Wednesday, May 29, 2013

See You at Law and Society!

Legal History Blog will be at the annual meeting of the Law & Society Association in Boston this weekend.

Clara Altman will be presenting "Disciplining Development: American Tort Law and the Emergence of a 'Philippine Common Law'" as part of the panel "The Legal Histories of U.S. Empire: The Philippines and Puerto Rico," on Saturday from 2:30 to 4:15.
The papers on this panel consider the histories of legal change in Puerto Rico and the Philippines from the onset of U.S. rule in 1898 to after World War II. By shifting the lens on U.S. legal history from the metropole to the edges of empire, they suggest the diverse ways that local legal change constituted U.S. empire. These histories of law and colonialism point to new ways of understanding the relationship between constitutional law and U.S. global power, offer new insights about the makers and shapers of legal development in the U.S., the Philippines, and Puerto Rico, and they challenge existing frameworks for the doctrinal and jurisdictional boundaries of American law. Local actors harnessed the counter-hegemonic potential of law to shape, direct, and contest the American state. Networks of legal knowledge, culture, and personnel moved in various and unanticipated directions. The histories of law in the Philippines and Puerto Rico in the twentieth century show that as American law facilitated U.S. imperial power, local legal change in the colonies remade American law.
Dan Ernst will be presenting "Lawyers and State Autonomy in the New Deal" as part of the panel "Lawyers as Statebuilders in the United States, 1870-1970," on Friday from 8:15 to 10:00:
This panel presents four case studies at the boundary of the history of the legal profession and of political institutions that reveals how American lawyers constructed a state that respected and magnified their professional authority. Shugerman shows that the founding of the Department of Justice was, in important respects, a professional project in the same spirit as the new bar associations of the 1870s. Coates shows how the creation of international law as a legal discipline at the turn of the twentieth century decisively influenced the history of American diplomacy. Ernst reveals how New Deal lawyers failed and then succeeded at making themselves gatekeepers between civil society and the regulatory state. Grisinger recounts a failed attempt by civil rights lawyers to disrupt the cozy understandings of agency lawyers and the members of Washington law firms in the 1960s.
Karen Tani will be presenting "Administering Citizenship: The 'Indian Problem' in the Age of the Federal Grant" as part of the panel "State v. Nation: Historical Approaches to Federalism," on Thursday, from 4:30-6:15:
These historical case studies each highlight conflicts between state and federal law in context and, taken together, explore the contentious history and development of federalism in the United States. Allison Tirres examines how state limitations on immigrants’ property and liberty rights have fared under the Fourteenth Amendment, and demonstrates how states’ involvement in alien rights raises practical concerns about the relationship between federal and state power. Karen Tani explores the complicated nature of local, state, and federal authority over welfare beginning in the New Deal; these relationships were particularly and contested in the context of Indian law and policy. State officials in the West who relied on federal grants but refused to comply with the federal mandates that accompanied the funds found themselves involved in lawsuits that Tani argues formed key precedents for the “new federalism.” Finally, Logan Sawyer examines the return of constitutional federalism in the late twentieth century through a study of the political and intellectual developments that increasingly questioned the “political safeguards” theory of federalism, called for renewed judicial intervention, and gave rise to the Supreme Court’s decision in National League of Cities (1976).
Karen will also participate on the roundtable “The Poverty State” on Friday, from 8:15-10:00.
In recent years scholars have created a wealth of literature on how the mechanisms of the state impact poor communities and have described the means by which these mechanisms serve to monitor, criminalize and regulate the lives of those who live in poverty. These regulatory structures impact poor communities of color in vastly disproportionate numbers and are often justified through the use of racialized tropes. At the same time scholars across disciplines are attempting to formulate more responsive visions of the State, and legal scholars are seeking to reconceptualize rights claims that might lend more strength to poor communities. This roundtable will bring together scholars focused on these issues and will pose the question of how to conceptualize a more positive vision of the state that incorporates these realities and how rights and legal structures might be mobilized to address the means by which poor communities are regulated by the State.
In general, legal history is well represented on the program., including author-meets-reader sessions on Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein’s Caring for America, Michelle Landis Dauber’s Sympathetic State, Hendrik Hartog’s “Someday This Will All Be Yours,Kenneth Mack’s Representing the Race, and Victoria Saker Woeste’s Henry Ford’s War on the Jews and the Legal Battle against Hate Speech.  (Search the program here.)