that took place in a hotel kitchen the night of 4 November 1981 – a night Quebec Premier René Lévesque famously described as the "Night of the Long Knives," when his seven provincial allies deserted him.
In an effort to look beyond this familiar narrative, Patriation and Its Consequences: Constitution Making in Canada revisits these negotiations and the personalities, visions, and struggles that shaped the resulting constitutional agreement. Offering fresh perspectives on the politics of this key moment in Canadian history, it focuses on the players behind the patriation process, including First Nations and feminist activists, who helped shape Canada’s new constitution.

The volume also examines the long shadow of patriation, including the alienation of Quebec, the character of Canadian federalism, Indigenous constitutionalism and Aboriginal treaty rights, and the struggle to ensure gender equality rights in Canada.
The TOC (and a link to Eric Adams's chapter), follows after the jump:

Monday, May 25, 2015

CFP: Ocean of Law

[Via H-Law, we have the following CFP.]

Ocean of Law: Intermixed Legal Systems across the Indian Ocean World, 1550-1950, Leiden University, December 7-9, 2015.    Keynote speakers: Prof. Paul Halliday, University of Virginia; Prof. Engseng Ho, Duke University and National University Singapore

A sixteenth-century Arabic legal text, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami’s Tu?fat al-Mu?taj, travelled from the Middle East, via South Asia to Southeast Asia. It was used in the Muslim legal circles as well as in the colonial courts of British India and the Dutch East Indies. This journey of the Tuhfat is only one example of, first, how legal ideas and texts travelled across borders and, second, how these ideas shaped the legal traditions and systems encountered during their journey. These moments of interaction reveal how legal cultures negotiated, influenced, and conflicted each other. They also show how information and legal systems were reconstructed. Over centuries, intermixed legal systems evolved across the Indian Ocean world creating an ocean of law.

This conference will bring together scholars working on the legal histories of the Indian Ocean World (1550-1950). Questions will be addressed such as: how were legal systems formed regionally through interactions? To what extent did law play a role in the shaping of societal, multi-cultural or maritime settlements, and of empires and colonial states in general? How did law function in the cosmopolitan communities and how did the legal systems influence each other?

Legal history in connection with the Indian Ocean world is relatively a new field. Recent work by many scholars in this area has added value to the cultural history of such regions as South, Southeast and East Asia, and the Middle East and of the workings of imperial and colonial structures. Interdisciplinary research and cooperation of scholars working on early-modern and modern history of the broader Indian Ocean world help trace back the journeys of legal ideas and to reconstruct these legal histories. This conference will provide a platform for scholars to discuss and share their work.

The existing historiographies on legal pluralism, spatialization of law, movement of ideas, information networks, and cultural brokerage serve as stepping stones for further discussions. The main themes of the conference would be:

  • Religious and secular laws: the construction, generalization and/or homogenization of laws varying from Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist to Confucianist legal notions against/with the ‘secular’ laws.
  • Colonial and non-colonial laws: colonial legal discourses and the saving/reforming enterprise of non-colonial laws.
  • Legal institutions: continuities, discontinuities and ruptures in differently functioning (pluralistic) legal institutions and their organizations.
  • Micro and macro legal systems: macro legal theories’ regional functionality, micro legal practices’ negotiations with the broader systems.
  • Relationships between theory and practice of law: texts and juridical manuals in practice, the exclusions and inclusions, selections and deletions.
We welcome a range of contributions about the cultural mechanisms of law in the Indian Ocean world. We aim this to be an interdisciplinary platform and therefore invite papers from historians, anthropologists, legal scholars and others whose research is related to the Indian Ocean legal world. We also invite papers focussing on various regions of the Indian Ocean rim from East Africa to East Asia in order to put together panels comprising of scholars working on different regions, time-periods, and themes for discussing the connections and comparisons in legal cultures. However, we intend to limit the approaches into a cultural historical perspective to understand how law played a role in the cultural formations and transformations.

Abstracts of 500 words are due by 10 June, 2015 and should be sent to oceanoflaw@gmail.com. As an outcome of the conference, an edited volume / special issue of a peer-reviewed journal will be published. We encourage those, who are interested in publishing, to submit their full paper of no more than 10,000 words by 1 November, 2015.

For further conference details please see the conference website, here.

Conveners: Mahmood Kooria MPhill ; Sanne Ravensbergen MA.  Advisory committee: Prof. dr. Jos Gommans, Prof. dr. Léon Buskens, Dr. Alicia Schrikker, Dr. Adriaan Bedner.  Sponsored by: Leiden University Institute for History, Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS), Asian Modernities and Traditions (AMT), Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction, Leiden University Fund.

JSLH 22 (2014)

Here is the TOC for the Journal of Southern Legal History 22 (2014): 1-300:

John C. Bell, Jr., “President's Foreword”

Cayce Myers, “Introduction to an Oral History of Dr. Verner Chaffin”

Cayce Myers, “An Interview of Dr. Verner Chaffin on March 16, 2012"

“The United States Attorney's Office Middle District of Georgia”
Moderators: Manley F. Brown, Hon. Marc T. Treadwell. Discussants: Gary B. Blasingame, Manley F. Brown, Joseph H. Davis, Joseph W. Popper, Jr.
Michael Mears, “Entrapped in the Web of His Own Ambition: The Story of Senator Roscoe Dean, Jr.”

Zachary Newkirk, “Gray Jackets and Rifles to Black Robes and Gavels: Confederate Veterans in the U.S. Federal Courts from Ulysses Grant to William H. Taft”

Donald E. Wilkes, Jr., “The Great Writ in the Peach State: Georgia Habeas Corpus, 1865-1965"

Jurisprudence and (Its) History

Just out in the Virginia Law Review is the symposium "Jurisprudence and (Its) History," which was held last September and sponsored by UVA's Program in Legal and Constitutional History and the Virginia Law Review. As the review's website explains:
The Jurisprudence and (Its) History Symposium featured seven invited speakers, who each present a paper, and seven commentators, who introduced each session with a comment on each paper.  Those papers and commentaries have been published in Volume 101, Issue 4 of the Virginia Law Review, and can be found here.

The term “jurisprudence” typically refers to the philosophy of law. So understood, its aspirations are broad and deep; its aim is not to master some particular area of legal doctrine but to understand the nature and purpose of law in general. For the past several decades, however, jurisprudence has come to describe the more specific practice of using the techniques of analytic philosophy to clarify the meaning of familiar legal concepts, such as “right,” “duty,” “authority,” or “law” itself.

One consequence of this narrowing of scholarly ambitions is that less attention has been paid to those legal philosophers from the past who have had different, and often broader, understandings of what philosophical inquiry into law properly entails. In part because of this neglect, today many law students, law teachers, and lawyers who are deeply interested in exploring the intellectual foundations of law have dismissed jurisprudence as an esoteric field of study whose practitioners are gripped by concerns remote from their own.

The aim of this symposium is to consider whether the boundaries of jurisprudence might be broadened, and its insights deepened, by looking to the history of jurisprudential thought. Some papers examine the work of past legal philosophers, others consider the role that the history of legal provisions – particularly constitutional ones – plays in legal theory, and still others take up directly the methodological question of whether or in what way philosophical thinking has been or should be, influenced by its own intellectual history.  What all of the papers share, however, is a common concern with how history bears on philosophical thinking about law.
The papers listed below are all available here.  An introduction, by Charles L. Barzun, University of Virginia School of Law, and Dan Priel, York University Osgoode Hall Law School, is also up on SSRN.
It is not obvious that philosophers and historians of law should take much interest in the scholarly enterprises of the other. Many legal philosophers understand their task as one of clarifying the meaning of such familiar legal concepts as “right,” “duty,” or “law” by offering analyses of them that purport to be general, abstract, and timeless. Meanwhile, historians tend to be suspicious of speculative claims ungrounded in fact and so often prefer to focus on the concrete, particular features of actual legal regimes.

But surface appearances can deceive. Unlike some other areas of philosophy, the subject matter of jurisprudence is at least partially (if not entirely) a social phenomenon. For this reason, legal philosophers since at least H.L.A. Hart have recognized their task to be a “hermeneutic” one — one which aims to discern or make explicit the “self-understanding” of legal actors. At the same time, legal historians aim not simply to record legal rules that existed at some given point in history, but to unearth the meaning that actual people have attached to law. Perhaps, then, philosophical and historical inquiries about law share the same ultimate scholarly goal and subject matter.

This essay serves as the Introduction to a symposium in the Virginia Law Review that explores just this possibility. Its purpose is both to highlight some of the themes common to the symposium’s essays and comments, and, more ambitiously, to suggest that these papers show how philosophers and historians of law might bring their respective disciplinary methods to bear in answering the same kind of question. In particular, both methods are useful for answering questions about what best explains the endurance or disappearance of an idea, theory, or set of concerns in legal thought or practice. Our claim is not that legal historians and philosophers of law should agree in the answers they give to such questions. They will and should often disagree. Rather, our goal is to show how scholars from the two disciplines may plausibly be seen as joining issue in a productive debate, rather than simply talking past one another.
Contents after the jump

Joseph on "Islamic Law and the Management of Natural Resources in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Ottoman Syria"

The May 2015 issue of Environment and History includes an article of interest: "Islamic Law and the Management of Natural Resources in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Ottoman Syria," by Sabrina Joseph (Zayed University). Here's the abstract:
Drawing on evidence from seventeenth and eighteenth century Islamic legal sources in Ottoman Syria, the paper examines the laws governing the use and management of natural resources, particularly for agricultural production. Islamic jurists played a key role in mediating the state's relationship with local populations and legitimising local practices and customs that governed land and water use. Often, this translated into laws which prioritised protecting the public good while not necessarily challenging existing power structures. The paper also explains how pious endowments (waqfs) were integral to the management of land and water resources in Ottoman Syria. The study sheds light on indigenous narratives regarding the environment and how Islamic law adapted to social and economic circumstances on the ground. Ultimately, the law contributed to ensuring the socio-cultural sustainability of ‘management’ strategies implemented by local populations vis à vis the environment.
Subscribers may access full content here.

Hat tip: Environment, Law, and History

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Book Roundup

After a week off, we're back with plenty of book reviews for the long weekend.

From The New Rambler, there is a review of The Empire Trap: The Rise and Fall of U.S. Intervention to Protect American Property Overseas: 1893-2013 by Noel Maurer (Princeton University Press).

Amy Gajda's The First Amendment Bubble: How Privacy and Paparazzi Threaten a Free Press (Harvard University Press) is also reviewed in The New Rambler. 

The Nature of Legislative Intent by Richard Ekins (Oxford University Press) is reviewed in The New Rambler as well.

The Nation has a review of Raymond Williams's Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (Oxford University Press) and Franco Moretti's Distant Reading (Verso).
"Members of Williams’s generation believed that analyzing culture would bring about revolution. Much of their prose now sounds turgid, and many of their political hopes were either beaten into submission or inflated into a hyperbole that remains purely hypothetical. The New Left’s long revolution has ended up looking a lot like a retreat of left politics into the academy. This may be why Moretti and other distant readers have stepped back from making any greater claim for their data than that it offers valuable insights into literary history and forms for those of us already interested in literature. And yet, if we want there to be a T.S. Eliot or Raymond Williams or Franco Moretti to write about our current crisis in the future, academics will have to fight to preserve universities good enough to produce them today."
James M. McPherson reviews Eric Foner's Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad (Norton) for The New York Review of Books.

Also in The New York Review of Books is a review of Barney Frank's memoir, Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

Jill Leovy's Ghettoside: Investigating a Homicide Epidemic (Bodley Head)  and LAPD '53 by James Elroy and the Los Angeles Police Museum (Abrams Image) is reviewed in the New Statesman.
"And yet, Ellroy himself never seems overly concerned with penetrating to the human heart of the crimes. It seems he would rather riff on them, using gallows humour that seeks to blur the line between then and now. He likens two corpses from 1953 to contemporary figures, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Barack Obama, seemingly without purpose or reason. Such ­literary stunts smack of NHI, one of the “old unwritten” codes of the LAPD that Jill Leovy mentions in her book, Ghettoside: “No Human Involved”."
On HNN there is a review of Godfrey Hodgson's JFK and LBJ: The Last Two Great Presidents (Yale University Press).

Richard Drake's The Education of an Anti-Imperialist: Robert M. LaFollette and U.S. Expansion (University of Wisconsin Press) is reviewed on HNN too.

Over on H-Net, there is a review of Generation Vet: Composition, Student Veterans, and the Post-9/11 University (Utah State University Press) edited by Sue Doe and Lisa Langstraat.

Also posted on H-Net is a review of Carolyn T. Adams's From the Outside In: Suburban Elites, Third-Sector Organizations, and the Reshaping of Philadelphia (Cornell University Press).
"From the Outside In is a compelling study of the network of special-purpose authorities, quasi-governmental bodies, and nonprofit corporations that have come to dominate land use policy within Greater Philadelphia and reshape the city of Philadelphia, often in the interests of suburban elites. Because these institutions are not explicitly profit seeking or part of the government, they are considered “Third Sector” organizations. Despite not technically belonging to the private or public sector, Third-Sector organizations like the Old Philadelphia Development Corporation (OPDC) and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) have wealthy businesspeople on their boards and receive government grants. While the book focuses on Philadelphia and the ring of suburbs that surround the city in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, metropolitan regionalism and Third-Sector governance are emerging issues everywhere."
Carl Sferrazza Anthony's Ida McKinley: The Turn-of-the-Century First Lady through War, Assassination, and Secret Disability (Kent State University Press) is reviewed on H-Net as well.

So too is a review of The Forgotten Presidents: Their Untold Constitutional Legacy (Oxford University Press) by Michael J. Gerhardt.

Salon has an excerpt from Reagan: The Life (Doubleday) by H.W. Brands, titled "Ronald Reagan's FDR side: What today's conservatives--and liberals--get wrong about the Gipper."

The Washington Post reviews Akhil Reed Amar's The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic (Basic).
"In “The Law of the Land,” Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar has done just that by examining a range of issues involving the Constitution and the Supreme Court through the lens of geographical differences.
“America’s Constitution looks slightly different in each of the cities, states and regions that make up this great land,” Amar declares. His approach is to examine a melange of cases, presidents, justices and eras, with a dozen states serving in some way as filters. The book builds on themes of his earlier work, especially his 2005 book, “America’s Constitution,” which noted ways in which the document expressly incorporated geopolitics into its text." 
Also in The Post is a review of Steve Inskeep's Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and the Great American Land Grab (Penguin).
"What Inskeep shows us — through letters, first-rate historical research and able prose — is how the Cherokee (dispossessors and colonists of other neighboring tribes such as the Creek, Catawba and Tuscarora) fought for the United States and then, after their destinies were intertwined, ended up fighting against the government, in court and through lobbyists and by any other means except outright warfare. What emerges from the story of the two men is a bigger portrait of power and conflict in early America, which wasn’t simply a matter of white transgression and Indian resistance. Rather, Indians and whites were sometimes allies, sometimes not, sometimes united in cause, sometimes not. And the map of power wasn’t simply federal-vs.-tribal. There was a complex web of relationships among Indian tribes, the federal government and states (like Georgia) that wanted to dictate state sovereignty on their own terms."
There are many, many interviews from New Books:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weekend Roundup

  •  The National History Center's updated guide to researching in the National Archives is here.
    Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

    Friday, May 22, 2015

    Three by Ariens on the History of Legal Ethics

    Michael S. Ariens, St. Mary's University School of Law, has posted three papers on the history of legal ethics.  The first is Lost and Found: David Hoffman and the History of American Legal Ethics, from the Arkansas Law Review 67 (2014):
    David Hoffman was a successful Baltimore lawyer who wrote the first study of American law in 1817 and authored the first maxims of American legal ethics. Yet for more than a century after his death, Hoffman was a forgotten figure to American lawyers. Beginning in the late 1970s, Hoffman was re-discovered, and his writings on legal ethics have been favorably cited.

    How and why was Hoffman “lost” to American law for over a century, and why he was “found”? Hoffman was lost to history because his view of ethics was premised on republican virtue, specifically the concept of honor. A lawyer acted honorably if his actions were morally sanctioned. Thus, Hoffman concluded a lawyer should refuse to plead the statute of limitations because, though legal, such action was dishonorable. When Hoffman wrote his maxims of legal ethics, the concept of honor was being displaced by individualism. The test of lawyer behavior became private conscience rather than public honor. This turn was accompanied by a second shift, in which lawyers accepted that legal ethics differed from public morality. Though an “officer of the court,” the lawyer’s foremost duty was to serve his client’s private interests, and the lawyer was not morally accountable to the public for the client’s goals. One consequence of these changes was the profession’s agreement that lawyers owed a duty to their clients to plead all legal claims and defenses. This vision left Hoffman behind.

    Hoffman was found in response to a crisis within the modern American legal profession. By the late 1970s, many lawyers feared that the liberal ideal of the lawyer as a morally neutral, zealous agent (or “hired-gun”) effectuating a client’s goals ignored the lawyer’s duties to the public. This crisis was exacerbated by two events: Watergate, in which lawyers blindly followed the demands of their client, the President, to society’s detriment, and the ABA’s decision in 1978 to replace its 1969 Code of Professional Responsibility, because the Code embraced the “fiction” that ethical issues were “matters of ethics rather than law.” Because Hoffman concluded a lawyer’s duty to a client was limited by his duties to society, he was used as a relevant, historical example of an ethics of advocacy contrary to the “standard conception” of liberal neutrality. Hoffman was a touchstone justifying an ethics of virtue, of lawyers serving the ends of justice, not merely serving their client’s goals.
    The second is Brougham's Ghost, North Illinois University Law Review 35 (2015):
    In defending Queen Caroline in the House of Lords, Henry Brougham declared, “[a]n advocate, by the sacred duty of his connection with his client, knows, in the discharge of that office, but one person in the world, that client and none other.” Brougham’s ethic of advocacy has been cited repeatedly as stating the American lawyer’s duty of zealous representation of a client. It has often been called the “classic statement” of zealous representation and representing the “traditional view of the lawyer’s role.”

    This essay challenges these conclusions. Brougham’s rhetoric was neither a classic statement of the duty of loyalty to a client, nor did it represent a traditional view within the American legal profession. It was consciously rejected in nearly all writings of American lawyers for most of American history, and was not explicitly embraced until the 1970s. Reminding lawyers of the duty of zealous representation was promoted in the 1960s in part to solidify the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Criminal Procedure revolution, for only zealous lawyers could protect the rights of the criminally accused. Brougham’s ethic of advocacy was used to provide a historical justification for a revived zeal in criminal defense practice, an effort to make those lawyers more professional. This justification was transformed in the 1970s by two events: first, the American legal profession became enmeshed in a professionalism crisis as a consequence of the Watergate affair. Second, that professionalism crisis was exacerbated by a fear of diminishing economic prospects for American lawyers.

    This essay is divided into three parts. First, it offers a full assessment of Brougham’s representation of Queen Caroline. Second, it traces the published and negative reaction of American lawyers to Brougham’s statement of the duty of zealous representation from the 1840s on. Third, the essay explains why the consistent rejection of Brougham by American lawyers became the “classic statement” of the duty of the advocate beginning in the 1970s.
    The third is The Agony of Modern Legal Ethics, 1970-1985, St. Mary's Journal of Legal Malpractice and Ethics 5 (2014): 134:
    When the American Bar Association (ABA) adopted its Code of Professional Responsibility at its annual meeting in August 1969, the American legal profession was a publicly respected and economically vibrant body. Lawyers, though always more feared than loved, became increasingly important in post-World War II America. The demand for their services exploded for a quarter-century, and lawyers assumed an increased role in the economic and political life of the United States. During the 1950s and early 1960s, the Cold War led American lawyers and other public figures to re-emphasize the rule of law as defining the difference between the United States and the Soviet Union. Relatedly, American lawyers argued they possessed a central role in maintaining the rule of law. From the 1950s through the mid-1960s, the popular image of lawyers may have peaked. It was at this time that the ABA began its work to update the 1908 Canons of Ethics. The ABA’s adoption of the Code of Professional Responsibility in 1969 was the first significant reformulation of a lawyer’s code of ethics, and was intended to demonstrate that lawyers deserved the trust placed in them by American society. The ABA’s adoption of the Code, and its quick acceptance by most states as law, were the last acts in a "golden age."

    By 1974, the American legal profession was reeling from the turmoil of the late 1960s, followed by the Watergate affair and an economic downturn that adversely affected many lawyers. The larger legal profession was buffeted by a series of lawsuits alleging antitrust violations by the ABA and state bar organizations, and the Supreme Court held in 1977 that a ban on lawyer advertising for ethical reasons was unconstitutional. Although some lawyers did exceedingly well economically during the 1970s, many struggled. In late 1977, the President of the ABA called for the Code’s replacement. Shortly thereafter, the ABA’s House of Delegates approved the nomination of the members of the Kutak Commission, which was handed this task. During the half-decade effort to craft the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the problematic ethical behavior of lawyers continued to make national news. Within the profession, a significant segment of the Bar rejected the structure and tenets of the Code, demanding a "modern" code of legal ethics befitting the needs of modern lawyers. Another segment of the lawyer population challenged the particular vision within the Code of the ethical duties of lawyers in representing clients. When the ABA adopted its Model Rules of Professional Conduct, it replaced a code that combined rules and aspirations with an approach that merely set a floor regarding lawyer conduct. The drafters of the Model Rules intentionally created a law of lawyering that supplanted an ethic of lawyering. Much more so than the Code, the Model Rules ushered in the modern understanding of lawyer.

    This Article examines a crucial period in the history of American legal ethics, 1970-1985. Its thesis is that a shallow, though broad, consensus among American lawyers concerning the ideals of legal professionalism dissolved during the 1970s. An ideological dissensus, propelled by the scandalous behavior of some Executive Branch lawyers in the Watergate affair, joined by a heightened fear of economic torpor, shattered the post-World War II profession’s accepted self-definition.

    The Model Rules of Professional Conduct implicitly acknowledged this ideological disagreement, a disagreement that has coursed through the history of the American legal profession from the late 1970s to the present.

    Politics, Administration, and Fair Employment Practices

    How Did It Operate?  Without Coercive Power.
    Library of Congress
    One of Forging Rivals' chapters focuses on the history of the San Francisco Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity (CEEO). Created in 1957 after a decade of contentious political wrangling, the CEEO enforced San Francisco’s local prohibition on employment discrimination. It closed its doors in 1960, less than three years later, when a statewide fair employment practices law was passed establishing a state agency charged with combating employment discrimination.

    The CEEO was one of a number of fair employment practices agencies that sprang up in postwar America. Indeed, by the time San Francisco Mayor George Christopher appointed its first commissioner, 22 jurisdictions (11 states and 11 cities) had some administrative body that enforced fair employment practice standards. By one calculation, there had been close to 10,000 complaints made to these commissions by the middle of the 1950s. Only a handful of these complaints – about 20 nationwide-- resulted in full adjudications.

    This last statistic – that less than 1 in 500 complaints were fully adjudicated – raises some interesting questions. Surely this fact does not suggest that all but a tiny number of these claims were frivolous. After all, in the decade after World War II, discriminatory employment practices were widespread and openly practiced. Contemporary commentary, as well as my own research in Forging Rivals, indicated that this number was so low because local and state agencies focused their energy on the informal resolution of the complaints they received. This research also revealed that these informal resolutions did little to stop employment discrimination. To understand why this is the case, it’s helpful to look at the United States' first attempt to use the administrative state to promote fair employment practices.

    In 1941, President Roosevelt created the federal Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) by an executive order. The FEPC was a major civil rights victory. It was the first federal effort to combat race discrimination since the end of Reconstruction. That said, the FEPC was a weak agency. Its powers were purely investigatory. When it found instances of employment discrimination, it could bring public pressure on employers and unions to end discriminatory practices, but, beyond that, it was powerless.

    Many of the state and local fair employment practices agencies that emerged after the War were shaped by this wartime experience. In particular, civil rights activists fought hard to ensure that the postwar agencies had some form of coercive power: that they could fine employers, require employers to eliminate discriminatory practices, or force employers to hire or promote people they had discriminated against. In exchange for these sorts of powers, most agencies were required to keep their investigations, deliberations, and adjudications entirely confidential. This trade off – coercive power for secrecy – turned out to be a problematic one. It made it difficult for agencies to generate political support for themselves. If the San Francisco CEEO was any indication, this lack of political support made agencies reluctant to punish recalcitrant employers and unions. Indeed, stranded in a hostile political environment, and lacking methods of generating support, these agencies struggled mightily to avoid using their coercive powers. Instead, they functioned as mediation services, secretly resolving employment disputes in a manner that did little to address the systemic problem of employment discrimination.

    The San Francisco CEEO thus illustrates an interesting characteristic of regulatory governance: isolated expertise, even when coupled with coercive authority, may not be enough to further an agency’s policy goals if the agency can’t generate political support for its mission. For people steeped in the study of the administrative state, this may be a quotidian observation, but seeing the actual mechanics of administrative failure in the face of political opposition is fascinating. Additionally, it is striking how the administrative actors at the postwar fair employment practice commissions did not anticipate the need to develop and nurture political support. Their disappointment with the wartime FEPC and its lack of coercive power led many of them to believe that silencing themselves in exchange for enforcement powers was a worthwhile horse trade. As it turned out, it was not.

    Adams on Canadian Constitutional Identities

    Eric M. Adams, University of Alberta Faculty of Law, has posted Canadian Constitutional Identities, which is forthcoming in the Dalhousie Law Journal 38 (2015):
    Constitutions are stories nations tell about themselves. Despite the famous declaration in the Constitution Act, 1867 that the “Provinces of Canada…Desire…a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom,” most of Canada’s constitutional history can be understood as the search for a distinctly Canadian constitutional identity. Canadians have always looked to their constitutional instruments to both reflect and produce a particular vision of the nation and its citizens. This article focuses on the search for Canada’s constitutional identity during its first century as a nation, from Confederation until the 1960s. Drawing on a varied array of sources and voices, this article argues that the powerful yearning for identity operated as a driving force in Canadian constitutional law, politics, and culture in an era before the catalytic arrival of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    New Release: Bannai on Korematsu's Quest for Justice

    Although the publication date is November, Lorraine K. Bannai, Seattle University School of Law, has posted the preface, prologue and toc for her book Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice (University of Washington Press):
    Fred Korematsu's decision to resist F.D.R.'s Executive Order 9066, which provided authority for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, was initially the case of a young man following his heart: he wanted to remain in California with his white fiancée. However, he quickly came to realize that it was more than just a personal choice; it was a matter of basic human rights.

    After refusing to leave for incarceration when ordered, Korematsu was eventually arrested and convicted of a federal crime before being sent to the internment camp at Topaz, Utah.

    He appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court, which, in one of the most infamous cases in American legal history, upheld the wartime orders. Forty years later, in the early 1980s, a team of young attorneys resurrected Korematsu's case. This time, Korematsu was victorious, and his conviction was overturned, helping to pave the way for Japanese American redress.

    Lorraine Bannai, who was a young attorney on that legal team, combines insider knowledge of the case with extensive archival research, personal letters, and unprecedented access to Korematsu his family, and close friends. She uncovers the inspiring story of a humble, soft-spoken man who fought tirelessly against human rights abuses long after he was exonerated. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015

    Lieblich on Kelsen's Assimilation through Law

    Eliav Lieblich, Radzyner School of Law, Interdisciplinary Center, has posted a pre-submission version of Assimilation Through Law: Hans Kelsen and the Jewish Experience, which is forthcoming in The Law of Strangers: Critical Perspectives on Jewish Lawyering and International Legal Thought, ed. James Loeffler and Moria Paz:
    Hans Kelsen was perhaps the foremost continental lawyer of the 20th century. The founder of the immensely influential Pure Theory of Law, he is primarily remembered as a groundbreaking Austrian jurist. However, Kelsen was also a Jew, albeit an extremely assimilated one. His life story – from his early days in Vienna until his death in California – is truly representative of the tragedy of European Jewry in the 20th century. This Chapter discusses Kelsen in light of the ever-present tensions between Jewish and European identity, with particular attention to his position as an international lawyer. Focusing on the period surrounding the publication of the first edition of his Pure Theory of Law (1934), the Chapter discusses Kelsen along three interrelating themes relevant to the Jewish experience of the time. The first part situates Kelsen in relation to a key dilemma of Jewish politics: the tension between Jewish nationalism and assimilationism. It highlights the different constructions of Kelsen’s identity, and their uses by various actors. The second theme focuses on assimilationist politics in Kelsen’s jurisprudence, suggesting a reading of Kelsen’s Pure Theory which I call “assimilation through law.” The third theme pitches Kelsen’s Pure Theory of (international) law against the ideology of progress – a key idea in the thought of assimilated Jewish internationalists. As I demonstrate, although Kelsen’s Pure Theory famously claimed to be “anti-ideological,” the notion of progressivism still shines through its cold and analytic reasoning.

    Levi on the NLRA, Credible Commitments and Labor Violence

    Margaret Levi, Stanford University, Tania Melo, University of Washington, , Barry R. Weingast, Stanford University, and Frances Zlotnick, Stanford University have posted Ending a Century of Violent Labor Conflict: A New Perspective on Unionization and the National Labor Relations Act:
    Open access to labor organizations lagged nearly a century behind open access to business organizations, arising as part of the New Deal in the mid-1930s. During the century previous to the New Deal, firms and governments actively suppressed labor organization, frequently resorting to violence. Conflict and violence ended with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935.

    Why did the violence associated with labor last for a century? What did the NLRA do to solve this problem, and why couldn’t Congress have done so earlier? In this paper, we develop a new perspective on labor organization and violence that addresses these questions. We argue that the century-long violence surrounding labor resulted from an inability to solve a series of commitment problems. All three parties to the violence – labor, business, and government – faced commitment problems. We show that the NLRA succeeded because it finally solved the commitment problems underlying the century of labor violence.

    Sen, McCleskey, & Basuchoudhary on Civil Litigation on the Virginia Frontier, 1745-1755"

    The latest issue of the Journal of Interdisciplinary History includes an article of interest: Tinni Sen, Turk McCleskey, and Atin Basuchoudhary, "When Good Little Debts Went Bad: Civil Litigation on the Virginia Frontier, 1745-1755." Here's the abstract:
    The use of a multinomial logit model to analyze a hitherto unavailable dataset of 1,376 small-claims lawsuits in colonial Augusta County, Virginia, for information about debts, litigants, and procedures finds no evidence of prejudice in the legal system. The magistrates' consistently fair enforcement of legitimate contracts may have induced both plaintiffs and defendants to settle their disputes in court rather than in private. The evidence corroborates the view that by the mid-eighteenth century, Virginia's frontier judicial system was sufficiently impartial to encourage creditors to draw up efficient contracts even for small debts.
    Subscribers to the journal may access full text here

    Hat tip: Mike Widener

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    Greenglass Testimony before the Rosenberg Grand Jury Ordered Unsealed

    We've just learned that Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York has just granted the motion of the National Security Archive, the American Historical Association, the American Society for Legal History, the Organization of American Historians, the Society of American Archivists and Sam Roberts to unseal the testimonies of Max Elichter and David Greenglass before the Rosenberg grand jury.  "The requested records are critical pieces of an important moment in our nation's history," wrote Judge Hellerstein.  "The time for the public to guess what they contain should end."  H/t Brad Snyder/David Vladeck

    Joseph V. Baker and the Invisible Man

    Joseph V. Baker
    Emory University Library
    Joseph V. Baker is one of the most fascinating peripheral characters to drift through Forging Rivals. He was not a lawyer, but a public relations executive. In 1958, right-to-work initiatives appeared on the ballots in California and Ohio. Baker was the author of a brilliant (though deeply deceptive) pamphlet that was distributed in African American neighborhoods in both states as the election approached. The pamphlet, entitled “The Negro and His Right to Work,” portrayed right-to-work laws as civil rights legislation that would free black workers from the thrall of racist union bosses.

    Baker, as it turns out, is an essentially unknown African American civil rights pioneer, though of a decidedly different stripe than those who are normally featured in Black History Month presentations. Born in South Carolina in 1908, his family moved to Philadelphia in 1920s. He attended the city’s famed Central High and went on to Temple University, where he studied journalism. From there he become the first African American staff member at The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1934, at the same time that Baker was forging a career in journalism, he started the first African-American-owned public relations firm. By the 1950s, he had left journalism to devote himself entirely to the PR business and Republican Party politics. His clients included some of America’s biggest corporations (NBC, DuPont, U.S. Steel, American Tobacco, the Association of American Railroads, Procter and Gamble, Chrysler) and (as the pamphlet reveals) the California and Ohio Republican parties.

    Not a
    Baker's Right-to-Work Pamphlet
    Author's Collection
    lot has been written about Baker. He seems to have pioneered the now obvious (but at the time revolutionary) strategy of marketing products specifically to African Americans.  He convinced businesses to feature black people in advertising that targeted the black community. He also persuaded companies that hiring black workers was a sure-fire way to generate brand loyalty among African Americans. Finally, his work for NBC was instrumental to increasing the number of African Americans appearing on broadcast television in roles that didn’t reinforce odious stereotypes. “Integration without Identification” was Baker’s mantra as he convinced the network to cast black actors in roles that were “in no way identified . . . as being played by a Negro.” His firm also reviewed scripts for NBC in an effort to prevent portrayals of African Americans that might offend. “Avoid jive terms and lines written in consciously bad English,” Baker admonished the writers at NBC.

    As his involvement with the right-to-work campaign reveals, Baker was conservative when it came to matters of class. He was a lifelong Republican, who never made the transition to the Democratic Party that so many African Americans of his generation did during the postwar period. It is also a bit difficult to applaud Baker as a civil rights pioneer when one of his major accomplishments seems to have been encouraging American corporations to target the African American community for alcohol and cigarette sales. (Baker’s name pops up repeatedly in the UCSF Tobacco Legacy Project database of tobacco company documents.) Yet, if, as Ralph Ellison suggested, invisibility to white Americans was one of the major obstacles that African Americans had to overcome to achieve full citizenship, Baker certainly had a part in rendering them visible. For Baker’s work at NBC see, Murray Foreman, “Employment and Blue Pencils: Race, Employment, and Representation, 1926-1955,” in Michele Hilmes, ed., NBC: America’s Network, 117-34. (This is where I drew the quotes from.) A small collection of Baker’s papers are housed at Emory University's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

    The U.S. Commerce Court, 1910-1913

    William Howard Taft, April 1909 (LC)
    [Here's the other essay from this year's exam in American Legal History, on a short-lived attempt to subject administration to a court-centered notion of the rule of law, dreamed up by that "progressive conservative," William Howard Taft.]

    Before 1906, the Interstate Commerce Commission could not prospectively set the rates railroads charged shippers.  It had to wait until a shipper challenged a railroad's existing rate and decide whether it was reasonable or unreasonable.  The railroad was then free to try again.  Further, an ICC order only became effective if a federal court decided to enforce it.  In making that decision, the court was free to take evidence not presented to the ICC and make up its own mind where the weight of the evidence lay. The Hepburn Act of 1906 fundamentally changed this by allowing the ICC to set future rates and by making ICC orders effective immediately and forcing the railroads to go to court to overturn them.  In these proceedings, the federal courts could not take new evidence, but whether they had to defer to the ICC's factual findings or were free to weigh the evidence themselves was not clear from the statute.  The Supreme Court finally addressed that issue in the Illinois Central case, decided in January 1910.

    Three days before the Court announced its decision in Illinois Central, President William Howard Taft called upon Congress to create the US Commerce Court.  No American President had greater experience in the courts.  In the 1880s and 1890s, Taft had been a prosecutor in a rural Ohio county, a trial judge in Cincinnati, and a federal appellate judge.  He believed that because the Hepburn Act had granted the ICC "a legislative function," the commission should not also perform the judicial one of finally determining the legality of the rates it prescribed.  He proposed that this judicial power be entrusted to a Commerce Court with exclusive jurisdiction over challenges to ICC orders.  Such a court would allow the federal judiciary to acquire the expertise needed for the "effective, systematic, and scientific enforcement" of federal railroad law.  At present, generalist judges on the U.S. Courts of Appeals often failed to master the "great volume of conflicting evidence" in railroad rate cases.  Too often they let stand ICC orders that "robbed" railroads of a reasonable return upon their investment.

    As established by the Mann-Elkins Act of June 18, 1910, the Commerce Court consisted of five newly appointed and life-tenured judges who served during good behavior for five-year terms.  After their term expired, they would join one of the existing Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Chief Justice of the United States would appoint replacements from among the existing bench of federal appellate judges.  Judges were not eligible to return to the Commerce Court during the year following their service.  The Commerce Court had exclusive jurisdiction over all challenges to ICC orders.  The only appeal was by certiorari to the US Supreme Court.

    Journalists dubbed the Commerce Court Taft's "pet project."  When it was before Congress, the legal profession said little about it one way or the other.  Progressive Republicans, including Wisconsin's Robert M. La Follette, and Democrats opposed it.  They thought the ICC was already protecting the public interest by keeping railroads from charging shippers (and, ultimately, consumers) too much.  They were sure the Commerce Court would "usurp" the jurisdiction of the ICC and do the bidding of the railroads.  Shippers saw things the same way, but the railroads did not enthusiastically support the court either.  They preferred the existing system of appeals to the various Circuit Courts of Appeals, where their able advocates could overwhelm a nonspecialist bench. 

    The Commerce Court convened for the first time in February 1911.  Its chief judge was Martin Knapp, a former chairman of the ICC.  He believed that the current ICC favored shippers excessively and seemed bent on keeping it in check.  Another judge was Julian Mack, a Jewish lawyer and reformer from Chicago.  A third, Robert Archibald, owed his position to "Boss" Penrose, who dominated Pennsylvania's Republican Party.  Archibald's impeachment in 1912 for using his influence over railroads to secure contracts for his associates did not directly tarnish the other judges.  Still, contemporaries thought the scandal underlined "the peculiar character" of the Commerce Court.

    More general was the complaint that the Commerce Court was attempting to "overshadow and dwarf" the ICC by intrusively reviewing and then reversing its orders.  In four of its first five cases, the court reversed a shipper-friendly order of the ICC, only to be itself reversed by the US Supreme Court, which reinstated the ICC's original order.  George W. Wickersham, Taft’s Attorney General, blamed the ICC for not clearly setting out the facts justifying its orders.  The commission's opinions, he complained, blended "facts and observations and deductions and conclusions of law"; "everything enters into it.  It is exceedingly difficult to go through that and pick out the facts."  He hoped that the Commerce Court's reversals would induce the ICC to produce better findings.  For its part, the ICC blamed the Commerce Court's intrusive standard of review.  The court's assertion of a right to reject orders that were "clearly and palpably against the weight of the evidence" meant that 99 out of 100 of its orders were at risk of reversal, the commissioners maintained.

    In a sympathetic account of the Commerce Court published in 1928, Felix Frankfurter argued that its judges had not engaged in "a conscious attempt . . . to usurp authority" but had struggled in good faith to work out their jurisdiction.  He hinted that an administrative court might be worth trying again.  But during the Taft and Wilson administrations, most congressmen felt otherwise.  J. Harry Covington (D-Maryland), who would later found the law firm Covington & Burling, warned that "we have drifted far away from constitutional landmarks in the creation of special courts in this country."  He believed that "the best jurisprudence of America" had been created by judges who could resolve "all the varied questions which came before the courts."  The judgments of specialized courts were more "often warped than well-rounded."

    A bill to abolish the Commerce Court passed both houses of Congress in 1912 but fell to Taft's veto.  After Woodrow Wilson took office in 1913, the court was abolished and its judges assigned elsewhere in the federal judiciary.

    Monday, May 18, 2015

    Gorman on the Origins of the FCPA

    Thomas O. Gorman, who is, among other things, co-chair of Dorsey & Whitney’s Anticorruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practice group, has posted The Origins of the FCPA: Lessons for Effective Compliance and Enforcement, Securities Regulation Law Journal (Spring 2015): 43-65. The “paper traces the origins of the FCPA from the early days of the Watergate hearings, through the initial SEC 'questionable payments' cases, the volunteer program and the two years of Congressional debates. From the origins of the statute the paper offers insights into crafting effective compliance today and for improving enforcement.”

    McClain on Folkways, Stateways, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Linda C. McClain, Boston University School of Law, has posted The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 'Legislating Morality': On Conscience, Prejudice, and Whether “Stateways” Can Change “Folkways,” forthcoming in the Boston University Law Review 891 95 (2015): 891-927:    
    Influential studies, from the 1940s and 1950s, of the problem of prejudice and how to remedy it challenged the famous assertion of nineteenth-century sociologist William Graham Sumner that “stateways don’t change folkways,” and its modern counterparts, “you cannot legislate against prejudice” or “you cannot legislate morality.” Social scientists countered that, although people might initially protest, they would welcome a federal antidiscrimination law that aligned with conscience and closed the gap between American ideals and prejudice, creating new “folkways.” Using examples from the contexts of public accommodations, education, and employment, this Article examines similar arguments made about conscience and “legislating morality” in debates about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the “CRA”). Proponents argued that the national conscience demanded such a law because discrimination posed a moral crisis. Proponents and opponents of the CRA differed sharply on the role of federal law in addressing prejudice and discrimination. While proponents recognized the limits of what law could achieve, they argued that the CRA would remove artificial barriers created by segregation that constrained normal or natural human interaction. Opponents defended segregation as natural, Biblical, and part of the created order and warned that the CRA would usher in a dangerous and forced racial intermingling and line-crossing, particularly in marriage. Similar to the social scientists of the late 1940s and 1950s, supporters or the CRA appealed to experience with local and state antidiscrimination law and the World War II-era Fair Employment Practice Committee. The Article concludes with reflections on the present-day implications of this earlier “legislating morality” debate for controversies over LGBT rights and the evident clash between conscience, or religious liberty, on the one hand, and antidiscrimination law and marriage equality, on the other. This Article is part of a symposium, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 at 50: Past, Present, and Future.”

    New Release: Cuno, "Modernizing Marriage"

    New from Syracuse University Press: Modernizing Marriage: Family, Ideology, and Law in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Egypt, by Kenneth M. Cuno (University of Illinois). A description from the Press:
    In 1910, when Khedive Abbas II married a second wife surreptitiously, the contrast with his openly polygamous grandfather, Ismail, whose multiple wives and concubines signified his grandeur and masculinity, could not have been greater. That contrast reflected the spread of new ideals of family life that accompanied the development of Egypt’s modern marriage system. Modernizing Marriage explores the evolution of marriage and marital relations, shedding new light on the social and cultural history of Egypt.

    Family is central to modern Egyptian history and in the ruling court did the "political work." Indeed, the modern state began as a household government in which members of the ruler’s household served in the military and civil service. Cuno discusses political and sociodemographic changes that affected marriage and family life and the production of a family ideology by modernist intellectuals, who identified the family as a site crucial to social improvement, and for whom the reform and codification of Muslim family law was a principal aim. Throughout Modernizing Marriage, Cuno examines Egyptian family history in a comparative and transnational context, addressing issues of colonial modernity and colonial knowledge, Islamic law and legal reform, social history, and the history of women and gender. 
    A few blurbs:
    "Eagerly anticipated, Cuno’s Modernizing Marriage more than delivers on its promise. Drawing on compelling evidence and written with great clarity, the book details the dramatic changes marriage underwent in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Egypt. Anyone interested in the study of law, society, family, and gender must read this fascinating book."—Beth Baron

    "Modernizing Marriage takes up a fundamental question for political, social, legal, and cultural history: how did we become moderns? Using marriage as his lens, Cuno weaves together a remarkable account of this process within the Egyptian context of the long nineteenth century."—Wilson Chacko Jacob
    More information is available here.

    Sunday, May 17, 2015

    Graber to Lead ICH Seminar on "the Pre- and Post-1865 Constitution"

    [We're moving this post up because the deadline of May 22 is fast approaching.]

    The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce another seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty, The Pre- and Post-1865 Constitution.
    Mark Graber (credit)
    This course explores the extent to which the post-Civil War Amendments made fundamental changes in the American constitutional order. Abraham Lincoln in 1863 promised "a new birth of freedom." Many contemporary scholars believed the post-Civil War Constitution was designed to achieve that new birth of freedom by radically changing the basic design and commitments of the American  constitutional order.

    Conservatives in 1865, however, spoke of that "Constitution as it was," minus slavery. The Supreme Court championed this view in The Slaughter-House Cases (1873). The debate is hardly academic. As the opinions in Shelby County v. Holder (2013) demonstrate, basic contemporary regime commitments depend to a fair degree on the extent of constitutional change during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

    We will explore this issue by examining primary and secondary sources. The first third of the course will explore the basic commitments of the constitutional regime established in 1787 through a close reading of crucial Federalist Papers and major selections from other Federalist and anti-Federalist writings. The second third of the course will examine the basic commitments of the constitutional regime Republicans hoped to establish in 1865 through a close reading of the debates over the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as such measures as the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Second Freedman's Bureau Act. The last third of the course will look at some prominent claims that the constitutional regime was fundamentally altered during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
    The instructor is Mark A. Graber, Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.  He is the author of Transforming Free Speech; Rethinking Abortion; Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil; A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism; nearly a hundred articles on constitutional law, history, development and theory; and an editor of the American Constitutionalism series.

    The seminar will take place Monday evenings, 6:00–8:00 p.m., September 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2015. It will meet at The George Washington University Law School, 2000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052.

    The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines. All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions. Although the Institute cannot offer academic credit directly for the seminar, students may be able to earn graduate credit through their home departments by completing an independent research project in conjunction with the seminar. Please consult with your advisor and/or director of graduate studies about these possibilities. Space is limited, so applicants should send a copy of their c.v. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development. Materials will be accepted only by email at MMarcus@nyhistory.org until May 22, 2015. Successful applicants will
    be notified soon thereafter.

    There is no tuition or other charge for this seminar, though participants will be expected to acquire the assigned books on their own.

    For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to MMarcus@nyhistory.org.

    The Institute for Constitutional History (ICH) is the nation’s premier institute dedicated to ensuring that future generations of Americans understand the substance and historical development of the U.S. Constitution. Located at the New York Historical Society and the George Washington University Law School, the Institute is co-sponsored by the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Political Science Association. The Association of American Law Schools is a cooperating entity. ICH prepares junior scholars and college instructors to convey to their readers and students the important role the Constitution has played in shaping American society. ICH also provides a national forum for the preparation and dissemination of humanistic, interdisciplinary scholarship on
    American constitutional history.

    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    Weekend Roundup

    • The annual report of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History was recently posted here
    • The table of contents and introduction to the third edition of Race and Races: Cases and Resources for a Diverse America, by Richard Delgado, Jean Stefancic, Juan F. Perea, Angela P. Harris, and Stephanie M. Wildman are here.
    Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

    Friday, May 15, 2015

    A Homeless Rights Advocates' History of Vagrancy Laws

    Javier Ortiz, Matthew Dick, and Sara Rankin, Seattle University School of Law, have posted The Wrong Side of History: A Comparison of Modern and Historical Criminalization Laws.  Its origins are a bit different form the mine run of SSRN papers.  "The Homeless Rights Advocacy Practicum (HRAP) is a section of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project at Seattle University School of Law’s Korematsu Center.  Javier Ortiz and Matthew Dick, law students at Seattle University School of Law and members of the founding cohort of HRAP, authored this policy brief under the supervision of Professor Sara Rankin of Seattle University School of Law."  Here is the abstract:
    Like many other cities throughout the country, Washington’s homeless population is being targeted through ordinances infused with a historical spirit of control and discrimination. The policy brief looks at the history of criminalization laws by focusing on historical criminalization laws and how they paved a way for current anti-homeless ordinances. The policy brief reveals that the spirit of historical criminalization laws is present in anti-homeless ordinances today. Since these historical laws have been repealed and overturned, so should anti-homeless ordinances that share the same spirit of control, exclusion, and discrimination.

    The brief focuses on five historical laws and modern anti-homeless ordinances through case studies: Vagrancy; Anti-Okie, Jim Crow, Ugly, and Sundown Town laws. Each section discusses the impetus for each law and the effect it had on targeted individuals. Next, the brief examines specific language from these laws and how they were applied-- and ultimately, how they were overturned by judges, legislatures, and public opinion. The brief then shifts focus to three case studies of modern anti-homeless ordinances.

    This comparison reveals that modern anti-homeless ordinances share much of the same form, phrasing, and function as historical laws that banned African-Americans from attending public school with white Americans; that banned Midwesterners from entering Western states during the Great Depression; and that banned people with physical disabilities from residing in certain cities. And yet, anti-homeless ordinances are just contemporary expressions of the same impulse to marginalize already marginalized people. Ultimately, this brief shows that modern anti-homeless ordinances are just historically infamous laws in a new guise.
    H/t: Legal Theory Blog

    Miller Center Fellows Announced

    Recipients of the University of Virginia's Miller Center National Fellowship for 2015-16 have been announced.  Descriptions of the fellows' projects and the names of their mentors are here.

    Noel Anderson, Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    The Geopolitics of Civil War: External Military Aid, Competitive Intervention, and Duration of Intrastate Conflict

    Sarah Coleman, History, Princeton University
    Redefining American: The Shifting Politics of Immigration Policy at the End of the 20th Century

    Jonathon Free, History, Duke University
    Redistributing Risk: The Political Ecology of Coal in Late-Twentieth Century Appalachia

    Boris Heersink, Politics, University of Virginia
    Beyond Service: National Party Organization and Party Brands in American Politics

    Benjamin Holtzman, History, Brown University
    Crisis and Confidence: Reimagining New York City in the Late Twentieth Century

    Elizabeth Ingleson, History, University of Sydney
    The End of Isolation: Rapprochement, Globalisation, and American Trade with China, 1972-1979

    Nora Krinitsky, History, University of Michigan
    The Politics of Crime Control: Race, Policing, and State Power in Modern America

    Shannon Nix, History, University of Virginia
    ‘The Soul of our Foreign Policy’: Human Rights Politics, U.S. Foreign Policy, and the Struggle for Central America, 1976-1984

    Sarah E. Robey, History, Temple University
    The Atomic American: Citizenship in a Nuclear State, 1945-1963

    Sarah Seo, History, Princeton University
    The Fourth Amendment, Cars, and Freedom in Twentieth-Century America

    Herbert Resner and the Decline of Radical Lawyering

    Perhaps a close look at any legal community would reveal its share of interesting characters, but if you're studying lawyers in San Francisco, it doesn't take too long to get the impression that the Bay Area’s attorneys were a particularly eccentric lot. Melvin Belli was probably the most famous. Between his high profile tort and criminal defense cases, his flamboyant personality, and his love of the media, Belli may have been one of the best known lawyers in postwar America.

    Yet Belli was only one of a cohort of San Francisco lawyers with a similar approach to the practice of law. George T. Davis, Jake Erlich, James Martin MacInnes, and Marvin Lewis (who makes an appearance in Forging Rivals when he championed fair employment practices legislation as a member of the Board of Supervisors in the early 1950s) all combined a spirited defense of underdog clients with a hunger for publicity and a love of the better things in life.

    Herbert Resner was a less well-known member of this group. He came to prominence in San Francisco legal circles in the late 1930s, shortly after his graduation from Boalt Hall. At the time, he was a left-wing (possibly communist) lawyer who represented radical trade unionists like Tom Mooney (with Davis) and Harry Bridges (with MacInnes). The California Communist Party was another client, as were many of the Bay Area’s CIO Locals. He shows up in Forging Rivals as the lead attorney in James v. Marinship – a case that limited California unions’ power to have racially exclusive membership policies – but the focus of his practice was not civil rights. Instead, he spent most of the 1940s and 1950s suing employers on behalf of injured workers, particularly in the maritime industry, and sharing offices (and many cases) with Belli. In 1960, he was disbarred for mishandling client funds. He was reinstated in 1967, and expanded his practice into the management of Bay Area rock bands. In the early 1970s, he was sued by Carlos Santana for mishandling his business affairs.

    The careers of this cohort of lawyers trace a fascinating arc that calls for more study. Coming from non-elite backgrounds, they all made fortunes defending underdogs. Yet by the 1970s, many had become caricatures of themselves: ethically challenged, nouveau riche lawyers whose conception of the oppressed had changed from labor radicals, African American civil rights advocates, and injured dockworkers to Nazi war criminals, disgraced televangelists, and down-on-their-luck celebrities. While Resner was not as extreme as some of his compatriots in this respect, the familiar trajectory of his career is suggestive. Perhaps there is a relationship between the enervation of many of the radical lawyers from the 1930s and 1940s and the path that liberalism found itself on during the same period. Many historians have noted the emergence of a more individualistic, market-based, anti-statist political culture in the 1970s. It may be that it was not simply our lawyers who traded Harry Bridges for Carlos Santana, but the country as a whole.

    New Release: Stockreiter, "Islamic Law, Gender and Social Change in Post-Abolition Zanzibar"

    New from Cambridge University Press: Islamic Law, Gender and Social Change in Post-Abolition Zanzibar (April 2015), by

    After the abolition of slavery in 1897, Islamic courts in Zanzibar (East Africa) became central institutions where former slaves negotiated socioeconomic participation. By using difficult-to-read Islamic court records in Arabic, Elke Stockreiter reassesses the workings of these courts as well as gender and social relations in Zanzibar Town during British colonial rule (1890–1963). She shows how Muslim judges maintained their autonomy within the sphere of family law and describes how they helped advance the rights of women, ex-slaves, and other marginalised groups. As was common in other parts of the Muslim world, women usually had to buy their divorce. Thus, Muslim judges played important roles as litigants negotiated moving up the social hierarchy, with ethnicisation increasingly influencing all actors. Drawing on these previously unexplored sources, this study investigates how Muslim judges both mediated and generated discourses of inclusion and exclusion based on social status rather than gender.
    Reviewers say:
    'This captivating history establishes that Islamic courts contributed significantly to reconfiguring social relationships in post-abolition Zanzibar. Elke Stockreiter deftly explores rarely studied topics, such as women's control of property, men's material gains from divorce and former slaves' claims to inheritance, and reveals how the courts enabled these forms of individual agency while also constraining their social impact.' Susan F. Hirsch, George Mason University, Virginia

    'Islamic Law, Gender and Social Change in Post-Abolition Zanzibar is a pioneering study of the practice of Islamic law in Zanzibar with a particular focus on gender dynamics and social change. This text is a highly welcome contribution to the fields of Islamic studies, gender studies and the history of Zanzibar in the colonial period.' Roman Loimeier, Universität Göttingen
    More information is available here.

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

    A Junior Scholars Conference at Tel Aviv University

    [We have the following call for papers.]

    The 3rd Annual TAU Workshop for Junior Scholars: Theory Coming to Life, Tel-Aviv, October 26-27 , 2015

    The Tel Aviv University Buchmann Faculty of Law is pleased to invite submissions to its third annual workshop for junior scholars in law. The workshop provides junior scholars with the opportunity to present and discuss their work and receive meaningful feedback from faculty members and peers, and aims to invigorate the scholars’ active participation in the community of international junior scholars in law.

    Through law, theory comes into our daily lives in many ways. The workshop will explore the connection between theory and life: how different theories are applied through legal doctrines, how theory comes to life through its application and how theory influences society and our lives.

    Relevant papers could, for example, discuss more specific questions like: How do lessons learned from historical events affect the formation of theory and practice?

    We welcome junior scholars (doctoral candidates, VAPs, writing fellows and recent graduates of doctoral programs) from universities and research institutions throughout the world to submit abstracts engaging with the leading theme of the workshop.

    Limited travel grants and accommodation will be available for participants with no institutional funding.

    Submissions: Abstracts of up to 500 words of the proposed presentation (with a short bio and your current institutional affiliation(s)) should be submitted by email to TAU.junior.scholars@gmail.com by June 15, 2015. Applicants requesting travel grants and/or accommodation should indicate so in their submission, along with the city they expect to depart from and an estimate of the funds requested.

    Applicants will be informed of acceptance or rejection by July 15, 2015. Selected presenters must submit their papers up to 10,000 words in length by September 30, 2015.

    Spiegel on Legal Aid, 1900-1930

    Mark Spiegel, Boston College Law School (and a former Reggie), has posted Legal Aid 1900 to 1930: What Happened to Law Reform? which is forthcoming in the DePaul Journal for Social Justice:    
    This article offers a counter narrative to the conventional description of legal aid in the United States. By offering this counter narrative it focuses us on certain enduring difficulties that any legal aid or legal services program has to face if it wants to engage in reform efforts: problems of funding and problems of the social and historical context. Conventional wisdom has it that legal aid until the 1960s was largely devoted to individual cases and that it was not until the advent of federally-funded legal services that law reform and social change became part of the delivery of legal services to the poor. Contrary to this conventional wisdom, there is another story. As this article demonstrates, there was an aspiration toward using the legal system aggressively to achieve social justice during the period 1900 to roughly 1920. This changed during the 1920s.

    In presenting this counter-narrative, this article first looks at legal aid during the period 1900-1920 to support the thesis that during this period legal aid aspired toward using the legal system to achieve social justice. It then looks at that next decade, the 1920s, and describes how legal aid became the kind of organization that conventional wisdom describes: a legal aid organization devoted almost solely to individual cases with a large focus on domestic relations practice and abandoning any attempt to use law to achieve social justice. More importantly, this article explores why this change to a more traditional type of legal aid occurred. The most interesting theories blame Reginald Heber Smith and the American Bar Association. Smith is blamed because of his alleged emphasis on access to justice in a landmark study of legal aid called “Justice and the Poor” published in 1919. The ABA is blamed because of the alleged “takeover” of legal aid by the conservative bar in the 1920’s, enabled by the ABA’s establishment of a standing committee on legal aid. These theories, however, are too reductionist and overlook two more important explanations for this retreat from law reform: the need for funding and the social and historical context. These explanations are significant not only because they shed light on a neglected part of our past, but because they connect that past to issues that persist until today.

    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

    Schmidt on the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Divide

    Christopher W. Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law and the American Bar Foundation, has posted The Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Divide, which is forthcoming in the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 12 (2016):    
    Contemporary legal discourse differentiates “civil rights” from “civil liberties.” The former are generally understood as protections against discriminatory treatment, the latter as freedom from oppressive government authority. This Article explains how this differentiation arose and considers its consequences.

    Although there is a certain underlying logic to the civil rights-civil liberties divide, it in fact is the product of the unique circumstances of a particular moment in history. In the early years of the Cold War, liberal anticommunists sought to distinguish their incipient interest in the cause of racial equality from their belief that national security required limitations on the speech and due process rights of suspected subversives. Toward this end, they took two terms that had generally been used interchangeably and they created the civil rights-civil liberties distinction. Civil rights would forever after be attached to the struggle for racial equality and subsequent campaigns against other forms of public and private discrimination. Civil liberties would be attached to claims of individual freedom against generally applicable government regulatory power.

    The civil rights-civil liberties divide was contested from the beginning, however. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the radical left condemned the divide as a tool for politically powerful liberal anticommunists to separate themselves from the declining fortunes of their former New Deal allies. In the 1960s, a new generation of critics of the divide made the case that the battles against discrimination and government oppression were indivisible. Some advocated a new label, “human rights,” which would subsume the categories of civil rights and civil liberties, while also recognizing social welfare rights. Despite these revisionist efforts, the civil rights-civil liberties divide survives, still contested, but also reinforced as each new generation puts it to new uses. This Article not only reconstructs the largely forgotten history of the origins of the civil rights-civil liberties divide, it also identifies the ways in which labeling and categorizing the legal landscape can advance or impede legal change.