Thursday, May 26, 2016

Kahn-Freund's Weimar Memoirs

Ewan McGaughey, King's College London School of Law, has posted, Otto Kahn-Freund, Autobiographical Memories of the Weimar Republic: A Conversation with Wolfgang Luthardt (February 1978), which he translated this year from an original published in German as in Kritische Justiz 14 (1981): 183-200:
“We were all blind. All the conditions for national socialism were laid out...”

Otto Kahn-Freund (1950) (wiki)
A year before he passed away, the great labour lawyer, Otto Kahn-Freund, was interviewed by constitutional scholar Wolfgang Luthardt. His life as a young man came at one of the most extraordinary, and terrifying periods of German and world history. This interview was published in German in 1981, but until this translation it has been unfamiliar to English audiences. Kahn-Freund had instrumental influence in the architecture of German, British, and European labour law. As a Berlin Labour Court judge, Kahn-Freund represented the courage of millions of Germans like him who resisted Nazi usurpation of the state. Even after Hitler, backed by a cartel of bankers and industrialists, seized the Chancellorship, Kahn-Freund’s last major case awarded maximum damages to radio employees who were dismissed on trumped-up accusations of being communist saboteurs. As European law continues to take shape, and questions press on how to fashion justice in a globalising world, the personal history of a man who cared so deeply about human freedom enlightens us today.

Kraut, "Choreographing Copyright"

Here's a relatively recent release that we missed back in December: Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance (Oxford University Press), by Anthea Kraut (University of California, Riverside). A description from the Press:
Choreographing Copyright is a new historical and cultural analysis of U.S. dance-makers' investment in intellectual property rights. Stretching from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first, the book reconstructs efforts to win copyright protection for choreography and teases out their raced and gendered politics, showing how dancers have embraced intellectual property rights as a means to both consolidate and contest racial and gendered power.

A number of the artists featured in the book are well-known in the history of American dance, including Loie Fuller, Hanya Holm, and Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, and George Balanchine. But the book also uncovers a host of marginalized figures--from the South Asian dancer Mohammed Ismail, to the African American pantomimist Johnny Hudgins, to the African American blues singer Alberta Hunter, to the white burlesque dancer Faith Dane--who were equally interested in positioning themselves as subjects rather than objects of property.

Drawing on critical race and feminist theories and on cultural studies of copyright, Choreographing Copyright offers fresh insight into the raced and gendered hierarchies that govern the theatrical marketplace, white women's historically contingent relationship to property rights, legacies of ownership of black bodies and appropriation of non-white labor, and the tension between dance's ephemerality and its reproducibility.
A few blurbs:
"A magnificently complex argument based in meticulous archival research, Choreographing Copyright examines the function of copyright in both affirming and contesting key cultural values for artists of different raced, classed, and gendered identities." -- Susan Leigh Foster

"Choreographing Copyright is a provocative book that sheds new light on the history of modern, vernacular and commercial dance. By attending to the raced, gendered and classed biases that influence choreographers' claims of originality, authorship and ownership, Kraut lends keen insight into the implicit social politics behind the fixing of moving bodies. She finds in vibrant case studies arguments about subjectivity, property, protection and value writ large and pushes us to recognize the instabilities of bids for personhood through creative expression." -- Nadine George-Graves
More information is available here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Historical Origins of the Scottish Right to Roam

Gregory S. Alexander, Cornell Law School, has posted The Sporting Life: Democratic Culture and the Historical Origins of the Scottish Right to Roam, which is forthcoming in the University of Illinois Law Review (2016):
In 2003, the Scottish Parliament enacted the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, which, among other reforms, grants to “everyone” a right to access virtually all land in Scotland for a wide variety of purposes, including recreation, educational activities, and even some commercial or for-profit activities. Legal recognition of this broad-ranging “right to roam” comes after more than a century of debate over the public’s right to access privately-owned land in the Scottish Highlands. This Article is the first historical account of the origins of the remarkable Scottish right to roam. It sets the debate over the right to roam with a clash between two different visions of the sporting life. One, older, rooted in the Victorian and Edwardian periods, viewed the sporting life as one of hunting, aided by the use of modern technology — rifles and such — and much older technology in the form of dogs and horses. The other vision is of more recent vintage. It is a vision of contact with nature through walking, hiking, and similar forms of unmediated interaction with nature. Curiously, both visions of the sporting life claimed the mantle of preservation and conservation. This Article argues that the culture of unmediated contact with nature ultimately prevailed as a democratic culture became more entrenched in both politics and society.

Bartrum on James Wilson on Popular Sovereignty

Available on the website of the Buffalo Law Review is Ian Bartrum, James Wilson and the Moral Foundations of Popular Sovereignty, 64 (2016): 225-.  No abstract, but here is a taste:
I suggest that a return to true first principles–in this case, fundamental liberal ideas about human morality and sociability–can provide helpful clarity.  Popular  sovereignty as a political idea has a rich historical lineage in legal and political  philosophy–with origins  in classical Greece, intimations in early Enlightenment thinkers such as Jacques Bodin and Johannes Althusius, and modern  roots in the social contracts of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau; I intend here to explore a different intellectual history.  Instead of looking to political theory, this Article examines historical developments in moral philosophy, particularly the moral sentimentalism that emerged from the Scottish Enlightenment, which would ground James Wilson's ideas about popular sovereignty.

Eyer, "Ideological Drift and the Forgotten History of Intent"

Katie Eyer (Rutgers Law School) has posted "Ideological Drift and the Forgotten History of Intent," which will appear in Volume 51 of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (2016). Here's the abstract:
It would no doubt surprise many readers of contemporary Equal Protection scholarship to hear intent doctrine described as one of the major racial justice victories of the Brown v. Board of Education era. Instead, under the account familiar to most contemporary readers, the institutionalization of intent was a conservative development, marking a turn away from racial justice concerns in the mid- to late 1970s.

Drawing on archival and other historical source materials, this Article contends that the former account in fact represents the true genesis of intent doctrine in Equal Protection jurisprudence. During the Plessy v. Ferguson era, restrictive doctrines barred racial justice advocates from challenging laws based on their invidious intent. Intent doctrine arose in the aftermath of Brown as a response by progressive actors to the ways that these Plessy era doctrines allowed rampant Southern evasion of Brown’s desegregation mandate.

Understanding this progressive history of intent doctrine has important implications. There are strong reasons to believe that these early progressive struggles to establish intent-based invalidation helped facilitate the 1970s-era conservative turn in intent doctrine that progressive scholars today decry. Thus, although the normative valence of intent doctrine shifted from progressive to conservative in the early to mid-1970s, progressive and moderate Justices on the Court were slow to realign their own doctrinal preferences. As a result, the Court’s progressive wing rarely resisted—and at times aided—the conservative doctrinal developments of the mid- to late 1970s.

The long history of intent therefore may help us to better understand the genesis of a phenomenon that scholars have long observed: the realignment of Equal Protection doctrine away from racial justice aims. And the long history of intent suggests that it is not only politics, but also doctrine, that plays a key role. Thus, while changes in popular sentiment serve as the backdrop to shifts in the Court’s normative orientation, it is the cooptation of progressive doctrine that renders such shifts familiar and unobjectionable to the Court.
The full article is available here.

Gormley, "The Presidents and the Constitution"

New from New York University Press: The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History (May 2016), by Ken Gormley (Duquesne University). A description from the Press:
In this sweepingly ambitious volume, the nation’s foremost experts on the American presidency and the U.S. Constitution join together to tell the intertwined stories of how each American president has confronted and shaped the Constitution. Each occupant of the office—the first president to the forty-fourth—has contributed to the story of the Constitution through the decisions he made and the actions he took as the nation’s chief executive.
By examining presidential history through the lens of constitutional conflicts and challenges, The Presidents and the Constitution offers a fresh perspective on how the Constitution has evolved in the hands of individual presidents. It delves into key moments in American history, from Washington’s early battles with Congress to the advent of the national security presidency under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to reveal the dramatic historical forces that drove these presidents to action.  Historians and legal experts, including Richard Ellis, Gary Hart, Stanley Kutler and Kenneth Starr, bring the Constitution to life, and show how the awesome powers of the American presidency have been shapes by the men who were granted them.  The book brings to the fore the overarching constitutional themes that span this country’s history and ties together presidencies in a way never before accomplished.
Exhaustively researched and compellingly presented, The Presidents and the Constitution shines new light on America’s brilliant constitutional and presidential history.
A few blurbs:
“Everything you ever wanted to know about the Supreme Court and the Presidency but were afraid to ask.” —Nina Totenberg

"An indispensable book on a touchy subject. The American Constitution is not abstract art, it is the foundation of all of our laws. We cut ourselves adrift at great risk to the survival of our civilization. Reviewing the constant, ongoing battle between each successive president and the laws that limited his power offers a perspective that we haven't seen. Gomley has connected the dots and the results offer lessons beyond American history. This is a book about human nature and the struggle for power. As we can see, getting to the White House was not the end of that struggle. It was just the beginning."—Doug Wead,
More information is available here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Author's Query: Melvyn Weiss

[We have the following author's query.]

For a study of Melvyn Weiss, formerly of Milberg, Weiss, Bershad & Schulman, I'm looking for anyone familiar with Mr. Weiss; his career; his firm; his most important cases; his role in the development of class action law; his impact on corporate behavior, including on the insurance industry and accounting profession; and his prosecution.  Please contact:
David Margolick
Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair
60 West 68th St., Apt. 9C
New York, NY 10023
(212) 721-3328

Giuliani on Civilian Treatises on Presumptions

Adolfo Giuliani, Facoltà di Giurisprudenza, University of Perugia, has posted Civilian Treatises on Presumptions, 1580-1620, which appeared in The Law of Presumptions: Essays in Comparative Legal History, ed. R. H. Helmholz and W. David H. Sellar (Comparative Studies in Continental & Anglo-American Legal History) (Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, 2009),  21-71
The theory of presumptions is one of the most obscure branches of medieval and early-modern law. Collected in long and tedious lists, presumptions knew a time of glory between the 16th and 17th centuries with the publication of a great number of treatises among which those by J. Menochio, F. Mantica and J. Mascardo are the most popular.

This essay shows that such practice-oriented works had a place in the formation of high-level legal theory. They were functional to a new vision of judicial procedure which has come to be embodied in a number of basic ideas, such as (i) the separation between law and fact, (ii) the judge’s subjection to principles of reasoning, and (iii) the centrality of will as an autonomous source of contractual obligation. The aim of this paper is to sketch the contribution made by such treatises to the genesis of those three ideas.

Opportunities for Law's Intellectual History

We recently realized that papers from the conference Opportunities for Law's Intellectual History, held at the Baldy Center at the SUNY Buffalo Law School, are out as 64:1 of the Buffalo Law Review.  Here they are:

Mark Fenster & John Henry Schlegel, Introduction Opportunities for Law’s Intellectual History, 64 Buff. L. Rev. i (2016) 
Ajay K. Mehrotra, A Bridge Between: Law and the New Intellectual Histories of Capitalism , 64 Buff. L. Rev. 1 (2016) 
Edward A. Purcell, Jr., Capitalism and Risk: Concepts, Consequences, and Ideologies, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 23 (2016) 
Christopher Tomlins, Organic Poise? Capitalism as Law, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 61 (2016) 
Charles Barzun, Causation, Legal History, and Legal Doctrine, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 81 (2016) 
Mark Fenster, Mr. Peabody’s Improbable Legal Intellectual History, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 101 (2016) 
Cynthia Nicoletti, Writing the Social History of Legal Doctrine, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 121 (2016) 
John Henry Schlegel, On Absences as Material for Intellectual Historical Study, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 141 (2016) 
Susanna Blumenthal, Humbug: Toward a Legal History, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 161 (2016) 
Laura F. Edwards, Textiles: Popular Culture and the Law, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 193 (2016) 
Robert W. Gordon, Some Final Observations on Legal Intellectual History, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 215 (2016)

Call for Applications: ASLH Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars

We have the following announcement from the ASLH:
Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars (American Society for Legal History)

Named after the late Kathryn T. Preyer, a distinguished historian of the law of early America known for her generosity to young legal historians, the program of Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars is designed to help legal historians at the beginning of their careers. At the annual meeting of the Society two early career legal historians designated Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will present what would normally be their first papers to the Society. The generosity of Professor Preyer’s friends and family has enabled the Society to offer a small honorarium to the Preyer Scholars and to reimburse, in some measure or entirely, their costs of attending the meeting. The competition for Preyer Scholars is organized by the Society’s Kathryn T. Preyer Memorial Committee.

Submissions are welcome on any topic in legal, institutional and/or constitutional history. Early career scholars, including those pursuing graduate or law degrees, those who have completed their terminal degree within the previous year, and those independent scholars at a comparable stage, are eligible to apply. Papers already submitted to the ASLH Program Committee–whether or not accepted for an existing panel–and papers never previously submitted are equally eligible. Once selected, Preyer Award winners must present their paper as part of the Preyer panel, and they will be removed from any other panel.

Submissions should be a single MS Word document consisting of a complete curriculum vitae, contact information, and a complete draft of the paper to be presented. Papers must not exceed 40 pages (12 point font, double-spaced) and must contain supporting documentation. In past competitions, the Committee has given preference to draft articles and essays, though the Committee will still consider shorter conference papers, as one of the criteria for selection will be the suitability of the paper for reduction to a twenty-minute oral presentation. The (new, extended) deadline for submission is July 8, 2016.

Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will receive a $500 cash award and reimbursement of expenses up to $750 for travel, hotels, and meals. Each will present the paper that s/he submitted to the competition at the Society’s annual meeting. The Society’s journal, Law and History Review, has published several past winners of the Preyer competition, though it is under no obligation to do so.

Please send submissions as Microsoft Word attachments by July 8, 2016, to the chair of the Preyer Committee, Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania <email>. She will forward them to the other committee members.

The 2016 Preyer Memorial Committee

Serena Mayeri, (2013), Chair, University of Pennsylvania <email>

Sam Erman (2013), University of Southern California <email>

Melissa Hayes (2014), Independent Scholar <email>

Michael Hoeflich (2014), University of Kansas <email
H. Timothy Lovelace (2014), Indiana University <email>

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cromwell Research Fellowships in American Legal History

[We have the following announcement.]  Call to early-career scholars to apply for a Cromwell research grant; Note that the deadline is July 11, 2016.

In 2016, the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation will make available a number of $5,000 fellowship awards to support research and writing in American legal history by early-career scholars. Early career generally includes those researching or writing a PhD dissertation (or equivalent project) and recent recipients of a graduate degree working on their first major monograph or research project. The number of awards made is at the discretion of the Foundation. In the past several years, the trustees of the Foundation have made five to nine awards. The Committee for Research Fellowships and Awards of the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the Foundation. (The Cromwell Foundation was established in 1930 to promote and encourage scholarship in legal history, particularly in the colonial and early national periods of the United States. The Foundation has supported the publication of legal records as well as historical monographs. Scholars who are not at the early stages of their careers may seek research grants directly from the Foundation.  For more information, see the Grants page [here].

Application Process for 2016.  Applicants should submit a description of their proposed project (double-spaced, maximum 6 pages including notes; include a working title), a budget, a timeline, and a short c.v. (no longer than 3 pages). The budget and timeline can be part of the Project Description or separate. (There is no application form.) Two letters of recommendation from academic referees should be sent directly to the Committee Chair via email attachment, preferably as pdf files.

Applications must be submitted electronically (preferably in one .pdf file) no later than midnight July 11, 2015. Please send all materials to the chair of the Committee: . Successful applicants will be notified by early November. An announcement of the awards will also be made at the annual meeting of the American Society of Legal History.

This year, the ASLH’s Committee on Research Fellowships and Awards consists of: Cornelia H. Dayton, University of Connecticut, chair; Joanna Grisinger, Northwestern University; Yvonne Pitts, Purdue University; Rebecca Scott (ex officio, ASLH President), University of Michigan; Sandra VanBurkleo, Wayne State University; and Michael Vorenberg, Brown University.

On Federalism (Tani, States of Dependency, Post 4)

Ah, grading season is upon us – thus my lapse in blogging about States of Dependency. (My earlier posts are here, here, and here.) But I’m jumping back in now, lest I lose whatever momentum I still have! My last post was on rights, a topic that I always considered central to my project. This post is about a theme in my work that I've claimed more gingerly, and only in the last few years: federalism.

* * *

Historians who write about American poor relief often have a sense of déjà vu when reading the news. Around this time last year, the Washington Post covered a new Kansas law that bans welfare recipients from using their income support payments to visit swimming pools, see movies, or get tattoos. The mayor of Lewiston, Maine, recently proposed publishing the names and home addresses of everyone in the state who receives public assistance benefits. At a campaign event last fall, presidential hopeful and former governor Jeb Bush responded to a question about how to connect with black voters with a rambling comment about not giving out “free stuff.”

Such stories support a sad refrain in academic writing on poverty policy – a refrain of 'the more things change, the more they stay the same.' And, indeed, there are themes here that demand attention: an enduring impulse to separate the poor into racially coded categories of deserving and undeserving; an insistence that people who receive public support never be better off, or more free, than people who derive their income from paid labor; a suspicion that recipients will take advantage of public generosity unless constantly monitored and disciplined. Little wonder that so many people writing in this area describe an unbroken chain from the Elizabethan Poor Law to today.

I worry, though, that when we focus so much on continuity, we lose sight of change. American poor relief changed dramatically over the course of the twentieth century, in ways that mattered to American governance writ large. One change that I emphasize in States of Dependency is the shift in power from the local level to the state and federal levels, and a corresponding change in the nature of federal-state relationships. In other words, there is a federalism story here that is big and important -- one that might even change how we think about the "New Deal order."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Book Roundup

Some legal history related book reviews from the past week:

In the Times Literary Supplement, T.H. Breen reviews two books on Benjamin Franklin (by Carla Mulford and George Goodwin) and suggests a continuity between his thoughts on income inequality and his equally unpopular conception of an “empire of equal subjects.”

In the New York Times, Alan Wolfe reviews Sean Wilentz’s The Politicians and the Egalitarians, which “propounds relentlessly” the argument that politicians need to excel at compromise-building as well as idealistic egalitarianism.  If you want a few more takes on the book, it’s also reviewed in The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe and NPR.

From the Wall Street Journal: John Fabian Witt (Yale Law School) reviews Court Martial by Chris Bray. The "central argument," Witt writes, "is that the court-martial and its cousin, the military commission, have been central participants in the main storylines of American history, from emancipation and civil rights to whistleblowing and sexual assault. . . . He also argues, far more contentiously, that military justice 'is neither better nor worse than civilian justice. It’s just different, in good ways and bad.'"
The Times also published a review of  Daniel Czitrom’s New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal That Launched the Progressive Era, an “evocative account” of a 1892 investigation of police corruption that “reveals that the nexus between politics, policing and biblical trespasses in the late 19th century, introduced the term “organized crime,” spawned the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, demonstrated the power of mass media and even presaged reality television shows”.
In the L.A. Times, David Treuer reviews "The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America,” Andrés Reséndez’s study of the “set of kaleidoscopic practices”--including convict leasing and vagrancy-type laws--that settlers used to control native  Americans even after the Thirteenth Amendment.

The ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles speaks with Risa Goluboff about her new book, Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s, in the Modern Law Library Podcast.

The New Books Network features reviews of Nicole Rudolph‘s At Home in Postwar France: Modern Mass Housing and the Right to Comfort (which sees the government’s interest in “guaranteeing its citizens the right to safe, hygienic, and comfortable homes” as essential to state building), The Bus Kids (which counts the experiences of small children participating in an inter-district transfer program designed to allow students living in a low-income community to attend better-resourced schools in other nearby towns)  and a new collection called Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey.

In Dissent, Linda Gordon reviews two books on abortion rights, including Mary Ziegler’s legal history, which “shows us that it is the failure of the most radical anti-abortion agenda that put us where we are today.” The same issue includes Theda Skocpol’s Who Owns the GOP?, but this is dated Feb. 3.  

Finally, in The Nation, Scott Sherman reviews Benedict Anderson’s memoir, A Life Beyond Boundaries, which he recently published in English.  Anderson’s “neat and tidy” book, Sherman says, is a “primer for cosmopolitanism.” The book elides much of Anderson’s assessment of the coup d’etat in Indonesia that resulted in the detention of the left-leaning Sukarno as well a series of catastrophic massacres (Anderson and colleagues at Cornell published the “Cornell Paper” in 1966, which argued that the coup and resulting violence were “internal army affairs” rather than a Communist power grab by the PKI).  
Instead, Anderson focuses on his own intellectual development, rich descriptions of his academic mentors (including one whose anti-colonialism would result in the revocation of his passport--an affair that sounds right out of Sam Lebovic’s ASLH presentation last year) and--my personal favorite--reflections on the solemnity of academic life (chastised for his lack of seriousness, Anderson reflects, “now I understand what traditional Chinese foot-binding must have felt like”).
I also wanted to point readers to a website called Dissertation Reviews, which publishes non-critical reviews of recently published dissertations.  Some of the reviews might be of interest to legal historians. For example, this February, Faisal Chaudhry reviewed Jean-Philippe Dequen’s "Evolution of the Place of Islamic Law within the Indian Legal Order, 1600-2014".

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Weekend Roundup

  • We’ve noted the Swinburne Law School’s re-launch of Legal History, but the school’s press release is here.
image credit
  • A workshop with a good dose of Islamic legal history took place at Yale on April 9-10, 2016. "Sharia in Motion: Islam, Law, and Mobility in Asia" was organized by Julia Stephens (Yale History). Here is the workshop description, some abstracts, and a list of participants.
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, May 20, 2016

LLMC Launches Open Access Collection

[We have the following announcement.]

LLMC is proud to announce its new Open Access initiative! In addition to the subscription services LLMC offers to members of our consortium, we are proud to provide unrestricted access to select titles. The LLMC Open Access Collection has been made available through partnerships and grants designed to give the world access to specific content.

Our first contributions to the Open Access Collection include these impressive materials:

  • The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789-1800, ed. by Maeva Marcus et al, Vol. 1-8 in 9 books.
  • More than 70 titles from the LLMC Digital Hawaiian Kingdom Collection (original documents are located in the Hawaiian State Archives/Honolulu). This unique Collection was digitized in collaboration with the Hawaiian State Archives and the Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii.  Public access to this content is also available through the Library of Congress’ noteworthy Indigenous Law Portal | Law Library of Congress.  Much appreciation to Dr. Jolande E. Goldberg Policy & Standard Division Acquisitions & Bibliographic Access Directorate for orchestrating this initiative.

PhD Positions at the ASSER Institute

The ASSER Institute for European and International Law in The Hague is recruiting two PhDs with a focus on legal history in the framework of a research project on "The Global City: Challenges, Trust and the Role of Law."  The two PhD researchers will explore seventeenth-century Amsterdam’s intellectual history, that is, the early modern Portuguese Jewish body of social-political and legal thought on diversity, identity, and global trade relations as found in the holdings of Ets Haim/Livraria Montezinos.

For more information please visit our website.  Deadline: 5 June 2016.

Grisinger on Sabin on Environmental Lawyers and the New Deal Order

Over at Jotwell, Joanna Grisinger, Northwestern University, has posted Did Public Interest Lawyers Undermine the New Deal Order?, a review of an article by Paul Sabin, "Environmental Law and the End of the New Deal Order," 33 Law & Hist. Rev. 965 (2015). Here’s a taste:
Paul Sabin’s recent article puts elite liberal lawyers at the center of the story of the demise of the “New Deal order” – that “period of time between the 1930s and 1970s when the federal government, in close partnership with business and labor organizations, greatly expanded its coordination of the national economy and individual industries, as well as its development of natural resources and public infrastructure projects.” (P. 969.) Sabin draws on a wealth of oral histories, interviews, and archival materials to provide an engaging history of public interest environmental lawyers and organizations – including the Environmental Defense Fund, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. These lawyers and law firms challenged New Deal assumptions; in doing so, Sabin argues, they were as key to the fracturing of New Deal-style liberalism as its conservative critics.

CFP: “150 Years of Jurisprudence”

[Via Legal Theory Blog, we have the following announcement.]

Colleagues:  You are invited to submit a paper for possible inclusion in a special issue of the Washington University Jurisprudence Review (Volume 9, Issue 2) entitled: “150 Years of Jurisprudence”. This journal is sponsored by Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, MO. The journal welcomes articles and notes to be considered for this special issue.  “150 years of Jurisprudence” is meant to be an opportunity for the journal to commemorate the sesquicentennial anniversary of the law school, while simultaneously celebrating the contributions that jurisprudential thought has made to legal scholarship as a whole.

Areas of interest for this special journal issue include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

- Jurisprudence “Then and Now”
- A discussion on the jurisprudential work of any prominent legal scholar in the past 150 years
- An analysis of the evolution of jurisprudential thought over the past 150 years
- The potential for further development of jurisprudence looking forward

The full manuscript of your paper, as a PDF file, should be emailed directly to the journal at along with your CV or resume by September 30th, 2016 at 11:59 PM. You will receive notification as to whether your article has been selected for publication on a rolling basis, but no later than November 11th, 2016 at 11:59 PM.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

CFP: First Nations & James Douglas

Credit: Songhees Nation
[We have the following Call for Proposals from Pooja Parmar of the University of Victoria. She is co-organizer of the Law and Society Association's CRN 15: British Colonial Legalities. Note the deadline of June 21, 2016.]

First Nations, Land, and James Douglas:
Indigenous and Treaty Rights in the
Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, 1849-1864

The Songhees Nation and the University of Victoria Faculty of Law and History Department
invite your participation in a conference on this theme
at the Songhees Wellness Centre, Victoria, B.C. February 24-26th 2017.

We anticipate that there will be tours of Songhees traditional territory by land and sea on
Friday the 24th before the first presentations and that the conference will include
a mix of academic and community presentations.

We welcome individual and panel proposals for presentations from researchers, legal
professionals, and community members, on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

1) Relations between First Nations and James Douglas
2) Indigenous and Colonial Concepts of Land, Law and Territory
3) Hunting and Fishing Rights
4) The End of Treaty-Making
5) The Roles of the HBC and the Colonial Office
6) The History of Douglas Era Reserves
7) Current relevance of these historical events.

Please send a 250-500 word description of the proposed presentation and a one page resume
or cv to any of: Cheryl Bryce <>; John Rice Jr.
<>; or John Lutz
Deadline for proposals is: June 21st, 2016.

Breen and Strang on the Golden Age of US Catholic Law Schools

John M. Breen, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and Lee J. Strang, University of Toledo College of Law, have posted The Golden Age that Never Was: Catholic Law Schools from 1930-1960 and the Question of Identity, Catholic Social Thought 7 (2010): 489-522:
This essay reviews part of the history of Catholic legal education and shows that, while the promise of a distinctively Catholic form of legal education was never fulfilled, the idea to provide students at Catholic law schools with such an experience was proposed and widely publicized by a number of leading Catholic academics. Yet the proposal was never realized. The call for reform of Catholic legal education went unanswered. We argue that a variety of causes account for the failure of the proposal. These factors made the vision of Catholic law schools as centers of Thomistic natural law theory seem an unnecessary distraction that might jeopardize the success these schools had already managed to achieve. We lastly offer some initial thoughts on the significance of this history with respect to the current debate concerning the identity of Catholic law schools.

Goodspeed, "Legislating Instability Adam Smith, Free Banking, and the Financial Crisis of 1772"

New from Harvard University Press: Legislating Instability: Adam Smith, Free Banking, and the Financial Crisis of 1772 (2016), by Tyler Beck Goodspeed (University of Oxford). A description from the Press:
From 1716 to 1845, Scotland’s banks were among the most dynamic and resilient in Europe, effectively absorbing a series of adverse economic shocks that rocked financial markets in London and on the continent. Legislating Instability explains the seeming paradox that the Scottish banking system achieved this success without the government controls usually considered necessary for economic stability.
Eighteenth-century Scottish banks operated in a regulatory vacuum: no central bank to act as lender of last resort, no monopoly on issuing currency, no legal requirements for maintaining capital reserves, and no formal limits on bank size. These conditions produced a remarkably robust banking system, one that was intensely competitive and served as a prime engine of Scottish economic growth. Despite indicators that might have seemed red flags—large speculative capital flows, a fixed exchange rate, and substantial external debt—Scotland successfully navigated two severe financial crises during the Seven Years’ War.
The exception was a severe financial crisis in 1772, seven years after the imposition of the first regulations on Scottish banking—the result of aggressive lobbying by large banks seeking to weed out competition. While these restrictions did not cause the 1772 crisis, Tyler Beck Goodspeed argues, they critically undermined the flexibility and resilience previously exhibited by Scottish finance, thereby elevating the risk that another adverse economic shock, such as occurred in 1772, might threaten financial stability more broadly. Far from revealing the shortcomings of unregulated banking, as Adam Smith claimed, the 1772 crisis exposed the risks of ill-conceived bank regulation.
A few blurbs:
Tyler Goodspeed has written a marvelous account of a Scottish bank failure in 1772 that ramified from Edinburgh to London and to American plantations, where it helped to transform threatened Virginia debtors into the rebels of 1776. Goodspeed brilliantly upends the lessons that Adam Smith and subsequent analysts drew from their near-death experience: precisely the unregulated profusion of small banks and the unlimited liability assumed by bankers cushioned against systemic crisis. What a delightfully written challenge to the conventional wisdom after our own near financial shipwreck!—Charles S. Maier
This is an original, scholarly, and important contribution to financial history, to the political economy of monetary institutions, and to Adam Smith studies. The prose is vivid, and it is a pleasure to read.—Lawrence H. White
More information, including the TOC, is available here.

British Legal History 2017: Networks and Connections

[We have the following call for papers.]

British Legal History Conference 2017 – Networks and Connections
Wednesday 5 July 2017 – Saturday 8 July 2017
Call for Papers for the 26th British Legal History Conference

In tracing the way that legal ideas emerge and expand, historians have become increasingly interested in exploring the way that networks are developed and connections made. Legal history is full of connections – between people and places, jurisdictions and ideas. The way that the law develops may be influenced by particular social, professional or political groups, or by wider national, imperial or transnational networks. The law may change direction because of new connections made, whether in the form of the transplantation of legal concepts from one forum to another, or in the form of the influence of new ways of thinking or acting. These connections or networks may be simple or complex, transitory or enduring, ad hoc or accidental. The aim of this conference is to explore the wide range of networks and connections which influence the development of law and legal ideas over time, in a variety of different scholarly contexts. We welcome proposals from historians interested in exploring these themes in all fields of legal history, whether doctrinal or contextual, domestic or transnational.  Proposals concerning any epoch or part of the world are welcome and proposals from postgraduate and early career researchers are encouraged.

About the Conference
The Conference will be held from the 5th to the 8th of July 2017. Registration will be on the 5th of July. Delegates will be able to find accommodation in the wide range of nearby hotels.

Conference Organisers
Dr Ian Williams, Faculty of Laws, UCL
Professor Michael Lobban, LSE Law