Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Reproductive Rights from Skinner to Roe

Register today for tomorrow’s seminar, The Unknown History of Reproductive Rights and Eugenics: From Skinner to Roe, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET, which is cosponored by the Georgetown University Law Center and the Robert H. Jackson Society.  Click here to RSVP to attend in-person at Georgetown Law (Hotung 2000).  Click here to RSVP for the Zoom Webinar Link.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide a momentous reproductive rights case in June 2022 that could have enormous implications for the country and pending state legislation. Very few people remember, however, the Court's first reproductive rights case, Skinner v. Oklahoma, decided June 1, 1942. This event brings experts together to discuss the legal and historical importance of that decision for the Court's new case, including its dark history (eugenics).

The panel participants will be Victoria F. Nourse, Ralph W. Whitworth Professor of Law at Georgetown Law; Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California-Irvine; Melissa Murray, Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law at New York University;  Brad Snyder, Professor of Law and Anne Fleming Research Professor at Georgetown; and John Q. Barrett, St. John's University School of Law.

---Dan Ernst

Children and the Law: A Conference in Honor of Michael Grossberg

We have the following announcement, regarding a November 10, 2022, pre-conference convening at this year's meeting of the American Society for Legal History:

Children and the Law: A Conference in Honor of Michael Grossberg

Mini-Conference Schedule

9:30am “Saving Our Kids”

Opening Remarks by Laura Edwards (Princeton University) & Dirk Hartog (Princeton University)
10-11:30am “Who Gets the Child?”
Comment by Steven Mintz (University of Texas, Austin)

Chelsea Chamberlain (University of Pennsylvania), "Perpetual Children": Mental Disability, Institutional Commitment, and the Intimate State

Naama Maor (Tel Aviv University), “We Cannot be Hoodwinked into Making Paroles”: Delinquent Children, State Institutions, and the Boundaries of Juvenile Justice

Kristen McCabe Lashua (Vanguard University of Southern California), “If the boy’s word is to be taken”: Child Testimonies in Early Modern England

Nathan Stenberg (University of Minnesota), “A Peculiar Case”: Disability, Performance, and the Legal (De)Construction of Institutionalized Children's Personhood at the Pennhurst State School & Hospital
11:45-12:30 Lunch

12:45-2:15pm “A Protected Childhood”
Comment by Barbara Welke (University of Minnesota)

Wangui Muigai (Brandeis University), The Tenth Crusade: Baby-Saving, Racial Violence, and the NAACP

Yukako Otori (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), Esther Kaplan's Saga: From an Undesirable Immigrant to an Undeportable "Child"

Ivón Padilla-Rodríguez (University of Illinois Chicago), The Double Removal of Migrant Youth: Late-Twentieth Century Data Collection and Education Law as U.S. Immigration Deterrence

Shani Roper (University of the West Indies), Sitting at Intersections: Institutionalized Children and the Law in Colonial Jamaica 1904 to 1950

Doris Morgan Rueda (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), “The Boy is Large for His Age”: Making Age in Arizona’s Early Juvenile Court, 1907-1920
2:30-4pm “Legal Rights for Children?”
Comment by David Tanenhaus (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Tera Agyepong (DePaul University & American Bar Foundation), Constructing Race and Gendered Delinquency in the Juvenile Justice System

Juandrea Bates (Winona State University), Bringing Child Protection Home: Juveniles as Initiators of Child Protection Suits in Buenos Aires 1890-1930

Emily Prifogle (University of Michigan), Rural Students and a “Right” to Local Schools

Kathryn Schumaker (University of Oklahoma), Desegregating Discipline: Corporal Punishment and Children's Rights in the Classroom in the 1970s
4:15pm Afterward
Introduction of Michael Grossberg by Ajay Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation and Northwestern University) & Bengt Sandin (Linköping University in Sweden)

Closing Remarks by Michael Grossberg

5pm Cocktail Reception


-- Karen Tani

Monday, May 30, 2022

Jouet on Camus's (and Amsterdam's) Influence on Furman

Mugambi Jouet, McGill Faculty of Law, has posted A Lost Chapter in Death Penalty History: Furman v. Georgia, Albert Camus, and the Normative Challenge to Capital Punishment, which is forthcoming in the American Journal of Criminal Law:

Overlooked historical sources call into question the standard narrative that the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Furman v. Georgia (1972), which temporarily abolished the death penalty, reflected a challenge to its arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory application. This Article examines materials that scholars have neglected, including the main brief in Aikens v. California, a companion case to Furman that presented the fundamental constitutional claim: the death penalty is inherently cruel and unusual.

Aikens was largely forgotten to history after it became moot, leaving Furman as the main case before the Court. The Aikens brief’s humanistic claims and rhetoric are at odds with the widespread idea that Furman was a case about administrative or procedural problems with capital punishment. This is truer of the Furman decision itself than of the way the case was litigated. Depicting any execution as “barbarity,” as an “atavistic horror,” the Aikens brief marshaled an argument that has garnered much less traction in modern America than Europe: the death penalty is an affront to human dignity. Yet the transatlantic divergence in framing abolitionism was not always as pronounced as it came to be in Furman’s aftermath. Since the Enlightenment, American and European abolitionists had long emphasized normative arguments against capital punishment, thereby revealing why they played a central role in Aikens-Furman.

Strikingly, the Aikens brief insistently quoted a European figure whose role in this seminal Supreme Court case has received no attention: Albert Camus. “Reflections on the Guillotine,” Camus’s denunciation of the death penalty’s inhumanity, is among the sources prominently featured in the Aikens-Furman briefs. The architect of this strategy was Anthony Amsterdam, a famed litigator. Subsequent generations of American abolitionists have placed less weight on humanistic objections to executions, instead stressing procedural and administrative claims. This shift has obscured how a lost chapter in death penalty history unfolded.

These events are key to understanding the evolution of capital punishment, from its resurgence in the late twentieth century to its present decline as the number of executions nears record lows. On Furman’s fiftieth anniversary, the Article offers another window into the past as scholars anticipate a future constitutional challenge to the death penalty in one or two generations. 

--Dan Ernst

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Weekend Roundup

  • "How We Told the Ongoing Story of Title IX": Laura Mogulescu, Curator of Women's History Collections for the Center for Women's History at the New-York Historical Society, writes for History News Network about the exhibition "Title IX: Activism On and Off the Field."
  • Congratulations to Lea VanderVelde upon her being named a 2022 University Distinguished Chair at the University of Iowa.  “The award is one of the highest bestowed on Iowa faculty. It recognizes tenured scholars of national and international distinction who are making a significant positive impact within the university, state of Iowa, and beyond through teaching, research, and/or scholarship.”  (Iowa Now).
  • Nominations are due June 1 for ASLH awards celebrating “legal history research published or defended in the previous calendar year.”  More.
  • "The Association of Research of the Professional History of the Members of the Austrian Bar Discredited between 1938 and 1945" announces the second edition of Advokaten 1938, which deals with "the fates of 2,200 lawyers and trainee lawyers registered with the regional bar organisations of Austria on January 1, 1938, who were either barred from continuing their training or from practicing the legal profession from 1938 to 1945."  More.
  • A report on that symposium on Lincoln the Lawyer at the Quincy History Museum (WGEM).
  • Mapping racially restrictive covenants in Rochester, Minnesota (mprnews).
  •  ICYMI: What the Suffragists Really Thought about Abortion? by Treva B. Lindsey, Ohio State University (Smithsonian).  How Fred Korematsu defied Japanese incarceration in the U.S. during WWII (NatGeo). How the long and strange history of wiretapping continues to shape how Americans conceive of surveillance and privacy (Nation).  Washington State’s anti-tipping law of 1909 (HistoryLink.org). Joseph Fishkin and William E. Forbath on making progressive politics constitutional again (Boston Review). "Joshua Montefiore, First Jewish Author to Publish a Law Book in America" (In Custodia Legis).

Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Schmidt on the 13th Amendment's Influence on the 14th

Christopher W. Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law, has posted Thirteenth Amendment Echoes in Fourteenth Amendment Doctrine, which is forthcoming in the Hastings Law Journal:

This Article argues that to better understand the historical development of Fourteenth Amendment antidiscrimination doctrine, we should look to the Thirteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment was drafted in response to debates over the meaning of the Thirteenth Amendment; it was widely understood at the time of ratification as building upon the constitutional commitments embodied in the Thirteenth Amendment; and assumptions about liberty and equality more commonly associated with the Thirteenth Amendment have had a recurring, if underappreciated, influence on judicial interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment.

I trace these Thirteenth Amendment influences on the Fourteenth Amendment from Reconstruction to some of the Supreme Court’s most important twentieth-century racial discrimination cases—such as Buchanan v. Warley, Shelley v. Kraemer, and Brown v. Board of Education—and through more recent decisions, including Obergefell v. Hodges, that extend constitutional antidiscrimination protections beyond race. Once we recover these recurrent, consequential, but rarely acknowledged Thirteenth Amendment echoes in Fourteenth Amendment doctrine, we can recognize the existence of a constitutional principle that operates alongside the tiers-of-scrutiny approach that dominates modern Fourteenth Amendment doctrine. This principle—which I label the principle of equality of rights—modulates the strength of the nondiscrimination requirement to account for the importance of the sphere of activity at issue. Despite its simplicity and intuitive attractiveness, and its foundations in the original understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment, the equality of rights principle has proven deeply unsettling across time, feared both for its potential to radically expand the reach of constitutional antidiscrimination norms and its potential to excessively constrain these norms. I argue that if constitutional law were to recognize and accept this principle, our Fourteenth Amendment doctrine would better reflect foundational commitments of Reconstruction, better explain the Court’s most consequential interpretations of the Equal Protection Clause, and better serve the needs of a nation still struggling to realize the emancipatory vision of the Thirteenth Amendment.

--Dan Ernst

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Watergate at 50

The Watergate (LC)
[We have the following announcement.  DRE]

The Watergate Break-in: 50 Years Later

A two-day online conference (June 9-10, 2022) reflecting on the fiftieth anniversary of the Watergate break-in, convened by Dr Shane O’Sullivan (Kingston School of Art) and Dr Melissa Graves (Dept of Intelligence and Security Studies, The Citadel)

There has been a resurgence of interest in Watergate in recent years, with the revelations of the Mueller investigation and presidential impeachment hearings benchmarked against the historical nadir of political malfeasance, and each new scandal dubbed “worse than Watergate.” At the same time, new document releases have allowed scholars to probe the CIA’s internal history of Watergate and the backgrounds of the burglars and their associations with the Agency in unprecedented detail, and a new study of the FBI’s Watergate investigation has seen the Bureau’s lead investigators emerge from the shadow of Woodward and Bernstein’s reporting to reclaim key breakthroughs in the case for the Bureau’s investigation team.

Fifty years after the break-in, the surviving investigators and prosecutors still can’t understand why the burglars entered DNC headquarters in the early morning hours of June 17, 1972; or how the experienced intelligence operatives in the break-in team made such elementary mistakes, resulting in their arrests and President Nixon’s resignation two years later.

While much has been written about the White House cover-up and the Nixon White House tapes, the stories of the burglars and the FBI investigation are less well-known, and the conference organisers aim to widen the scope of Watergate scholarship and explore some of the remaining mysteries of the case. Conference speakers include historians, academics, published authors on the case and Watergate prosecutors and investigators.

Siegel, Mayeri, & Murray on "Equal Protection in Dobbs and Beyond"

This forthcoming essay by legal historians and constitutional scholars Reva Siegel (Yale Law School), Serena Mayeri (the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School), and Melissa Murray (New York University School of Law) may be of interest to readers, as it draws on "equality challenges to abortion bans [that] preceded Roe."

Equal Protection in Dobbs and Beyond: How States Protect Life Inside and Outside of the Abortion Context 

In the leaked draft of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Samuel Alito dismissed the Equal Protection Clause as an alternative ground of the abortion right, citing an amicus brief in which we advanced that argument. In dicta, Justice Alito claimed that precedents foreclosed the brief’s arguments (pp. 10-11).

Justice Alito did not address a single equal protection case or argument on which the brief relied. Instead, he cited Geduldig v. Aiello, a 1974 case decided before the Court extended heightened scrutiny to sex-based state action—a case our brief shows has been superseded by United States v. Virginia and Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs. Justice Alito’s claim to address equal protection precedents without discussing any of these decisions suggests an unwillingness to recognize the last half century of sex equality law—a spirit that finds many forms of expression in the opinion’s due process analysis.

This Essay, written before Justice Alito’s draft leaked, explains the brief’s equal protection arguments for abortion rights, and shows how these equality-based arguments open up crucial conversations that extend far beyond abortion.

* * *

Equality challenges to abortion bans preceded Roe, and will continue long after Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, however the Court rules in that case. In this Essay we discuss our amicus brief in Dobbs, demonstrating that Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Our brief shows how the canonical equal protection cases United States v. Virginia and Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs extend to the regulation of pregnancy, providing an independent constitutional basis for abortion rights. Abortion bans classify by sex. Equal protection requires the government to explain why group-based rather than facially-neutral regulations best serve its ends, especially when the challenged laws perpetuate historic forms of group-based harm. As we show, Mississippi decided to ban abortion, choosing sex-based and coercive means to protect health and life; at the same time the state consistently refused to enact safety-net policies that offered inclusive, noncoercive means to achieve the same health- and life-protective ends.

Our brief asks: Could the state have pursued these same life- and health-protective ends with more inclusive, less coercive strategies? This inquiry has ramifications in courts, in legislatures, and in the court of public opinion. Equal protection focuses the inquiry on how gender, race, and class may distort decisions about protecting life and health, within and outside the abortion context. The equal protection argument can play a role in congressional and executive enforcement of constitutional rights, in the enforcement of equality provisions of state constitutions, and in ongoing debate about proper shape of family life in our constitutional democracy. Equal protection may also have the power to forge new coalitions as it asks hard questions about the kinds of laws that protect the health and life of future generations and that help families flourish. 

The essay is forthcoming in Volume 43 of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law (2023) and is available for download here, at SSRN.

-- Karen Tani

Legal History Reviewed in the JSH

We were grateful to have our attention drawn to the many book reviews in the May 2022 issue (88:2) of the Journal of Southern History of interest to legal historians.  These include:

The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution by Lindsay M. Chervinsky
Ari Helo

Irreconcilable Founders: Spencer Roane, John Marshall, and the Nature of America's Constitutional Republic by David Johnson
J. Charles Waldrup

At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, and Shifting Identities in Washington, D.C. by Tamika Y. Nunley
Elizabeth Wood

Jim Crow in North Carolina: The Legislative Program from 1865 to 1920 by Richard A. Paschal
Abel A. Bartley

Reconstruction Politics in a Deep South State, Alabama, 1865-1874 by William Warren Rogers Jr.
Bertis D. English

A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation's Founding to the Civil War by William G. Thomas III
Alice L. Baumgartner

Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality by Benjamin R. Justesen
Adam Burns

Threatening Property: Race, Class, and Campaigns to Legislate Jim Crow Neighborhoods by Elizabeth A. Herbin-Triant
Freddie L. Parker

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History by Karlos K. Hill
Ben Davidson

Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces That Changed a Nation by Steven P. Brown
Ian J. Drake

The Movement: The African American Struggle for Civil Rights by Thomas C. Holt
Raymond Arsenault

Civil Rights in America: A History by Christopher W. Schmidt
Adam Lee Cilli

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Hurst on Law and the Automobile, with a Foreword by Novak and Ard

In the latest issue of the Wisconsin Law Review (2022:3), William Novak and BJ Ard have edited and published a chapter from a never-completed book manuscript by James Willard Hurst, entitled Chapter Eight—Technology and the Law: The Automobile.  It commences:

James Willard Hurst (UW Law School)
In this chapter we are going to talk about some of the effects that the automobile has had upon the law and some of the effects that the law had upon the automobile. We could undoubtedly open up some worthwhile lines of thought if we talked about the automobile in relation to certain broader problems of which it is a part: for example, the effects of the internal combustion engine or the growth of all types of communication. But we shall have enough on our hands if we stick to the automobile, and even so in the limits of this chapter we can discuss at any length only the relation of the law and the passenger car. This is not merely an arbitrary limitation, however. Of the 32 million registered motor vehicles in the United States in 1940, substantially over 27 million were passenger cars, and a little under four and one-half million were motor trucks. Until the middle 1920s the proportion of trucks to passenger cars was much lower than this. Not only was the passenger car the center of the auto problem as a matter of gross figures; it was likewise the main aspect of the problem that men saw and reacted to. We may properly focus on it when we try to retrace the unplanned paths of the law’s responses to the motor vehicle.
Novak and Ard introduce the chapter in Foreword: Willard Hurst’s Unpublished Manuscript on Law, Technology, and Regulation:

In a document that we believe is among Hurst’s earliest substantive histories (and now over seventy years old), we can see the very beginnings of the distinctive approach to legal studies that would shape legal history and law and society for generations to come. With slight stylistic and typographical changes, we present the manuscript as we found it—as a complete and carefully hand-edited final document with endnotes in the bibliographic style that Hurst utilized early in his career.
--Dan Ernst

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Mohr on the Parliamentary Oath and the Irish Free State

Thomas Mohr, Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin, has posted The Removal of the Parliamentary Oath and the Repugnancy Clause from the 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State:

The parliamentary oath contained in the 1921 Anglo Irish Treaty dominated Irish political life from the time of its creation to its abolition in the 1930s. The long and difficult dialogue that produced this oath has been examined in accounts of the British Irish negotiations that preceded the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty (henceforth ‘the Treaty’ or ‘the 1921 Treaty’), which have further proliferated since the centenary of that important document. The oath is often presented as a root cause of the Irish civil war and the debate continues as to whether the popular name ‘oath of allegiance’ is an accurate term. This chapter outlines the background to this controversial oath, attempts to explain why Irish governments in the early years of the self-governing Irish state failed to abolish it and offers detailed consideration of the legal arguments relating to the final removal of the oath from the Constitution of the Irish Free State in the early 1930s.
–Dan Ernst

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Immortal Snail

[We have the following announcement from the Law Society of Scotland.  DRE]

Donoghue v Stevenson 1932 SC(HL)31 is 90 years old on 26 May 2022. This is a (some would say the) foundational case from the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords in the Scottish law of delict and the English law of tort. It laid the foundation of the modern law of negligence in Common Law jurisdictions across the world by establishing the general principles of the duty of care.

The 90th anniversary of the case is likely to attract significant interest around the globe. It has deep impact in most Common Law jurisdictions and there is likely to be considerable focus on the case and its implications. The Law Society of Scotland will hold a major conference on the anniversary of this case which will engage with judiciary, practitioners and academics in those jurisdictions for which the case is significant.

Join us online to participate in this celebratory conference with speakers joining from around the world. Please note, all sessions will be recorded and sent to registrants after the conference.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Weekend Roundup

  • William & Mary Libraries announces a new Archive of American LGBTQ Political and Legal History.
  • ABA Silver Gavel Awards went to "My Name is Pauli Murray," directed by Betty West and Julie Cohen, and to the issue “Black Legal History in Oklahoma,” Oklahoma Bar Journal (May 2021).
  • Tomorrow in Quincy, Illinois, a program “on Lincoln’s years as lawyer in Illinois and how those years shaped his presidency.”  (Herald-Whig).
  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin on Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality, before the Columbia Alumni Association, Washington, DC, Chapter on July 12, 2022 at 6:00pm - 7pm, moderated by Rhonda Colvin.   More.
  • "A Constitution Against Oligarchy?" In the New Rambler, Evan Bernick (Northern Illinois University College of Law) reviews The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution: Reconstructing the Economic Foundations of American Democracy, by Joseph Fishkin and William E. Forbath

Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Search for Humanity after Atrocity

[We have the following announcement of a conference.  DRE]

The Search for Humanity After Atrocity.  October 16-17, 2022. In-person at Kean University, Union, NJ

Keynote Speaker: Loung Ung - Khmer Rouge Genocide Survivor, Activist, Author
Plenary Speakers: Eduardo Gonzalez and Ines Hernandes-Avila

Please click here to visit our website to register and for more information. Registration is open now. Discounted rate for students.

Recognizing that the search for humanity after atrocity is as imperative as it is elusive, this two-day conference will interrogate recent strides that are renewing scholarly and popular interest and debate. The conference, based on an NEH-funded seminar held at Kean University in June, 2021, will assemble engaged scholars and informed practitioners who honor the reciprocity of scholarship and activism for energizing a network in common search for humanity after atrocity. The conference's premise is the belief that post-atrocity renewal possesses the most promise if it is propelled by those who were and are vulnerable and victimized. *The intention is to have an in-person conference with the understanding that the need may arise to shift to a virtual format depending on the status of the pandemic this fall.

Contact Stephanie Reese at reeseste@kean.edu for details or to inquire about co-sponsorship opportunities.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Seidman on America's Racial Stain

Louis Michael Seidman, Georgetown University Law Center, has posted America's Racial Stain: The Taint Argument and the Limits of Constitutional Law and Rhetoric, which is forthcoming in the American Journal of Law and Equality:

How should reformers respond to America’s racial stain? The problem is more complex than many imagine. Political activists usually attempt to promote change by taking advantage of a gap between current reality and a touchstone they use to measure the normative desirability of that reality. But what if the touchstone itself is infected by the reality that activists want to change?

Questions raised by this problem do not lend themselves to definitive answers, and this essay does not offer them. Instead, I suggest a variety of responses that attempt to grapple with the difficulty. I also offer tentative assessments of whether they can do so successfully. Least promising, I argue, are responses grounded in constitutional law understood as judicial parsing of constitutional text and precedent. This social practice is too deeply mired in a pernicious history, set of conventions, and restraints to pull itself out of its own muck.

Political redemption offers more promise. Tactics used outside the courthouse that invoke the vaguer, higher ideals supposedly implicit in constitutional text and that reimagine and reconstruct our history in a more favorable light might provide a foundation for renewal. But the effective use of these tactics requires extraordinary political and rhetorical skill that no one on the current scene has yet demonstrated. Perhaps more importantly, it also requires a willingness of Americans, also yet to be demonstrated, to follow such a leader toward racial reconciliation.

--Dan Ernst

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

CFP: Black Reparations: Insights from the Social Sciences

 [We have the following Call for Articles from RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social 
.  DRE]

Black Reparations: Insights from the Social Sciences.  Edited by William Darity Jr., Duke University; Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas at Austin; Thomas Craemer, University of Connecticut; Dania Frank Francis, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Since the failed promise of the provision of 40-acre land grants to the formerly enslaved in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War as restitution for their years of bondage, reparations for Black Americans has lived off-stage from the center of American political discourse—until now. In 2019, during the Democratic Party's primary race for the 2020 presidential election, candidates actually invoked the term "reparations," previously verboten in credible policy conversations. While some Democratic candidates endorsed direct cash reparations, other candidates took the safer route of expressing some support for HR 40, legislation to establish a study commission for black reparations that had lain fallow in the U.S. House of Representatives for over 30 years since it was introduced by the late Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) in 1989.

In 2000, a national survey conducted by University of Chicago scholars Michael Dawson and Rovana Popoff, found that only 4 percent of white Americans supported reparations in the form of monetary payments. A PRRI survey in 2020 found that percentage was closer to 20 percent. By early April 2021, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst research team reported that the share had risen to nearly 30 percent. Moreover, a number of cities and two states, California and New York, have activated initiatives to execute or develop what they call "reparations" plans.

For this issue of RSF, we solicit empirically grounded papers from scholars in all of social science disciplines, including history and public health. We encourage contributions from across the ideological spectrum, especially on such topics as eligibility for reparations; long-term impacts of racial gaps on wealth; and potential unintended consequences of a black reparations plan.

Please click here for a full description of the topics covered in this call for articles.

Anticipated Timeline. Prospective contributors should submit a CV and an abstract (up to two pages in length, single or double spaced) of their study along with up to two pages of supporting material (e.g., tables, figures, pictures, references that don't fit on the proposal pages, etc.) no later than 5 PM EST on July 15, 2022 to [grant portal.]

NOTE that if you wish to submit an abstract and do not yet have an account with us, it can take up to 48 hours to get credentials, so please start your application at least two days before the deadline. All submissions must be original work that has not been previously published in part or in full. Only abstracts submitted here will be considered. Each paper will receive a $1,000 honorarium when the issue is published. All questions regarding this issue should be directed to Suzanne Nichols, Director of Publications, at journal@rsage.org and not to the email addresses of the editors of the issue.

A conference will take place at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City on April 21, 2023. The selected contributors will gather for a one-day workshop to present draft papers (due a month prior to the conference on 3/24/23) and receive feedback from the other contributors and editors. Travel costs, food, and lodging for one author per paper will be covered by the foundation. Papers will be circulated before the conference. After the conference, the authors will submit their revised drafts by 7/14/23. The papers will then be sent out to three additional scholars for formal peer review. Having received feedback from reviewers and the RSF board, authors will revise their papers by 10/4/23. The full and final issue will be published in the June of 2024. Papers will be published open access on the RSF website as well as in several digital repositories, including JSTOR and UPCC/Muse.

Please click here for a full description of the topics covered in this call for articles.

Monday, May 16, 2022

O'Gorman on Langdell and Contract Law

Daniel P. O’Gorman, Barry University School of Law, has published Langdell and the Foundation of Classical Contract Law in the Cleveland State Law Review:

C.C. Langdell (HLS)
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, scholars seeking to bring order to the common law developed what has since become known as classical contract law. Its leading architects were Christopher Columbus Langdell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Samuel Williston, and their efforts involved seeking to provide an objective foundation for contract law. Any idea, however, that these three worked in coordination to create classical contract law would be mistaken. Holmes is considered a relentless critic of Langdell, and even Williston distanced himself from Langdell. This Article identifies in what ways Holmes and Williston differed from Langdell in their approach to contract law and, to do so, focuses on the doctrine of consideration, the foundation upon which classical contract law was built. This Article concludes that, as a result of these differences, classical contracts scholars’ quest to create an objective foundation for contract law that could withstand erosion was doomed to fail. First, the leading architects did not agree on a fundamental concept—a theory of law. The disagreement between Langdell and Holmes about the nature of law (logic versus experience) virtually ensured they would be unable to agree on something like the meaning of consideration and would thus be unable to agree on a foundational theory of contract law. Second, even when the architects sought to construct principles upon the same foundation (logic), the foundation proved unable to provide a clear answer to the meaning of consideration.
–Dan Ernst

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Weekend Roundup

  • On May 10, William Novak, University of Michigan,  participated in a town hall with Lisa Heinzerling and Ilan Wurman on Rights, Regulation, and the Modern Administrative State at the National Constitution Center.  A recording is here.
  • Congratulations to Kate Masur, professor of history at Northwestern University, on being a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in History for Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction (W. W. Norton).
  • Entry-level hiring by American law schools: the data and the PrawfsBlawg summary.
  • More criticism of the history in Justice Alito's draft Hobbs opinion.  Jill Hasday on his citation to Matthew Hale (WaPo).  Matt Ford on what Justice Alito "Gets Wrong About English Common Law" (New Republic).  
  • Also, an interview of Julian Zelizer on the conservative and legal movement and Roe (WBUR's Here & Now).  Mary Ziegler and predictions for a post-Roe America (The Atlantic).

 Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Steinbach, Marcus, and Cohen's "With Liberty and Justice for All?"

Just out from Oxford University Press: With Liberty and Justice for All?: The Constitution in the Classroom, by Steven A. Steinbach, Maeva Marcus, and Robert Cohen.  

With Liberty and Justice for All?: The Constitution in the Classroom is designed to help teachers and students generate analysis and debate in our nation’s classrooms about an aspect of US history that has produced intense disagreements about rights and wrongs: constitutional history. For more than two centuries, Americans have argued about what the US Constitution permits or requires (or not), and what values and ideals it enshrines (or not)—indeed, who is to be included (or not) in the very definition of “We the People.” Because the Constitution remains the framework under which the United States governs itself, American history can be told as the story of the use and misuse of the Constitution over time, from early disputes about liberty and slavery to more recent quarrels over equality and dignity. This book—which opens with a “Foreword” from the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—provides abundant resources to explore key moments of debate about the Constitution and its meaning, focusing on fundamental questions of citizenship and rights. Constitutional history is explored via succinct and probing essays by prize-winning historians—including Linda Greenhouse, Mary Sarah Bilder, Annette Gordon-Reed, Eric Foner, Sam Erman, Julie Suk, Laura Kalman, and Melissa Murray—and through lively primary sources and focused discussion questions. As this book amply demonstrates, United States history IS constitutional history.

--Dan Ernst

Lebovic's "Righteous Smokescreen"

Sam Lebovic, George Mason University, has published A Righteous Smokescreen: Postwar America and the Politics of Cultural Globalization, with the University of Chicago Press:

When the dust settled after World War II, the United States stood as the world’s unquestionably pre-eminent military and economic power. In the decades that followed, the country exerted its dominant force in less visible but equally powerful ways, too, spreading its trade protocols, its media, and—perhaps most importantly—its alleged values. In A Righteous Smokescreen, Sam Lebovic homes in on one of the most prominent, yet ethereal, of those professed values: the free flow of information. This trope was seen as capturing what was most liberal about America’s self-declared leadership of the free world. But as Lebovic makes clear, even though diplomats and public figures trumpeted the importance of widespread cultural exchange, these transmissions flowed in only one direction: outward from the United States. Though other countries did try to promote their own cultural visions, Lebovic shows that the US moved to marginalize or block those visions outright, highlighting the shallowness of American commitments to multilateral institutions, the depth of its unstated devotion to cultural and economic supremacy, and its surprising hostility to importing foreign cultures. His book uncovers the unexpectedly profound global consequences buried in such ostensibly mundane matters as visa and passport policy, international educational funding, and land purchases for embassies. Even more crucially, A Righteous Smokescreen does nothing less than reveal that globalization was not the inevitable consequence of cultural convergence or the natural outcome of putatively free flows of information—it was always political to its core.
--Dan Ernst.  TOC after the jump

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Hulsebosch on Confiscation and Property at the Founding

Daniel J. Hulsebosch, New York University School of Law, has posted Confiscation Nation: Settler Postcolonialism and the Property Paradox, which is forthcoming in the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities:

This essay, part of a forum on Claire Priest’s Credit Nation: Property Laws and Institutions in Early America, points toward a different framing for the history of property and credit in early America, one compatible with many of Priest’s finding but that trades off the theoretical elegance of the New Institutional Economics in favor of wider historical context that includes space for revolutionary ideas. It places the destabilization of property, including confiscation, at the center of the creation of American property law. Consequently, it focuses on the revolutionary struggle for property: a struggle over how property was supposed to function politically; who could own it; and where to resolve conflicting claims to it. Although much American property law remained the same after as before the Revolution, the changes were significant. The Treaty of Peace memorialized the largest changes by including substantial guarantees to British creditors and confirming a trend in the law of nations toward shielding foreign debt from wartime predations. That same treaty, however, contained no guarantee that the states would return or provide restitution for the massive confiscation of property from American loyalists and absentee Britons. The resulting compound of the new American property included well-advertised solicitude toward foreign creditors; public subsidies of patriotic debtors; and the expropriation of property from those excluded from political membership. These elements helped build states, not just markets. Finally, the essay contributes to answering one of the chestnuts of American legal history to which Priest gives new urgency: Why did some (but not all) states eliminate the property estate of fee tail in the revolutionary era? Building on the republican or anti-aristocracy explanation, the essay argues that eliminating fee tail enabled some states to perfect the confiscation of massive loyalist estates held, in some instances, by actual aristocrats.

--Dan Ernst

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

No Trespassing? Property/Theory between the Disciplines

 [We have the following announcement.  DRE.]

No Trespassing? Property/Theory between the Disciplines.  8th International Osnabrueck Summer Institute on the Cultural Study of the Law.  Please Note: Extended Deadline for Applications: May 15th 2022!

The International Osnabrueck Summer Institute on the Cultural Study of the Law (OSI) will be held from July 16 to 24, 2022 at the University of Osnabrueck, Germany. Since 2009, the OSI has successfully encouraged and promoted the interdisciplinary study and research of the interrelations between law and culture, based on the idea that the extended cultural study of the law will foster profitable scholarly exchange and dialogue between legal studies and the humanities. We are committed more than ever to build on and continue these efforts, especially in the face of the current challenges to democratic and open societies.

The Institute will offer a combination of thematic workshop sessions, small group seminars and a final conference for up to 20 international participants (doctoral, post-doctoral and advanced M.A. – see below for eligibility). The introductory workshop will address the range and potential of interdisciplinary studies and approaches in the field of law and the humanities. The remaining thematic sessions and small group seminars will focus on key issues and debates in current cultural legal studies which touch on questions of property, ownership or appropriation, such as

  • The historical emergence of dominant (legal) concepts of property as well as current struggles about culture as heritage, property and resource for creativity (including concepts such as copyright, intellectual property and authorship, cultural appropriation);
  • The cultural presence and representation of the law and the role of culture in the representation and dissemination of concepts of property, ownership, appropriation, dispossession etc. (e.g. in fields like law and literature, life writing and human rights, philosophy of human rights, migration and property);
  • The ways in which the (cultural and historical) semantics of property and ownership are reflected in critical theory and discourse, including the use of property theory in the humanities and critical cultural studies

The main objective of the OSI is to encourage scholarly exchange across disciplines and the critical debate of current research projects as well as work in progress. Participants will have the opportunity to present and discuss their own work both within the larger group and in individual sessions with members of the OSI faculty. The program will be concluded with a two day conference on the topic of the institute with invited speakers and panel sessions.

Confirmed faculty for the 2022 OSI include Marianne Constable (Rhetoric, UC Berkeley); Cristina S. Martinez (Art History, U of Ottawa); Nora Slonimsky (History, Iona College); Leti Volpp (Law, UC Berkeley)

The OSI 2022 will be organized in collaboration with the Collaborative Research Center (SFB 1385) "Recht und Literature / Law and Literature" at the University of Münster/Germany.

Eligibility.  The Summer Institute invites doctoral and postdoctoral students from various academic fields whose research interests and projects are situated at the interface between law and the humanities and who are concerned with a better understanding of the interdependence of law and culture.

Doctoral candidates in literature, the law, the arts, the humanities, and the related social sciences are encouraged to apply, as are advanced students pursuing a J.D. or its equivalent (such as the L.L.B). Young scholars or junior faculty members who have received a Ph.D. or corresponding degree in the last five years are also eligible. While applications by doctoral/post-doctoral students are prioritized, the Summer Institute will also consider strong applications from advanced Master students about to conclude their studies and with a strong interest in interdisciplinary research.

Application Process
.  Students interested in taking part in the Summer Institute should submit their applications no later than May 15th, 2022. Detailed and updated information about the Institute, the sessions, international faculty, admission and fees can be found [here].

Questions.  Please direct all inquiries and questions to the OSI coordinator at lawandculture@uos.de

Farbman on Antislavery and Judge Hoar

Daniel Farbman, Boston College Law School, has posted Judicial Solidarity? which is forthcoming in the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities:

We are living in a moment where open and principled resistance to law and legal order are a part of our daily lives. Whether in support of Black Lives Matter or in opposition to mask mandates, people are in the streets resisting. Over the last decade, the perception of the fixity of our legal order has eroded and so, too, has the stability of our consensus that legality and morality are aligned. In this moment, the visibility and viability of resistance to law and civil government through social movements have surged. With the increasing salience of civil resistance resurfaces an old question: can (and should) judges seek to stand in solidarity with movements engaging in civil resistance? The classic answers to this question take two forms. Judges should either enforce the law and punish the civil resister, or, if they cannot do so in good conscience, they should resign. These answers position the judge outside of and aloof from the political and social struggles that the resisters represent. It follows from this aloof position that judges cannot be in solidarity with civil resistance aimed at legal change in their official capacity. This Article questions the stability of the mainstream conclusion. By focusing my attention on judicial responses to civil resistance against the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, I return to one of the most influential sources of our collective sense of judicial capacity for political resistance. Through my own original archival research, I revisit Robert Cover’s conclusions about judicial timidity in Justice Accused. Against extensive evidence confirming Cover’s bleak view, I expose and examine one judge’s contrary argument. That judge, Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, was a neighbor and friend of Henry David Thoreau, and he wrote in conversation with, not against, the strident views of the famous advocate of civil disobedience. Hoar proposed that a judge in sympathy with civil resistance should enforce the law in order to effectuate the power of the resistance. He argued that making Thoreau’s theory of change work required sympathetic judges to enforce the law to expose its injustice. From this colloquy between judge and activist, I draw the beginnings of a counter-narrative of how judges may strive towards (if not achieve) solidarity with resistance movements. Judges, like any other institutional actor, have the capacity and perhaps the obligation to be strategic about how they act within and against the social movements that find their ways into their courtrooms.

--Dan Ernst

CFP: Feminists Confront State Violence

[We have the following CFP.]

Feminists Confront State Violence

Issue number 148 (January 2024).  Abstract Deadline: June 1, 2022.  Co-Edited by Anne Gray Fischer, Sara Matthiesen, and Marisol LeBrón.  Contact: contactrhr@gmail.com

Radical History Review
seeks proposals for feminist analyses that explore how communities have conceptualized, negotiated, and challenged structures of state violence. Historically, people on the front lines of a range of historical and contemporary struggles have exposed how state violence operates in the lives of women and vulnerable populations through forms of active harm as well as organized abandonment. Spectacular forms of state violence, such as religious persecution, enslavement, colonial dispossession, genocide, sterilization, policing, and human caging coexist alongside formal and informal practices of state neglect that harm and kill by refusing to cultivate healthy, safe, and dignified lives for all. In the face of the violence of the (pre)modern state, many people have developed strategies of survival, care, and reproduction that aim to reduce harm such as mutual aid projects, intentional communes, and worker collectives. These efforts can, however, be quickly overwhelmed by the enormous scope of need created by state neglect. Ironically, modern-day global emergencies—from femicide in Latin America and medical apartheid in the Global South to the climate catastrophe worldwide—expose the unique capacity of the state to respond on a massive scale to its own harms and failures. Feminist scholars, then, have identified a formidable contradiction: how to make demands for the equitable distribution of care, safety, and life on a (pre)modern state that unequally distributes violence, immiseration, and death? We invite feminist contributions that examine how communities have historically negotiated the difficult contradiction of making reparative demands on a violent state. In particular, we are interested in pieces that draw from surprising examples and unexpected archives in order to show efforts to deliver care, organize practices of survival, and foster societal transformation while laboring under conditions of structural violence; and to ask what alternative visions of social organization such struggles have produced. This issue aims to create a feminist archive of campaigns, tactics, frameworks, and circumstances that illuminate how people have named, analyzed, and struggled against the multiscalar and capacious nature of regimes of violence across all time periods, geographic contexts, and conceptions of governance. Some topics may include, but are not limited to:

    The interrelationship between state abandonment and state violence
    Crime, punishment, anti-carceral projects, and abolitionism
    Indigenous, decolonial, and anti-colonial projects
    Natural disaster, famine, and environmental crisis
    Gender-based and transphobic violence, serial murders, and femicide
    Migration and contests over borders
    Riot, rebellion, revolution, and war
    Struggles between capital and labor, especially around reproductive labor
    Electoral politics, suffrage, and disenfranchisement

The RHR publishes material in a variety of forms. We welcome submissions that use images as well as text. In addition to conventional research articles, we encourage submissions to our various departments, including Historians at Work; Teaching Radical History; Public History; Interviews; (Re)Views and The Abusable Past. We encourage contributions from historically under-represented groups. Procedures for submission of articles: By June 1, 2022, please submit a one-page abstract summarizing the article as an attachment to contactrhr@gmail.com with “Issue 148 Abstract Submission” in the subject line. By July 15, 2022, authors will be notified whether they should submit a full version of their article for peer review. The due date for full-length article submissions will be in November 2022. Please send any images as low-resolution digital files embedded in a Word document along with the text. If chosen for publication, you will need to supply high-resolution image files (at a minimum of 300 dpi) and secure permission to reprint the images. Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in issue 148 of the Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in January 2024.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Register for ASLH 2022!

Pre-registration for the 2022 annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History, to be held November 10-12 in Chicago is now open.  The ASLH encourages early registration. “Registration is fully refundable until October 19, 2022.”  More.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Weekend Roundup

  • "On Agriculture & Antitrust: A Brief Summary of Legislative History," an illustrated white paper by  Jonathan Coppess, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, is here.
  • In December 1980, Richard A. Posner and George J. Stigler advised Ronald Reagan’s transition team how the new president could “throttle back on antitrust enforcement.” Read it here.
  • "How Japanese Americans Fought for—and Won—Redress for WWII Incarceration," by Mitchell T. Maki (History).

Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Wurman on Reconstructing Reconstruction-Era Rights

Ilan Wurman, Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, has posted Reconstructing Reconstruction-Era Rights, which is forthcoming in the Virginia Law Review:

It is conventional wisdom that the Reconstruction generation distinguished between civil rights, with respect to which the Fourteenth Amendment would require equality, and political and social rights, which would be excluded from coverage. This paper challenges that wisdom. It demonstrates that social rights were not a concept relevant to the coverage of Article IV’s Privileges and Immunities Clause (the Comity Clause), the precursor to the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause. Antebellum legal and political sources used the term “social rights” in a variety of ways, but none tracked the purported Reconstruction-era trichotomy of civil, political, and social rights; most uses of the term connected social rights to civil rights, which Article IV (and therefore the Fourteenth Amendment) reached.

The harder question is whether the Fourteenth Amendment reaches “public” rights and privileges as opposed to “private” rights. A close examination of antebellum jurisprudence suggests that public rights were excluded from the scope of Article IV because they were privileges of “special” citizenship but not “general” citizenship common to the citizens “in the several states.” Public privileges are likely included under the Fourteenth Amendment, however, which guarantees the privileges and immunities of citizens “of the United States” within particular states, including the privilege of all U.S. citizens to the public privileges of their own states to which they contribute through general taxation. If this framing is correct, then both the interracial marriage and school desegregation cases are easier to sustain on originalist grounds than prior studies have suggested.
--Dan Ernst

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Simard to Speak on the Precedential Weight of Slavery

 [We have the following announcement.  DRE]

The Northwestern University Center for Legal Studies announces its Law in Motion Lecture with Justin Simard.  Thursday, May 12, 2022, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Central.  McCormick Foundation Center, McCormick Foundation Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208

Law was critical to the establishment and growth of American slavery. American judges authored roughly 10,000 appellate cases involving enslaved people and those cases continue to be cited by judges and lawyers and to serve as the basis for contemporary legal doctrine. Although thirteen percent of all published American cases are within two citations of a slave case, the significant influence of the law of slavery is almost never acknowledged by lawyers or legal scholars.

The Citing Slavery Project aims to uncover the history and legacy of the law of slavery. Once completed, our database of American slave cases available at www.citingslavery.org will offer open access to thousands of slave cases and give users the tools they need to analyze the continued influence of these cases on modern law. Slave cases are too deeply entwined in American law to excise their influence but ignoring their influence should no longer be an option.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Deadlines for ASLH prizes

An announcement from our friends at the American Society for Legal History. Close to our hearts here at the LHB is the new Anne Fleming Article prize. Please spread the word!

The ASLH awards a number of annual prizes that celebrate legal history research published or defended in the previous calendar year. Please see the following award descriptions below, and visit specific prize pages on our website for complete information. Note that each prize that requires nomination has a June 1, 2022 deadline.

Please also note that 2022 bring us a new prize, the Anne Fleming Article Prize.

Anne Fleming Article Prize

The Anne Fleming Article Prize is a joint prize of the the ASLH and the Business History Conference (BHC). It is awarded every other year to the author or authors of the best article published in the previous two years in either Law and History Review or Enterprise and Society on the relation of law and business/economy in any region or historical period. The prize is awarded on the recommendation of the editors of the Law and History Review (the official journal of ASLH) and Enterprise and Society (the official journal of Business History Conference). No submission is necessary. The prize will be awarded in 2022, for work published in 2020 and 2021. 

Jane Burbank Global Legal History Article Prize 

The Jane Burbank Article Prize in global legal history is awarded annually to the best article in regional, global, imperial, comparative, or transnational legal history published in the previous calendar year. Submissions may address any topic or period, and may focus on case studies in which the analysis relates to broader processes or comparisons. Articles on methodological or theoretical contributions are also welcome. Annual nominations or self-nominations for the Burbank Prize are due June 1. Applicants should send an electronic copy of the nominated work to burbankprize@aslh.net.

Cromwell Article Prize

The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Article Prize is awarded annually to the best article in American legal history published in the previous calendar year by an early career scholar. Articles published in the field of American legal history, broadly conceived, will be considered. There is a preference for articles in the colonial and early National periods. Articles published in the Law and History Review are eligible for the Surrency Prize and will not be considered for the Cromwell Article Prize. The author of the winning article receives $5,000. This prize is awarded by the Foundation after a review of the recommendation of the Cromwell Article Advisory Committee of the American Society for Legal History. Annual nominations or self-nominations for the Cromwell Article Prize are due June 1. Applicants should send an electronic copy of the nominated work, as well as necessary supporting documents detailed on the prize page, to Cromwell Foundation Secretary John Gordan at johngordan3@gmail.com and the Cromwell Article Prize Advisory Committee cromwellarticleprize@aslh.net.

Cromwell Book Prize

The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Book Prize is awarded annually to the best book in the field of American legal history by an early career scholar published in the previous calendar year. The work may be in any area of American legal history, including constitutional and comparative studies, but scholarship in the colonial and early national periods will receive some preference. The author of the winning book receives a prize of $5,000. This prize is awarded by the Foundation after a review of the recommendation of the Cromwell Book Prize Advisory Committee. Nominations for this prize, which may be made by the publisher of the nominated work, authors, or anyone else, are due June 1. Nominators should send copies of the nominated work, as well as necessary supporting documents detailed on the prize page, to each member of the Cromwell Book Prize Advisory Committee.

Cromwell Dissertation Prize

The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Dissertation Prize is awarded annually to the best dissertation completed in the previous calendar year in any area of American legal history, including constitutional and comparative studies. Topics dealing with the colonial and early national periods will receive some preference. The author of the winning dissertation receives $5,000. This prize is awarded by the Foundation after a review of the recommendation of the Cromwell Dissertation Prize Advisory Committee of the American Society for Legal History. Annual nominations or self-nominations for the Cromwell Dissertation Prize are due June 1. Applicants should send an electronic copy of the nominated work, as well as necessary supporting documents detailed on the prize page, to Cromwell Foundation Secretary John Gordan at johngordan3@gmail.com and the Cromwell Dissertation Prize Advisory Committee cromwelldissertationprize@aslh.net.

Mary L. Dudziak Digital Legal History Prize

The Mary L. Dudziak Legal History Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding digital legal history project. These projects may take the form of either traditionally published peer reviewed scholarship or born-digital projects of equivalent depth and scope. Annual nominations or self-nominations for the Dudziak Prize are due June 1. Applicants should send an electronic copy of the nominated work, as well as necessary supporting documents detailed on the prize page, to dudziakprize@aslh.net

John Phillip Reid Book Award

The John Phillip Reid Book Award is awarded annually for the best monograph by a mid-career or senior scholar, published in English in any of the fields defined broadly as Anglo-American legal history, in the previous year. When awarding this prize, preference is given to work that examines seventeenth- through nineteenth-century Anglo-America and Native American law. Nominations for this prize, which must be made by the publisher of the nominated work, are due June 1. Publishers should send copies of the nominated work, as well as necessary supporting documents detailed on the prize page, to each member of the Reid Book Award Committee.

Peter Gonville Stein Book Award

The Peter Gonville Stein Book Award is awarded annually for the best book in non-US legal history written in English in the previous calendar year. Nominations for this prize, which may be made by the publisher of the nominated work, authors, or anyone else, are due June 1. Nominators should send copies of the nominated work, as well as necessary supporting documents detailed on the prize page, to each member of the Stein Book Award Committee.

Surrency Article Prize

The Surrency Prize is awarded annually for the best article published in the Society’s journal, the Law and History Review, in the previous year. The Surrency Prize Committee reviews every article published in the Law and History Review in the previous year. As such, nominations for this prize are unnecessary.

Sutherland Article Prize

The Sutherland Prize is awarded annually to the person or persons who wrote the best article on the legal history of Britain and/or the British Empire published in the previous year. Annual nominations or self-nominations for the Sutherland Prize are due June 1, although, in keeping with past practice, the committee may also consider eligible articles nominated by the chair. To ensure consideration, authors are invited to nominate an article by sending an electronic copy to sutherlandprize@aslh.net.

-- Karen Tani