Tuesday, January 31, 2023

CFP: Celebrating Women in Legal History

 [We have the following CFP.  DRE]

Selden's Sister invites abstracts for the Symposium, “Celebrating Women in Legal History: The Lives and Legacies of Early Women Legal Historians,” The University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice, 1st September 2023.

This one-day hybrid symposium aims to celebrate the contributions of women to early legal historical scholarship, to commemorate the achievements of under-appreciated figures in legal history, and to assess their contributions in light of present understandings of the discipline. We particularly encourage papers that engage with the work of nineteenth and twentieth-century researchers.

Papers might consider (but are not restricted to): 

  • The work of particular women, or groups of women, whose research significantly impacted legal, constitutional, or administrative history.
  • Current research projects that make extensive use of the work of one or multiple early women legal historians.
  • Biographical accounts of women who undertook legal historical research in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
  • Historiographical accounts of areas of legal history that have been significantly developed by women scholars.
  • Accounts of other contributions made by women to early legal historical scholarship, for example as patrons, librarians, editors, or typists.  
  • Fictional or artistic accounts of women in legal history

Abstracts are welcomed from scholars of all genders, disciplines, and career stages. Delegates will be able to present their papers in-person or online. There is a limited amount of funding for travel within the UK and accommodation expenses, priority for which will be given to postgraduate and early-career scholars.

Please submit any queries and abstracts of no more than 300 words to seldenssister@gmail.com by Friday 21st April 2023.

Selden's Sister are a collaborative body of legal historians across multiple UKHE institutions. We seek to champion the work of contemporary female legal historians, and highlight past contributions of women to legal history.

Silber's "Outside In: The Oral History of Guido Calabresi"

Norman I. Silber, Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Hofstra University, has just published Outside In: The Oral History of Guido Calabresi (Oxford University Press).  A notice on the Yale Law School website describes the work as “part oral history and part biography.”

Guido Calabresi is an extraordinary person. His family, of Jewish heritage, occupied a secure and centuries-old position near the top of Italian society-- until the rise of fascism. Guido's parents fled to America on the eve of the war in Europe, with their children, to avoid political and religious persecution. They arrived without money or social standing. Guido's talents and good fortune helped him to thrive at several elite American institutions and to become a leading legal scholar, teacher, law school dean, and judge. He would receive prizes and awards for his contributions; to legal theory, especially for opening up the area of 'law and economics'; for contributions to the modern transformation of American law schools, as the Dean of Yale Law School; and for advancing the development of law including through progressive decisions as a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Outside In is a unique sort of account spread across two volumes and written in Guido's remarkable voice based on recordings that which took place over a decade. It is a unique amalgam of oral history and biography, with supplementary commentaries to explain, elaborate, validate, and interpret and situate the personal narrative within its larger historical context.
–Dan Ernst

Monday, January 30, 2023

U Minnesota's Legal History Workshop

The schedule for the Legal History Workshop of the University of Minnesota’s Program in Law and History is now out.  Abstracts and more information are here.

Emily Prifogle, Assistant Professor of Law and Assistant Professor of History, University of Michigan
“The Country Lawyer” (Chapter 4 of the forthcoming book, The Heartland's Legal Landscapes & the Remaking of Modern Rural America, 1920-2020)

Brittany Farr, Assistant Professor of Law, NYU Law School
Finding Black Litigants

Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, Associate Professor, Department of History, Cornell University“Voter Fraud,” Registration Wars, and the Persistence of Conditional Citizenship since the 1965 Voting Rights Act

Cornelia Dayton, Professor, Department of History, University of Connecticut
Litigating and Lawyering while Black in Late 18th-Century Massachusetts

Lauren Benton, Barton M. Biggs Professor of History and Professor of Law, Yale University
Law and Imperial Plunder: Households and Small Wars in European Empires

Kate Masur, Professor of History, Board of Visitors Professor, Department of History, Northwestern University
“Different Measures of Oppression: Local Legal Cultures and the Campaign against the Black Laws in Antebellum Illinois”

Felicia Kornbluh, Professor, Department of History, University of Vermont
Book talk: A Woman’s Life Is a Human Life My Mother, Our Neighbor, and the Journey from Reproductive Rights to Reproductive Justice.

Serena Mayeri, Professor of Law and History, Penn Carey Law, University of Pennsylvania
The Status of Marriage: Marital Supremacy Challenged and Remade, 1960-2000

Garrett Felber, Visiting Fellow, American Studies Department, Yale University
My Spirit Unbroken: Martin Sostre and the Struggle for Bodily Sovereignty and Collective Liberation

Catherine Evans, Assistant Professor, Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto
“Burning Down Wooden Towns: Investigating Incendiarism in Nineteenth-Century England and Canada”

--Dan Ernst

Cushman on Court-Packing in Context

Barry Cushman, Notre Dame Law School, has posted Court-Packing in Context which is forthcoming in the Journal of Supreme Court History:

Burton Wheeler, March 1937 (LC)
There is a curious lacuna in the literature on the Court-packing crisis of 1937. The proposal for reform of the federal judiciary that received the most attention and consideration in that year was of course President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s proposal to enlarge the membership of the Supreme Court from nine to fifteen justices. Yet both before and throughout the battle over the President’s “Court-packing plan,” members of Congress introduced a wide variety of alternative measures for addressing their dissatisfaction with recent decisions of the Supreme Court invalidating various state and federal laws designed to relieve economic distress and stimulate economic recovery. Some of these proposals would have taken statutory form, while many others would have amended the Constitution in various respects. In the end, none of these measures was reported out of Committee. Nevertheless, they were the subject of serious discussion in multiple contemporary venues.

Scholarly treatments of the Court-packing episode typically are focused on two related questions: first, what were the Court-packing plan’s prospects for ultimate congressional enactment, and second, to what extent, if any, did the pendency of the Court-packing plan affect the outcomes in the Court’s major constitutional decisions in the spring of 1937? Perhaps as a consequence of this focus, proposed alternatives to Court-packing tend to be treated as something of a sideshow. Discussion of such proposals typically concentrates on the strategic reasons for which Roosevelt rejected them in favor of his own Court-packing plan. Largely overlooked is the rich contemporary legal, newspaper, and periodical literature in which these alternative measures received sustained legal and policy consideration. Similarly, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Roosevelt’s bill, at which such proposals also were the subjects of extensive deliberation, routinely receive rather limited exploration. In some cases, discussion is largely confined to the manner in which the bill’s opponents used the hearings to delay its ultimate consideration. Other treatments offer more fulsome accounts of the arguments made for and against the President’s bill, but pay little if any attention to the substantive arguments witnesses raised concerning alternative proposals.

At a time when proposals for Court reform have resurfaced in public conversation, it may prove illuminating to reconstruct the robust discussion of the topic that took place in the 1930s. That, in any event, is the aim of this article. First, I briefly canvass the arguments concerning Court enlargement offered at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the President’s bill. I then survey the various alternatives to Court expansion introduced by members of Congress, and review the wide array of policy and constitutional arguments made with respect to these proposals. I next examine the debate over the Administration’s claim that a statutory solution to the “Court problem” was necessary because the process of amending the Constitution was too slow and difficult. In the Conclusion I offer some thoughts on the motivations of the Senators and Representatives who introduced such alternative proposals, and the reasons for their ultimate failure of enactment.
--Dan Ernst

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Weekend Roundup

  • Reva Siegel, YLS, on Dobbs and the Politics of Constitutional Memory on Balkinization.  Also, here
  • Stanford Law School has a report on that Celebration of Lawrence Friedman, during which “nine panelists showered tributes on the still-prolific, 92-year-old legal historian," and "Amalia Kessler, director of the Stanford Center for Law and History and an organizer of the event, spoke of  “our beloved” Friedman’s 'great intellect' and 'tremendous menschlichkeit,'”
  • The Harvard Law School "will collaborate with the Royall House and Slave Quarters--a museum in Medford, Massachusetts that is among the last freestanding quarters where enslaved people lived in the north--to conduct research and collaborate on educational programming" (Reuters).
  • Randall Kennedy, HLS, will speak on Wednesday, February 1, at the University of Mississippi School of Law on“The Greatest Lawyer in American Legal History: Thurgood Marshall.”  More.
  • John Q. Barrett, St. Johns, discusses the new documentary “Nazis at Nuremberg: The Lost Testimony,” over at the Jackson List.
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law invites submissions for the Roy C. Palmer Prize on Democracy, Civil Liberties, and the Rule of Law. This $10,000 prize “honors a work of scholarship that explores threats to, or supports of, the liberal democratic constitutional order.” (H/t Legal Scholarship Blog)
  • The Labor and Working-Class History Association and Labor: Studies in Working-Class History will jointly award a $2,000 research grant for a contingent faculty scholar, independent scholar, or community college faculty member engaged in work related to working people, their lives, workplaces, communities, organizations, cultures, activism, and societal context in any period and place.” Deadline February 1.
  • ICYMI: Is debt limit unconstitutional? Answer is yes, some argue, based on the 14th Amendment's public debt clause (ABAJ).  A timeline on the history of reproductive rights  (History).

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

Friday, January 27, 2023

History & Judicial Review of the APA

The recordings of the Notre Dame Law Review's Federal Courts Symposium, "History & Judicial Review of the Administrative Procedure Act," held at the Notre Dame Law School on January 23, 2023, are now posted to YouTube.  The three panels, with corresponding links, are:

Panel I – Interpretation

•  Prof. John A. Ferejohn, New York University School of Law
•  Prof. Kristin E. Hickman, University of Minnesota Law School
•  Prof. Christopher J. Walker, University of Michigan Law School

Panel II – Outcomes & Remedies
•  Prof. Aditya Bamzai, University of Virginia School of Law
•  Prof. Ronald M. Levin, Washington University School of Law
•  Prof. Jill E. Family, Widener Law Commonwealth Law School

Panel III – Historical Backdrop
•  Prof. Evan D. Bernick, Northern Illinois University College of Law
•  Prof. Emily S. Bremer, Notre Dame Law School
•  Prof. Noah A. Rosenblum, New York University School of Law

 --Dan Ernst

Landmark Cases in Labour Law

New from Hart Publishing: Landmark Cases in Labour Law, edited by Jeremias Adams-Prassl, Alan Bogg, and ACL Davies:

This book features essays by leading legal scholars on 'landmark' labour law cases from the mid-19th century to the present day. The essays are acutely sensitive to the historical and theoretical context of each case, and the volume provides original and sometimes startling new perspectives on some familiar friends.

There are few activities as distinctively human as work and labour. The book traces the development of labour law through the social struggles and economic conflicts between workers, trade unions, and employers. The narrative arc of its landmark cases reveals the richness and complexity of the human story played out in the working lives of real people. It also charts the remarkable transformation of the constitutional role of courts in labour law, from instruments of class oppression to the vindication of workers' fundamental rights at work.

The collection will be of interest to students, scholars, and legal practitioners in labour and equality law, as well as students in management studies, industrial relations, and labour history.
TOC after the jump. 

Historical Event in the Northern District of Illinois

Chicagoans: at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, January 31, 2023, in the Parsons Courtroom in the Dirksen Building, US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois will celebrate the hanging of photograph of portraits of its judges that will have to that point been omitted from a courtroom display.  Two sitting judges–Judge Tom Durkin and Judge Manish Shah--will preside and Christopher W. Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law, whom, the announcement states, “is preparing a biography of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis,” will comment.  Rich Chan, one of the authors of Chicago Rules: Federal Cases that Defined the City and the Nation, will also speak.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Tani, "After 504: Training the Citizen-Enforcers of Disability Rights"

UPDATE: The final published version of this article is now available here.

I'm excited to share the almost-finalized version of an article I've been working on for some years, on government-funded disability rights trainings in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The title of the article is "After 504: Training the Citizen-Enforcers of Disability Rights."

This article was scheduled to be published last year in the Disability Studies Quarterly, but because of an editorial transition, there has been a delay. With permission from the journal, I've posted an un-finalized draft version (i.e., one that has not gone through the final stages of the editorial process). I especially wanted to put this out in the world because this year marks the 50th anniversary of statutory provision that generated these trainings: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Here's the abstract:

This draft article, forthcoming in the Disability Studies Quarterly, chronicles and analyzes an underexplored episode in the history of civil rights law and the disability rights movement: a series of government-funded citizen trainings that followed the enactment and administrative interpretation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The first major U.S. civil rights law to address disability-based discrimination, Section 504 is now relatively well known, as are the dramatic protests that helped convince the federal government to finally release implementing regulations. But much less is known about how Section 504’s imagined beneficiaries learned about the content of this new law, or how they gave it meaning in their own lives and communities in the law’s crucial early years. The history of the “Section 504 trainings” provides rich and important insights. Drawing on archival research, recorded oral histories, and original interviews, this article reconstructs those trainings.

The article demonstrates that over the course of three years (1979-82), disability rights groups such as the Berkeley-based Center for Independent Living taught thousands of disabled trainees from around the country to think about Section 504 in a capacious, affirmative way and, further, to think of themselves as rights-bearings citizens, entitled to access and participation. The trainings, which were often disability-led, also taught trainees realistic techniques for identifying and addressing rights violations at the local level, laying the groundwork for the “private enforcement” on which Section 504 and related laws depend.

This article also analyzes the legacies of the Section 504 trainings. First, there was a legacy of political and legal engagement, at both the local and national levels. The individual and collective power of trainees helped initiate change and and prevent backsliding, while also infusing the disability rights movement with energy. Second, the trainings affected how at least some participants thought about themselves — as individuals, as members of communities, and in relation to government. This effect is hard to show, and was not part of every trainee’s experience, but appears too frequently in the sources to discount. The article concludes on a less sanguine note: although there is much to celebrate in this history, these trainings are implicated in a larger architecture of disability rights enforcement that too often claims the labor of disabled individuals only to perpetuate their exclusion and subordination. 

The full article is available here. For a summary of some of the article's main points, check out this Twitter thread.

-- Karen Tani

Stern on Omniscient Narration and the Fellow-Servant Rule

Simon Stern, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, has posted Omniscient Narrative Modes in Law: From Trial Strategy to the Fellow-Servant Rule, which is forthcoming in Law, Culture, and the Humanities:

Lemuel Shaw (NYPL)
Research in law and literature often uses the term “narrative” as a shorthand for various kinds of motivated legal reasoning, indicating that facts, doctrines, and the relations among them have been chosen and arranged for a particular purpose. Alternatively, speaking of “narrative” may be a way of conveying that one is concerned with interpretation, and may be a signal that the discussion will focus on images, symbols, representations, or ideologies, even if their narrative features play little or no role in the analysis. This article shows how research on narrative might help to clarify aspects of trial strategy and legal doctrine. The first section considers omniscient narration as a way of understanding the effects of various defense strategies, in a criminal trial. The second section considers the role of omniscient narration in the development of the “fellow-servant” rule in the nineteenth century. The law of evidence provides an especially fruitful area for such investigations, but questions of narrative form and technique can help to clarify many other aspects of forensic argumentation and analysis, in both procedural and substantive contexts.
--Dan Ernst

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Furtaw on Nemo Tenetur in Equity

Alexander Furtaw, University of Notre Dame Law School, has posted Nemo Tenetur in Equity: Revisiting Chancery's Adoption of the Nemo Tenetur Rule in the Seventeenth Century:

This paper examines Professor Michael T. Macnair's contention that the English Court of Chancery adopted the canon-law nemo tenetur rule in the seventeenth century and concludes that Chancery did not adopt the nemo tenetur rule as Macnair concluded. Rather, the cases that Macnair identified as evidence of Chancery's application of the nemo tenetur rule are merely examples of Chancery's application of equitable rules concerning penalties and forfeitures.
--Dan Ernst

Torrie on Depression-Era Canadian Farm Debt Relief

[I have previously copped to a poorly hidden imperialist motive in my interest in comparative history, my tendency to value of a nation’s history principally as an instructive contrast to the case of the United States.  Can you blame me for succumbing to it again when I learned of the following paper, just days before I teach John Fliter and Derek Hoff’s book on Blaisdell?]

Virginia Torrie, University of Manitoba, has posted Saving the Farm: A Comparative Analysis of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act in Manitoba and Ontario, which is forthcoming in the Manitoba Law Journal:

The Great Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930s caused great hardship for many Canadian farmers, especially in the prairie provinces. In response to falling prices and crop yields, as well as increasing debt levels, Parliament enacted the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act (FCAA). The mandate of the bold, new statute was to keep farmers on the land by reducing and rescheduling debts to suit the productive value of the farmland and the capacity of the farmer to pay. There is little academic scholarship that examines the FCAA and how it functioned in practice. This article builds on an earlier pilot study of FCAA case files in two Manitoba counties, and widens the empirical lens to consider applications from several more Manitoba counties as well as two Ontario counties. It offers the first analysis of how the FCAA operated in Ontario, employing both quantitative and qualitative data to provide a rich commentary, using examples of actual farmers. The analysis reveals that the application of the FCAA was strongly influenced by local, county-level factors. Rather surprisingly, there were few factors that can be attributed to differences between the two provinces more generally, notwithstanding the fact that there are notable variations in farming practices, operations and conditions in Ontario, a non-prairie province, and Manitoba, a prairie province. A secondary finding is that, in general, the compromises formulated under the FCAA were highly tailored to the individual farmer’s circumstances. However, there were nevertheless pockets of case files where a fairly uniform approach was used to resolve the financial hardship of farmers who were, seemingly, all in quite similar circumstances. Accordingly, the picture that emerges is complex. FCAA practice evinces stark contrasts – generating compromises which could be either bespoke or boilerplate – and limiting the extent to which one can generalize based on the empirical data from individual counties or regions.
–Dan Ernst

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Tully, Schmidt on Amar's "The Words that Made Us"

The Michigan State Law Review recently published a symposium on Akhil Reed Amar's The Words that Made Us: America's Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840 (Basic Books), which seeks to offer a "usable past" by retelling constitutional history as a "constitutional conversation."

A response by Caitlin Tully (Princeton University) shows how the trajectory of constitutional theory from the 1970s onward foreclosed possibilities for constitutional interpretation in the present. Here's the abstract: 

Over the past several years, constitutional law scholars have struggled to repudiate what many see as the anti-constitutionalism let loose by the Trump administration. Scholars have put forth a range of proposals – from legislation that assumes a popular mandate, to constitutional amendment, to dispensing with constitutional law altogether – in response to this and related concerns. Strikingly, however, this recent turn sidelines substantive constitutional interpretation. As a result, these responses risk conceding the failure of constitutionalism even as they attempt to remedy it. This essay argues that the current impasse is not because constitutional law is inherently doomed to failure. Instead, it reflects blinders left in place by constitutional theory, the fundamentals of which we have not revisited in decades. This essay argues that scholars remain tethered to a binary between countermajoritarianism and popular constitutionalism, both of which recent experience has called into question. Popular constitutionalism’s well-documented inattention to both the specifics of legal argument and separation of powers renders it compatible with the fusion of populism and executive speech on which Trumpist politics relies; countermajoritarianism’s emphasis on courts as supreme interpreters of the law struggles in the face of the basic bad faith many see at the Court. Discussing Akhil Amar’s recent book, “The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation,” as a jumping-off point, I ask how we might think about the seeming failure of interpretation going forward. I argue that it would be a mistake to see the above theoretical lenses as coterminous with the possibilities of interpretation. History shows that substantive interpretation has taken different forms before; it may still yield results if, along with the theory underlying it, it can be reconfigured for the present.
A response by Tom Schmidt (Columbia Law School) provides a history of how courts in the early republic went from minor voices to dominant interpreters. Here's the abstract:

This essay, written for a symposium on Akhil Reed Amar’s The Words That Made Us, explores how the judiciary transformed from a barely audible to a vociferous participant in America’s constitutional conversation in the period covered by Amar’s book. The emergence of written constitutions with special democratic authority offered a judicially tractable source of limits on government power. Then, after the Federal Constitution went into effect, the early Supreme Court Justices made a set of critical institutional choices that both strengthened the judicial voice and made it distinct from the other branches: They separated themselves from the President and his cabinet, suppressed overt partisanship, and started to speak through unified and elaborately reasoned “opinions of the Court” that were disseminated in official reports. These changes, I argue, remain the backbone of the Court’s institutional identity, and enabled the Court to achieve the preeminence it now enjoys in our constitutional conversation.
Amar's response is here.

-- Karen Tani

Freedom of Expression at American Law Schools

 [We have the following announcement of the Hofstra Law Review Symposium for 2023.  DRE]

Freedom of Expression at American Law Schools, Friday, February 10, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET, Sidney R. Siben and Walter Siben Moot Courtroom, Room 308, Hofstra Law

Commitments to principles supporting the freedom of expression are found in statements of policy at public and private institutions of higher education throughout the United States. American law schools, either as parts of larger universities or standing alone, have embraced similar policies adhering to the principle that free intellectual inquiry is at the core of a law school’s educational and research mission.

General statements about free expression, however, do not always resolve actual controversies. When does expression "go too far?" Are controversies over free expression at law schools different from those elsewhere on campuses? There have been powerful reminders, in recent years, that law school free expression has limits — that at some point it can collide with other values and interests of concern to deans, faculty, and students.

This event will bring together free expression scholars, practitioners, former and current law school deans, and leaders of American universities to discuss the ways forward.
RSVP is required. For more information, email lawreview@hofstra.edu.

[The impressive schedule for the symposium is after the jump.]

Residential Law Fellowships at Princeton

[We have the following announcement.  These are in lieu of the late and lamented Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) Fellowships.  DRE]

The University Center for Human Values and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs invite practitioners, faculty members of any discipline, independent scholars, and lawyers to apply for visiting residential fellowships for 2023-24. Scholars are required to be in residence in Princeton or the local vicinity.

Fellows will devote an academic year to research, discussion, and scholarly collaboration on topics related to law and public affairs. Scholars will participate in a seminar for Law-Engaged Graduate Students (which involves some mentoring of JD/PhD students) and in activities organized by Law@Princeton. The rank is Visiting Research Scholar or Visiting Professional Specialist.

Applicants must have a doctorate, juris doctor, or an equivalent professional degree at the time of submission. Appointments will be made by SPIA or UCHV. Scholars will affiliate with UCHV or a research center/program at SPIA. Applicants should indicate preferences in regard to affiliations and explain how they would benefit from and contribute to the mission of the center/program. A list of SPIA Centers/Programs can be found at https://spia.princeton.edu/faculty-research/centers-programs

Priority will be given to candidates who are willing to teach one undergrad or grad course in SPIA or UCHV. This contribution may be fulfilled by teaching a course on a topic related to normative issues and law for UCHV, or law in public policy for SPIA. Princeton does not have a law school; the course should not be designed primarily for law students. Instead, it should fit a liberal arts undergraduate curriculum or a professional master's in public policy curriculum. All courses are contingent upon approval of the Dean of the Faculty, sufficient enrollments, and required approvals.

The selection committee looks closely at the research proposal. Successful applicants should demonstrate substantial expertise in law-related matters, but in explaining research projects, applicants would be well advised to write for an audience of academic generalists (not necessarily lawyers). We are particularly interested in potential scholars with interests in policy or in normative inquiry.

The selection committee will evaluate applicants on: the quality of their achievements in their field of specialization and their ability to benefit from the activities of the program; the quality and significance of their proposed research projects and writing sample; the contributions they are likely to make in the future to legal scholarship and practice; their ability to contribute to legal studies at Princeton; and their ability to contribute to the curriculum of one of the two sponsoring units and the University generally. The program seeks to appoint scholars with mutual synergies and a balance between senior and junior scholars, domestic and international scholars, and those based in law schools or in the practice of law and those who are home are in other disciplines.

Scholars visiting from other universities may come with sabbatical support from their home institutions, which would allow them to maintain their full salaries over the course of the academic year. This is not a requirement for receiving a fellowship. Scholars not receiving full salary may be eligible to receive up to one-half of their academic-year salary for the appointment period.

Submit online [here] a cover letter; a CV; 1-2 page research statement for a project pursued in the course of the fellowship; a writing sample consisting of a single article or chapter (published or unpublished); and, if applicable, a teaching statement including a description of either one or two courses; as well as names of two persons to provide letters of reference. Verification of employment will be requested prior to approval by the Dean of the Faculty.

The deadline for submission is February 3, 2023, for full consideration. The anticipated start date is on or about September 1, 2023.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Breathnach on the Dublin City Coroner's Court, 1876-1902

Oxford University Press has published Ordinary Lives, Death, and Social Class: Dublin City Coroner's Court, 1876-1902, by Ciara Breathnach (University of Limerick). A description from the Press:

Ordinary Lives, Death, and Social Class focuses on the evolution of the Dublin City Coroner's Court and on Dr Louis A. Bryne's first two years in office. Wrapping itself around the 1901 census, the study uses gender, power, and blame as analytical frameworks to examine what inquests can tell us about the impact of urban living from lifecycle and class perspectives. Coroners' inquests are a combination of eyewitness testimony, expert medico-legal language, detailed minutiae of people, places, and occupational identities pinned to a moment in time. Thus they have a simultaneous capacity to reveal histories from both above and below. Rich in geographical, socio-economic, cultural, class, and medical detail, these records collated in a liminal setting about the hour of death bear incredible witness to what has often been termed 'ordinary lives'. The subjects of Dr Byrne's court were among the poorest in Ireland and, apart from common medical causes problems linked to lower socio-economic groups, this volume covers preventable cases of workplace accidents, neglect, domestic abuse, and homicide.

More information is available here. An interview with the author is available here, via New Books Network.

-- Karen Tani

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Weekend Roundup

  • As part of Balkinization's 20th Anniversary Symposium, LHB Founder Mary Dudziak (Emory Law) wrote a fascinating post on "an important methodological problem in the way history is relied on in legal interpretation." Focusing on Korean War history and legal interpretations from the Office of Legal Counsel, she asks: "What should happen when legal interpretation is informed by ideas about history that historians have revised or discarded?" Read on here.  
  • From In Custodia Legis: a deep dive into the War Production Board's efforts to place limitations on feminine apparel during World War II. 
  • The deadline for submissions of papers and panels at the Policy History Conference, to be held in Columbus, Ohio from Wednesday, June 7 to Friday, June 9, 2023, has been extended to March 1.

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

Friday, January 20, 2023

Kessler on Catholic Conscientious Objection

Jeremy Kessler, Columbia Law School, has posted The Legal Origins of Catholic Conscientious Objection, which appeared in the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal:

This Article traces the origins of Catholic conscientious objection as a theory and practice of American constitutionalism. It argues that Catholic conscientious objection emerged during the 1960s from a confluence of left-wing and right-wing Catholic efforts to participate in American democratic culture more fully. The refusal of the American government to accommodate Catholic conscientious objection to the Vietnam War became a cause célèbre for clerical and lay leaders and provided a blueprint for Catholic legal critiques of other forms of federal regulation in the late 1960s and early 1970s—most especially regulations concerning the provision of contraception and abortion.

Over the past two decades, legal scholars have worked to unearth the social movements and constitutional arguments that paved the way for Roe v. Wade, as well as post-Roe law and politics. These efforts will likely intensify in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This Article contributes to the existing literature by reconstructing some of the institutional and ideological terrain that shaped the Catholic legal reception of Roe as an affront to the Catholic conscience—both coercive of the religious liberty of Catholics and a blow to their equal status as citizens. This history, in turn, helps to clarify the connection between the Roberts Court’s religious liberty and reproductive rights jurisprudence.
--Dan Ernst

Thursday, January 19, 2023

CFP: Voices for Liberty

[Although the due date in this CFP has passed, submissions are still open.  DRE]

Voices for Liberty: Free Speech, Civil Rights & Social Progress

Submission: December 31, 2022 — 5 p.m. EST Priority Deadline

Paper proposals must be submitted by December 31, 2022, for full consideration and will be considered after the priority deadline on a rolling basis.  All proposals should include a summary of issues to be addressed, the proposed methodology, and the feasibility of a completed draft by June 2023 and final submission by September 2023. Voices for Liberty will notify those selected by January 31, 2023. Please find the selection criteria and submission guidelines [below].

Full Details:

The Liberty & Law Center at the Antonin Scalia Law School requests paper proposals for its initiative: Voices for Liberty: Free Speech, Civil Rights & Social Progress.  What role has freedom of speech played when it comes to the legal and social progress of groups that have been historically disadvantaged and/or socially marginalized? In the current public debate, some view freedom of speech as detrimental to minority groups, while others champion it as a necessary condition for protecting underrepresented voices. The former view is more often espoused in both the academy and the popular press. As a result, freedom of speech is frequently seen as a countervailing force in tension with civil rights. But is it?

Voices for Liberty aims to:

  • Highlight and focus attention on important contributions to the welfare of minority and underrepresented groups made by the ability to speak throughout history;
  • Analyze the effects of restricting speech;
  • Assess the argument that limiting speech will help minority groups achieve greater equality; and
  • Share evidence of the impact of robust speech protections on current and future civil rights movements.

Original scholarship of specific interest includes, but is not limited to:

  • A historical examination of the relationship between social progress on minority concerns and freedom of speech for groups and movements such as (but not limited to) abolition, women's suffrage, women’s liberation, religious minorities, the Civil Rights Movement and LGBTQ rights.
  • The role free speech plays in advancing the causes of contemporary social movements such as Black Lives Matter, transgender rights, the MeToo movement, etc.
  • The role of free speech in making possible new and future civil rights movements.
  • The impacts of speech regulation, including hate speech provisions, on civil rights movements and underrepresented groups.
  • The impacts of social media and technology on the relationship between civil rights of minority and underrepresented groups and free speech.

Author Requirements:

1. Research Roundtable, Antonin Scalia School of Law, Arlington, VA (June 2023, Date TBD)
The Initiative will host a research roundtable for the papers, which will bring together scholars and experts to provide feedback on the paper drafts prior to completion. Authors will receive expert feedback to improve the final product. The Liberty & Law Center shall pay for reasonable travel costs to attend the roundtable.

2. Voices for Liberty Symposium (September 22, 2023). The papers will be presented at a public symposium to be held in Arlington, VA. The structure will consist of each author presenting their findings as part of a panel discussion regarding the paper. Authors are expected to attend the Symposium. In addition to the authors, the panelists and moderators will include experts in free speech and other relevant fields from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The Liberty & Law Center shall pay for reasonable travel costs to attend the Symposium. The event will be both live-streamed and recorded.

3. Publication of Working Draft on SSRN (September 2023).  Authors are expected to revise their paper based on feedback from the Research Roundtable and have a working draft suitable for publication on SSRN by Sept. 1, 2023. Papers will also be housed on the Initiative’s and Center’s website.

4. Completion of Final Draft and Submission to an Academic Journal (Sept. 2023-Apr. 2024).  The papers will be published on SSRN by the Liberty & Law Center in September 2023 and in academic journals. Authors are responsible for securing placement in a law review or academic journal by April 15, 2024. The Liberty & Law Center may arrange to have the papers published in a symposium issue of a law journal.

5. Op-Ed, Webinars, and Other Media. (Sept. 2023-Apr. 2024).  Each paper will be accompanied by at least one op-ed written by the author and placed in a prominent news outlet. The Initiative work with the author on placing the op-ed.

Application Process:

Paper proposals must be submitted by December 31, 2022, for full consideration and will be considered after the priority deadline on a rolling basis

To submit a paper proposal for Voices for Liberty please email your application to VFLI@gmu.edu.  All proposals are treated confidentially. Within the proposal, please include submitter information including: first and last name, position title, email, organization, and a brief bio. All proposals should include a summary of the issue to be addressed, the proposed methodology, and the feasibility of a completed draft by June 2023 and final submission by September 2023.

The Initiative will notify those selected by January 31, 2023. The Liberty & Law Center will offer substantial honoraria to paper authors.

Important Notes Regarding Application:

  • On your application, please include your citizenship status (confirmation of current U.S.citizenship or current visa status). Please note that there is a difference in the honorarium payment process and travel processing for authors without U.S. citizenship; this will vary based on the individual’s visa status.
  • All interested applicants must check with their university or employer before applying to ensure that the individual is cleared to participate in the program and so that their university or employer understands the program’s requirements.
  • Accepted applicants will be required to sign an agreement confirming they understand the program requirements and payment details.

Kretz's "Administering Freedom"

Dale Kretz has published Administering Freedom: The State of Emancipation after the Freedmen's Bureau (UNC Press):

This book offers the definitive history of how formerly enslaved men and women pursued federal benefits from the Civil War to the New Deal and, in the process, transformed themselves from a stateless people into documented citizens. As claimants, Black southerners engaged an array of federal agencies. Their encounters with the more familiar Freedmen's Bureau and Pension Bureau are presented here in a striking new light, while their struggles with the long-forgotten Freedmen's Branch appear in this study for the very first time.

Based on extensive archival research in rarely used collections, Dale Kretz uncovers surprising stories of political mobilization among tens of thousands of Black claimants for military bounties, back payments, and pensions, finding victories in an unlikely place: the federal bureaucracy. As newly freed, rights-bearing citizens, they negotiated issues of slavery, identity, family, loyalty, dependency, and disability, all within an increasingly complex and rapidly expanding federal administrative state—at once a lifeline to countless Black families and a mainline to a new liberal order.
--Dan Ernst

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Law Books: History & Connoisseurship

 [We have the following announcement.  DRE]

Applications are now being accepted for "Law Books: History & Connoisseurship", a one-week intensive course sponsored by the University of Virginia's Rare Book School. The course is scheduled for June 4-9, 2023, in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut.

The instructors are Mike Widener, who has taught the course since 2010, joined for the first time by Kathryn James, Mike's successor as the Yale Law Library's Rare Book Librarian. The course is for librarians, collectors, book dealers, and legal historians who wish to build and exploit focused, interesting, and useful collections of historical materials in Anglo-American, European, and Latin American law. The course includes significant hands-on activities with the Yale Law Library's superb collections.

A detailed course description, advance reading list, and student evaluations from previous offerings can be viewed [here]. Enrollment is limited to 12 students. For the best chance of being admitted, please submit your application by the first-round deadline: Monday, 20 February 2023. Applications received after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all available seats have filled. To apply, visit [here].

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Zanoni on Welfare as We Knew It

Amy Zanoni has published Remembering Welfare as We Knew It: Understanding Neoliberalism through Histories of Welfare in the Journal of Policy History:

The political transformation that culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act fueled scholarly interest in welfare history. As politicians dismantled welfare, scholars discovered long histories of raced and gendered social control, intertwined public and private interests, and fixations on work and personal responsibility. They also recovered more promising possibilities of cash assistance. This article examines foundational welfare histories published between 1971 and 2018. I suggest that this somewhat isolated body of work has shed bright light on the history of neoliberalism from the perspective of people never fully included into social citizenship.  It exposes how neoliberalism is and is not different from mid-century liberalism and recovers a long history of resistance. In an era when few talk about cash assistance, welfare historiography is vital for restoring fading memory of its redistributive potential. 

--Dan Ernst

Monday, January 16, 2023

CFP: Third Asian Legal History Conference

 [We have the following Call for Papers.  DRE]

The Transnational Legal History Group of CUHK LAW’s Centre for Comparative and Transnational Law is organizing the Third Asian Legal History Conference at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong on 20-21 June 2023. The conference is supported by the Asian Legal History Association. Previous Asian Legal History Conferences have been hosted, organized and supported by the Faculty of Law at Hue University, the Faculty of Law at Thammasat University, the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at the National University of Singapore and CUHK LAW.

The conference aims to bring together a diverse, interdisciplinary group of scholars, researchers and graduate students to share their research findings on topics relating to legal history in Asia. The conference is open to scholars anywhere in the world working on Asian legal history, broadly understood, and scholars based in Asia working on any legal history-related subjects.

Submissions on any subject, providing it pertains to legal history in Asia, will be considered. General topics may include:

  • The historical evolution of common law, civil law, and socialist law traditions in Asia;
  • Legal pluralism and jurisdictional clashes;
  • The history of a particular area of law (constitutional law, property law, criminal law, etc);
  • Theoretical and methodological issues involved in studying Asian legal history Dynastic law;
  • Customary law;
  • Colonial law;
  • Religious law (broadly understood), e.g. Buddhist Law, Confucian Law, Hindu Law, Islamic Law, etc.

The conference organizers are particularly interested in papers addressing the following subjects:

  • The history of law and empire;
  • Asian approaches to and influences upon the history of international law;
  • Explorations of the transnational connections between the manner in which the law has evolved in different Asian countries, and between Asian countries and other countries;
  • The history of law, gender and sexuality;
  • The history of international and regional organizations in Asia;
  • The history of public order law;
  • The history of law schools and of the formation of the judiciary and of members of the legal profession.

The conference will be held mixed-mode, including in person and online participants. Applicants should indicate whether they intend to attend in person or online. Applicants will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation costs.

Proposals may be for individual papers or panels. Panel proposals are particularly welcome, as the field of legal history is wide, and while the organizers will endeavor to cluster like papers together, thematic, geographic and temporal diversity of topics inevitably means panels composed of individually-submitted papers will cover only loosely-related subject matters.

Individual paper proposals should include a 200-300 word abstract and the author’s contact information.

Panel proposals should include a 200-300 word description of the panel, 200-300 word abstracts of three to four individual papers, contact information for each person on the panel and contact information for the chairs of the panel.

Applicants should indicate their current and/or former academic affiliations, as well as current professional affiliations,  on their applications by midnight (Hong Kong time) on March 15th, 2023.

Submit proposals here.  Visit the conference website for more details.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Weekend Roundup

  • Two law schools have recently noted publications by legal historians: NYU Law has a notice of Noah Rosenblum’s Columbia Law Review article, “The Antifascist Roots of Presidential Administration,” and Georgetown Law notes Brad Snyder’s Democratic Justice: Felix Frankfurter, the Supreme Court, and the Making of the Liberal Establishment." 
  • On Wednesday, January 18, at 6 p.m., the Virginia Museum of History and Culture and the John Marshall Center for Constitutional History and Civics will host three former Solicitors General (Clement, Verrilli, and Francisco) in conversation “on the U.S. Supreme Court’s history and founding under the leadership of the country’s first Chief Justice, John Marshall, as well as drawing comparisons between then and now” (More.)
  • The National Constitution Center has posted The History of the Speaker of the House, a discussion, moderated by Jeffrey Rosen, by Matthew Green and Josh Chafetz.  They discuss “the role and the history of this powerful constitutional office” and “some of the most notable Speakers throughout history, from Henry Clay to Joe Cannon to Nancy Pelosi,
  • Until January 31, the most-read essays of 2022 from Labor, the journal of the Labor and Working-Class history Association, are available open access.  Most are from a symposium on sexual harassment.
  • The Supreme Court Historical Society is hosting a virtual conversation with the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown about her book, Citizen Justice: The Environmental Legacy of William O. Douglas, at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on January 25, 2023
  • ICYMI: be sure to check out The Steelyard, Hansard Merchants, and a “Misliving” Singlewoman in Late Medieval London, by Sara M. Butler, over at Legal History Miscellany.
  • We were very impressed by and grateful for the career of Elizabeth Pugh, who, after a 44-year career in government service, has recently retired as general counsel of the Library of Congress (LAW360 Pulse).
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History blogger.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Lahav's "Revisionist History of Products Liability"

Alexandra D. Lahav, Cornell Law School, has posted A Revisionist History of Products Liability:

Increasingly courts, including the Supreme Court, rely on ossified versions of the common law to decide cases. This Article demonstrates the risks of this use of the common law. The main contribution of the Article is to demonstrate that the traditional narrative about early products law — that manufacturers were not liable for injuries caused by their products because the doctrine of privity granted producers immunity from suit by the ultimate consumers of their goods — is incorrect. Instead, the doctrinal rule was negligence liability for producers of injurious goods across the United States in the nineteenth century. Courts routinely ignored or rejected privity arguments and contract was not their paradigm for understanding a producer’s relationship with users of its products. This analysis has implications for how we view the development of the common law today. And it serves as a warning not to rely on potted histories from casebooks in determining what the common law was in the past.
--Dan Ernst

Bamzai and Bray on Debs and Federal Equity Jurisdiction

Aditya Bamzai, University of Virginia School of Law, and Samuel L. Bray, Notre Dame Law School, have posted Debs and the Federal Equity Jurisdiction, which appears in the Notre Dame Law Review:

Eugene V. Debs Speaking from Train (NYPL)
The United States can sue for equitable relief without statutory authorization. The leading case on this question is In re Debs, and how to understand that case is of both historical and contemporary importance. Debs was a monumental opinion that prompted responses in the political platforms of major parties, presidential addresses, and enormous academic commentary. In the early twentieth century, Congress enacted several pieces of labor legislation that reduced Debs’s importance in the specific context of strikes. But in other contexts, the question whether the United States can bring suit in equity remains disputed to this day. The United States has expressly invoked, or implicitly relied on, Debs in some of the most high-profile cases in recent years, including United States v. Texas.

This Article explains the equitable principles at work in Debs and shows how these principles still have a normative basis today. Collecting materials from traditional equity practice and historic treatments of Debs that have escaped the attention of the recent academic literature, this Article especially considers the connection that the Debs Court draws between equitable relief and a proprietary interest. It shows how the equity-property connection works as an empowering and limiting principle for the ability of the United States to bring a suit in equity. And it offers guidance to the federal courts by explaining and defending the traditional contours of their equity jurisdiction.
Professor Bamzai discusses the case in a less technical way in this podcast.

–Dan Ernst

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Derry on Woods and Pirie v Cumming Gordon in the Watson Seminar

Caroline Derry, a senior lecturer in law at the Open University, gives the Alan Watson Seminar in Legal History at the Edinburgh Law School on Monday, February 13, 2023, 17:00 - 19:00 (GMT).  Her topic: Networks of influence, gender, class and lesbianism in Woods and Pirie v Cumming Gordon (1810-12):

The Court of Session defamation case Marianne Woods and Jane Pirie v Dame Helen Cumming Gordon lasted several years and its records extend over many hundreds of pages. The alleged defamation was an allegation that the pursuers, two schoolmistresses, were in a sexual relationship. The main sources of the allegation were identified as a half-Scots, half-Indian teenage pupil and a ‘malign domestic’. It was through the pupil’s grandmother Dame Helen that the accusations spread among parents and guardians, resulting in the school’s closure within days. The court hearings were conducted behind closed doors, and its mainly female witnesses described aspects of their private worlds usually unspoken in public.

The case is therefore a rich source of for histories of law, gender, race, empire and class and has attracted scholarly attention particularly from historians of sexuality. This talk will focus upon a slightly different aspect: the networks which emerge through the evidence. They show much about women’s agency and the complex webs of influence in Edinburgh society based upon class, age and gender. After considering the social networks of higher-class women, servants and pupils revealed by the case, the talk will consider the ways in which lesbianism was understood by, and posed a threat to, those networks.
--Dan Ernst

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Gaughan on Colegrove v. Green

Anthony J. Gaughan, Drake University Law School, has posted Redistricting in the Political Thicket: The Ghosts of Colegrove v. Green, which is forthcoming in the Kentucky Law Journal:

Few election law rulings seem more outdated than Colegrove v. Green. In the notorious 1946 case, the U.S. Supreme Court turned aside a Constitutional challenge to Illinois’s ancient congressional districts. The plaintiffs asserted that Illinois’s extreme malapportionment—the state’s largest Congressional district had 914,053 people whereas its smallest had only 112,116 —violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution, the Illinois Constitution, and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Despite the farcically unequal districts, the Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs’ malapportionment claims raised a non-justiciable political question. In a famous quip, Justice Felix Frankfurter directed judges to steer clear of redistricting battles, warning that “[c]ourts ought not to enter this political thicket.”

In the decades that followed, courts eventually ignored Frankfurter’s advice. In a series of cases in the 1960s, the Supreme Court adopted a One Person, One Vote rule for apportionment cases arising under the Equal Protection Clause. Contrary to Frankfurter’s assertion, courts found it quite easy to adopt judicially manageable standards for adjudicating claims arising from malapportioned districts. It turned out that the application of elementary math principles—i.e. total state population divided by total number of districts—enabled courts to avoid many of the political thickets that Frankfurter so feared. The One Person, One Vote rule is now a cornerstone of American Constitutional law. Not surprisingly, therefore, Colegrove v. Green is remembered as little more than a musty relic of a bygone jurisprudence.

However, this article contends that Colegrove deserves a second look. To be sure, Justice Frankfurter’s majority opinion has little to recommend it. His exercise of judicial restraint in the face of an extreme, decades-long assault on democratic principles represented a case study in short-sighted jurisprudence. Yet, there is far more to the case than Frankfurter’s myopic and curmudgeonly reasoning. The story of Colegrove involved issues directly pertinent to those faced by courts and litigants in the 2020s. It demonstrated how efforts to modernize redistricting law during a time of tumultuous political and demographic changes face unique challenges. The case thus offers timely insights and rich historical context for our current redistricting controversies. Indeed, to a remarkable extent, the ghosts of Colegrove still walk the halls of the Supreme Court.

The article is organized into three sections. Part I tells the story of Colegrove v. Green. Part II describes how a new generation of justices—informed by new thinking and imbued with confidence in the Supreme Court’s ability to defend democracy--overturned Colegrove. Part III examines how features of the Colegrove case nevertheless continue to plague election law in the 21st century.

--Dan Ernst

Monday, January 9, 2023

Walker on Del Mar's "Artefacts of Legal Inquiry"

In the Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Greg Walker, Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, has published a very thoughtful assessment, from “a literary perspective,” of Maksymilian Del Mar’s Artefacts of Legal Inquiry: The Value of Imagination in Adjudication (Hart, 2020).  It commences:

Maksymilian Del Mar’s ground-breaking monograph, Artefacts of Legal Inquiry: The Value of Imagination in Adjudication (hereafter Artefacts) offers a rich, multi-faceted account of what happens when judges examine the submissions of advocates and decide how the English common law should be applied in particular cases. Based on voracious reading in, and thinking through, the principles and practises of English common law, European philosophy, and global literary studies, it is a book which only someone trained and acculturated in all three disciplines could produce. It is demonstrably a tour de force of up-to-the-minute interdisciplinary scholarship.

But what, it might be asked, does a book that offers a detailed, case-specific account of the linguistic and cognitive dimensions of judicial inquiry in the field of twentieth-century common law practise have to interest a scholar of sixteenth-century literature and politics? The answer, it turns out, is a great deal, not least because many of the roots of both modern legal conventions and early Tudor literature, deep and long-lasting in the first case, relatively newly formed and close to the surface in the second, can be traced to the legal training, the moots and disputations of the early-modern Inns of Court, an institution in which both Del Mar and I have an abiding scholarly interest. But, more generally, what is not to like for a literary scholar in a book that talks about genres, figures, metaphors, audiences and performances, scenarios, figures and tropes, and which discusses the literariness and narrativity of inquiry, and its ‘poetic character’?


Saturday, January 7, 2023

Weekend Roundup

  • Felicia Kornbluh University of Vermont, in conversation with her sister, Ambassador Karen Kornbluh will discuss her book A Woman's Life Is a Human Life at Politics and Prose (and, virtually, here) on January 16 at 7:00 PM. 
  • In the Journal of Christian Legal Thought, Craig A. Stern, Regent University School of Law, “describes, as remarkable works of Christian Imagination, Henry II’s assize of novel disseisin, Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis, and Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England.”
  • The ACLU senior staff attorney, Gillian Thomas, is in conversation with Dahlia Lithwick about the latter’s book, Lady Justice, in the ACLU’s podcast series, At Liberty.
  • The latest issue of the Newsletter of the Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit notes the passing of Judge Laurence Silberman and U.S. Attorney Earl Silbert.  
 Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History blogger.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Rossi to Lecture on US-Sino Relations and International Law in the Repubican Period

The second lecture in the series "Histories of International Law: Chinese and Global," sponsored by the Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law, City University of Hong Kong, in partnership with Wuhan University School of Law and Fudan University School of Law, will take place at 1PM HKT on January 13, virtually via Zoom.  Christopher R. Rossi, UiT, the Arctic University of Norway, will deliver the lecture In The Garden of Gethsemene: US-Sino Relations in the History of International Law during the Republican Period. Register here by January 11.

Henning on Puerto Rican Citizenship and Political Development

Now available open access in Studies in American Political Development: The Empty Gift: Citizenship, Imperialism, and Political Development in Puerto Rico by Maye Lan Henning, University of Portland:

After nearly two decades under U.S. rule, the 1917 Jones Act granted American citizenship to Puerto Ricans. I argue that the United States strategically granted collective citizenship in order to strengthen its colonial rule. The convergence of two conditions prompted the grant of citizenship: Congress determined that the islands were strategically valuable to the United States; and Congress registered an independence movement on the island that could threaten colonial control. When Puerto Ricans demanded independence, Congress enveloped them in a bear hug that granted citizenship to weaken their movement. While citizenship was an attractive solution to many of the problems of colonial rule, there were strong objections within the United States to granting citizenship to a population considered to be nonwhite. As a result, Congress created a workaround by disentangling citizenship from statehood and from many of the rights and privileges that typically accompany it. Though citizenship is often associated with democracy and equality, American officials turned citizenship into a mechanism of control for the empire they were building. This work uncovers strategies of American territorial expansion and colonial governance and confronts deeply held notions about American citizenship and political community.

--Dan Ernst

Bamzai on Hamilton and the Nondelegation Doctrine

Aditya Bamzai, University of Virginia School of Law, has posted Alexander Hamilton, the Nondelegation Doctrine, and the Creation of the United States, which appears in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy:

Alexander Hamilton (NYPL)
In the period immediately preceding the Constitution’s adoption, New Yorkers engaged in a spirited debate over whether a proposed delegation from the State to the federal government authorizing collection of an impost would violate the clause of the New York Constitution that vested “supreme legislative power” in the State Assembly and Senate. Some, like Alexander Hamilton, believed that the clause did not bear on delegations to the federal government, but rather governed the relationship between the branches of the New York government. Others believed that a grant of impost authority impermissibly transferred legislative power away from the state legislature. This Article addresses the debate over delegation that occurred during this controversy—which, in the words of Alexander Hamilton, “begat” the Convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution. The Article also addresses the equally significant debates over delegation that occurred during the consideration of the Constitution itself. As this Article shows, the debates that led to and surrounded the Constitution’s adoption were in no small part debates about the legality of delegating sovereign legislative authority.

--Dan Ernst

Helsinki Legal History Series

[We have the following announcement.  DRE.]

During 2023, the CoCoLaw Project and EuroStorie Centre of Excellence will host the Helsinki Legal History Series. The initiative gathers both established scholars and younger researchers who all work at the intersection of law, society and history. The aim is to promote legal historical research and to illustrate the merits of historical approach in analyzing fundamental questions regarding law's embeddedness in society and the mechanisms of legal change. The seminar series consists of 9 lectures taking place at the University of Helsinki (and streamed online), according to the following program:

January 31st
National Styles beyond Boarders. A Travelogue of Migrating Legal Stories in the Nineteenth Century
Cristina Vano (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II)

February 28th
European Union and its founding values – a legal history autopsy
Tuuli Talvinko (University of Helsinki)

March 28th
From the university-based ius commune to a potentially universal law. A lecture in honour of Mireille Delmas-Marty (1941-2022)
Alain Wijffels (KU Leuven)

April 25th
Homesteading and the American Dream
K-Sue Park (Georgetown University)

May 30th
The English ‘Law of Succession’ as an expression of European Legal Culture: The Story of its Development
Reinhard Zimmermann (Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law)

September 26th
Transnational Legal Transfers: the extraordinary life of JP Benjamin QC (1811-1884)
Catharine MacMillan (Kings College London)

October 31st  
The History of Cultural Heritage in International Law
Pauno Soirila (University of Helsinki)

November 28th
Usus Theologicus Pandectarum: The Civilian Tradition in a Theological Context
Wim Decock (UCLouvain)

December 12th
Tombos: How registering the Past became Normative and Why it Faltered in the Nineteenth Century
Tamar Herzog (Harvard University)