Saturday, December 16, 2017

Weekend Roundup

  • The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum will host a screening of "Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain" on Sunday, December 17, 2017.  “The program will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home. A Q&A with filmmaker David Ono will follow the screening. This is a free public event."
  • Submit Your Proposals for the 2018 American Political Science Association's Annual Meeting by January 16th!  The theme: Democracy and Its Discontents.
  • The Tobin Project is looking for “talented and motivated individuals to join our collaborative and entrepreneurial team.”  It is “currently accepting applications to the following positions: Research Analyst, Economic Inequality Research Analyst, and Case Writer.”  Btw, check out this notice of panels on Tobin’s edited volume Corporations and American Democracy on November 15-16 in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
  • Update: We posted earlier about the upcoming conference on religious freedom in South Asia (Jan.8, 2018 in Washington DC, right after the AHA). That conference website is now up here.
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Resistance in History: A Graduate Student Conference

[We have a call the call for papers for Resistance in History: From Transgression to Transformation, a graduate student conference to be convened on April 20, 2018, by the Nicholas D. Chabraja Center for Historical Studies, Northwestern University.  The application deadline is Tuesday, January 16, 2018.]

Resistance occupies an enduring place in historical writing. Historians are drawn to stories of people who resisted oppressive forces, whether they flow from race, gender, legal or economic systems. Then again, historians have also revealed stories about those who worked hard to resist change and maintain entrenched power structures. Scholars continue to debate how to define and explain the role of resistance in social, cultural, political, and economic histories. Resistance has taken many forms in different times and across geographical regions. This conference will facilitate dialogue about histories of resistance, transgressions, and transformations, broadly defined.

We invite submissions from historians working in all fields and scholars of related disciplines. Submissions might address but are not limited to the following questions: How has resistance been defined and expressed, and by whom? What are the political dynamics at work in histories of resistance? Are histories of resistance stories of progress? How have certain narratives about resistance been lauded or dismissed by scholars and why? How should historians write and teach about resistance?

Paul Ortiz (University of Florida) will be the keynote speaker. Professor Ortiz is the author of Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920 (2005) and the forthcoming book, An
African American and Latinx History of the United States (January 2018). Professor Ortiz is also the Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.

Interested graduate students should send a paper proposal of no more than one page (250 words), and an updated CV to Bonnie Ernst ( by January 16, 2018. A Northwestern history faculty committee will select the papers. Conference papers will be ten to twelve pages double-spaced, and due by Wednesday, April 4, in order to allow time for circulation to the commentators. Presentations will run 10 min.

Robinson on the Decline of the Lawyer-Politician

Available on-line from the Buffalo Law Review 65 (August 2017): 657-737, is  The Decline of the Lawyer-Politician, by Nick Robinson.  Although”lawyers’ ubiquity in politics is relatively common knowledge,” Robinson writes, “there has been almost no study of how lawyers’ prevalence in politics has changed over time, why these changes might have occurred, or whether a shift in the prevalence of lawyers—or the types of lawyers—in politics even matters.” The article
Daniel Webster (LC)
examines a unique data set of the occupational background of members of the U.S. Congress that spans more than two hundred years from the 1st Congress to the 114th Congress. This data shows that the proportion of lawyers in Congress has not been static. Instead, after a notable increase in the number of lawyers in the U.S. Congress after Independence, there has been a slow, but steady, decline in their numbers. In the mid-nineteenth century, almost 80% of members of Congress were lawyers. By the 1960s, this dropped to under 60%, and in the 114th Congress, the number of lawyer-members in Congress was slightly under 40%.
 Robinson believes the change has diminished “the centrality of lawyers and courts in the United States,” and created “a more technocratic judiciary.”

New in LHR: Chinese Litigation and Cuban Manumission

Two new articles in Law and History Review are now available on-line via Cambridge Core:

Law, Custom, and Social Norms: Civil Adjudications in Qing and Republican China, by Xiaoqun Xu
This study examines how law, custom, and social norm interacted in civil justice in Qing and Republican China by looking into 152 civil cases tried in 1912, right after the founding of the Republic of China, and a body of legal interpretations from the Supreme Court during 1912-1929, and certain provisions in the Civil Code of 1929-30--the very first one in Chinese history. It shows that both law and custom were invoked by judges within their moral universe or social norm. It traces how the Supreme Court allowed local customs to be a legal ground for rulings in certain civil disputes, and which customs in civil matters in the Qing and the early Republic were, and which were not, “hardened” into the Civil Code. The interplay between law and custom, mediated by judges with their normative sense of right and wrong, constituted both continuity and change in civil justice between the Qing era and the Republican period. Ultimately, the issues addressed here speak to a larger question of how Chinese jurists, within their judicial discretions, tried to strike a difficult but necessary balance between “law-on-books” and “law-in-action,” while law on the books was undergoing important revisions.
Affective Debts: Manumission by Grace and the Making of Gradual Emancipation Laws in Cuba, 1817–68, by Adriana Chira
Drawing on thirty freedom suits from nineteenth-century eastern Cuba, this article explores how some slaves redefined slaveholders' oral promises of manumissions by grace from philanthropic acts into contracts providing a deferred wage payout. Manumissions by grace tended to reward affective labor (loyalty, affection) and to be granted to domestic slaves. Across Cuba, as in other slave societies of Spanish America, through self-purchase, slaves made sustained efforts to monetize the labor that they did by virtue of their ascribed status. The monetization of affective work stands out amongst such efforts. Freedom litigants involved in conflicts over manumissions by grace emphasized the market logics in domestic slavery, revealing that slavery was a fundamentally economic institution even in such instances where it appeared to be intertwined with kinship and domesticity. Through this move, they challenged the assumption that slaves toiled loyally for masters out of a natural commitment to an unchanging master-slave hierarchy. By the 1880s, through court litigation and extra-judicial violence, slave litigants and insurgents would turn oral promises of manumission by grace into a blueprint for general emancipation. Through their legal actions, enslaved people, especially women, revealed the significance and transactional nature of care work, a notion familiar to us today.

2018 Stein Award nominations sought

[We have the following announcement.]
The American Society for Legal History announces the Peter Gonville Stein Book Award, to be presented annually for the best book in legal history written in English. This award is designed to recognize and encourage the further growth of fine work in legal history that focuses on all non-US regions, as well as global and international history. To be eligible, a book must sit outside of the field of US legal history and be published during the previous calendar year. Announced at the annual meeting of the ASLH, this honor includes a citation on the contributions of the work to the broader field of legal history. A book may only be considered for the Stein Award, the Reid Award, or the Cromwell Book Prize. It may not be nominated for more than one of these three prizes.
The Stein Award is named in memory of Peter Gonville Stein, BA, LLB (Cantab); PhD (Aberdeen); QC; FBA; Honorary Fellow, ASLH, and eminent scholar of Roman law at the University of Cambridge, and made possible by a generous contribution from an anonymous donor.
For the 2018 prize, the Stein Award Committee will accept nominations of any book (not including textbooks, critical editions, and collections of essays) that bears a copyright date of 2017 as it appears on the printed version of the book. Translations into English may be nominated, provided they are published within two years of the publication date of the original version.
Nominations for the Stein Award (including self-nominations) should be submitted by March 15, 2018. Please send an e-mail to the Committee at and include: (1) a curriculum vitae of the author (including the author’s e-mail address); and (2) the name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number of the contact person at the press who will provide the committee with two copies of the book. This person will be contacted shortly after the deadline. (If a title is short-listed, six further copies will be requested from the publisher.)
Please contact the committee chair, Mitra Sharafi, with any questions:

Magliocca's "Heart of the Constitution"

Gerard N. Magliocca, the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, has published The Heart of the Constitution: How the Bill of Rights became the Bill of Rights with the Oxford University Press. 
This is the untold story of the most celebrated part of the Constitution. Until the twentieth century, few Americans called the first ten constitutional amendments drafted by James Madison in 1789 and ratified by the states in 1791 the Bill of Rights. Even more surprising, when people finally started doing so between the Spanish-American War and World War II, the Bill of Rights was usually invoked to justify increasing rather than restricting the authority of the federal government. President Franklin D. Roosevelt played a key role in that development, first by using the Bill of Rights to justify the expansion of national regulation under the New Deal, and then by transforming the Bill of Rights into a patriotic rallying cry against Nazi Germany. It was only after the Cold War began that the Bill of Rights took on its modern form as the most powerful symbol of the limits on government power.

These are just some of the revelations about the Bill of Rights in Gerard Magliocca's The Heart of the Constitution. For example, we are accustomed to seeing the Bill of Rights at the end of the Constitution, but Madison wanted to put them in the middle of the document. Why was his plan rejected and what impact did that have on constitutional law? Today we also venerate the first ten amendments as the Bill of Rights, but many Supreme Court opinions say that only the first eight or first nine amendments. Why was that and why did that change?

The Bill of Rights that emerges from Magliocca's fresh historical examination is a living text that means something different for each generation and reflects the great ideas of the Constitution--individual freedom, democracy, states' rights, judicial review, and national power in time of crisis.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Taft, Hughes and the Travils of Progressivism: An ICH Seminar

[We are moving up this announcement because the deadline of December 30 will soon be upon us.]

The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce another seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty, “William Howard Taft and Charles Evans Hughes; the Travails and Contradictions of Progressivism within the Law: 1908-1941.”
Between them, Taft and Hughes served as Governor (H),
Governor General (T); Circuit Court Judge (T), Secretary of War (T), President (T), Supreme Court Justice (H), Nominee for the Presidency (H), Secretary of State (H), Chief Justice (T), Chief Justice (H), and this list is not complete.  It indicates, however, the impressive scope of their accomplishments.  In 1916, Taft had called himself a "progressive Conservative," while in 1935, the Taft's biographer noted of his successor that as Chief Justice, Hughes had "ruled against capital, against labor, against the farmer and for the farmer, against Congress and for Congress, against the president and for him."  Hughes' biographer described him as "an old fashioned progressive."  Alpheus Thomas Mason wrote that "Hughes's mind was singularly devoid of ideological content or commitment."  How had progressivism been transformed during their careers?  To what extent were both jurists "independent of rigid ideology?"  This seminar seeks to explore these questions through books, articles, and discussion.

Daniel R. Ernst is Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught since 1988.  He is the author of Lawyers against Labor: From Individual Rights to Corporate Liberalism (University of Illinois Press, 1995), which received the Littleton-Griswold Prize of the American Historical Association, and Tocqueville's Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940 (Oxford University Press, 2014).  He received the American Society for Legal History's Surrency Prize in 2009 and was a Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand in 1996, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in 2003-04, and a Law and Public Affairs Fellow at Princeton University in 2015-16.

Jonathan Lurie is a professor of history emeritus and formerly an Academic Integrity Officer at Rutgers University in Newark. He had been a member of the History Department there since 1969.   His books include: The Chicago Board of Trade, Law and The Nation, Arming Military Justice, Pursuing Military Justice, The Slaughterhouse Cases [co-authored with Ronald Labbe], Military Justice in America, and The Chase Court.  Lurie's fields of interest comprise legal history, military justice, constitutional law and history, and eras of the Civil War and Reconstruction.  The book on the Slaughterhouse cases received the Scribes award in 2003 as the best book written on law for that year.  In 2005, he served as a Fulbright Lecturer at Uppsala University law School in Sweden.  Lurie was the Visiting Professor of Law at West Point in 1994-1995.  He has lectured on several occasions at the United States Supreme Court. His biography of William Howard Taft was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.   Lurie's book on the Supreme Court and Military Justice was published late in 2013 by Sage/ CQ Publishers. He has just completed a manuscript for the University of South Carolina Press on the Taft Court (1921-1930).

The dates the seminar will meet are: February 9 and 23, and March 9 and 23; Friday afternoons from 2-5 p.m.  The seminar will be held at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York City.

Magna Carta and New Zealand

Just out from Springer is Magna Carta and New Zealand: History, Politics and Law in Aotearoa, an essay collection edited by Stephen Winter, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, University of Auckland, and Chris Jones, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, University of Canterbury.
This volume is the first to explore the vibrant history of Magna Carta in Aotearoa New Zealand’s legal, political and popular culture. Readers will benefit from in-depth analyses of the Charter’s reception along with explorations of its roles in regard to larger constitutional themes. 
The common thread that binds the collection together is its exploration of what the adoption of a medieval charter as part of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements has meant – and might mean – for a Pacific nation whose identity remains in flux. The contributions to this volume are grouped around three topics: remembrance and memorialization of Magna Carta; the reception of the Charter by both Maori and non-Maori between 1840 and 2015; and reflection on the roles that the Charter may yet play in future constitutional debate. This collection provides evidence of the enduring attraction of Magna Carta, and its importance as a platform of constitutional aspiration.
TOC after the jump.  The University of Canterbury’s press release is here.

Sen on Terra Nullius in the Andamans

Uditi Sen, Hampshire College has published "Developing Terra Nullius: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Indigeneity in the Andaman Islands" in Comparative Studies in Society and History 59:4 (2017), 944-73. Here is the abstract: 
This article explores the legal structures and discursive framings informing the governance of one particular “backward” region of India, the Andaman Islands. I trace the shifting patterns of occupation and development of the islands in the colonial and postcolonial periods, with a focus on the changes wrought by independence in 1947 and the eventual history of planned development there. I demonstrate how intersecting discourses of indigenous savagery/primitivism and the geographical emptiness were repeatedly mobilized in colonial-era surveys and postcolonial policy documents. Postcolonial visions of developing the Andaman Islands ushered in a settler-colonial governmentality, infused with genocidal fantasies of the “dying savage.” Laws professing to protect aboriginal Jarawas actually worked to unilaterally extend Indian sovereignty over the lands and bodies of a community clearly hostile to such incorporation. I question the current exclusion of India from the global geographies of settler-colonialism and argue that the violent and continuing history of indigenous marginalization in the Andaman Islands represents a de facto operation of a logic of terra nullius.
Further information is available here

Laura Phillips Sawyer's "American Fair Trade"

Out any moment from Cambridge University Press is American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Corporatism, and the “New Competition,” 1890–1940, by Laura Phillips Sawyer, Harvard Business School:
Rather than viewing the history of American capitalism as the unassailable ascent of large-scale corporations and free competition, American Fair Trade argues that trade associations of independent proprietors lobbied and litigated to reshape competition policy to their benefit. At the turn of the twentieth century, this widespread fair trade movement borrowed from progressive law and economics, demonstrating a persistent concern with market fairness - not only fair prices for consumers but also fair competition among businesses. Proponents of fair trade collaborated with regulators to create codes of fair competition and influenced the administrative state's public-private approach to market regulation. New Deal partnerships in planning borrowed from those efforts to manage competitive markets, yet ultimately discredited the fair trade model by mandating economy-wide trade rules that sharply reduced competition. Laura Phillips Sawyer analyzes how these efforts to reconcile the American tradition of a well-regulated society with the legacy of Gilded Age of laissez-faire capitalism produced the modern American regulatory state.
Here are some stellar endorsements:
“From Walton Hamilton and Milton Handler to Ellis Hawley and Herbert Hovenkamp, the very best legal and economic scholars have insisted upon the centrality of the law of unfair trade to the history of modern American capitalism. Laura Phillips Sawyer's American Fair Trade reanimates that entire tradition by demonstrating in superb and convincing detail the formative role of fair competition and trade associations in the development of the distinctive forms of public-private governance, administrative law, and economic regulation at the heart of both American capitalism and the modern American state.”
William Novak - University of Michigan Law School

“What is fair trade? In this lucid, well-informed, carefully researched, and unfailingly judicious book, Laura Phillips Sawyer provides a boldly revisionist perspective on a historical perennial. In so doing, she joins the growing chorus of historians, lawmakers, businesspeople, and activists who are re-envisioning the antimonopoly tradition for the digital age.”
Richard R. John - Columbia University

“American Fair Trade is destined to become a monument in the history of competition policy in the United States. Not only is Professor Sawyer an excellent writer, she is also a skilled integrator of political, economic, legal, and other historical ideas. No one has done a better job of identifying the political, social, and economic conflicts that gave rise to the fair trade movement, explain the resistance to it and the responses in the federal courts, and tell a coherent and believable story about why it finally collapsed. This is intellectual and business history at its very best.”
Herbert Hovenkamp - University of Pennsylvania

“A timely and powerful history, this book joins a growing body of work to bring the anti-monopoly tradition out of the wilderness back to the center of American debate. By tracing the fair trade movement from its roots in nineteenth century antitrust into the modern trade association and feminist consumer movements, Laura Phillips Sawyer unearths vital resources to better reconcile equality, efficiency, and democracy in the twenty-first century.”
Gerald Berk - author of Louis D. Brandeis and the Making of Regulated Competition

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Rabb and Balbale on Early Islamic Courts

Intisar Rabb, Harvard University, and Abigail Krasner Balbale, Bard Graduate Center have co-edited a volume, Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts. It is out this month with Harvard University Press. From the publisher:
Cover: Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts in HARDCOVERThis book presents an in-depth exploration of the administration of justice during Islam’s founding period, 632–1250 CE. Inspired by the scholarship of Roy Parviz Mottahedeh and composed in his honor, this volume brings together ten leading scholars of Islamic law to examine the history of early Islamic courts. This approach draws attention to both how and why the courts and the people associated with them functioned in early Islamic societies: When a dispute occurred, what happened in the courts? How did judges conceive of justice and their role in it? When and how did they give attention to politics and procedure?
Each author draws on diverse sources that illuminate a broader and deeper vision of law and society than traditional legal literature alone can provide, including historical chronicles, biographical dictionaries, legal canons, exegetical works, and mirrors for princes. Altogether, the volume offers both a substantive intervention on early Islamic courts and on methods for studying legal history as social history. It illuminates the varied and dynamic legal landscapes stretching across early Islam, and maps new approaches to interdisciplinary legal history.
Praise for the book:

“This book makes a valuable contribution to the literature. It will be widely used and appreciated by scholars and graduate students with an interest in the historical practice and development of Islamic law.” -Marion Katz

“This book will be welcomed as a significant contribution toward a better understanding of the development of Islamic law in practice. Students of Islamic law have generally relied on the theoretical and ideal formulations of judicial procedure in manuals and chapters in textbooks that Muslim jurists wrote on dispensing justice. By contrast, this book offers path-breaking studies on Islamic legal practice by exploring biographical literature, local histories, and more, and by critically analyzing judicial contexts. These studies enlighten the reader about close interactions between jurists and judges on the one hand, and between judicial and political authorities, who kept revisiting concepts of the rule of law and of justice as they led the early Muslim societies, on the other.”- M. Khalid Masud

Further information is available here.

Grewal & Purdy, "The Original Theory of Originalism"

David Singh Grewal (Yale Law School) and Jedediah S. Purdy (Duke University School of Law) have posted "The Original Theory of Originalism." The article appears in Volume 127 of the Yale Law Journal. Here's the abstract:
The U.S. Constitution embodies a conception of democratic sovereignty that has been substantially forgotten and obscured in today’s commentary. Recovering this original idea of constitution-making shows that today’s originalism is, ironically, unfaithful to its origins in an idea of self-rule that prized both the initial ratification of fundamental law and the political community’s ongoing power to reaffirm or change it. This does not mean, however, that living constitutionalism better fits the original conception of democratic self-rule. Rather, because the Constitution itself makes amendment practically impossible, it all but shuts down the very form of democratic sovereignty that authorizes it. No interpretive strategy succeeds in overcoming the dilemma of a constitution that at once embodies and prohibits democratic sovereignty.
The full article is available here, at SSRN.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

AJLH 57:4

The December 2017 issue of the American Journal of Legal History is up on its website at the Oxford University Press.  Alfred Brophy, one of the co-editors, has the TOC over at the Faculty Lounge.

CFP: Annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop

[We have the following announcement.]

Annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop, 23-24 February 2018, Princeton University

Co-Organized and Co-Hosted by Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton University), Jacqueline Ross (University of Illinois College of Law), and Jacques DeLisle (University of Pennsylvania Law School).  Co-sponsored by Princeton University, the University of Illinois College of Law, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the American Society of Comparative Law

We invite all interested comparative law scholars to consider submitting a paper to the next annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop, which will be held February 23-24, 2018 at Princeton University.   Interested authors should submit papers to Kim Lane Scheppele at  We have extended the deadline and ask for papers to submitted by January 8, 2018.  We will inform authors of our decision by January 20.   Participants whose papers have been accepted should plan to arrive in Princeton by Thursday night on February 22 and to leave on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.  

 The annual workshop continues to be an important forum in which comparative law work in progress can be explored among colleagues in a serious and thorough manner that will be truly helpful to the respective authors.   "Work in progress" means scholarship that has reached a stage at which it is substantial enough to merit serious discussion and critique but that has not yet appeared in print (and can still be revised after the workshop, if it has already been accepted for publication.)   It includes law review articles, book chapters or outlines, substantial book reviews, and other appropriate genres.

We ask for only one contribution per author and also ask authors to limit their papers to 50 pages in length, or, if the paper (or book chapter) is longer, to indicate which 50 pages they would like to have read and discussed.

Our objective is not only to provide an opportunity for the discussion of scholarly work but also to create the opportunity for comparative lawyers to get together for two days devoted to nothing but talking shop, both in the sessions and outside. We hope that this will create synergy that fosters more dialogue, cooperation, and an increased sense of coherence for the discipline.

The participants in the workshop will consist of the respective authors, commentators, and faculty members of the host institutions.  The overall group will be kept small enough to sit around a large table and to allow serious discussion.  The papers will not be presented at the workshop. They will be distributed well in advance and every participant must have read them before attending the meeting.  Each paper will be introduced and discussed first by two commentators before opening the discussion to the other workshop participants.  Each of the authors selected for the workshop is expected to have read and to be prepared to discuss each of the papers selected.  The author of each paper will be given an opportunity to respond and ask questions of his or her own.  There are no plans to publish the papers. Instead, it is up to the authors to seek publication if, and wherever, they wish.  The goal of the workshop is to improve the work before publication.

 The Workshop will be funded by the host school and by the American Society of Comparative Law. Authors of papers and commentators will be reimbursed for their travel expenses and accommodation up to $600, by either by the American Society of Comparative Law or Princeton University, in accordance with the ASCL reimbursement policy (as posted on its webpage.)  We ask that authors inquire into funding opportunities at their home institutions before applying for reimbursement by the ASCL or by the Princeton University.

In this cycle of our annual workshop, we are excited to welcome our newest co-organizer, Professor Jacques DeLisle, Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and we bid a fond farewell to Professor Maximo Langer of the UCLA School of Law, with whom we have greatly enjoyed co-hosting many meetings of this annual workshop series.

CFP: Key Biographies in the Legal History of European Union 1950-1993

[We have the following Call for Papers.]

Key Biographies in the Legal History of European Union 1950-1993

Frankfurt/Main, 21-22 June 2018

"Legal History of the European Union" is a recently established research field at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History at Frankfurt. The MPIeR attempts to situate the history of European law in a longue durée perspective, with a strong comparative dimension and taking into account the broader political and socio-economic context.

The activities of the research group include the organization of an annual conference. Last year's conference explored the legal history and the travaux préparatoires of the 1957 Rome Treaties. The conference proceedings are currently being prepared for publication.

The 2018 conference will scrutinize the history of European law with a distinct focus on professional biographies, both of key personalities in the history of European integration and of less prominent actors - national, transnational and European.

Panels may include, but are not necessarily restricted to the following topics:

Negotiators of European treaties from 1950 until the present-day

Actors involved in the constitutional practice of the European Court of Justice

Member-state representatives dealing with the national reception of European law or counteracting the ECJ's constitutional practice

Scholars from the emerging academic field of "European law" or "European Studies" in the wider sense and their interpretations of European law

Members of European movements, lobbies, media or other professional organizations involved in the process of European Union

We welcome proposals of not more than 150 words by 15th January 2018. Please email your proposal and a short CV to

Professor Stefan Vogenauer
Dr. Philip Bajon

Marglin on Documentary Evidence in Morocco

Jessica Marglin, USC Dornsife, has published the following article: "Written and Oral in Islamic Law: Documentary Evidence and Non-Muslims in Moroccan Shari'a Courts," Comparative Studies in Society and History 59:4 (2017), 884-911. Here's the abstract:
This article begins from the premise that the margins can shine light on the center, and uses the experience of Jews (thought of as marginal in the Islamic world) in Moroccan courts (similarly thought of as marginal in Islamic history) to tell a new story about orality and writing in Islamic law. Using archival evidence from nineteenth-century Morocco, I argue that, contrary to the prevailing historiography, written evidence was central to procedure in Moroccan shari‘a courts. Records of nineteenth-century lawsuits between Jews and Muslims show that not only were notarized documents regularly submitted in court, but they could outweigh oral testimony, traditionally thought of as the gold standard of evidence in Islam. The evidentiary practices of Moroccan shari‘a courts are supported by the jurisprudential literature of the Mālikī school of Sunni Islam, the only one prevalent in Morocco. These findings have particular relevance for the experience of non-Muslims in Islamic legal institutions. Scholars have generally assumed that Jews and Christians faced serious restrictions in their ability to present evidence in shari‘a courts, since they could not testify orally against Muslims. However, in Morocco Jews had equal access to notarized documents, and thus stood on a playing field that, theoretically at least, was level with their Muslim neighbors. More broadly, I explore ways in which old assumptions about the relationship of the written to the oral continue to pervade our understanding of Islamic law, and call for an approach that breaks down the dichotomy between writing and orality.
Further information is available here

Gordon on Federalism and Chancery in the US

Jeffrey Steven Gordon, Associate-in-Law, Columbia Law School, has posted Our Equity: Federalism and Chancery, which appears in the University of Miami Law Review 72 (2017): 176-268:
Federal courts sitting in diversity cannot agree on whether state or federal law governs the award of a preliminary injunction. The conditions for the exercise of a federal diversity court's extraordinary remedial power are anybody's guess. The immediate cause of the confusion is Justice Frankfurter's cryptic opinion in Guaranty Trust Co. v. York, which aggressively enforced Erie and, at the same time, preserved the so-called "equitable remedial rights" doctrine. There are, however, much broader and deeper causes that explain why the equitable remedial rights doctrine is almost incomprehensible today.

This Article argues that the early history of equity in the federal courts is a distinctive and untold story about equity's interaction with judicial federalism. Conventionally, this is a tale of two equities: homogeneous equity, where federal courts apply uniform nonstate equity, and heterogeneous equity, where federal courts apply state equity. This Article demonstrates that homogeneous federal equity commenced in 1809, about a decade earlier than previously thought, and that there is a deep and unappreciated tension at the center of heterogeneous federal equity.

The primary contribution of this Article is to recover a third federal equitable tradition, a middle ground between the extremes of homogeneity and heterogeneity. This third conception of federal equity—the facilitative conception—is revealed by a close reading of federal equity cases before 1809, a period to which equity scholars have paid scant attention. The facilitative conception originated in the earliest years of the Republic, was sensitive to the legitimate interests and activities of the states, and contributed to the construction of the early United States. Using a key supplied by the facilitative conception of federal equity, this Article proposes a system of shifting presumptions to systematize and structure the equitable remedial rights doctrine.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Postdoctoral Research Associate in Racial Inequality at Brown

[We have the following announcement of a Racial Inequality Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University.  The deadline is January 29, 2018.]

Brown University invites applications for a two-year Postdoctoral Research Associate in Racial Inequality to be jointly shared by the Watson Institute for International & Public Affairs and the Center for the Study of Race & Ethnicity in America. We seek a scholar with interests in racial inequality/structural racism in the post-1970s U.S. in areas such as: urban poverty, social and cultural theories of racism, gender, segregation, housing or welfare.  More.

A New FJC "Famous Federal Trial": The Flag Salute Cases

First Graders Saluting the Flag, 1942 (LC)
Perhaps you, like me, have been unaware of the growing set of materials on Famous Federal Trials that the Federal Judicial History Office of the Federal Judicial Center has produced over the years.  I gather that most or all were prepared "Federal Trials and Great Debates in U.S. History," a summer institute for teachers that the FJC runs in partnership with the American Bar Association Division for Public Education.  Just out is Gobitis v. Minersville School District and Barnette v. West Virginia State Board of Education: The Flag Salute Cases, by by Winston Bowman, Associate Historian, Federal Judicial History Office, Federal Judicial Center.  The others are:

U.S. v. Lyon, U.S. v. Cooper, and U.S. v. Callender: The Sedition Act Trials
U.S. v. Aaron Burr: The Treason Trial
U.S. v. The Amistad: The Mende Slave Revolt.
Ex parte Merryman: Habeas Corpus During the Civil War
U.S. v. Susan B. Anthony: The Fight for Women's Suffrage
Chew Heong v. U.S.: Chinese Exclusion and the Federal Courts
In re Eugene V. Debs: The Pullman Strike and American Railway Union Boycott.
Olmstead v. U.S.: The Prohibition Trial of a Seattle Bootlegger.
U.S. v. Julius Rosenberg: The Atomic Spy Trial
Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board: The Desegregation of New Orleans Public Schools
U.S. v. Dellinger: The Chicago Seven Conspiracy Trial

CFP: ASLH Student Research Colloquium

The American Society for Legal History will host a Student Research Colloquium (SRC) on Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, immediately preceding the ASLH's annual meeting in Houston, Texas.  The SRC annually enables eight Ph.D. students and law students to discuss their in-progress dissertations and articles with distinguished ASLH-affiliated scholars.  This year, the Department of History at Rice University will host the event.

The SRC's target audience includes early-post-coursework graduate students and historically minded law students.  The colloquium seeks to introduce such students to legal history, to each other, and to the legal-historical scholarly community.  Students working in all chronological periods, including ancient and medieval history, and all geographical fields, including non-U.S. history, are encouraged to apply, as are students who have not yet received any formal training in legal history.  Applicants who have not had an opportunity to present their work to the ASLH are particularly encouraged to apply.  A student may be on the program for the annual meeting and participate in the SRC in the same year.

Each participating student will pre-circulate a twenty-page, double-spaced, footnoted paper to the entire group.  The group will discuss these papers at the colloquium, under the guidance of faculty directors.  The ASLH will provide at least partial and, in most cases, total reimbursement for travel, hotel, and conference-registration costs. 

The application deadline is July 15, 2018.  Applicants should submit (1) a cover letter describing, among other things, how far along you are and how many years remain in your course of study; (2) a CV; (3) a two-page, single-spaced "research statement" that begins with a title and proceeds to describe the in-progress research project that you propose to present at the colloquium; and (4) a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, sent separately from, or together with, the other materials.

Organizers will notify all applicants of their decisions by August 15, 2018.  Please direct questions and applications to John Wertheimer at

Ablavsky on Original Meanings of "Indian Tribes"

Gregory Ablavsky, Stanford Law School, has posted "With the Indian Tribes": Race, Citizenship, and Original Constitutional Meanings, which is forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review.
Under black-letter law declared in Morton v. Mancari, federal classifications of individuals as “Indian” based on membership in a federally recognized tribe rely on a political, not a racial, distinction, and so are generally subject only to rational-basis review. But the Supreme Court recently questioned this long-standing dichotomy, resulting in renewed challenges arguing that, because tribal membership usually requires Native ancestry, such classifications are race-based.

The term “Indian” appears twice in the original U.S. Constitution. A large and important scholarly literature has developed arguing that this specific constitutional inclusion of “Indian tribes” mitigates equal protection concerns. Missing from these discussions, however, is much consideration of these terms’ meaning at the time of the Constitution’s adoption. Most scholars have concluded that there is a lack of evidence on this point—a “gap” in the historical record.

This Essay uses legal, intellectual, and cultural history to close that “gap” and reconstruct the historical meanings of “tribe” and “Indian” in the late eighteenth century. Rather than a single “original meaning,” it finds duality: Anglo-Americans of the time also alternated between referring to Native communities as “nations,” which connoted equality, and “tribes,” which conveyed Natives’ purported uncivilized status. They also defined “Indians” both in racial terms, as non-white, and in jurisdictional terms, as non-citizens.

These contrasting meanings, I argue, have potentially important doctrinal implications for current debates in Indian law, depending on the interpretive approach applied. Although the term “tribe” had at times derogatory connotations, its use in the Constitution bolsters arguments emphasizing the significance of Native descent and arguably weakens current attacks on Native sovereignty based on invidious legal distinctions among Native communities. Similarly, there is convincing evidence to read “Indian” in the Constitution in political terms, justifying Morton’s dichotomy. But interpreting “Indian” as a “racial” category also provides little solace to Indian law’s critics, since it fundamentally undermines their insistence on a colorblind Constitution.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Why Comparative Legal History?

Comparative legal historians often confront an existential question: "what does your comparison add?"  The majority of legal historians focus on a single country, and often a single jurisdiction.  Most of us probably do intuitively believe that comparative work is valuable, but it is increasingly difficult to explain why.  Legal historians generally cannot take shelter under the most common rationale for comparative legal research--the search for alternative legal solutions to functional problems.  Instead, they need to explain why cross-system comparison helps us understand historical developments.  The problem is that nearly all explanations of this sort tend to run afoul of the deep rooted skepticism that historians generally hold towards theoretical abstraction and conventional causal analysis.

The explanation that I personally prefer (and implicitly adopt in my recently published book), for example, is an explicitly causal one.  Comparative legal history, like any other causal analysis, can help isolate pathways of influence.  Within a single-system context, the question of "how did phenomenon A arise" is necessarily a complex one.  Realistically, any significant historical phenomenon is the product of multiple forces, ranging from ecology and geography to cultural context to sheer chance.  Whereas historians may choose to emphasize one or more factors from this usually very long list over others, they tend to have a hard time teasing out the specific kind of influence those factors wielded within this general context of interweaving forces.  Comparative analysis between two systems that share some common features allows us to sidestep at least part of this obstacle, essentially by controlling for those common features.  The goal, in the end, is to isolate a set of factors that plausibly explain systemic differences, which then helps us isolate the specific mechanisms through which those factors influenced the system's historical trajectory.

In fact, I would go a step further and argue that any attempt to justify a comparative historical analysis will necessarily be somewhat causal.   The general observation that "system A and system B differed in the following ways" is only intellectually significant if the differences tell us something deeper about those systems that we cannot learn simply by observing either system in isolation.  This "something deeper" can come either in the form of the differences' underlying conditions or in the form of their consequences, but either option would demand at least some kind of causal analysis, whether towards the differences or away from them.  Unless we believe that a description of systemic historical difference is intellectually--as opposed to politically or socially--significant in and of itself, then some causal claim is needed to explain why we should care.

This is true even when the need for comparison arises from transnational legal history, which, perhaps prudently, focuses on the transmission and reception of laws and legal ideas from one country to another, rather than, say, the socioeconomic origins of legal differences or the legal origins of socioeconomic development.  For example, arguably the single most successful driver (in the English-speaking world, at least) of interest in non-Western legal systems over the past two decades has been the burgeoning literature on law and empire.  Within this literature, the primary reason to care about differences between, say, colonial Indian law and English law has been the institutional feedback loop between the imperial periphery and the center, which reverses conventional assumptions about the direction of institutional and intellectual transmission.  But, properly understood, this involves a very powerful causal claim about legislation and the development of legal thought in the center.  In fact, all claims about institutional or intellectual transmission are innately causal in some basic sense.

All in all, it is much easier--and probably impossible otherwise--to understand the value of comparative legal history if one is willing to accept that historians must be in the business of making at least some arguments about causation.  This may imply that comparative legal history is more naturally seen as a branch of the social sciences than of the humanities, but that is something that I would personally welcome.  Comparative analysis is, by its very nature, an act of abstraction and simplification, an attempt to highlight some parts of the picture over others.  This gives comparative legal history a distinct social scientific flavor that other kinds of legal history, which are perhaps more interested in complication and contextualization, are often hesitant to embrace.

Sunday Book Review Roundup

There are quite a few books of interest in this week's review pages:

In the London Review of Books Eric Foner reviews James E. Lewis Jr.'s The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis.  

In Dissent's fall issue is a review of Mark Wilson's Destructive Creation: American Business and the Winning of World War II.  The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire by Stephen Kinzer is also reviewed in the issue.

There is an assortment of relevant reviews to be found in The New York Times.  Among them is a review of Mary Beard's Women & Power: A Manifesto.  Also reviewed is Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life by Robert Dallek.  Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia by Steven Stoll is reviewed.   The Second Coming of the KKK is reviewed and Linda Gordon speaks about the book with the Book Review Podcast.

In The Washington Post is a review of Gordon Wood's Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas JeffersonAlso in the post is a review of The Taste of Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World by Lizzie Collingham.

In The New York Review of Books is a review of Nancy MacLean's Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America and Gordon Lafer's The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a TimeAlso in The NYRB is a review of Linda Gordon's The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition and Ku Klux Kulture: America and the Klan in the 1920s by Felix Harcourt.

At the History News Network is a review of Nullification and Secession in Modern Constitutional Thought, edited by Sanford Levinson.

The Los Angeles Review of Books has a review of The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire by historian Kyle Harper.

At the New Books Network Padraic Scanlan speaks about his Freedom’s Debtors: British Antislavery in Sierra Leone in the Age of Revolution.  Padraic Kenney is interviewed about his Dance in Chains: Political Imprisonment in the Modern WorldSheshalatha Reddy discusses her British Empire and the Literature of Rebellion: Revolting Bodies, Laboring Subjects.  Finally James F. Brooks is interviewed about his Mesa of Sorrows A History of the Awat'ovi Massacre.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Weekend Roundup

  • And on Friday, January 26, 2018, from 12:00pm to 1:00pm, Gerard Magliocca, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, will speak on his new book, The Heart of the Constitution: How the Bill of Rights Became the Bill of Rights, in the William G. McGowan Theater, of the National Archives in Washington, DC. 
  • Samuel Moyn, Yale Law School, will deliver the 2018 Annual Nicolai Rubinstein Lecture in Intellectual History and the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London on February 8, 2018.  His topic will be “Judith Shklar’s Critique of Cold War Liberalism.”
  • O Mar no Direito Romano: the latest conference from Teoria e História do Direito, Centro de Investigação da ULisboa.
  • One week away: the deadline for Newberry Library short-term fellowships is Dec.15, 2018. Details here.
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Toronto Remembers John Beattie

John Maurice Beattie: Giant of British legal history taught at U of T for 35 years, an appreciation of Professor Beattie, is now up on the University of Toronto's website.  It commences:
Those who knew John Maurice (J.M.) Beattie say he showed genuine interest in the lives of others: family, friends, acquaintances – and people who lived centuries ago.

Beattie, who died in July of this year, was a professor of history at the University of Toronto for 35 years and a former director of its Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. In academic circles, he was known from Australia to England for his pioneering work on the history of the British courts, crime and policing.

Bazyler and Jarvis's "Law and the Holocaust"

Carolina Academic Press recently published Law and the Holocaust by Michael J. Bazyler, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law, and Robert M. Jarvis, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law.
Law and the Holocaust: U.S. Cases and Materials uses federal and state court decisions to teach students about one of humanity's greatest calamities. Part I situates the Holocaust as a legal event. Part II focuses on the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. Part III describes the efforts of Holocaust victims to obtain financial compensation through civil lawsuits. Lastly, Part IV considers the extent to which the First Amendment protects modern Nazis. The first casebook of its kind, Law and the Holocaust features 71 principal cases, 295 notes, 26 statutory appendices, 31 photographs, and three maps.

LeDuc on the Originialism Debate

Andre LeDuc has posted Striding Out of Babel: Originalism, its Critics, and the Promise of Our American Constitution, which appears in the William & Mary Bill of Rights 26 (2017):
This Article pursues a therapeutic approach to end the debate over constitutional originalism. For almost fifty years that debate has wrestled with the question whether constitutional interpretations and decisions should look to the original intentions, expectations, and understandings with respect to the constitutional text, and if not, what. Building on a series of prior articles exploring the jurisprudential foundations of the debate, this Article characterizes the debate over originalism as pathological. The Article begins by describing what a constitutional therapy is.

The debate about originalism has been and remains sterile and unproductive, and the lack of progress argues powerfully for the conclusion that a successful resolution of the debate is not likely to be achieved by any of the protagonists. Instead, the debate should be abandoned.

At a conceptual level, there are a variety of sources for the pathology of the debate, but a series of tacit ontological and other jurisprudential assumptions play a central role. The Article explains why neither side in the debate over constitutional originalism can hope to prevail. Any hope to revive or reconstruct the debate seems at once implausible and unlikely to deliver any significant doctrinal or methodological payoff to our American constitutional law. If we articulate the tacit premises of the debate, we can recognize why the debate over originalism reflects more confusion than substantive disagreements. As we do so, we begin to see the way forward beyond the debate. Making the source of the debate’s disagreements appear confused rather than important also provides ample motivation to move on. This Article concludes by arguing that such a postdebate constitutional discourse and practice is indeed possible, as well as desirable.
H/t: Legal Theory Blog

Cajas on Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments in Colombia

Mario Cajas, Universidad Icesi, Colombia, has published Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments in Colombia: A Political and Historical Perspective, 1955-2016” in the journal Theory and Practice of Legislation (2017):
The Colombian Constitutional Court is widely known for being one of the emblematic and activist Courts representing the New-constitutionalism of the Global South, and also for the judicial review of the constitutional amendments under the ‘constitutional replacement doctrine’ (substitution doctrine). The Court adopted the substitution doctrine since its decision C-551/2003, in a time that coincides with the global expansion of the judicial review of constitutional amendments. However, it is far less known that, in Colombia, the debate about the judicial review of the constitutional amendments commenced several decades before that global expansion. This article intends to reconstruct the judicial review path of the constitutional amendments, and to show the interdependence between the political context and the doctrines of both the Supreme Court (1955–1991) and the Constitutional Court (1992–2016). The article examines this interdependence to contribute to a better understanding of the role of the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary in the construction of legal doctrines, such as the supremacy of the Constitution, the principle of separation of powers, the intangibility of constitutional clauses or the power of constitutional reform in the complex political context of a South American country. In sum, this article seeks to present how the judicial review path of the constitutional amendments in Colombia began long before the ‘expansion’ of that phenomenon at a global level, to show the interdependence between Law and Politics on that path, and to highlight the different Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court judicial activism in this topic since 1955 to the present.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Freedman's "Making Habeas Work"

And, while we’re on the subject, we might as well mention that Making Habeas Work: A Legal History, by Eric M. Freedman, Hofstra Law, is due out in May from NYU Press.
Habeas corpus, the storied Great Writ of Liberty, is a judicial order that requires government officials to produce a prisoner in court, persuade an independent judge of the correctness of their claimed factual and legal justifications for the individual’s imprisonment, or else release the captive. Frequently the officials resist being called to account.  Much of the history of the rule of law, including the history being made today, has emerged from the resulting clashes.

This book, heavily based on primary sources from the colonial and early national periods and significant original research in the New Hampshire State Archives, enriches our understanding of the past and draws lessons for the present.

Using dozens of previously unknown examples, Professor Freedman shows how the writ of habeas corpus has been just one part of an intricate machinery for securing freedom under law, and explores the lessons this history holds for some of today’s most pressing problems including terrorism, the Guantanamo Bay detentions, immigration, Brexit, and domestic violence.

Exploring landmark cases of the past - like that of John Peter Zenger - from new angles and expanding the definition of habeas corpus from a formal one to a functional one, Making Habeas Work brings to light the stories of many people previously overlooked (like the free black woman Zipporah, defendant in “the case of the headless baby”) because their cases did not bear the label “habeas corpus.”

The resulting insights lead to forward-thinking recommendations for strengthening the rule of law to insure that it endures into the future.
Professor Freedman's recent lecture on the book is here.

Tyler's "Habeas Corpus in Wartime"

Amanda L. Tyler, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, has published Habeas Corpus in Wartime: From the Tower of London to Guantanamo Bay (Oxford University Press 2017):
Habeas Corpus in Wartime unearths and presents a comprehensive account of the legal and political history of habeas corpus in wartime in the Anglo-American legal tradition. The book begins by tracing the origins of the habeas privilege in English law, giving special attention to the English Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, which limited the scope of executive detention and used the machinery of the English courts to enforce its terms. It also explores the circumstances that led Parliament to invent the concept of suspension as a tool for setting aside the protections of the Habeas Corpus Act in wartime. Turning to the United States, the book highlights how the English suspension framework greatly influenced the development of early American habeas law before and after the American Revolution and during the Founding period, when the United States Constitution enshrined a habeas privilege in its Suspension Clause. The book then chronicles the story of the habeas privilege and suspension over the course of American history, giving special attention to the Civil War period. The final chapters explore how the challenges posed by modern warfare during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have placed great strain on the previously well-settled understanding of the role of the habeas privilege and suspension in American constitutional law, particularly during World War II when the United States government detained tens of thousands of Japanese American citizens and later during the War on Terror. Throughout, the book draws upon a wealth of original and heretofore untapped historical resources to shed light on the purpose and role of the Suspension Clause in the United States Constitution, revealing all along that many of the questions that arise today regarding the scope of executive power to arrest and detain in wartime are not new ones.
Professor Tyler has posted the introduction on SSRN.  Gerard N. Magliocca’s appreciation on Balkinization is hereJames Pfander's review for Lawfare is here.  Among the many strong endorsements are the following:
 "Amanda Tyler has written the definitive political and legal history of the writ of habeas corpus during war, from its modern origins in the seventeenth century England to its contemporary use by U.S. courts to check the Commander in Chief in the post-9/11 era. Since the writ's history is so relevant to its modern scope, Habeas Corpus in Wartime will be an indispensable guide for lawyers, judges, and scholars of various stripes who grapple with the meaning of the Great Writ." - Jack Goldsmith, Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
"This meticulously researched book shows how America's Founding Fathers constitutionalised the English Habeas Corpus Act, which provided that only parliament could suspend the writ of liberty. In a series of studies which are rich both in illustration and insight, Amanda Tyler shows how the long-held understanding of the Suspension Clause came under pressure in the twentieth century. The history she has written is not only fascinating in itself, but has important ramifications for contemporary debates on liberty and the constitution." - Michael Lobban, Professor of Legal History, London School of Economic

CFP: PHC 2018

[We're moving this post up because the deadline for submissions is tomorrow.]

[We have the following call for papers.]

The Institute for Political History, the Journal of Policy History, and the Center for Political Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University are hosting the tenth biennial Policy History Conference at the Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe, Arizona from Wednesday, May 16 to Saturday, May 19, 2018. The Journal of Policy History is celebrating 30 years of publication. The Policy History Conference is celebrating 20 years of continued academic excellence. We hope you will join us for this historic event.

The Keynote Address is "Reflections of a Political Historian," by Daniel Howe (Oxford).

National History Center Panels at AHA (and a Landmark LHB Post)

The National History Center yesterday sent out a list of its panels at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association next month in Washington, DC.  Links to the sessions are here.

Thursday, January 4
Understanding the Past to Plan the Future: Historical Inquiry and Philanthropic Grant-Making
History and Public Policy Centers: A Roundtable Discussion

Friday, January 5
The End of the Palestine Mandate
What Does Brexit Mean for British History?
Documenting the History of the First Federal Congress
Remembering Marilyn Young, Activist Historian: A Memorial Panel

Saturday, January 6
Federal Government Historians and the Public
The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Big History (AKA Big History Meets the History of Science)
Executive Orders and Presidential Power since FDR
NHC Reception

Sunday, January 7
Nationalism: Notions and Practices

[Cue the confetti: This is the 10,000 post on Legal History Blog!]

New AHA Panel: Revolt against Regulation in the Time of Trump

We have word of a “late-breaking session” at the American Historical Association annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on January 5, 3:30-5:00, entitled  “Revolt against Regulation in the Time of Trump: Historical Perspectives.”
We are currently witnessing a broad-scale attempt to by the Trump Administration to “deconstruct the administrative state.”  At such a moment of profound reorientation across so many domains of policy-making, we stand in great of need of historical perspective.  This roundtable brings together historians, a political scientist/legal scholar, and two former high legal regulatory officials (one a Democrat, one a Republican), to engage with such questions as: (1) what explains why regulatory endeavors have accumulated so broadly over the last century or so; (2) what has driven the waxing discontent with the regulatory state (among whom, exactly, and on what basis); (3) how best to understand the origins of the emerging, widespread populist distrust of technocracy (distrust that extends beyond those large corporations that want a reduction in regulatory burden); (4) how to make sense of the disconnect between strong popular support for many specific regulatory objectives and much weaker popular support for technocratic governance in general; (5) how best to understand the processes underway at federal agencies

Edward Balleisen, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University (chair)

Sally Katzen, Former Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (in the Clinton Administration)

Susan Dudley, Former Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (in the George W. Bush Administration)

Cary Coglianese, Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Nelson Lichtenstein, Distinguished Professor of History, University of California-Santa Barbara

Christy Ford Chapin, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Update: The other late breaking sessions are:

Contextualizing Catalonia - the History of Catalan Nationalism and the Spanish Constitution with Respect to the 1st of October

A Fateful Misunderstanding: A Discussion of the Film Documentary The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

Historians and Sexual Harassment: The Challenge for the AHA

Immigration Control and Resistance: Historicizing the Present Moment, a Conversation between Historians and Activists

The North Korean Nuclear Crisis in History

Links are here.