Thursday, May 5, 2016

Hiring Update: Evans to Toronto

Congratulations to Catherine L. Evans, the Prize Fellow in Economics, History and Politics in the Center for History and Economics, Harvard University, for her hiring as an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the at the University of Toronto.  She’ll be starting in July 2017 so that she can complete the second year of her postdoctoral fellowship.

The Harvard center’s website reports that she
studies the history of the British empire, with particular interests in nineteenth-century criminal law and forensic medicine. Her current project is based on her dissertation, “Persons Dwelling in the Borderland: Responsibility and Criminal Law in the Late-Nineteenth-Century British Empire.”  She uses sensational murder cases from a variety of imperial jurisdictions – Canada, Australia, India, and England itself – to explore how lawyers, doctors and government officials assessed defendants' responsibility for their crimes. She focuses on debates about insanity, especially moral insanity, and the role that the determinism of criminal anthropology and late-Victorian evolutionary psychology played in how legal professionals and administrators thought about criminality. By placing case narratives at the centre of her work, she hopes to offer a legal history of the British empire that is both geographically ambitious and fundamentally rooted in the lived experiences of killers and their custodians.

Mathur on Law and Bureaucracy in Himalayan India

Paper TigerLegal historians of South Asia keep a close eye on work in legal anthropology, and those working on paper and bureaucracy are no exception. A hub of historians is working on documents and their materiality in South Asian legal history, inspired most recently by Bhavani Raman's Document Raj (2012). We also have  Matthew Hull's Government of Paper: The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan (2012). Wonderful photographic collections like this help set the mood.

For those working on seas of paper, a new book out in the Cambridge Studies in Law and Society series will be of interest. Here is the description of Nayanika Mathur's Paper Tiger: Law, Bureaucracy and the Developmental State in Himalayan India, from the press: 

A big cat overthrows the Indian state and establishes a reign of terror over the residents of a Himalayan town. A welfare legislation aimed at providing employment and commanding a huge budget becomes 'unimplementable' in a region bedeviled by high levels of poverty and unemployment. Paper Tiger provides a lively ethnographic account of how such seemingly bizarre scenarios come to be in contemporary India. Based on eighteen months of intensive fieldwork, this book presents a unique explanation for why and how progressive laws can do what they do and not, ever-so-often, what they are supposed to do. It reveals the double-edged effects of the reforms that have been ushered in by the post-liberalization Indian state, particularly the effort to render itself more transparent and accountable. Through a meticulous detailing of everyday bureaucratic life on the Himalayan borderland, Paper Tiger makes an argument for shifting the very frames of thought through which we apprehend the workings of the developmental Indian state.

A few blurbs:

LHR 34:2

Law and History Review 34: 2 (May 2016) is available online.  Here’s the TOC:

John Stuart Mill and the Contagious Diseases Acts: Whose Law? Whose Liberty? Whose Greater Good?’ by Jim Jose, Kcasey McLoughlin

Legal fictions are often used to lubricate the machinery of jurisprudence. One of these is the idea that laws created to restrict the liberty of some individuals or class of individuals in order to protect the public good are in effect outcomes of tradeoffs between abstract universals, namely liberty and the public good. A three way relationship is imagined in which law, liberty, and the public good are in creative tension. The role of the law in this three way tension is further imagined to be the mediator where it serves to calibrate this tension in ways that are also assumed to legitimate the intended outcomes in practice. In particular, where the outcome is the prevention of harm, then laws that curtail liberty must be seen not just as measures for the public good, but rather as necessitated by the potential effects of the very harm itself. The justification for this view is often traced back to the views of nineteenth century political philosopher John Stuart Mill, who famously expressed this in terms that have become known as the “harm principle”; specifically that “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”
“Under Two Jurisdictions”: Immigration, Citizenship, and Self-Governance in Cross-Border Community Relocations, by Jane McAdam
The governments of Kiribati and Fiji “should make every effort to minimise the difficulties of and inconveniences to this community which finds itself under two jurisdictions.”  Our younger generation have been taught that they also have another home. There are still two homes. That's their roots. That's where they belong.

“Once the Jews have been Expelled”: Intent and Interpretation in Late Medieval Canon Law, by Rowan W. Dorin
Sometime in early 1434, two northern Italian counts, Francesco Pico della Mirandola and his brother Giovanni, sent a letter to Pope Eugene IV (r. 1431–47). Out of concern for their subjects, who had long suffered from a shortage of credit, Francesco and Giovanni had allowed some Jews to settle in their lands and lend at interest. In addition, the brothers had rented a house to these Jews for the purpose of moneylending. At the time, the noblemen stressed, they had not believed their actions to be unlawful. They had since come to fear, however, that they had inadvertently brought automatic excommunication upon themselves by violating the provisions of Usurarum voraginem, a decree first issued at the Second Council of Lyon in 1274 that called on secular and religious authorities to refuse lodging to foreign usurers and, in addition, to expel such usurers from their lands. The brothers' uncertainty, the petition noted, reflected the varied opinions of contemporary jurists (presumably those at Bologna, a mere 60 kilometers away), who disagreed on whether the decree was to be understood in reference to Jewish as well as Christian moneylenders. Deciding to err on the side of caution, the brothers petitioned the Holy Father to grant them absolution, if they had indeed incurred ecclesiastical censure through their actions. In addition, they asked to be granted a dispensation allowing the Jews to remain in their lands, so as to spare their subjects from even greater economic misfortune.
Israel's 1967 Governmental Debate about the Annexation of East Jerusalem: The Nascent Alliance with the United States, Overshadowed by “United Jerusalem,” by Ofra Friesel
The main position of modern international law prohibits the annexation of occupied territory. Israel, however, like Jordan two decades earlier, annexed East Jerusalem after its occupation in June 1967, and applied its national laws there. Although the legality of the Israeli move according to international law has been debated extensively ever since, the fact that in doing so Israel chose to act contrary to expressed American objections to this move has not been thoroughly examined, however. This research focuses on the Israeli governmental deliberations and eventual decision to annex East Jerusalem, against the backdrop of the early days of the emergence of a hesitant Israeli–American alliance following the 1967 War. Through an analysis of Israeli government meeting protocols, now released to the public, together with American and United Nations sources and existing scholarship, I aim to uncover what weight the United States objection to Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem held in the Israeli government's deliberations concerning whether or not to annex it.
International Criminal Law's Millennium of Forgotten History, by Ziv Bohrer
At the close of World War II (WWII), Winston Churchill suggested summarily executing the remaining Nazi leadership. Franklin Delano Roosevelt disagreed, insisting on prosecuting them in an international military tribunal. This is considered the “birth” of International Criminal Law (ICL), following a consensus that “[t]he Nazi atrocities gave rise to the idea that some crimes are so grave as to concern the international community as a whole.” A few earlier instances of penal action against violators of the laws of war are acknowledged, but they are dismissed as unrelated to current ICL, because (presumably) these cases are sporadic domestic legal actions that lack a common doctrine.
The Custody Crucible: The Development of Scientific Authority About Gay and Lesbian Parents, by Marie-Amélie George
In 1974, gay father Bruce Voeller sought visitation with his three children after divorcing his wife. The New Jersey family court held a six day trial that centered on expert witness testimony as to whether Voeller's homosexuality would be detrimental to his children. Drs. Richard Green and John Money testified on Voeller's behalf, whereas Voeller's ex-wife called Dr. Richard Gardner, who concluded that “‘the total environment to which the father exposed the children could impede healthy sexual development in the future.’” In his opinion, which imposed strict limitations on visitation, the judge focused on the opposition within the American Psychiatric Association (APA) over the decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness, reasoning that psychiatrists' inability to agree on how to define or classify homosexuality indicated that it was impossible to know what effect Voeller's homosexuality would have on his children. The court consequently concluded that the medical controversy, combined with “the immutable effects which are engendered by the parent-child relationship, demands that the court be most hesitant in allowing any unnecessary exposure of a child to an environment which may be deleterious.” The court imposed visitation restrictions to prevent the children from being in “any homosexual related activities,” which included prohibiting Voeller from ever introducing his partner to the children.

Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, trans. Thomas Dunlap, The Emperor's Old Clothes: Constitutional History and the Symbolic Language of the Holy Roman Empire, New York: Berghahn Books, 2015. Pp. 332. $125.00 cloth (ISBN 9781782388050).
Sara Ludin

Thomas G.W. Telfer, Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867–1919, Toronto: University of Toronto Press/The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2014. Pp. 297. $75.00 (ISBN 978-0-8020-9343-1)
Charles J. Tabb

Joseph M. Gabriel, Medical Monopoly: Intellectual Property Rights and the Origins of the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014. Pp. 328.  30.00 e-book (ISBN 9780226108216).
Kara W. Swanson

J. Shoshanna Ehrlich, Regulating Desire: From the Virtuous Maiden to the Purity Princess, New York: SUNY Press, 2014. Pp. 213. $80.00 (ISBN 13: 978-1-4384-5305-7).
Maya Manian

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

John Jay on "Natural Born" Citizenship

[Remember back when Senator Ted Cruz was running for President and we all wondered what the words "natural born citizens" meant in the US Constitution?  Elizabeth M. Nuxoll and the editorial board on the The Selected Papers of John Jay sent us these notes from that work.  This remains an important issue, notwithstanding the suspension of Senator Cruz's campaign--until 2020.

[Both notes are from Elizabeth M. Nuxoll et. al., eds., The Selected Papers of John Jay, Volume 4: 1785-1788 (Charlottesville, Va., 2015) and appear here with permission.]

Notes regarding John Jay and the "Natural Born Citizen" Clause in the United States Constitution.

Credit: LC
Volume 4 of The Selected Papers of John Jay depicts John Jay's major role in the movement for constitutional revision under the Articles of Confederation while he served as Secretary for Foreign Affairs. As discussed in an editorial note on "John Jay and the Constitutional Convention of 1787," Jay was not a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and the convention's deliberations were secret, but there is evidence that he conveyed his views to Washington, the convention's presiding officer, and to certain other delegates. Prior to the convening of the Philadelphia meeting, Jay had advanced some of the notions embodied in the Randolph Plan, including enlarged powers for Congress and the President, separation of powers, and checks and balances. On July 25, 1787, he addressed a letter to Washington, advancing the view that the commander in chief of the American army should be a "natural born" citizen: "Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & Seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the Administration of our national Government, and to declare expressly that the Command in Chief of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.--"  In the draft of his letter to Washington, Jay had suggested, but excised, that all national civil offices be held only by "natural born" citizens. Jay's suggestion regarding the commander in chief was applied to the office of President and embodied in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution. Jay's letter is the first known expression of the American use of the term "natural born citizen". See Elizabeth M. Nuxoll, et al, eds., Selected Papers of John Jay (Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press, 2015), 4: 464-65, 528-29: see also W.W. Abbot, ed., The Papers of George Washington, Confederation Series, 1 February 1787-31 December 1787 (Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press, 1997), 271-72; Founders Online.

While serving as a delegate to the New York Ratifying Convention, Jay proposed on July 25, 1788, and the convention approved, a constitutional amendment requiring "natural born" citizenship for eligibility for president, vice president, and member of both houses of Congress [see Journal of the Convention of the State of New-York, held in Poughkeepsie, in Dutchess County, the 17th of June, 1788 (Poughkeepsie: printed by Nicholas Power, 1788), 76-78; John P. Kaminski et al, eds., Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution (Madison, Wis., 1976-), 23: 2312-13]. However, this proposed amendment was not among the amendments later adopted by Congress and ratified by the states. For the sorts of concerns about the earlier use of foreign officers in the Continental Army, and more recently in the Netherlands, that may have prompted Jay's proposal, see the slightly later letter to him from John Adams of November 30, 1787, printed in the Selected Papers of John Jay, 4: 621, 623-24 note 2; see also Founders Online: Early Access.

[From Note: Selected Papers of John Jay, 4: 466-67, note 11]

John Jay's linkage of office holding to the status of "natural born" citizenship created considerable constitutional confusion and controversy in subsequent years. Jay did not define "natural born citizen," nor did the Federal convention when it incorporated it into the requirements for the presidency, nor did the New York ratifying convention when it adopted Jay's proposed amendment.

In making his ambiguous proposals Jay seems to have been adapting British law to American conditions. British law had used the term "natural born subject," and sometimes "native," to apply to a person born within the royal domain or nation. However, various laws, including the statutes of 25 Edw. III (1350), 29 Car. 2, c. 6 (1676), 7 Anne, c. 5 § 3 (1708), 4 Geo. II, c. 21 (1731), and 13 Geo. III, c. 2 (1773), extended the status of "natural born subject" to the children of British parents born abroad and to the children of British fathers and grandfathers. Whether Jay intended to incorporate such supplementary provisions when he replaced the term "natural born subject" with "natural born citizen" has not been determined.

In limiting office holding to the "natural born," Jay was probably also following British precedent. Under the articles of settlement of 1701 (12 and 13 Will. III, c. 2, sec. 3) and 1714 (1 Geo. I, Stat. 2, c. 4), only natural-born persons were eligible for the Privy Council, either House of Parliament, and civil or military offices or places of trust. Under acts of 1740 and 1773 (13 George, 11, c. 7; 13 Geo, III, c. 21), foreign Protestants who resided in the colonies for seven years, took the requisite oaths, and met certain religious tests, were deemed "natural born subjects" and could hold local office, but were not entitled to hold office in either Great Britain or Ireland. The 1740 act adjusted the requirements for oaths to permit Quakers and Jews in the colonies to obtain the status of "natural born subject," though again without the right to hold office in Britain or Ireland. According to the Providence Gazette of 15 May 1784, a bill was proposed in the House of Commons to award children of British mothers born abroad the status of "natural born Subject," but the bill did not became law. On British, colonial, and state statutes, see James Kettner, The Development of American Citizenship, 1608-1870 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1978), 3-224.

For discussions of the controversies surrounding use of the term "natural born citizen," and the question of the applicability of British law to the United States, see Jill A. Pryor, "The Natural Born Citizen Clause and Presidential Eligibility: An Approach for Resolving Two Hundred Years of Uncertainty," Yale Law Journal 97 (1988): 681-99; Christina S. Lohman, "Presidential Eligibility: The Meaning of the Natural Born Citizen Clause," Gonzaga Law Review 36, 2 (2000-2001): 349-74; and Lawrence Friedman, "An Idea Whose Times Has Come-The Curious History, Uncertain Effect, and Need for Amendment of the 'Natural Born Citizen' Requirement for the Presidency," St. Louis University Law Journal 52 (2007): 137-59.

Another possible source for Jay's proposal to restrict office holding to "natural born citizens" is the writings of Emer de Vattel (1714-1767), who discussed the subject in Chapter XIX of The Law of Nations. The edition that Jay owned, now in the Law Library of Columbia University, was The Law of Nations: or, Principles of the Law of Nature applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns. Translated from the French. London: Printed for J. Newberry . . ., 1759-60; Vol. 2: Printed for J. Coote. This work defined "natives," or "indigenes," as those "born in the country of parents who are citizens," and adds that "The country of the fathers is then that of the children; and these become true citizens, merely by their tacit consent". If Jay, or other founders, were adapting Vattel's terminology, the constitutional provision could require presidents to be born in the country of parents, or at least fathers, who were citizens. However, no evidence confirming such an intention has been found.

Proposals to extend the restriction on office holding to "natural born citizens" to other offices reappeared during 1798-99 during the Quasi-War with France, while Jay was governor of New York. At that time a number of states, including New York, adopted resolutions proposing a constitutional amendment requiring the Vice-President, members of Congress, and sometimes heads of the executive departments, to be "natural born citizens." One part of these objectives was implemented by the twelfth amendment, passed by Congress in 1803 and ratified in 1804. In addition to establishing separate ballots for President and Vice President in the electoral college, the amendment specified that no person who is "constitutionally ineligible" to be President can be Vice-President. It thereby required the Vice-President, like the President, be a "natural born citizen." See Herman V. Ames, "The Proposed Amendments to the Constitution of the United States During the First Century of Its History," Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1896 (2 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1897), 2: 30, 74, 77-80. For Jay's recommendation of such a measure for serious consideration, see his letter of February 5, 1799, to the New York State Senate, referring an amendment proposed by New Hampshire, printed in the New York Gazette, February 13, 1799.

New at HLS Library: Fashion and the Law

[We have the following announcement.]

The Harvard Law School Library is pleased to announce its new exhibit, What (Not) to Wear: Fashion and the Law. Given the central role that law and fashion play in our lives, it is no surprise that they have an impact on one another. Over the centuries, jurists have visually demonstrated their expertise through fashion, and law has served to circumscribe how fashion has been created, distributed, and consumed.

The exhibit was curated by HLS research library staff Mindy Kent, Meg Kribble, and Carli Spina (now of Boston College). It is on view in the Caspersen Room, fourth floor of Langdell Hall, daily 9 to 5 through August 12, 2016. If you are in the Boston area, we hope you will come by to see the exhibit. If a visit to Cambridge is not in your plans, please check out our online exhibit!

Rowberry on a 14th-Century Priest and Common-Law Judge

Ryan Rowberry, Georgia State University College of Law, has posted The Social Status, Education, and Benefices of Gilbert Rothbury, a Clerical Common Law Justice (1295-1321), which appeared in the Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Congress of Medieval Canon Law (August 2012):
King Edward I (1272-1307) transformed the English Common Law through procedural reforms and a raft of statutes. The judicial contingent of the King’s Council bore the primary task of drafting these statutes, and these same justices interpreted and applied the laws during trial. Yet, we know relatively little about the lives of Edward I’s judges. This article seeks to reanimate Gilbert Rothbury, one of Edward I’s justices who was simultaneously a priest and a Common Law judge, by examining in detail three aspects of his life that likely influenced his work as a judge: his social standing; his education; and his financial relationships with the church.

Examination of a range of unpublished archival sources and published primary sources suggests several broad conclusions. First, perhaps unique among central royal court judges, Rothbury came from an extremely humble background which may have made him more attuned to poorer litigants in a society separated sharply by class. Second, Rothbury received some education in the learned law at Oxford University that influenced his Common Law decisions. Finally, Rothbury’s pecuniary ties to abbots, priors, and bishops dwarfed his annual royal salary, making it possible that friendship or funding shaped the outcome of his decisions.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Belko, "Philip Pendleton Barbour in Jacksonian America"

New from the University of Alabama Press: Philip Pendleton Barbour in Jacksonian America: An Old Republican in King Andrew’s Court, by William S. Belko (Missouri Humanities Council). A description from the Press:
William S. Belko’s Phillip Pendleton Barbour in Jacksonian America provides the first comprehensive biography of a pivotal yet nearly forgotten statesman who made numerous key contributions to a transformative period of early American history.

Barbour, a Virginia lawyer, participated in America’s transition from a mostly republican government to a truer majority democracy, notably while serving as the twelfth Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and later as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. After being elected to the US Congress during the War of 1812, Barbour also emerged as one of the foremost champions of states’ rights, consistently and energetically fighting against expansions of federal powers. He, along with other Jeffersonian Old Republicans, opposed federal plans for a national tariff and internal improvements. Later, Barbour became one of the first Jeffersonian politicians to join the Jacksonian Democrats in Jackson’s war against a national bank.

Barbour continued to make crucial strides in support of states’ rights after taking his seat on the United States Supreme Court in 1836 under Chief Justice Roger Taney. He contributed to the Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge and Briscoe v. Bank of Kentucky decisions, which bolstered states’ rights. He also delivered the opinion of the court in New York v. Miln, which provided the basis for the State Police Powers Doctrine.

Expertly interweaving biography, history, political science, and jurisprudence, Phillip Pendleton Barbour in Jacksonian America remembers the man whose personal life and career were emblematic of the decades in which the United States moved from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Jackson, contributing to developments that continue to animate American politics today.
A few blurbs:
"Robustly researched and exceptionally well written, Philip Pendleton Barbour in Jacksonian America reveals Barbour's political and intellectual world." —Alfred L. Brophy

"Philip Pendleton Barbour in Jacksonian America provides a much needed and overdue scholarly intervention. It elevates Barbour to his proper place in history." —H. Robert Baker
More information is available here.

How To Plan a Book Manuscript Workshop

In my previous book post, I mentioned an insight that I had gained from a book manuscript workshop -- an event that I put together towards the end of the long book-writing process. A curious reader asked for more information about this, so here it is: 

To give credit where credit is due, I got the idea from my UC Berkeley friend and colleague Katerina Linos. Prior to submitting the final version of her book (The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion (Oxford University Press, 2013)), she hosted a day-long event to workshop a full draft. As I've blogged about previously, I was having a hard time letting go of the manuscript and I thought this exercise could help me. I was also attracted to the idea because of the nature of the publication process at Cambridge University Press (at least for the Studies in Legal History series). The Press provided me with incredibly useful reader reports on the front end of the process, when what I had was a detailed book proposal, a very rough draft (a.k.a. my dissertation), and a memorandum detailing all my research and revision plans. Once I was under contract with the Press, the normal process did not involve any additional external reads. I knew that I could count on the sage advice of my series editors, Sally Gordon and Holly Brewer, but I thought that the manuscript could benefit from additional sets of eyes at the back end.

Romney's "Rights Delayed"

Charles W. Romney, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, has just published Rights Delayed: The American State and the Defeat of Progressive Unions, 1935-1950, with the Oxford University Press:
Progressive unions flourished in the 1930s by working alongside federal agencies created during the New Deal. Yet in 1950, few progressive unions remained. Why? Most scholars point to domestic anti-communism and southern conservatives in Congress as the forces that diminished the New Deal state, eliminated progressive unions, and destroyed the radical potential of American liberalism. Rights Delayed: The American State and the Defeat of Progressive Unions argues that anti-communism and Congressional conservatism merely intensified the main reason for the decline of progressive unions: the New Deal state's focus on legal procedure. Initially, progressive unions thrived by embracing the procedural culture of New Deal agencies and the wartime American state. Between 1935 and 1945, unions mastered the complex rules of the NLRB and other federal entities by working with government officials. In 1946 and 1947, however, the emphasis on legal procedure made the federal state too slow to combat potentially illegal cooperation between employers and the Teamsters. Workers who supported progressive unions rallied around procedural language to stop what they considered Teamster collusion, but found themselves dependent on an ineffective federal state. The state became even less able to protect employees belonging to left-led unions after the Taft-Hartley Act's anti-communist provisions-and decisions by union leaders-limited access to the NLRB's procedures. From 1946 until 1950, progressive unions withered and eventually disappeared from the Pacific canneries as the unions failed to pay the cost of legal representation before the NLRB. Workers supporting progressive unions had embraced procedural language to claim their rights, but by 1950, those workers discovered that their rights had vanished in an endless legal discourse.
Here are some endorsements:
Deeply researched, forcefully argued, and clearly written, Rights Delayed recovers little-known connections between the New Deal state and a wide range of legal procedures, social phenomena, and economic actors.  While many labor historians will dislike Romney's concussions--because compromises, mistakes, and the preferences of union personnel contributed to the demise of progressive unionism--Rights Delayed offers an interpretation that they all must reckon with.
---Bruce J. Schulman, William Huntington Professor of History, Boston University

Told from the vantage of workers, organizers, and lawyers, Rights Delayed demonstrates that progressive unionists could not outlast their rivals and opponents as they sparred within the peculiarly procedural American state.  Historians have long debated what the New Deal did for and to workers; now Romney shows us the consequences for the men and women who hoped to transform the American workplace.
--Daniel R. Ernst, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and author of Tocqueville's Nightmare   [Hey, that's me!]
 TOC after the jump

Monday, May 2, 2016

Hiring Update: Newport to UConn History

More good news to report on the hiring front: we have learned that Melanie Newport will be joining the University of Connecticut-Hartford this fall as an Assistant Professor of U.S. History.

Melanie Newport is currently a Ph.D. candidate in American History at Temple University, expecting to receive her degree this year. Her dissertation is titled “Jail America: The Reformist Origins of the Carceral State.” It focuses on the administration of Cook County Jail from the 1950s into the 1990s. Previous research has appeared in The Encyclopedia of the Sixties: A Decade of Culture and Counterculture (ABC-CLIO, 2012) and the edited collection Oral History, Community, and Work in the American West (University of Arizona Press, 2012).

You can read more about her research agenda here, at her personal website.

Congratulations to Melanie Newport!

Welcome, Mitra Sharafi (this time for keeps)!

More exciting blog news! We are delighted to announce that former guest blogger Mitra Sharafi has agreed to join Dan, Tomiko, and me (and now Brooke and Smita, our new Associate Bloggers) as a regular contributor to LHB.

Professor Sharafi is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Ph.D. in History from Princeton University and holds law degrees from Cambridge and Oxford. She is the author of Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Culture, 1772-1947 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which won the Law and Society Association's J. Willard Hurst Prize for socio-legal history in 2015.

Her current projects include a study of medical jurisprudence in colonial India, focusing on the role of medico-legal experts; a survey of the field of South Asian legal history; a study of Indian and West African members of London's Inns of Court; and a medico-legal history of abortion during the Raj.

We also note that she has also been heavily involved with the Hurst Institute, a crucial training ground for junior scholars, and the American Society for Legal History

Last but not least, Professor Sharafi is the creator of South Asian Legal History Resources, which includes research guides and other tools for scholars interested in the history of law in South Asia.

Welcome aboard, Mitra Sharafi!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Book Roundup

There are quite a few reviews to mention in my first week as an associate blogger (thanks to LHB for having me on board).

Beverly Gage reviews Lisa McGirr's The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State for The Nation:
McGirr shifts our attention from gangsters and flappers to policemen and agency chiefs in order to explain the critical role of Prohibition in the creation of the modern American state. Histories of temperance often stop in 1919, with the unlikely passage of the 18th Amendment. McGirr picks up where those stories leave off, exploring the daunting political problems and personal casualties that came with trying to enforce this strange new law.
In the New York Times, Eric Foner reviews Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation by Nicholas Guyatt.

This week's Washington Post features a review of Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf's "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs".  Also in the Washington Post is a review of Nicholas Duneier's Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, The History of an Idea.

New Books includes an interview with Frank P. Barajas about his book Curious Unions: Mexican American Workers and Resistance in Oxnard, California, 1898-1961.

The New Yorker features a timely reflection on Adam Cohen's Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck.

The Los Angeles Review of Books includes a review of Dirty Words and Filthy Pictures: Film and the First Amendment by Jeremy Geltzer.  Also in the LARB is a review of Gillian Thomas' Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work.

Dissent includes a multi-book review that features Mary Ziegler's After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate and Johanna Schoen's Abortion after Roe: Abortion after Legalization.
In this context, it might seem difficult to add any new information or analyses to the debate. But both Ziegler’s and Schoen’s books do. Ziegler shows the contingencies, shifts, and cross-cutting arguments in the strategies of both sides. Schoen offers a feminist medical history that leads to provocative criticisms of the mainstream “pro-choice” discourse.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Associate Bloggers: Departure and Arrivals

A passing of the torch takes place tomorrow here at Legal History Blog.  Since July 2013, Emily A. Prifogle has performed the duties of the office now known as Associate Blogger.  (Clara Altman, now Director of the Federal Judicial History Office of the Federal Judicial Center, originated the role.)  Emily has a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and is ABD in History at Princeton.  This semester I’ve had the pleasure of reading a chapter on school consolidation from her dissertation-in-progress, “Views from the Midwest: Rural Communities, Law, and Nation in the Twentieth Century.”  To clear the decks for her return to Indiana and the start of a judicial clerkship with Judge David Hamilton of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, she has decided to join the ranks of LHB bloggers emeritae.  All of us at LHB could not be more grateful to Em for all her work over the years and wish her our best.

We’re fortunate that two other ABDs are willing to take up her duties and serve as co-Associate Bloggers.  Brooke Depenbusch is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota.  Her dissertation is “Working on Welfare: Down and Out in the United States, 1935-1962.”  It explores the nexus between social provision and low-wage and insecure labor from the New Deal to the War on Poverty.  Focusing on the interaction of low-income working families and public relief, it foregrounds the political and economic conditions that fostered persistent insecurity and precarity among many working families notwithstanding the sustained economic growth of the postwar period. 

LHB readers may recall Smita Ghosh’s panel recaps for the ASLH's annual meeting and recent conferences at Columbia on incarceration and at Princeton on life and law in rural America.  She is a student in Penn's JD/PhD program in American Legal History and has already completed the law-school leg of her education and is now studying the history of immigration and civil rights law.  In 2016-2017, she will be a judicial clerk in the District of Connecticut.

Thank you, Em, and welcome, Brooke and Smita!

Weekend Roundup

  • From Brian Leiter: a nice shout-out to the legal history training at the University of Pennsylvania.
      • The latest episode of the Interdisciplinary Radio podcast features three authors who are part of Cambridge University Press's Studies in Legal History series: Sophia Lee (University of Pennsylvania), Felice Batlan (IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law), and me (UC Berkeley). The episode is titled "What Are Rights, Really?" [KMT]
      Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

      Friday, April 29, 2016

      Hiring Update: Holdren to Drake University

      We are delighted to announce that Nate Holdren has accepted a tenure-track position at Drake University, where currently holds the title of Visiting Assistant Professor. His appointment is in the undergraduate legal studies program (also known as the department of Law, Politics, and Society).

      Professor Holdren received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota in 2014 and subsequently held the Jerome Hall Postdoctoral Fellowship at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law. His current book project "use[s] the history of employee injury law as a point of entry to investigate the relationships between law, gender, disability, class, and capitalism." He is also the author of "Incentivizing Safety and Discrimination: Employment Risks under Workmen’s Compensation in the Early Twentieth Century United States," which appeared in March 2014 issue of Enterprise & Society.

      Congratulations to Nate Holdren!

      Remes's "Disaster Citizenship"

      Jacob A. C. Remes, an assistant professor of public affairs and history at the Metropolitan Center of SUNY Empire State College, has published Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era, with the University of Illinois Press:
      A century ago, governments buoyed by Progressive Era–beliefs began to assume greater responsibility for protecting and rescuing citizens. Yet the aftermath of two disasters in the United States–Canada borderlands--the Salem Fire of 1914 and the Halifax Explosion of 1917--saw working class survivors instead turn to friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members for succor and aid. Both official and unofficial responses, meanwhile, showed how the United States and Canada were linked by experts, workers, and money. In Disaster Citizenship, Jacob A. C. Remes draws on histories of the Salem and Halifax events to explore the institutions--both formal and informal--that ordinary people relied upon in times of crisis. He explores patterns and traditions of self-help, informal order, and solidarity and details how people adapted these traditions when necessary. Yet, as he shows, these methods--though often quick and effective--remained illegible to reformers. Indeed, soldiers, social workers, and reformers wielding extraordinary emergency powers challenged these grassroots practices to impose progressive “solutions” on what they wrongly imagined to be a fractured social landscape.
      “A striking juxtaposition of the hierarchical order of experts and vernacular order created by victims themselves, Remes's finely grained comparison of two major turn-of-the-century disasters in Halifax and Salem represents a major contribution to our understanding of the dynamics and effects of spontaneous order in a crisis. Meticulously researched, gripping, and important.”--James C. Scott, author of Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

      “In his meticulously researched and intelligently argued book, Disaster Citizenship, Jacob Remes has advanced and perfected the kind of deep social history pioneered by Herbert Gutman and Linda Gordon in their studies of working people’s lives. More than any other historian writing in this tradition, Remes has revealed the power of the informal networks and solidarities that existed in poorer communities, particularly during disasters, and he has highlighted the ways agents of state intervention failed to understand these strengths and their democratic significance. Scholars will find in this excellent study a model of transnational history and other readers, especially officials in charge of disaster relief, will discover a new way of thinking about the people they are attempting to 'rescue.'”--James Green, author of The Devil Is Here in These Hills: West Virginia’s Coal Miners and Their Battle for Freedom

      Disaster Citizenship provides a rich, original, and sensitive account of responses to two urban catastrophes, the Great Salem Fire (1914) and the 1917 Halifax explosion. Remes sets a new standard for transnational continental history as the everyday solidarity of working people is contrasted with the progressive state, civic institutions, and emergent welfare professionals.”--Suzanne Morton, author of Wisdom, Justice, and Charity: Canadian Social Welfare through the Life of Jane B Wisdom, 1884–1975

      Thursday, April 28, 2016

      Kossis on the "Define and Punish" Clause

      Lyle David Kossis, McGuireWoods LLP, has posted The Define and Punish Clause and the Political Question Doctrine, which is forthcoming in volume 68 of the Hastings Law Journal:
      The Constitution gives Congress the power to “define and punish...Offences against the Law of Nations.” Congress has used this power to enact various criminal statutes that proscribe certain violations of international law. In some cases, criminal defendants argue that these statutes are unconstitutional because Congress has incorrectly defined the law of nations. Federal courts routinely entertain this argument. But the political question doctrine prevents federal courts from resolving a question when the Constitution entrusts the political branches with providing an answer. The Define and Punish Clause gives Congress, not the courts, the power to define the law of nations. Accordingly, federal courts should be barred from determining whether Congress has properly defined international law. No court or scholar has pursued this argument in detail. This Article takes the first step.

      The Article begins by describing the historical underpinnings of the Define and Punish Clause and the contemporary version of the political question doctrine. The Article then explains why the proper definition of international law under the Define and Punish Clause is a political question. It reviews the Clause’s text, structure, and history, applicable U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and a variety of practical arguments to illustrate why federal courts have no authority to second-guess Congress’s definition of the law of nations. Finally, the Article concludes by situating its central thesis within the current framework of both constitutional and non-constitutional law. It explains that the Supreme Court has never used international norms to limit Congress’s power under the Define and Punish Clause. It also argues that even if Congress has the sole power to define the law of nations, legislative power will remain meaningfully limited and courts will remain free to interpret other sources of international law.
      H/t: Legal Theory Blog

      Hiring Update: Brady to UVA Law

      More good news to report on the hiring front (via Prawfsblawg): Maureen (Molly) Brady will join the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law this fall.

      Maureen Brady is a graduate of Yale Law School and a former associate at Ropes & Gray LLP. She is currently back at Yale as a Ph.D. candidate in Law. Her research focuses on property law, land use, local government law, American legal history, intellectual property law, and water law. Her scholarship has appeared in the Virginia Law Review and the Yale Law Journal, among other venues. You can read more about her research agenda here, at her personal website.

      Congratulations to Maureen Brady!

      VanBurkleo's "Gender Remade"

      Sandra F. VanBurkleo, Associate Professor of History at Wayne State University, has published Gender Remade: Citizenship, Suffrage, and Public Power in the New Northwest, 1879–1912.  It appears in the series Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society, edited by Christopher L. Tomlins:
      Gender Remade explores a little-known experiment in gender equality in Washington Territory in the 1870s and 1880s. Building on path-breaking innovations in marital and civil equality, lawmakers extended a long list of political rights and obligations to both men and women, including the right to serve on juries and hold public office. As the territory moved toward statehood, however, jury duty and constitutional co-sovereignty proved to be particularly controversial; in the end, 'modernization' and national integration brought disastrous losses for women until 1910, when political rights were partially restored. Losses to women's sovereignty were profound and enduring - a finding that points, not to rights and powers, but to constitutionalism and the power of social practice as Americans struggled to establish gender equality. Gender Remade is a significant contribution to the understudied legal history of the American West, especially the role that legal culture played in transitioning from territory to statehood.
      TOC after the jump.

      Wednesday, April 27, 2016

      Loyola-NO Seeks a Medieval Europe VAP

      [Via H-Law, we have word of the following announcement.]

      The Department of History at Loyola University New Orleans is seeking applications for the position of Visiting Assistant Professor in the history of Medieval Europe. Applicants must be able to teach a variety of courses on Medieval history as well as the Global History survey. A supplementary field in the history of law is preferred. [Emphasis supplied] Teaching load is 4/4. All applicants must have the Ph. D. completed by August 2016. Please send letter of application, a CV, a statement on your teaching philosophy, and two letters of recommendation to Chair, Medieval History Search Committee, Dept. of History, Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA  70118, postmarked no later than May 16, 2016. On line applications should be sent to: The letter of application should include a description of secondary fields and possible course offerings. Loyola University New Orleans is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities, and encourages applications from these and other protected group members.

      Chair, Medieval History Search Committee
      Dept. of History
      Loyola University New Orleans
      6363 St. Charles Avenue
      New Orleans, LA  70118

      Tate on Delusion in Law and Science

      Joshua C. Tate, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, has posted Personal Reality: Delusion in Law and Science, which is forthcoming in the Connecticut Law Review 49 (2017):
      The concept of an insane delusion appears in several branches of the law, including contracts, gifts, and wills. Critics of the traditional doctrine have made compelling arguments in favor of its modification or abolition in the context of wills, given that it is often used as an excuse to substitute the values of jurors for those of the testator. Moreover, recent scientific studies have shown correlations between delusions and other cognitive impairments, calling into question the need for an independent doctrine of insane delusion. Nevertheless, there is evidence that not all deluded individuals have additional cognitive biases, and those who do may have some impairments while lacking others. Due to the nature of gratuitous transfers, adoption of the fairness-based approach to mental illness in the Restatement (Second) of Contracts is not a feasible alternative to the traditional insane delusion doctrine for wills. This Article accordingly proposes a new use for the concept of a delusion in making legal determinations regarding mental capacity in the context of wills. The concept would be better formulated as a doctrine of partial sanity, used when a testator is found to lack general mental capacity, and only as a basis for upholding all or part of a will. Under such a rule, the issue of a testator’s general mental capacity would be decided first. If the person in question had general mental capacity, the will would be held valid. But if the person did lack general mental capacity, the court could consider whether the lack of capacity was caused by a delusion, and, if so, whether that delusion actually affected the disposition of the estate. To the extent that a particular decision by the deluded individual was not the product of irrational decision making, the choice would be respected. This would preserve, in modified form, a legal concept that has existed for centuries and remains relevant in modern science, without giving excessive license to courts and juries to second-guess the lifestyles and eccentricities of individuals.

      Historical Perspectives on Comparative Administrative Law

      I’m very pleased to be chairing a panel later this week at the 2016 Conference on Comparative Administrative Law:
      Administrative Law is becoming a lively field for comparative research, and the Comparative Administrative Law Initiative at Yale Law School is partly responsible for that development. In the interest of contributing to the growth of the field, the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund at Yale Law School and the University of Connecticut Law School will host a conference on April 29-30, 2016 for the second edition of Comparative Administrative Law, edited by Susan Rose-Ackerman and Peter Lindseth. The new edition will include many new chapters by emerging scholars and will give broader regional coverage than the first edition. Most of the contributors to the previous edition have either revised their chapters in light of current developments or asked that their chapters be reprinted.  The website includes the program for the conference and a list of participants. As draft chapters arrive, they will be posted on the website with links on the conference program.  Anyone interested in attending the conference should contact Cathy Orcutt.
      My panel is “Historical Perspectives” and consists of the following scholars and papers:
      Révolution, Rechtsstaat and the Rule of Law: Historical Reflections on the Emergence of Administrative Power and Administrative Law in Europe
      Bernardo Sordi

      What’s in a Label? The EU as ‘Administrative’ and ‘Constitutional’
      Peter Lindseth

      Transformations of Administrative Law:  Italy From a Comparative Perspective
      Marco D’Alberti

      Oast's "Institutional Slavery"

      Although we didn’t realize it until quite recently, even before news about Georgetown and its slaves broke, Jennifer Oast, Associate Professor of History at Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania, had published (with Cambridge University Press) a book that provides some context, Institutional Slavery: Slaveholding Churches, Schools, Colleges, and Businesses in Virginia, 1680–1860:
      The traditional image of slavery begins with a master and a slave. However, not all slaves had traditional masters; some were owned instead by institutions, such as church congregations, schools, colleges, and businesses. This practice was pervasive in early Virginia; its educational, religious, and philanthropic institutions were literally built on the backs of slaves. Virginia's first industrial economy was also developed with the skilled labor of African American slaves. This book focuses on institutional slavery in Virginia as it was practiced by the Anglican and Presbyterian churches, free schools, and four universities: the College of William and Mary, Hampden-Sydney College, the University of Virginia, and Hollins College. It also examines the use of slave labor by businesses and the Commonwealth of Virginia in industrial endeavors. This is not only an account of how institutions used slavery to further their missions, but also of the slaves who belonged to institutions.
      Here’s the TOC:

      1. 'Unlawful for any Christian': slave-owning Anglican churches in Virginia
      2. 'The legacies of well inclin'd gentlemen': slave-owning free schools in Virginia
      3. 'The worst kind of slavery': slave-owning Presbyterian churches in Virginia
      4. 'So large a family as the college': slavery at the College of William and Mary
      5. 'Faithful and valuable': slavery at Hampden-Sydney College, the University of Virginia, and Hollins College
      6. 'To make a trifle for themselves': industries as institutional slaveholders

      Tuesday, April 26, 2016

      Rubin on Proto-Prisons and Punishment-Reduction in Early America

      Ashley T. Rubin, Florida State University, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, has posted Penal Change as Penal Layering: A Case Study of Proto-Prison Adoption and Capital Punishment Reduction, 1785-1822, which is forthcoming in Punishment & Society:
      Recently, scholars have increasingly criticized descriptions of significant penal change as "ruptures"--- sudden breaks with past practices, often replacing old technologies with new. This article promotes an alternative understanding of penal change as the layering of new penal technologies over old technologies to describe the complicated coexistence of old and new penal technologies following significant moments of change. This study demonstrates the layering process through a case study of the first major American penal reform: proto-prisons adopted between 1785 and 1822 are often described as the first great rupture in which long-term incarceration replaced capital punishment. Using the relationship between America's emerging proto-prisons and declining death penalty, this article illustrates the complicated coexistence of penal reforms with older technologies. While proto-prisons emerged out of revulsion with capital punishment, many states adopted proto-prisons independently of their decisions to reduce capital offenses and most states retained relatively robust death penalties. Rather than a replacement or rupture, the emergence of proto-prisons represented an additional layer of punishment that partially displaced older technologies.

      Graber on the Freedman's Bureau Bill's Constitution

      Mark Graber, University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law, has posted The Second Freedmen's Bureau Bill's Constitution, which is forthcoming in the Texas Law Review
      "The Freedmen's Bureau" (1868) (LC)
      This paper focuses on the crucial elements of post-Civil War constitutionalism judges and scholars miss when they give the place of pride to the Civil Rights Act of 1866 at the expense of the Second Freedmen’s Bureau Bill. The Republicans who framed the Second Freedmen’s Bureau Bill recognized that persons could transition from slaves to full citizens only if Congress aggressively exercised national power under Section Two of the Thirteenth Amendment. Given the need for a high degree of nimbleness in the managing of that transition, Congress, rather than the judiciary, had to play the lead role in removing all badges and incidents of slavery in American constitutional life. These framers were concerned with economic inequalities or at least basic economic and social needs, but their concerns were not expressed in the form of judicially enforceable rights. The persons responsible for the post-Civil War Constitution believed the general welfare would best be promoted if the party of the majority of the people who remained loyal during the Civil War had control over all three branches of the national government necessary to enact and implement legislative programs that eradicated all traces of the destitution and dependency that had resulted from slavery and the Civil War.

      Hiring updates?

      Do you have other hiring updates to share? If so please connect with us via email, twitter, or the comment section below. We love passing on good news!

      Hiring Update: Zhang to Yale Law School

      Via Brian Leiter's Law School Reports, we have more exciting hiring news to report: Taisu Zhang, currently at Duke University, has accepted a lateral offer from Yale Law School.

      Professor Zhang holds a J.D. and a Ph.D. in history, both from Yale University, and has previously held positions at Brown University, the Tsinghua University School of Law, and Peking University Law School. His research focuses on economic institutions in modern China and early modern Western Europe, comparative law, property law, and contemporary Chinese Law.

      His current project, under contract with Cambridge University Press, is titled Kinship, Property and Agricultural Capitalism in Pre-Industrial China and England. A second manuscript-in-progress covers Chinese fiscal policy in the 18th and 19th centuries. His previous scholarship has appeared in the American Journal of Comparative Law and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, among other venues.

      Congratulations to Taisu Zhang!

      On Rights (Tani, States of Dependency, Post 3)

      For all you junior scholars out there, hard at work on your first books, here’s a tip: apply for grant money for a book manuscript workshop. You may feel awkward organizing something like this, but if done right, it’s fun and stimulating for all the participants, and it really does improve the work.

      Among the wonderful conversations that emerged from my manuscript workshop was one about balancing storytelling and argument.* Mine is a voice that tilts toward narrative, and probably for good reason: present company excluded [Dan], the legal-interpretive maneuvers of government bureaucrats are not exactly scintillating to most readers. States of Dependency uses human stories to describe and explain change over time in the law and administration of public income support.
      But I have always seen narrative as consistent with strong argumentation, and after the workshop, I pushed myself to be even more transparent about my major claims. One of my central arguments is about rights and their role in modern American governance. It is an argument that tries to make sense of both the familiar-looking welfare rights claims of the late 1960s, heard in the streets and in federal court, and the less familiar rights language that I found from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s: federal welfare administrators using rights language in internal memoranda and communiqués to their state counterparts; poor Americans referencing rights in individual disputes with state and local welfare authorities; and critics of New Deal welfare programs insisting, again and again, that welfare should not be discussed in such terms. Framing the entire inquiry is today’s clear aversion to rights-based poverty policies, in the face of continued reverence for triumphalist, rights-vindicating narratives. How did all these pieces fit together? 

      Monday, April 25, 2016

      Straumann on "Roman Political Thought from the Fall of the Republic to the Age of Revolution"

      New from Oxford University Press: Crisis and Constitutionalism: Roman Political Thought from the Fall of the Republic to the Age of Revolution (2016), by Benjamin Straumann (New York University). A description from the Press:

      Crisis and Constitutionalism argues that the late Roman Republic saw, for the first time in the history of political thought, the development of a normative concept of constitution--the concept of a set of constitutional norms designed to guarantee and achieve certain interests of the individual. Benjamin Straumann first explores how a Roman concept of constitution emerged out of the crisis and fall of the Roman Republic. The increasing use of emergency measures and extraordinary powers in the late Republic provoked Cicero and some of his contemporaries to turn a hitherto implicit, inchoate constitutionalism into explicit constitutional argument and theory. The crisis of the Republic thus brought about a powerful constitutionalism and convinced Cicero to articulate the norms and rights that would provide its substance; this typically Roman constitutional theory is described in the second part of the study. Straumann then discusses the reception of Roman constitutional thought up to the late eighteenth century and the American Founding, which gave rise to a new, constitutional republicanism. This tradition was characterized by a keen interest in the Roman Republic's decline and fall, and an insistence on the limits of virtue. The crisis of the Republic was interpreted as a constitutional crisis, and the only remedy to escape the Republic's fate--military despotism--was thought to lie, not in republican virtue, but in Roman constitutionalism. By tracing Roman constitutional thought from antiquity to the modern era, this unique study makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of Roman political thought and its reception.
      A few blurbs:
      "With an impressive and wide-ranging triple grip on the ancient sources, early modern reception, and much more recent scholarship, Benjamin Straumann has lucidly reconstructed for us the Roman debate about emergency powers--above all concerning the dictatorship, extraordinary commands, and the question of limits to the citizen's right of appeal--in order to show how the long tradition of political reflection on the fall of the Republic, which stretches back to Cicero himself, eventually came to animate a great deal of modern constitutionalism." --Christopher Brooke 
      "Crisis and Constitutionalism is a brilliantly original and erudite argument in favor of the distinctiveness and long-term importance of Roman constitutional thought from Cicero to the American Founders, which demonstrates just how much Western political and legal thought, on both sides of the Atlantic, has owed, and still owes, to ancient Rome. It is controversial, highly compelling, and of very real contemporary significance." --Anthony Pagden
      More information is available here.

      Hiring Update: Mayeux to Vanderbilt Law

      More good news, via Prawfsblawg: Sara Mayeux, the Sharswood Fellow in Law and History at the University of Pennsylvania, has accepted a position at Vanderbilt Law School this fall.

      Sara Mayeux is a 2011 graduate of Stanford Law School and expects to receive her PhD from Stanford this year. Her dissertation is titled Poor Defenses: The American Legal Profession and the Problem of the ‘Indigent Accused’ in the Twentieth Century.” 

      She is also the author of "What Gideon Did," recently published in the Columbia Law Review, and the co-author of "Federalism Anew," which appears in the first issue of the re-launched American Journal of Legal History. You can read more about her research agenda here, at her personal website.

      Congratulations to Sara Mayeux!

      Hiring Update: Seo to Iowa Law

      Via Prawsblawg, we have good news to report: Sarah Seo, the inaugural Charles W. McCurdy Legal History Fellow at the University of Virginia, has accepted a position at the University of Iowa College of Law.

      Seo received her J.D. from Columbia University in 2007 and expects to receive her Ph.D. this year from Princeton University. Her dissertation is titled “The Fourth Amendment, Cars, and Freedom in Twentieth-Century America.”

      We've also just posted word of her recent Yale Law Journal article, "The New Public." Previous work has appeared in Law and Social Inquiry and the Law and History Review. You can read more about her research agenda here.

      Congratulations to Sarah Seo!

      Sunday, April 24, 2016

      Sunday Book Roundup

      Hello from Providence, Rhode Island and the Brown University Graduate Student Legal History Conference! It has been a long day, so this Sunday's Book Roundup is brief:

      From New Books comes an interview with Jefferson Cowie, who discusses The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics (Princeton University Press).

      The Guardian calls Elizabeth Hinton's From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (Harvard University Press) the "magisterial" "prequel to Michelle Alexander's ... The New Jim Crow."
      "Hinton doesn’t only blame the police, though. She tracks how money is spent on building prison-like security features to public housing in St Louis (which terrified residents), charts money spent on job training programs, and demonstrates how the LEAA grows 13-fold. And yet, “a federal employment drive to create jobs for black men never materialized” in the manner of the Works Progress Administration, which rescued impoverished white people during the Great Depression. At the same time, in allocating generous funding through the Office of Law Enforcement Assistance, the Johnson administration did underwrite robust hiring in nearly all-white police departments – some of which also began patrolling inner-city school campuses."
      And, The Nation prescribes five books of essential reading: "Five Books: These Histories of Black Struggle Should Inform Us in 2016," including: