A penetrating critique of thirty years of antidiscrimination law in the United States, this book explains why equal opportunity and affirmative action policies have failed to improve black employment since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Farrell Bloch reviews the effects of hiring policies on minority employment and analyzes recruitment practices to reveal why current United States laws fail to address some of the most important obstacles preventing minorities from getting jobs.
Winner of the American Bar Association's 1992 Silver Gavel Award "in recognition of an outstanding contribution to public understanding of the American system of law and justice."
"Mr. Sobol has produced a readable yet fully researched and detailed study of the operation of the bankruptcy and its effects upon all concerned—the women who were injured, the swarms of lawyers who represented parties in the bankruptcy, and the court which oversaw the bankruptcy in Richmond. . . . This book adds greatly to the current debate about how strong a managerial federal judge our system should have."—Paul D. Rheingold, New York Law Journal
"Bending the Law is polemical and relentless. It is also minutely researched, fluidly written, and persuasive."—Paul Reidinger, ABA Journal
"Bending the Law is a must read for bankruptcy practitioners, and for anyone else concerned about the use of bankruptcy law to deal with mass torts. Although its author is a civil rights lawyer, he details the subtle art of practicing bankruptcy law with a discerning eye, and is a gifted storyteller as well."—Joryn Jenkins, Federal Bar News and Journal
"This is an accessible history of the case by a veteran civil-rights lawyer."—Washington Post Book World
Drawing on more than one hundred hours of taped recordings of Spanish/English court proceedings in federal, state, and municipal courts—along with extensive psycholinguistic research using translated testimony and mock jurors—Susan Berk-Seligson's seminal book presents a systematic study of court interpreters, and raises some alarming, vitally important concerns: contrary to the assumption that interpreters do not affect the contents of court proceedings, they could potentially make the difference between a defendant being found guilty or innocent of a crime.
The Bill of Rights in the Modern State
Edited by Geoffrey R. Stone, Richard A. Epstein, and Cass R. Sunstein University of Chicago Press, 1992 Library of Congress KF4749.A2B555 1992 | Dewey Decimal 342.73085
Although the Bill of Rights has existed for two hundred years, the last half century has seen dramatic changes in its meaning and scope. The essays collected in this volume represent the full range of views and interpretations of what these first ten amendments to the U. S. Constitution mean today as guarantors of individual rights.
The contributors to this volume are among the most prominent constitutional scholars in the country. Most of the essays are grouped in pairs, each of which offers conflicting positions on current constitutional controversies, including property rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, levels of generality in constitutional interpreation, and unemumerated rights.
The contributors are: Bruce Ackerman, Mary E. Becker, Ronald Dworkin, Frank H. Easterbrook, Richard A. Epstein, Charles Fried, Mary Ann Glendon, Philip B. Kurland, Frank J. Michaelman, Michael W. McConnell, Richard A. Posner, Kathleen M. Sullivan, John Paul Stevens, David A. Strauss, and Cass R. Sunstein.
"A thoughtful and well coordinated set of exchanges between leading modern constitutional theorists about the most significant issues related to the Bill of Rights and the Welfare State. These issues are debated through penetrating essays by opposing theorists who get to the heart of these issues and provide significant answers to their debate opponents' points."—Thomas R. Van Dervort, Southeastern Political Review
The Complete Anti-Federalist
Edited by Herbert J. Storing University of Chicago Press, 1981 Library of Congress JK155.C65 1981 | Dewey Decimal 342.73029
The Complete Anti-Federalist, first published in 1981, contains an unprecedented collection of all the significant pamphlets, newspaper articles and letters, essays, and speeches that were written in opposition to the Constitution during the ratification debate. Storing’s work includes introductions to each entry, along with his own consideration of the Anti-Federalist thought.
This new three-volume set includes all the contents of the original seven-volume publication in a convenient, manageable format.
“A work of magnificent scholarship. Publication of these volumes is a civic event of enduring importance.”—Leonard W. Levy, New York Times Book Review
"Americans did not rebel from Great Britain because they wanted a different government. They rebelled because they believed that Parliament was violating constitutional precepts. Colonial Whigs did not fight for American rights. They fought for English rights."—from the Preface
John Phillip Reid goes on to argue that it was generally the application, not the definition, of these rights that was disputed. The sole—and critical—exception concerned the right of representation. American perceptions of the responsibility of representatives to their constituents, the necessity of equal representation, and the constitutional function of consent had diverged gradually, but significantly, from British tradition. Drawing on his mastery of eighteenth-century legal thought, Reid explores the origins and shifting meanings of representation, consent, arbitrary rule, and constitution. He demonstrates that the controversy which led to the American Revolution had more to do with jurisprudential and constitutional principles than with democracy and equality. This book will interest legal historians, Constitutional scholars, and political theorists.
George W. Jarecke and Nancy K. Plant present a selection of cases across a broad spectrum of American law to demonstrate that our society relies inappropriately on the legal system to cure ills the system was not designed to address.
Jarecke and Plant note that while we in the United States worry considerably about the problem of individual assumption of responsibility—whether for personal mistakes, financial setbacks, or pure bad luck—we appear uneasy about the concept and unclear about what it means on a daily basis. Not only are we incapable of accepting personal responsibility; we barely know what it means to do so.
Mistakenly, we turn to the legal system to solve this dilemma. Yet our laws as our legislators write them, as judges interpret them, as lawyers argue them, and as juries apply them send mixed messages about whether and how we should exercise personal responsibility.
Each chapter of Confounded Expectations features one main case to explain one legal theory, with other cases noted as examples of facets of each theory. To demonstrate the law that requires merchants to guarantee the quality of their products, for example, Jarecke and Plant discuss the case of the band mothers whose fund-raising luncheon menu included turkey salad contaminated by salmonella. Peripheral cases include a horse falsely sold as a gelding, a riding mower that tipped over when used as instructed, makeup that was guaranteed to be safe but caused a rash, and pigs sick with hog cholera.
Since the 1960s, the class action lawsuit has been a powerful tool for holding businesses accountable. Yet years of attacks by corporate America and unfavorable rulings by the Supreme Court have left its future uncertain. In this book, Brian T. Fitzpatrick makes the case for the importance of class action litigation from a surprising political perspective: an unabashedly conservative point of view.
Conservatives have opposed class actions in recent years, but Fitzpatrick argues that they should see such litigation not as a danger to the economy, but as a form of private enforcement of the law. He starts from the premise that all of us, conservatives and libertarians included, believe that markets need at least some rules to thrive, from laws that enforce contracts to laws that prevent companies from committing fraud. He also reminds us that conservatives consider the private sector to be superior to the government in most areas. And the relatively little-discussed intersection of those two beliefs is where the benefits of class action lawsuits become clear: when corporations commit misdeeds, class action lawsuits enlist the private sector to intervene, resulting in a smaller role for the government, lower taxes, and, ultimately, more effective solutions.
Offering a novel argument that will surprise partisans on all sides, The Conservative Case for Class Actions is sure to breathe new life into this long-running debate.
The Constitution Besieged offers a compelling reinterpretation of one of the most notorious periods in American constitutional history. In the decades following the Civil War, federal and state judges struck down as unconstitutional a great deal of innovative social and economic legislation. Scholars have traditionally viewed this as the work of a conservative judiciary more interested in promoting laissez-faire economics than in interpreting the Constitution. Gillman challenges this scholarly orthodoxy by showing how these judges were in fact observing a long-standing constitutional prohibition against "class legislation." Originally published in cloth by Duke University Press, this book received the 1994 C. Herman Pritchett Award for the "Best Book in the Field of Law and Courts," awarded by the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association.
In Constitutional Deliberation in Congress J. Mitchell Pickerill analyzes the impact of the Supreme Court’s constitutional decisions on Congressional debates and statutory language. Based on a thorough examination of how Congress responds to key Court rulings and strategizes in anticipation of them, Pickerill argues that judicial review—or the possibility of it—encourages Congressional attention to constitutional issues. Revealing critical aspects of how laws are made, revised, and refined within the separated system of government of the United States, he makes an important contribution to “constitutionalism outside the courts” debates.
Pickerill combines legislative histories, extensive empirical findings, and interviews with current and former members of Congress, congressional staff, and others. He examines data related to all of the federal legislation struck down by the Supreme Court from the beginning of the Warren Court in 1953 through the 1996–97 term of the Rehnquist Court. By looking at the legislative histories of Congressional acts that invoked the Commerce Clause and presented Tenth Amendment conflicts—such as the Child Labor Act (1916), the Civil Rights Act (1965), the Gun-Free School Zones Act (1990), and the Brady Bill (1994)—Pickerill illuminates how Congressional deliberation over newly proposed legislation is shaped by the possibility of judicial review. The Court’s invalidation of the Gun-Free School Zones Act in its 1995 ruling United States v. Lopez signaled an increased judicial activism regarding issues of federalism. Pickerill examines that case and compares congressional debate over constitutional issues in key pieces of legislation that preceded and followed it: the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1997. He shows that Congressional attention to federalism increased in the 1990s along with the Court’s greater scrutiny.
Since the early 1960s the Supreme Court and its congressional critics have been locked in a continuing dispute over the issues of school prayer, busing, and abortion. Although for years the Court’s congressional foes have introduced legislation designed to curb the powers of the federal courts in these areas, they have until now failed to enact such proposals. It is likely that these legislative efforts and the present confrontation with the Court will continue. Edward Keynes and Randall Miller argue that Congress lacks the constitutional power to legislate away the powers of the federal courts and to prevent individuals from seeking redress for presumed infringements of their constitutional rights in these areas. They demonstrate that neither the framers nor ratifiers of the Constitution intended the Congress to exercise plenary power over the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Throughout its history the Court has never conceded unlimited powers to Congress; and until the late 1950s Congress had not attempted to gerrymander the Court’s jurisdiction in response to specific decisions. But the authors contend this is just what the sponsors of recent legislative attacks on the Court intend, and they see such efforts as threatening the Court’s independence and authority as defined in the separation of powers clauses of the Constitution.
The popular press dubbed him "the subway vigilante": Bernhard Goetz, who on December 22, 1984, shot four black youths on a New York subway train when one of them asked for five dollars. Goetz claimed to have fired in self-defense, out of fear that the young men were about to rob him.
Since the landmark desegregation decisions in the Brown vs. Board of Education cases, the proper role of the federal judiciary has been hotly debated. Has the federal judiciary, in its attempt to legislate social policy, overstepped its constitutional boundaries?
In this volume, Gary McDowell considers the equity power created by Article III of the Constitution, on which the most controversial decisions of the Supreme Court have rested. He points out the equity was originally understood as an extraordinary means of offering relief to individuals in cases of fraud, accident, mistake, or trust and as a means of "confining the operation of unjust and partial laws." It has now been stretched to offer relief to broadly defined social classes. This "sociological" understanding, in McDowell's view, has undermined equity as a substantive body of law. He urges a return to the former definition as a means of restraining the reach of federal jurisdiction.
This book offers a close look at the development of legal thought during the era of prohibition and documents the impact of prohibition on law as an intellectual discipline. Kenneth M. Murchison examines changes in federal criminal law doctrines from 1918 to 1933 in light of recent historical scholarship on prohibition and its impact on American society. He identifies these federal doctrinal developments as an important but ignored legacy of prohibition and describes how these changes continue to effect contemporary law. In this detailed examination, Murchison considers a portion of the Supreme Court’s work prior to the New Deal crisis, a period insufficiently considered until now. Among the developments he discusses are those relating to the defense of entrapment, the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure, the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition against double jeopardy, property forfeitures, and the jury trial guarantees for criminal proceedings. His analysis reveals a court less rigid, less consistently divided along modern ideological lines, and more tolerant of governmental authority than traditional wisdom would suggest. Thus, Murchison offers a framework for a revisionist view of the Supreme Court’s activities during this period. Exploring an important connection between the Eighteenth Amendment, the Volstead Act, and the development of federal criminal law, this book documents what was arguably the nation’s first criminal law revolution at the federal level. Explaining the modern origins of doctrines that still inform federal criminal law, Murchison also provides a case study of how legal doctrine responds to changing social conditions. Federal Criminal Law Doctrines will add immeasurably to the work of historians and legal scholars alike.
The Federalist Concordance
Edited by Thomas Engeman, Edward J. Erler, and Thomas B. Hofeller University of Chicago Press, 1988 Library of Congress KF4515.E53 1988 | Dewey Decimal 342.73029
The "Federalist" Concordance is an alphabetical index of all but the most common words contained in the Federalist Papers, locating each occurrence of a word by paper number, author, page, and line in the definitive Cooke edition. It also indicates whether each word appears in the text or in a footnote, in italic or boldface type, or within a quotation or parentheses, and it provides information on the number of occurrences of each word and the relative frequency of those occurrences. This edition carries a new table correlating the pages in Cooke with those in other, often used editions of the Federalist—the Rossiter, Wills, Kramnick, Earle, and Great Books editions.
Questions of academic freedom--from hate speech to the tenure structure—continue to be of great urgency and perennial debate in American higher education. Originally published as a special issue of Law and Contemporary Problems (Summer 1990), this volume draws together leading scholars of law, philosophy, and higher education to offer a fresh assessment of the founding principles of academic freedom and to define this crucial topic for the 1990s. The original 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which has been influential in determining institutional practices for the last half century, has required continual redefinition since its initial declaration. The volume begins with two overview articles: the most complete examination of the 1940 Statement ever provided (shedding light on some of its most troublesome clauses) and a historical review of the extent to which academic freedom has been accepted into domestic constitutional law. Subsequent articles address a range of issues related to academic freedom: the relationship between tenure and academic freedom; tenure and labor law; ideology and faculty selection; freedom of expression and the arts on campus; the boundaries defining hate speech and offensive expression; the clash between institutional and individual claims of academic freedom; and the practices of religious colleges in the United States.
Contributors. Ralph S. Brown, Matthew W. Finkin, Jordan E. Kurland, Michael W. McConnell, Walter P. Metzger, Robert M. O'Neil, David M. Rabban, Rodney A, Smolla, Janet Sinder, Judith Jarvis Thomson, William W. Van Alstyne
A Guide to America's Sex Laws
Richard A. Posner and Katharine B. Silbaugh University of Chicago Press, 1996 Library of Congress KF9325.G85 1996 | Dewey Decimal 345.730253
A Guide to America's Sex Laws is the first concise compendium of the nation's sex laws. It summarizes the laws regulating personal sexual activity, revealing gaps, anachronisms, anomalies, inequalities, and irrationalities, and providing an empirical basis for studies of sexual regulation. Judge Richard A. Posner and Katharine B. Silbaugh cover broadly defined areas of regulation, providing background and definitions and placing the laws in their historical and constitutional context. From Alabama to Wyoming, this informative and fascinating reference book will be an essential resource.
"It takes only a few minutes with A Guide to [America's] Sex to realize that the nation's laws governing what two consenting adults can do with one another are an odd jumble."—Eric Fidler, San Diego Commerce
"Especially noteworthy is how laws governing various sexual activities vary from state to state."—Library Journal
"Fascinating and often surprising facts are concisely documented and conveniently organized in A Guide."—Carlin Meyer, New York Law Journal
How do "no-fault," "gender-neutral" divorce reforms actually harm the lives of women and children they are designed to protect? Focusing on the language and symbols of reform, Martha Fineman argues that by advocating measures based on equality of treatment rather than of outcome, liberal feminists disregarded the socioeconomic factors that simultaneously place women at a disadvantage in the market and favor their taking on primary domestic responsibilities. She traces in persuasive detail the detrimental effects of equality rhetoric in shaping divorce law — such as the legal separation of parents' and children's interests; equality replacing need as the prime criterion for settlements; and the increase of state intervention into family life. More than a critique, this book is an incisive argument for adopting outcome-oriented measures and a valuable overview of the pitfalls of uncritically implementing any rhetoric as social policy.
Images of a Free Press
Lee C. Bollinger University of Chicago Press, 1991 Library of Congress KF4774.B65 1991 | Dewey Decimal 342.730853
Rich in historical detail, Images of a Free Press is an elegant, powerful guide to the evolution of our modern conception of freedom of the press, which finds expression in laws that protect print journalism and regulate broadcast media. Bollinger argues that this distinction remains meaningful but he advocates a more sophisticated approach to issues of privacy, access, and technology. Providing concrete guidelines for improving media laws, Images of a Free Press is a vital First Amendment primer for lawyers, media professionals, and critics, and all concerned citizens.
"Images of a Free Press is the natural sequel to Lee Bollinger's first book, The Tolerant Society, and is destined to become a standard in first amendment scholarship."—Rodney A. Smolla, Constitutional Commentary
"Revisiting themes he first explored some fifteen years ago, Bollinger now adds further to our understanding of the complex relationship among the First Amendment, the Supreme Court, the public, the press and the democratic process. This is a work of insight, sensitivity, and power. Bollinger has a profound knowledge of and a deep affection for his subject, and it shows."—Geoffrey R. Stone, Michigan Law Review
"This thoughtful, understated book remains a call to come join the town meeting and hammer out some new rules of order. Scholars and citizens alike could do well to read Bollinger's book and accept his challenge."—Yale Law Review
"For a number of years, Lee Bollinger has argued that the First Amendment has been applied differently to the print media than it has been to the broadcast media. In his new book, Images of a Free Press, Bollinger provides a concise, persuasive account of why this is so—and why it ought to be so."—Columbia Law Review
Must judges be trained as lawyers in order to be effective in office, or can nonlawyers serve equally well? This question has long provoked controversy among lawyers, judges, legislators, and the public. In her empirical study of the place of the nonlawyer judge in the American legal system, Doris Marie Provine concludes that, despite the opposition of the legal profession to nonlawyer judges, they are as competent as lawyers in carrying out judicial duties in courts of limited jurisdiction.
Provine presents a persuasive argument that the case against nonlawyer judges has been weighted in favor of the professional interests of lawyers, not public concerns. Her examination reveals as much about the presuppositions of legal professionals as it does about the competency of nonlawyer judges to old judicial office. To substantiate her claims, Provine has conducted the most comprehensive survey of nonlawyer and lawyer judges yet undertaken, augmenting this material with court observations and extensive interviews of judges. She integrates the results of this survey into the historical context of the lay versus lawyer judge debate, showing how the legally trained judge came to predominate in the American judicial system and analyzing in detail the campaign both in and out of the courts to make legal training a prerequisite for being a judge. Ultimately, Provine suggests, Americans are too committed to the significance of credentials and to the legal profession's vision of the judicial process to respond very favorably to nonlawyer judges, however well they might perform.
Judging Credentials will force lawyers, judges, scholars, and the public to reconsider the role nonlawyer judges play in the American judicial system. Provine's provocative views and exhaustive research adds new dimensions to our understanding of the ethics of professionalism and its consequences.
William Letwin's thorough, carefully argued, and elegantly written work is the only book length study of the Sherman Antitrust Act, a law designed to shape the economic life of a large complex society through maintaining the "correct" level of competition in the economy. This is a superb history and complete analysis of the Act, from its English and American common law antecedents to the events that led to the first revisions of the Act in the form of the Clayton Antitrust and Federal Trade Commission Acts.
The Law of the Other is an account of the English doctrine of the "mixed jury". Constable's excavation of the historical, rhetorical, and theoretical foundations of modern law recasts our legal and sociological understandings of the American jury and our contemporary conceptions of law, citizenship, and truth.
The "mixed jury" doctrine allowed resident foreigners to have law suits against English natives tried before juries composed half of natives and half of aliens like themselves. As she traces the transformations in this doctrine from the Middle Ages to its abolition in 1870, Constable also reveals the emergence of a world where law rooted in actual practices and customs of communities is replaced by law determined by officials, where juries no longer strive to speak the truth but to ascertain the facts.
A barrage of "handbooks" and "resource manuals" aimed at employers and legal practitioners on the employment rights of people with disabilities has begun to appear. Until now, however, there has been no serious book-length scholarly treatment of how mental disorder can affect work, how work can affect mental disorder, and the role of law in addressing employment discrimination based on mental rather than physical disability. In Mental Disorder, Work Disability and the Law, the editors bring together original work by leading scholars who have studied mental disorder and work disability from the fields of sociology, psychology, psychiatry, law, and economics. The authors' contributions build upon one another to create the first integrated account of the important policy issues at stake when law deals with the rights of mentally disordered citizens to work when they are able to, and to receive benefits when they are not.
This book will be of great value to scholars in law and the mental health professions and to policy makers and the administrators of disability programs.
Many jurists give lip service to the idea that judicial interpretation of constitutional provisions should be based on the intent of the framers. Few, if any, have been as faithful to that conception as Hugo Black. As U.S. senator from Alabama, Black was a vigorous critic of the Supreme Court's use of the Constitution as a weapon against the Roosevelt New Deal. Once on the court he played a leading role in overturning those decisions and in attempting to establish for freedom of speech and other guarantees the interpretation he (and others) believe was warranted by the language and intent of the framers. Late in his career, however, Black's commitment to literalism and intent led him to assume apparently conservative positions in civil liberties cases. In an era characterized by growing acceptance of the belief that judges should adapt the Constitution to changing social and ethical perceptions, many came to regard Black's position as unrealistic and irrelevant. Tinsley E. Yarbrough analyzes Black's judicial and constitutional philosophy, as well as his approach to specific cases, through the eyes of Black's critics (such as Justices Frankfurter and Harlan) and through an assessment of scholarly opinion of his jurisprudence. The result is a stimulating and provocative addition to the study of Justice Black and the Supreme Court.
Fresh empirical evidence of pornography's negative effects and the resurgence of feminist and conservative critiques have caused local, state, and federal officials to reassess the pornography issue. In The New Politics of Pornography, Donald Alexander Downs explores the contemporary antipornography movement and addresses difficult questions about the limits of free speech. Drawing on official transcripts and extensive interviews, Downs recreates and analyzes landmark cases in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. He argues persuasively that both conservative and liberal camps are often characterized by extreme intolerance which hampers open policy debate and may ultimately threaten our modern doctrine of free speech. Downs concludes with a balanced and nuanced discussion of what First Amendment protections pornography should be afforded. This provocative and interdisciplinary work will interest students of political science, women's studies, civil liberties, and constitutional law.
The United States Constitution was designed to secure the rights of individuals and minorities from the tyranny of the majority—or was it? Jennifer Nedelsky's provocative study places this claim in an utterly new light, tracing its origins to the Framers' preoccupation with the protection of private property. She argues that this formative focus on property has shaped our institutions, our political system, and our very understanding of limited government.
The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law as well as immunity from laws that deprive them of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. In Progressive Constitutionalism, Robin West develops an interpretation of this amendment that contrasts with the views, conservative and liberal, of the Rehnquist, Burger, and Warren Courts, and with the radical "antisubordinationist" account provided by the critical legal studies movement and many prominent feminist and critical race theorists. Her interpretation consists of a "substantive" argument regarding the Amendment’s core meaning, and a jurisprudential argument regarding the role of the courts and Congress in fulfilling the Amendment’s progressive promise. West shows how the "equal protection" clause, far from insulating the private spheres of culture, market, and home life, as is commonly held, directly targets abuses of power within those spheres. She develops a number of arguments for the modern relevance of this understanding, from the failure of the state to provide equal protection against private domestic violence, permitting a "private sovereignty" of patriarchal power within the home, to the the state’s failure to provide equal protection against material deprivation, allowing "private sovereignty" between economically privileged and desperate people in private markets. West’s argument extends to the "liberty" prong of the due process clause, seen here as a protection of the positive, not negative, liberty of citizens, covering rights in such typically controversial areas as welfare, education, and domestic safety. This interpretation recasts a number of contemporary constitutional issues, such as affirmative action and hate speech, and points to very different problems—notably private, unchecked criminal violence and extreme economic deprivation—as the central constitutional dilemmas of our day. Progressive Constitutionalism urges a substantive, institutional, and jurisprudential reorientation of our understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment, one that would necessarily be pursued through Congressional rather than judicial channels. In doing so, with attention to history and both feminist and critical race scholarship, it should reinvigorate our politics and our constitutional conversations—and, perhaps, point us toward a more just society.
Punitive Damages: How Juries Decide
Cass R. Sunstein, Reid Hastie, John W. Payne, David A. Schkade, and W. Kip Viscu University of Chicago Press, 2002 Library of Congress KF1249.P86 2002 | Dewey Decimal 347.7377
Over the past two decades, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in the number and magnitude of punitive damages verdicts rendered by juries in civil trials. Probably the most extraordinary example is the July 2000 award of $144.8 billion in the Florida class action lawsuit brought against cigarette manufacturers. Or consider two recent verdicts against the auto manufacturer BMW in Alabama. In identical cases, argued in the same court before the same judge, one jury awarded $4 million in punitive damages, while the other awarded no punitive damages at all. In cases involving accidents, civil rights, and the environment, multimillion-dollar punitive awards have been a subject of intense controversy.
But how do juries actually make decisions about punitive damages? To find out, the authors-experts in psychology, economics, and the law-present the results of controlled experiments with more than 600 mock juries involving the responses of more than 8,000 jury-eligible citizens. Although juries tended to agree in their moral judgments about the defendant's conduct, they rendered erratic and unpredictable dollar awards. The experiments also showed that instead of moderating juror verdicts, the process of jury deliberation produced a striking "severity shift" toward ever-higher awards. Jurors also tended to ignore instructions from the judges; were influenced by whatever amount the plaintiff happened to request; showed "hindsight bias," believing that what happened should have been foreseen; and penalized corporations that had based their decisions on careful cost-benefit analyses. While judges made many of the same errors, they performed better in some areas, suggesting that judges (or other specialists) may be better equipped than juries to decide punitive damages.
Using a wealth of new experimental data, and offering a host of provocative findings, this book documents a wide range of systematic biases in jury behavior. It will be indispensable for anyone interested not only in punitive damages, but also jury behavior, psychology, and how people think about punishment.
In Reconstructing Justice, Franklin Strier doesn't simply describe problems with the American trial system; he proposes reforms. Arguing that lawyers need to share more power with the judge and jury, Strier recommends ways we can retain and improve our basic adversarial system. He suggests we eliminate peremptory challenges, give judges the authority to ask questions of witnesses, and limit the number of expert witnesses. Drawing from a wide variety of sources, including case histories, scholarly works, Blackstone's Commentaries, and The Federalist Papers, he argues that judicial reform is not only possible, but—because of the increased public coverage of trials and understanding of the need for reform—inevitable.
Franklin Strier brings this critical look at trial reform up to date with a new preface in which he discusses how the inordinate amount of public attention of the O. J. Simpson trial, and the power the attorneys had over the court in that case, shed new light on the trial system's weaknesses and inequities.
"Anyone with an interest in courtroom trials will be fascinated by Strier's analysis of the game of law and suggestions for reforming the trail system to provide justice in a greater number of cases. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice
This book offers new insight into one of the most disturbing social problems of modern societies: rape. Using tape recordings of actual trials, Gregory M. Matoesian looks at the social construction of rape trials and at how a woman's experience of violation can be transformed in the courtroom into an act of routine, consensual sex.
Matoesian examines the language of the courtroom, focusing on how defense lawyers interpret and classify rape in a way that makes the victim's experience appear as a normal sexual encounter. He analyzes the language that defense attorneys use in cross-examination to argue that courtroom talk can shape the victim's testimony to fit male standards of legitimate sexual practice. On this view, cross-examination is an adversarial war of words through which lawyers manipulate reality and perpetuate the patriarchal domination of women.
Reproducing Rape will interest students and professionals in law, criminology, sociology, feminist theory, linguistics, and anthropology.
During the middle of the twentieth century, the religiously informed communitarianism that had guided the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding the relationship between church and state was partially displaced by a new secular individualist discourse. In The Rhetoric of Church and State, Frederick Mark Gedicks argues that this partial and incomplete shift is the key to understanding why the Court has failed—and continues today to fail—to provide a coherent doctrine on church/state separation. Gedicks suggests that the Supreme Court’s inconsistent decisions mirror a divergence in American society between an increasingly secular public culture and the primarily devout private lives of the majority of Americans. He notes that while the Court is committed to principles of secular individualism, it has repeatedly endorsed government actions that violate those principles—actions that would be far more justifiable under the discourse of religious communitarianism. The impossibility of reconciling the two discourses leaves the Court no choice but to efface—often implausibly—the religious nature of practices it deems permissible. Gedicks concludes that the road to a coherent religion clause doctrine lies neither in a return to religious communitarianism nor in its complete displacement by secular individualism, but in a yet-to-be-identified discourse that would attract popular support while protecting a meaningful measure of religious freedom.
What role has litigation played in the struggle for equal pay between women and men? In Rights at Work, Michael W. McCann explains how wage discrimination battles have raised public legal consciousness and helped reform activists mobilize working women in the pay equity movement over the past two decades.
Rights at Work explores the political strategies in more than a dozen pay equity struggles since the late 1970s, including battles of state employees in Washington and Connecticut, as well as city employees in San Jose and Los Angeles. Relying on interviews with over 140 union and feminist activists, McCann shows that, even when the courts failed to correct wage discrimination, litigation and other forms of legal advocacy provided reformers with the legal discourse—the understanding of legal rights and their constraints—for defining and advancing their cause.
Rights at Work offers new insight into the relation between law and social change—the ways in which grass roots social movements work within legal rights traditions to promote progressive reform.
Although the Constitution of the United States states that there shall be no laws that either establish or prohibit religion, the application of the Religion Clauses throughout United States history has been fraught with conflict and ambiguity. In this book, a leading constitutional scholar proposes a set of guidelines meant to provide for the consistent application of the First Amendment's Religion Clauses.
Choper's guidelines are designed to provide maximum protection for religious freedom without granting anyone an advantage, inflicting a disadvantage, or causing an unfair burden. Though not calling for the wholesale overturning of judicial precedents or established social practices, the standards he proposes would result in significant—and controversial—modifications to existing doctrines and customs. Choper argues, for instance, that while vocal prayer and Bible reading in public schools should continue to be prohibited, we can and should allow for silent prayer and objective courses in creation science. His standards would also, among other things, eliminate the tax exemption on property used exclusively for religious purposes while allowing parochial schools to receive public funds for the non-religious component of their education.
Conflict and controversy usually accompany major social changes in America. Such issues as civil rights, abortion, and the proposed Equal Rights Amendment provoke strong and divisive reactions, attract extensive media coverage, and generate heated legislative debate. Some theorists even claim that only mobilization and publicity can stimulate significant legislative change. How is it possible, then, that a wholesale revamping of American divorce law occurred with scarcely a whisper of controversy and without any national debate? This is the central question posed—and authoritatively answered—in Herbert Jacob's Silent Revolution.
Since 1966, divorce laws in the United States have undergone a radical transformation. No-fault divorce is now universally available. Alimony functions simply as a brief transitional payment to help a dependent spouse become independent. Most states divide assets at divorce according to a community property scheme, and, whenever possible, many courts prefer to award custody of children to the mother and the father jointly.
These changes in policy represent a profound departure from traditional American values, and yet the legislation by which they were enacted was treated as a technical correction of minor problems. No-fault divorce, for example, was a response to the increasing number of fraudulent divorce petitions. Since couples were often forced to manufacture the evidence of guilt that many states required, and since judges frequently looked the other way, legal reformers sought no more than to bring divorce statutes into line with current practice.
On the basis of such observations, Jacob formulates a new theory of routine—as opposed to conflictual—policy-making processes. Many potentially controversial policies—divorce law reforms among them—pass unnoticed in America because legislators treat them as matters of routine. Jacob's is indeed the most plausible account of the enormous number and steady flow of policy decisions made by state legislatures. It also explains why no attention was paid to the effect divorce reform would have on divorced women and their children, a subject that has become increasingly controversial and that, consequently, is not likely to be handled by the routine policy-making process in the future.
Speech Acts and the First Amendment
Franklyn S. Haiman. Foreword by Abner J. Mikva Southern Illinois University Press, 1993 Library of Congress KF4772.H343 1993 | Dewey Decimal 342.730853
What can a democratic society reasonably do about the perplexing problems of racial intolerance, sexual harassment, incitements to violence, and invasions of privacy? Is it possible to preserve the constitutional ideal of free expression while protecting the community from those who would trample on the rights of others?
Franklyn S. Haiman critically examines the reasoning behind recent efforts to prohibit certain forms of speech and explores the possible consequences to democracy of such moves.
Speech act theory, well known to scholars of rhetoric, communication, and language, underlies this emerging trend in judicial and legislative thinking. The idea that "words are deeds," first articulated in language philosophy by Wittgenstein and elaborated by J. L. Austin and John Searle, is being invoked by some members of the legal community to target objectionable speech. For example, speech codes on some college campuses prohibit racist, sexist, and homophobic expression, and attempts have been made through local laws to classify pornography as a form of sex discrimination. By defining certain kinds of arguably immoral symbolic behavior such as hate speech, obscenity, or portrayals of violence as acts rather than as pure speech, speech act advocates make it easier to argue that such conduct should be subject to social control through the law.
Unlike totalitarian or theocratic societies that see no difference between their concept of morality and the law, however, a democracy must make a distinction between what it regards as immoral and what it makes illegal. Haiman maintains that in the realm of symbolic behavior the line between them should be drawn as closely as possible to expression that results in the most serious, direct, immediate, and physical harm to others. Thus, he joins with former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in concluding that, absent an emergency, more speech, not enforced silence, should be the aim of a free society.
In the former Eastern Bloc countries, one of the most difficult and important aspects of the transition to democracy has been the establishment of constitutional justice and the rule of law. Herman Schwartz's wide-ranging book, backed with rich historical detail and a massive array of research, is the first to chronicle and analyze the rise and troubles of constitutional courts in this changing region.
"Those who are interested in understanding the behavior of constitutional courts in transitional regimes cannot afford to ignore this important book. . . . [It] is fecund with hypotheses of interest to political scientists, and we are indebted to Professor Schwartz for his comprehensive analysis."—James L. Gibson, Law and Politics Book Review
Suing for Medical Malpractice
Frank A. Sloan, Penny B. Githens, Ellen Wright Clayton, Gerald B. Hickson, Dougl University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress KF2905.3.A75S85 1993 | Dewey Decimal 346.730332
Medical malpractice suits today can result in multi-million-dollar settlements, and a practicing physician can pay $100,000 or more annually for malpractice insurance. Some complain that lawyers and plaintiffs are overcompensated by exorbitant judgments that add to the rising cost of health care. But there has been very little evidence to show whether these arguments are true. In this timely work, six experts in health policy, law, and medicine study nearly 200 malpractice claims to show that, contrary to popular perceptions, victims of malpractice are not overcompensated and our legal system for dealing with malpractice claims is not defective.
The authors survey claims filed in Florida between 1986 and 1989 by people who suffered permanent injury or death during birth or during treatment in an emergency room. How often did illegitimate claims result in financial awards? What was the relation between the injury and the amount the patient lost economically? How much did the plaintiffs actually recover? How did the claimants choose their lawyers and what kind of relationship did they have?
Contrary to common perceptions, in the majority of cases the claims were merited, and the authors found that claimants were on average substantially undercompensated—only about one-fifth of plaintiffs recovered more than their economic loss caused by injury or death. The evidence in this book suggests that placing dollar limits on malpractice cases is unjustified and that our tort system is not so faulty after all.
This interdisciplinary review series brings together the perspectives of legal scholars and economists on the work of the United States Supreme Court. Contributions to the SCER provide an economic analysis of the situations and events that generate a case or group of cases. Articles often consider the implicit or explicit economic reasoning employed by the U. S. Supreme Court to reach its decisions, and the economic consequences of the Court's decisions. The SCER also promotes analyses dealing with the functioning of the Court as an organization. As such, it is essential reading for legal scholars, economists, policy makers, and scholars specializing in law and economics.
Appearing in Volume 4 are "The Insurance Antitrust Suits and the Control of Competition in Insurance," by George L. Priest; "Daubert's Debut: The Supreme Court and the Economics of Scientific Evidence," by Jeffrey S. Parker; "The Supreme Court's Predation Odyssey: From Fruit Pies to Cigarettes," by Donald J. Boudreaux, Kenneth G. Elzinga, and David E. Mills; "The Constitutional Conception of the Corporation," by Larry E. Ribstein; "Interpreting Health Care Cost Containment Legislation: Good Samaritan Hospital v. Shalala and Relative Institutional Competence," by Simonetti Samuels; and "O'Melveny & Meyers v. FDIC: Imputation of Fraud and Optimal Monitoring," by A. V. Pritchard
This interdisciplinary review series provides an economic analysis of
the situations and events that generate a case or group of cases decided
by the United States Supreme Court, the implicit or explicit economic
reasoning employed by the Court to reach its decisions, and the economic
consequences of the Court's decisions.
SCER is sponsored by the Law & Economics Center of the George
Mason University School of Law.
Mary Ann Glendon offers a comparative and historical analysis of rapid and profound changes in the legal system beginning in the 1960s in England, France, West Germany, Sweden, and the United States, while bringing new and insightful interpretation and critical thought to bear on the explosion of legislation in the last decade.
"Glendon is generally acknowledged to be the premier comparative law scholar in the area of family law. This volume, which offers an analytical survey of the changes in family law over the past twenty-five years, will burnish that reputation. Essential reading for anyone interested in evaluating the major changes that occurred in the law of the family. . . . [And] of serious interest to those in the social sciences as well."—James B. Boskey, Law Books in Review
"Poses important questions and supplies rich detail."—Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, Texas Law Review
"An impressive scholarly documentation of the legal changes that comprise the development of a conjugally-centered family system."—Debra Friedman, Contemporary Sociology
"She has painted a portrait of the family in which we recognize not only ourselves but also unremembered ideological forefathers. . . . It sends our thoughts out into unexpected adventures."—Inga Markovits, Michigan Law Review
Government seizure of the nation’s strikebound steel mills on 8 April 1952 stands as one of President Harry S Truman’s most controversial actions, representing an unprecedented use of presidential power. On 8 June 1952 the United States Supreme Court invalidated Truman’s order with its monumental decision in Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer. The history and significance of this case constitute the subject of Maeva Marcus’s meticulously researched, brilliantly analyzed, and authoritative study. From Truman’s initial assertion of "inherent" executive power under the Constitution to the High Court’s seven opinions, Marcus assesses the influence of the case on the doctrine of separation of powers and, specifically, the nature and practice of executive authority. First published in 1977 (Columbia University Press), and reissued here in paperback with a new foreword by Louis Fisher, this book remains the definitive account of the Steel Seizure incident and its political and legal ramifications.
This timely and accessible volume takes a fresh approach to a question of increasing public concern: whether or not the federal government should regulate media violence. In Violence as Obscenity, Kevin W. Saunders boldly calls into question the assumption that violent material is protected by the First Amendment. Citing a recognized exception to the First Amendment that allows for the regulation of obscene material, he seeks to expand the definition of obscenity to include explicit and offensive depictions of violence. Saunders examines the public debate on media violence, the arguments of professional and public interest groups urging governmental action, and the media and the ACLU’s desire for self-regulation. Citing research that links violence in the media to actual violence, Saunders argues that a present danger to public safety may be reduced by invoking the existing law on obscenity. Reviewing the justifications of that law, he finds that not only is the legal history relied on by the Supreme Court inadequate to distinguish violence from sex, but also many of the justifications apply more forcefully to instances of violence than to sexually explicit material that has been ruled obscene. Saunders also examines the actions that Congress, states, and municipalities have taken to regulate media violence as well as the legal limitations imposed on such regulations by the First Amendment protections given to speech and the press. In discussing the current operation of the obscenity exception and confronting the issue of censorship, he advocates adapting to the regulation of violent material the doctrine of variable obscenity, which applies a different standard for material aimed at youth, and the doctrine of indecency, which allows for federal regulation of broadcast material. Cogently and passionately argued, Violence as Obscenity will attract scholars of American constitutional law and mass communication, and general readers moved by current debates about media violence, regulation, and censorship.
The Anti-Federalists, in Herbert J. Storing's view, are somewhat paradoxically entitled to be counted among the Founding Fathers and to share in the honor and study devoted to the founding. "If the foundations of the American polity was laid by the Federalists," he writes, "the Anti-Federalist reservations echo through American history; and it is in the dialogue, not merely in the Federalist victory, that the country's principles are to be discovered." It was largely through their efforts, he reminds us, that the Constitution was so quickly amended to include a bill of rights.
Storing here offers a brilliant introduction to the thought and principles of the Anti-Federalists as they were understood by themselves and by other men and women of their time. His comprehensive exposition restores to our understanding the Anti-Federalist share in the founding its effect on some of the enduring themes and tensions of American political life. The concern with big government and infringement of personal liberty one finds in the writings of these neglected Founders strikes a remarkably timely note.