Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend Roundup

  • Penn's Supreme Court Clinic is working with American and English legal historians to draft a proposed amicus brief by a group of legal historians to the Supreme Court in Al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, the pending case on law-enforcement liability for pretextual use of the material witness statute to detain suspects. Legal historians interested in reading the brief and considering signing on (by January 26th) should contact Stephanos Bibas.
  • A new issue of Historically Speaking (the bulletin of the Historical Society) is out. It includes a forum on "Questioning the Assumptions of Academic History," as well as "Twenty Suggestions for Studying the Right Now that Studying the Right Is Trendy." You can find more info on the Historical Society blog. (image credit)
  • Also at the Historical Society blog, a neat post by Dan Allosso on using probate records as primary sources. Read more here.
  • The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has led to lots of musings on the history of the insanity defense. Dahlia Lithwick, writing for Slate, offers some good links here.
  • One of the law curators at the Library of Congress has put together a post spotlighting the Library's collection of coutumes, "one of the best written records of the diverse legal practices of local feudal jurisdictions." Read more at In Custodia Legis. (image credit)
  • At IntLawGrrls, Diane Amann notes the upcoming "Trial of Hamlet" at the University of Southern California, January 31, featuring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (here for tickets) and suggests that the ABA should stage a mock trial based on women's legal history. A great idea, and I concur in her suggestion of the trial of Susan B. Anthony. [mld]
  • People are still talking about Robert Tsai's Eloquence and Reason. We've posted a review by a legal historian and another by a first amendment scholar. Now we have one from a political scientist (Beau Breslin). You can find it here, in the most recent issue of Perspectives on Politics.