Law in America

Author: Lawrence M. Friedman
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 1588362507
Format: PDF, Kindle
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“Law in America is a little gem. It is a peerless introduction to our legal history—concise, clear, tellingly told, and beautifully written. The greatest living historian of American law has done it again.” —Stanley N. Katz, former president of the American Society for Legal History and the Organization of American Historians “All societies have laws, but neither all laws nor all legal systems are alike. No one has thought more deeply or written more clearly about the peculiar role of law in American life than Lawrence Friedman. In this trenchant, illuminating book, he distills a lifetime of scholarship and teaching into a concise and provocative explanation of the role that law has played in shaping the distinctive contours of American history and culture.” —David M. Kennedy, professor of history at Stanford University and author of Freedom from Fear Throughout America’s history, our laws have been a reflection of who we are, of what we value, of who has control. They embody our society’s genetic code. In the masterful hands of the subject’s greatest living historian, the story of the evolution of our laws serves to lay bare the deciding struggles over power and justice that have shaped this country from its birth pangs to the present. Law in America is a supreme example of the historian’s art, its brevity a testament to the great elegance and wit of its composition.

The Rule of Law in America

Author: Ronald A. Cass
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801874413
Format: PDF, ePub
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What is the rule of law? Why does it matter? How well does America conform to the rule of law? And why do Americans, who profess such respect for the law, complain so often about our legal system? Drawing upon extensive experience in law, government service, teaching, and research, Boston University law school dean Ronald Cass offers a welcome contribution to the ongoing public discussion on law and society. After opening his discussion with chapters on the rule of law in American society, Cass turns to the hard case of its application to the president of the United States. Through this prism Cass examines the behavior of judges who may not always act according to a "perfect model." They may not always be perfectly constrained by law or achieve perfect justice through law. That, however, is the wrong thing to ask. Instead, says Cass, "looking at the ordinary case -- and asking not whether the decision advances particular aspirations for society, but whether it conforms to basic aspects of legal authority -- produces a more law-governed view of America judging." In fact, this book provides a much-needed corrective to criticism of the American legal system raised all too frequently by members of the academy and by politicians. Rather than concentrating on relatively minor inconsistencies in the law and slight departures from the ideal of perfectly constrained decision making, Cass argues that the energies of his fellow scholars could be better spent on more serious defects in the legal system. With a special section on the 2000 presidential election, including the Florida recount and Supreme Court decision, The Rule of Law in America offers a timely look at a subject of interest to legal scholars and general readers alike..

The Cambridge History of Law in America

Author: Michael Grossberg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521803063
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This volume covers American law in the nineteenth century and describes the development of modern legal systems.

Communication Law in America

Author: Paul Siegel
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442226234
Format: PDF, Docs
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Communication Law in America is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow overview of the complicated ways in which U.S. law determines who may say what to (and about) whom. It covers the usual content– libel, invasion of privacy, copyright and trademark, access to government information, advertising, electronic media– all the while giving readers a sense of how and why this country has come to weigh freedom of speech above competing freedoms far more often than in other Western democracies. This fourth edition of the well-received text boasts over 300 new citations, including discussion of a dozen U. S. Supreme Court decisions handed down since the previous edition. The text also offers a new section on how the First Amendment applies to special populations, including students, government employees in general, and the military in particular.

Debt s Dominion

Author: David A. Skeel Jr.
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400828503
Format: PDF
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Bankruptcy in America, in stark contrast to its status in most other countries, typically signifies not a debtor's last gasp but an opportunity to catch one's breath and recoup. Why has the nation's legal system evolved to allow both corporate and individual debtors greater control over their fate than imaginable elsewhere? Masterfully probing the political dynamics behind this question, David Skeel here provides the first complete account of the remarkable journey American bankruptcy law has taken from its beginnings in 1800, when Congress lifted the country's first bankruptcy code right out of English law, to the present day. Skeel shows that the confluence of three forces that emerged over many years--an organized creditor lobby, pro-debtor ideological currents, and an increasingly powerful bankruptcy bar--explains the distinctive contours of American bankruptcy law. Their interplay, he argues in clear, inviting prose, has seen efforts to legislate bankruptcy become a compelling battle royale between bankers and lawyers--one in which the bankers recently seem to have gained the upper hand. Skeel demonstrates, for example, that a fiercely divided bankruptcy commission and the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress have yielded the recent, ideologically charged battles over consumer bankruptcy. The uniqueness of American bankruptcy has often been noted, but it has never been explained. As different as twenty-first century America is from the horse-and-buggy era origins of our bankruptcy laws, Skeel shows that the same political factors continue to shape our unique response to financial distress.

Religion and the Law in America

Author: Scott A. Merriman
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9781851098637
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Provides a collection of essays and alphabetical entries that cover the history of freedom of religion in the United States.

The Color of Law A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Author: Richard Rothstein
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
ISBN: 1631492861
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"Rothstein has presented what I consider to be the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation." —William Julius Wilson In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation—that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north. As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.

Tort Law in America

Author: G. Edward White
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198020271
Format: PDF
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Widely regarded as a standard in the field, G. Edward White's Tort Law in America is a concise and accessible history of the way legal scholars and judges have conceptualized the subject of torts, the reasons that changes in certain rules and doctrines have occurred, and the people who brought about these changes. Now in an expanded edition, Tort Law in America features a new preface that places the book within the current scholarship and two new chapters covering developments in American tort law over the past fifteen years. White approaches his subject from four perspectives: intellectual history, the sociology of knowledge, the phenomenon of professionalization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in America, and the recurrent concerns of tort law since its emergence as a discrete field. He puts the intellectual history of this unique branch of law into the general picture of philosophy, sociology, and literature in what is not only a major work of legal scholarship but also a tour de force for anyone interested in American intellectual history.

Law and People in Colonial America

Author: Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801858161
Format: PDF, Docs
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This revised edition of Law and People in Colonial America will incorporate recent scholarship and encompass American Indians, the French, and Spaniards as people who—on the fringes of English settlement—raised interesting questions. Among them: how in legal terms did the English deal with "marginal"societies; how does this posture help us to understand English law and the changes the New World forced upon it; and how did these people on the outside themselves view English law?

Family Law in America

Author: Sanford N. Katz
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199759227
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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For many years family law was viewed as a study of the regulation of clearly defined relationships of husband and wife and parent and child. In the case of husband and wife, it was through formal legal procedures or informal arrangements called marriage. In the case of parent and child it was either through biology or adoption. Equally defined were the stages by which these relationships were established, maintained, and terminated. However, by the close of the twentieth century, basic questions about who should be officially designated a family member and by what procedure were being raised both in the legislature and in litigation. In addition, conventional models that had defined domestic relations such as marriage, divorce, and adoption were either being expanded to include contemporary patterns of living arrangements and the current reality, or new models were being constructed. In Family Law in America, Professor Sanford N. Katz examines the present state of family law in America. Themes include the tension between individual autonomy and governmental regulation in all aspects of family law, the extent to which relationships established before marriage are being regulated, and how marriage is being redefined to take into account equality of the sexes, and the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in some jurisdictions. It demonstrates how the definition of marriage as a partnership in which the individual spouse's rights are recognized has resulted in protection of the vulnerable spouse. It also examines fault and no-fault divorce procedures and the extent to which these procedures reflect social realities. This volume describes state intervention into the parent and child relationship and how this is reflected in the reexamination of the privacy of the family unit. It concludes with a discussion of the conventional model of adoption of children and how new assisted reproductive technologies are having an impact on family formation, particularly adoption, to take into account new family forms. This second edition captures recent developments affecting family law in America, including the transformation of the institution of marriage from being a relationship between a man and a woman to encompassing same-sex marriage. Also, this new edition features timely material with insights into adoption that take into account developments in assisted reproduction technologies and the discussion of sexual abuse of children by clergy.