During the Dark Ages and the Renaissance, Europe’s monarchs often resorted to torture and executions. The pain inflicted by instruments of torture—from the thumbscrew and the rack to the Inquisition’s tools of torment—was eclipsed only by horrific methods of execution, from breaking on the wheel and crucifixion to drawing and quartering and burning at the stake. The English “Bloody Code” made more than 200 crimes punishable by death, and judicial torture—expressly authorized by law and used to extract confessions—permeated continental European legal systems. Judges regularly imposed death sentences and other harsh corporal punishments, from the stocks and the pillory, to branding and ear cropping, to lashes at public whipping posts.
In the Enlightenment, jurists and writers questioned the efficacy of torture and capital punishment. In 1764, the Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria—the father of the world’s anti–death penalty movement—condemned both practices. And Montesquieu, like Beccaria and others, concluded that any punishment that goes beyond absolute necessity is tyrannical. Traditionally, torture and executions have been viewed in separate legal silos, with countries renouncing acts of torture while simultaneously using capital punishment. The UN Convention Against Torture strictly prohibits physical or psychological torture; not even war or threat of war can be invoked to justify it. But under the guise of “lawful sanctions,” some countries continue to carry out executions even though they bear the indicia of torture.
In The Death Penalty as Torture, Prof. John Bessler argues that death sentences and executions are medieval relics. In a world in which “mock” or simulated executions, as well as a host of other non-lethal acts, are already considered to be torturous, he contends that death sentences and executions should be classified under the rubric of torture. Unlike in the Middle Ages, penitentiaries—one of the products of the Enlightenment—now exist throughout the globe to house violent offenders. With the rise of life without parole sentences, and with more than four of five nations no longer using executions, The Death Penalty as Torture calls for the recognition of a peremptory, international law norm against the death penalty’s use.
The quest for truth has long been central to Western civilization and the academic enterprise, a prerequisite for honest discourse about ethics, law, and social order. So too have the problems and paradoxes of antisemitism persisted through the ages – as has the notion that they are endemic to the human condition and have been around for so long it is fruitless to fight them. But the countervailing urge to understand and explain the scourge of racial hatred and anti-Zionism, as well as the conviction that they can be substantially eradicated by sowing truth and honesty, likewise remains strong among freedom-loving people everywhere. DEFENDING TRUTH focuses on three areas that reflect the demonization of Jews and Israel over the past century: the continuing phenomenon of Holocaust denial, entrenched media bias in Mideast reporting, and the current worldwide effort to impose boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israeli academic, business, and state enterprises. By describing in detail the use of Big Lies and purposeful distortions to accomplish those ends, this book engages the difficult but necessary pursuit of an answer to the eternal query, how best can Truth be defended?
All religions have their sacred cows and holy wars. None are more colorful or intriguing than what goes on in the burgeoning world of kosher food supervision. This book tells a colorful tale of religion, politics, and filthy lucre to present a spellbinding picture of canons and curiosities as well as a sobering examination of the limitations of law, the vagaries of religious disputes, and the verities of business ethics. From intrigues in the abattoirs to brawls in the boardrooms and shenanigans in the supermarkets, here is a compelling chronicle that should be of interest to readers regardless of their faiths or food preferences.
Stephen Breyer and John Bessler
A landmark dissenting opinion arguing against the death penalty.
Does the death penalty violate the Constitution? In Against the Death Penalty, Justice Stephen Breyer argues that it does; that it is carried out unfairly and inconsistently and, thus, violates the ban on "cruel and unusual punishments" specified by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.
“Today’s administration of the death penalty,” Breyer writes, “involves three fundamental constitutional defects: (1) serious unreliability, (2) arbitrariness in application, and (3) unconscionably long delays that undermine the death penalty’s penological purpose. Perhaps as a result, (4) most places within the United States have abandoned its use.”
This volume contains Breyer's dissent in the case of Glossip v. Gross, which involved an unsuccessful challenge to Oklahoma's use of a lethal-injection drug because it might cause severe pain. Justice Breyer's legal citations have been edited to make them understandable to a general audience, but the text retains the full force of his powerful argument that the time has come for the Supreme Court to revisit the constitutionality of the death penalty.
Breyer was joined in his dissent from the bench by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Their passionate argument has been cited by many legal experts including fellow Justice Antonin Scalia—as signaling an eventual Court ruling striking down the death penalty. A similar dissent in 1963 by Breyer's mentor, Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, helped set the stage for a later ruling, imposing what turned out to be a four-year moratorium on executions.
Daniel L. Hatcher
Government aid doesn’t always go where it’s supposed to. Foster care agencies team up with companies to take disability and survivor benefits from abused and neglected children. States and their revenue consultants use illusory schemes to siphon Medicaid funds intended for children and the poor into general state coffers. Child support payments for foster children and families on public assistance are converted into government revenue. And the poverty industry keeps expanding, leaving us with nursing homes and juvenile detention centers that sedate residents to reduce costs and maximize profit, local governments buying nursing homes to take the facilities’ federal aid while the elderly languish with poor care, and counties hiring companies to mine the poor for additional funds in modern day debtor’s prisons. In The Poverty Industry, Daniel L. Hatcher shows us how state governments and their private industry partners are profiting from the social safety net, turning America’s most vulnerable populations into sources of revenue. The poverty industry is stealing billions in federal aid and other funds from impoverished families, abused and neglected children, and the disabled and elderly poor. As policy experts across the political spectrum debate how to best structure government assistance programs, a massive siphoning of the safety net is occurring behind the scenes.In the face of these abuses of power, Hatcher offers a road map for reforms to realign the practices of human service agencies with their intended purpose, to prevent the misuse of public taxpayer dollars, and to ensure that government aid truly gets to those in need.
The Polarized Congress: The Post-Traditional Procedure of Its Current Struggles argues that the rise of the polarized Congress means a totally different Congressional procedure, especially after 2007, compared to the accustomed "traditional" one. Polarized Congress explores a host of lesser-known, even sometimes below the radar, aspects of the post-traditional or polarized model. These range from "ping-ponging" of major measures between chambers (without conferencing), to the Senate Majority Leader's new "toolkit". They go from the now-crucial "Hastert Rule" in the House, to the astonishment of legislating the Affordable Care Act by singular procedures including budget reconciliation. The book challenges the easy assumption, especially by the non-specialist press, that Congressional procedure is descending into nothing more than chaotic brutishness or eternal stalemate. Instead, it explains the transformation of the traditional model about "how a bill becomes a law" before 2000, into the new current model in which Congress acts very differently.
José F. Anderson
This title has not yet been released.
F. Michael Higginbotham
Maintaining the easily readable style and tightly organized structure of the earlier editions, the fourth edition of Race Law provides an in-depth examination of the issue of race and values in the American legal process, from the formation of the United States Constitution in 1787 to the present. This book covers a unique blend of original source materials and scholarly analysis, including historical background information, legislation, judicial decisions, congressional hearings, commentary, biographical information, and questions. Fully revised and updated, it offers important new material on citizenship, immigration, politics, criminal justice, affirmative action, and voting rights, and important new cases such as Fisher v. University of Texas, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, and Shelby County v. Holder.
Nancy M. Modesitt, Janie F. Schulman, and Daniel P. Westman
The Third Edition contains a new chapter that provides an overview of federal laws containing whistleblower protection. This chapter not only outlines the subjects on which whistleblowers in the private sector receive protection under federal law, but also explains burdens of proof in whistleblowing claims brought pursuant to federal statutes. A new section examines the increasing number of state statutes that contain whistleblower protections for employees who disclose wrongful behavior on particular topics (such as abuse of patients in nursing homes).
The Third Edition includes discussions of:
Lawson v. FMR LLC, in which the Supreme Court held that employees of private contractors and subcontractors of public companies are protected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s whistleblower provisions.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, in which the Supreme Court held that a Title VII retaliation plaintiff must prove that “his or her protected activity was a but-for cause of the alleged adverse action by the employer.” The Third Edition explains how this case is likely to affect retaliation claims under various federal and state whistleblower protection statutes.
Lane v. Franks, in which the Supreme Court held that the “First Amendment protects a public employee who provides truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena, outside the scope of his ordinary job duties.” This is the first Supreme Court case that has explained the Garcettilimitation on whistleblowing claims that allege infringement on government employees’ First Amendment rights.
Additionally, the Third Edition includes updated material on recent DOL ARB decisions and outlines the revised OSHA investigations manual governing whistleblowing complaints filed with the DOL.
Jane C. Murphy and Robert Rubinson
The new edition of Family Mediation: Theory and Practice incorporates the many new developments in the field since its original publication in 2009. This edition includes a new chapter, “Unrepresented Parties and Mediation”, exploring the impact of the vast number of pro se litigants on the family mediation process. Another new chapter, “Beyond Mediation: Collaborative Practice and Other Forms of ADR in Family Law”, reflects the expanding options for family dispute resolution since our first edition. The new edition also includes an updated and expanded statutory appendix featuring representative changes in court based mediation rules and statutes, including new approaches to courts’ treatment of domestic violence cases in family mediation as well as new rules on confidentiality and mediator qualifications and training. The remaining chapters are wholly revised and updated, including additional materials on mediating financial issues, domestic violence and mediation, mediator neutrality, and power differentials. A teacher’s manual with new seminar plans, exam questions and role plays will be available in September, 2015. - See more at: http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&prodId=prod12320328#sthash.Hf1i9Sl8.dpuf
Jane C. Murphy and Jana B. Singer
Over the past thirty years, there has been a dramatic shift in the way the legal system approaches and resolves family disputes. Traditionally, family law dispute resolution was based on an “adversary” system: two parties and their advocates stood before a judge who determined which party was at fault in a divorce and who would be awarded the rights in a custody dispute. Now, many family courts are opting for a “problem-solving” model in which courts attempt to resolve both legal and non-legal issues. At the same time, American families have changed dramatically. Divorce rates have leveled off and begun to drop, while the number of children born and raised outside of marriage has increased sharply. Fathers are more likely to seek an active role in their children’s lives. While this enhanced paternal involvement benefits children, it also increases the likelihood of disputes between parents. As a result, the families who seek legal dispute resolution have become more diverse and their legal situations more complex. In Divorced from Reality, Jane C. Murphy and Jana B. Singer argue that the current "problem solving" model fails to address the realities of today's families. The authors suggest that while today’s dispute resolution regime may represent an improvement over its more adversary predecessor, it is built largely around the model of a divorcing nuclear family with lawyers representing all parties—a model that fits poorly with the realities of today's disputing families. To serve the families it is meant to help, the legal system must adapt and reshape itself.
Robert Mardian was the Assistant Attorney General for Internal Security during President Nixon's first term. In this role, he was involved in many controversial matters including the Pentagon Papers case. Mardian was convicted along with former Attorney General John Mitchell, and Nixon White House aides John Ehrlichman and H.R. "Bob" Haldeman of conspiracy to obstruct justice at the Watergate conspiracy trial held before Judge John Sirica. Arnold Rochvarg, the author of this book, was a member of the legal defense team for the appeal of Mardian's conviction. This book is extremely helpful to learn about the Watergate scandal. Watergate led to prison terms for many of Nixon's closest associates and to Nixon's resignation as President. The book explains (1) the planning of the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex by John Mitchell, White House Counsel John Dean, and White House aides Jeb Magruder and Gordon Liddy; (2) the actual break-in involving ex- CIA operative and White House aide Howard Hunt, several of Hunt's former CIA associates from the Bay of Pigs invasion, and Nixon campaign security chief James McCord; (3) the attempts to deny that those arrested at the Watergate had any connection with the Nixon re-election campaign including payments of hush money, offers of clemency, destruction of documents, perjury before the grand jury, and attempts to have the CIA take responsibility to halt the FBI investigation; (4) the convictions of the original burglars without the true facts becoming public until James McCord informed Judge Sirica that "higher-ups" were responsible;(5) the guilty pleas and cooperation with the prosecution by some of the major participants including John Dean and Jeb Magruder; (6) the indictments of seven former Nixon administration officials for crimes including conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury; (7) the conspiracy trial of five defendants before Judge John Sirica after one of the seven defendants pleaded guilty and another was granted a separate trial; (8) the guilty verdicts for four of the five defendants; (9) the appeals of the four defendants convicted at the conspiracy trial; and (10) significant events that occurred after all Watergate legal proceedings had ended. This book pays special attention to the facts presented at trial involving Robert Mardian because of all the convicted defendants, Mardian was the only defendant who presented a strong defense and whose guilt was truly in doubt.The book's detailed analysis of the facts relating to Mardian present a close look at the evidence presented at trial, and raise questions as to the validity of the jury's guilty verdict. The book then discusses the legal issues involved in Mardian's appeal including the use of the White House tapes against Mardian, and Mardian's defense that he was "only acting as a lawyer." The appeals court opinion which reversed Mardian's conviction is presented, as well as his lawyers' efforts to avoid a retrial. This book is unique in several ways. Unlike most other books on Watergate, this book is written from the defense perspective by a former member of Mardian's defense team. Moreover, included are transcripts of closed court hearings. Additionally, before his death, Mardian provided his legal team with personal notes of a conversation he had with Richard Nixon a few years after Watergate in which Nixon gave his opinion not only on Watergate, but other matters including Jimmy Carter, the media, and foreign policy. The book also contains discussions of the "lawyering" of the Watergate case including decisions involving legal strategy, and correspondence with the Watergate Special Prosecutor's office. This book contains a wealth of information which should be of great interest not only to Watergate "buffs," but also those with an interest in American history, legal history, criminal law, the legal profession, and the legacy of Richard Nixon.
Walter D. Schwidetzky and Fred B. Brown
Understanding Taxation of Business Entities is new to the LexisNexis Understanding Series. This book is designed primarily for use by law students taking a course on the taxation of business entities, or separate courses on partnership taxation and corporate taxation. The book is broken into parts on partnership taxation, C corporation taxation, and S corporation taxation. Each chapter contains a basic overview and a detailed analysis ; this allows for an understanding of the big picture before diving into the details, and the basic overview alone may be sufficient for some topics that may be covered lightly in a business entity taxation course. For each type of business tax entity, the book covers its life cycle — formation, operations, and liquidation — along with reorganizations and divisions for corporations. The book is replete with descriptions and analyses of the relevant Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations provisions, summaries of leading cases and IRS rulings, and plenty of examples that apply the law to hypothetical situations. Understanding Taxation of Business Entities is designed primarily for law students, but it is also intended to be useful to practitioners, including generalists who need a relatively brief summary of a business entity tax topic, beginning lawyers who intend to specialize in partnership and corporate taxation and / or are working on an LL.M. in taxation, and experienced lawyers who wish to expand their practices into business entity taxation. The book similarly would be useful to accountants who are pursuing a master of science in taxation, as well as accountants practicing in the area of business entity taxation. - See more at: http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?prodId=prod21830350
Amy E. Sloan
This best-selling coursebook on legal research is known for its clear, step-by-step instruction in the basics. Using a building-block approach, Basic Legal Research: Tools and Strategies, Sixth Edition breaks material into discrete, readily comprehensible parts. Self-contained chapters on sources make the book flexible for any type of legal research course. Useful pedagogy throughout the text includes end-of-chapter checklists, clear examples, and summary charts. Helpful sample pages and examples of research sources guide students through the presentation, and an accompanying workbook provides exercises to test comprehension.
Key Features of the Sixth Edition:
- Clear, step-by-step instruction covering the basics of legal research
- A building-block approach that breaks the material into discrete and comprehensible parts
- Self-contained chapters on research sources that make the book adaptable to any type of legal research course
- End-of-chapter checklists, numerous examples, and summary charts that aid in understanding, retention, and review
- Updated sample pages, screen shots, and references to research sources
- Completely revised material throughout, providing thorough instruction in the features and use of the main research platforms. Its updated coverage includes WestlawNext, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law.
Amy E. Sloan, Steven D. Schwinn, and John D. Edwards
With a balance of traditional print and current electronic sources, the Revised Fourth Edition of BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH WORKBOOK encourages independent, experiential learning. Proven effective in the classroom, the authors carefully developed problems gradually progress from introductory to more complex. Whether accompanying Amy Sloan s BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH: TOOLS AND STRATEGIES, Sixth Edition, or any other legal research text, these exercises provide hands-on practice throughout the course that will serve students well in their careers as lawyers.
Hallmarks of Basic Legal Research Workbook:
- Coverage that mirrors the research sources studied in first-year Legal Research courses, including both print and electronic sources
- A logical and intuitive organization
- Library exercises, presented at graduating levels of difficulty, from basic searches to those requiring more advanced research skills
- Print assignments that can work in multiple jurisdictions, reducing the demand on single library sources
Building on its strengths, the timely Revised Fourth Edition includes updated electronic research exercises that progressively instruct students on the latest interface features from WestlawNext and Lexis Advance.
The Birth of American Law: An Italian Philosopher and the American Revolution tells the forgotten, untold story of the origins of U.S. law. Before the Revolutionary War, a 26-year-old Italian thinker, Cesare Beccaria, published On Crimes and Punishments, a runaway bestseller that shaped the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and early American laws. America's Founding Fathers, including early U.S. Presidents, avidly read Beccaria's book—a product of the Italian Enlightenment that argued against tyranny and the death penalty. Beccaria's book shaped American views on everything from free speech to republicanism, to ''Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,'' to gun ownership and the founders' understanding of ''cruel and unusual punishments,'' the famous phrase in the U.S. Constitution's Eighth Amendment. In opposing torture and infamy, Beccaria inspired America's founders to jettison England's Bloody Code, heavily reliant on executions and corporal punishments, and to adopt the penitentiary system. The cast of characters in The Birth of American Law includes the usual suspects—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison. But it also includes the now little-remembered Count Luigi Castiglioni, a botanist from Milan who—decades before Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America—toured all thirteen original American states before the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Also figuring in this dramatic story of the American Revolution: Madison's Princeton classmate William Bradford, an early U.S. Attorney General and Beccaria devotee; John Dickinson, the ''Penman of the Revolution'' who wrote of Beccaria's ''genius'' and ''masterly hand''; James Wilson and Dr. Benjamin Rush, signers of the Declaration of Independence and fellow Beccaria admirers; and Philip Mazzei, Jefferson's Italian-American neighbor at Monticello and yet another Beccaria enthusiast. In documenting Beccaria's game-changing influence, The Birth of American Law sheds important new light on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the creation of American law.
- Winner, Scribes Book Award, The American Society of Legal Writers
- First Prize, 2015 American Association for Italian Studies Book Award (18th/19th century category)
- Gold Winner, 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Award (History)
In this provocative and insightful book, constitutional scholar and journalist Garrett Epps reviews the key decisions of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term through the words of the nation's nine most powerful legal authorities. Epps succinctly outlines one opinion or dissent from each of the justices during the recent term, using it to illuminate the political and ideological views that prevail on the Court. The result is a highly readable summary of the term's most controversial cases as well as a probing investigation of the issues and personalities that shape the Court's decisions.
Accompanied by a concise overview of Supreme Court procedure and brief case summaries, American Justice 2014 is an engaging and instructive read for seasoned Court-watchers as well as legal novices eager for an introduction to the least-understood branch of government. This revealing portrait of a year in legal action dramatizes the ways that the Court has come to reflect and encourage the polarization that increasingly defines American politics.
Michael Hayes and Bruce S. Feldacker
Labor Guide to Labor Law is a comprehensive survey of labor law in the private sector, written from the labor perspective for labor relations students and for unions and their members. This thoroughly revised and updated fifth edition covers new statutes, current issues, and the latest developments in labor and employment law.
The text emphasizes issues of greatest importance to unions and employees. Where the law permits a union to make certain tactical choices, those choices are pointed out. Material is included on internal union matters that tend to be ignored in management texts. Bruce S. Feldacker and Michael J. Hayes cover applicable labor law principles from a union's initial organizing campaign to the mature bargaining relationship, including such subjects as the employee right to engage in protected concerted activity, the duty to bargain, labor arbitration, the use of strikes, picketing and other economic weapons in resolving a labor dispute, the duty of fair representation, internal union regulation, and employment discrimination.
This book is also a useful reference and review for full-time union officers and representatives who have a working knowledge of labor law but wish to brush up on certain points as needed in their work. Both authors have extensive experience in the construction field, and they have been careful to include material on those aspects of labor law that are unique to that field.
Labor Guide to Labor Law is structured to present an unbiased and comprehensive explanation of labor law principles for anyone interested in the field. Thus, labor relations educators, as well as practitioners in the field representing labor, management, or individual employees, should also find the text suitable for their use. Each chapter includes a summary, review questions and answers, a restatement of "Basic Legal principles" with citations to key cases, and a bibliography for additional research.
Joseph W. Little, Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, Stephen C. O'Connell, and Robert H. Lande
The Fourth Edition of Torts: Theory and Practice (formerly Torts: The Civil Law of Reparation for Harm Done by Wrongful Act) brings the text fully up to date in statutory, judicial, and Restatement developments, and includes law and economic analyses and commentary throughout.
The casebook concentrates on negligence as the primary vehicle for teaching tort law. It provides the historical background for each negligence principle so that students understand how current tort law developed. An introductory chapter presents the primary ideas of negligence law, and subsequent chapters develop the law of negligence in detail, including defenses, comparative fault, damages, and multi-party considerations. The second part of the book covers intentional torts, strict liability, products liability, tortious invasion of property interests, workers' compensation, no-fault automobile reparations, defamation, privacy and constitutional torts.
Christopher J. Peters
This volume presents a variety of both normative and descriptive perspectives on the use of precedent by the United States Supreme Court. It brings together a diverse group of American legal scholars, some of whom have been influenced by the Segal/Spaeth "attitudinal" model and some of whom have not. The group of contributors includes legal theorists and empiricists, constitutional lawyers and legal generalists, leading authorities and up-and-coming scholars. The book addresses questions such as how the Court establishes durable precedent, how the Court decides to overrule precedent, the effects of precedent on case selection, the scope of constitutional precedent, the influence of concurrences and dissents, and the normative foundations of constitutional precedent. Most of these questions have been addressed by the Court itself only obliquely, if at all. The volume will be valuable to readers both in the United States and abroad, particularly in light of ongoing debates over the role of precedent in civil-law nations and emerging legal systems.
Mark Sargent and Walter D. Schwidetzky
This handbook, which provides a complete summary and analysis of the "Check-the-Box" rules, offers guidance to the most important new form of business organization to emerge in recent years. It also offers state-by-state coverage of limited liability companies (LLCs), forms for LLC articles and operating agreements, and tax status of LLCs, with texts of the relevant IRS revenue and private letter rulings. Also includes discussion of how LLCs stack up against S and C corporations and partnerships, citations to all available LLC statutes, and coverage of the emergence of the LLC as an alternative entity to the professional corporation.
Amy E. Sloan
Concise new title by the top author in legal research. Focuses on pre- and post-search analysis for effectively filtering vast amounts of material. Teaches students how to identify the most pertinent and authoritative information to solve a legal problem.
- Concise, reasonably priced new title from top legal research author.
- Approaches legal research as a filtering process to identify the most pertinent and authoritative information from vast search results.
- Part I: Explains how to define a research question; pre-filter content before beginning a search; conduct research; and establish post-search criteria for filtering results.
- Part II: Describes essential features of individual sources of authority and search strategies unique to each source.
- Part III: Contains research flowcharts to help students plan research strategy for different types of research projects.
- Contains all information students need to learn fundamental principles of legal research.
- Can also be used to complement other texts and classroom materials.
- Not simply a shorter version of Basic Legal Research. Looks at research as a process of filtering the available information, rather than as a process that requires first choosing the right source of authority to solve a legal problem.
- Part I is primarily new material. Part II contains a mix of new material and streamlined versions of similar content from BLR. Part III contains flowcharts that follow the format of the flowcharts in BLR, but the content of the flowcharts has been reformulated to fit with the filtering approach.
In 1987, E.L. Doctorow celebrated the Constitution's bicentennial by reading it. "It is five thousand words long but reads like fifty thousand," he said. Distinguished legal scholar Garrett Epps—himself an award-winning novelist—disagrees. It's about 7,500 words. And Doctorow "missed a good deal of high rhetoric, many literary tropes, and even a trace of, if not wit, at least irony," he writes. Americans may venerate the Constitution, "but all too seldom is it read."
In American Epic, Epps takes us through a complete reading of the Constitution—even the "boring" parts—to achieve an appreciation of its power and a holistic understanding of what it says. In this book he seeks not to provide a definitive interpretation, but to listen to the language and ponder its meaning. He draws on four modes of reading: scriptural, legal, lyric, and epic. The Constitution's first three words, for example, sound spiritual—but Epps finds them to be more aspirational than prayer-like. "Prayers are addressed to someone . . . either an earthly king or a divine lord, and great care is taken to name the addressee. . . . This does the reverse. The speaker is 'the people,' the words addressed to the world at large." He turns the Second Amendment into a poem to illuminate its ambiguity. He notices oddities and omissions. The Constitution lays out rules for presidential appointment of officers, for example, but not removal. Should the Senate approve each firing? Can it withdraw its "advice and consent" and force a resignation? And he challenges himself, as seen in his surprising discussion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in light of Article 4, which orders states to give "full faith and credit" to the acts of other states.
Wry, original, and surprising, American Epic is a scholarly and literary tour de force.
F. Michael Higginbotham
When America inaugurated its first African American president, in 2009, many wondered if the country had finally become a "post-racial" society. Was this the dawning of a new era, in which America, a nation nearly severed in half by slavery, and whose racial fault lines are arguably among its most enduring traits, would at last move beyond race with the election of Barack Hussein Obama? In Ghosts of Jim Crow, F. Michael Higginbotham convincingly argues that America remains far away from that imagined utopia. Indeed, the shadows of Jim Crow era laws and attitudes continue to perpetuate insidious, systemic prejudice and racism in the 21st century. Higginbotham’s extensive research demonstrates how laws and actions have been used to maintain a racial paradigm of hierarchy and separation—both historically, in the era of lynch mobs and segregation, and today—legally, economically, educationally and socially. Using history as a roadmap, Higginbotham arrives at a provocative solution for ridding the nation of Jim Crow’s ghost, suggesting that legal and political reform can successfully create a post-racial America, but only if it inspires whites and blacks to significantly alter behaviors and attitudes of race-based superiority and victimization. He argues that America will never achieve its full potential unless it truly enters a post-racial era, and believes that time is of the essence as competition increases globally.
Maryland Evidence, State & Federal provides comprehensive research and analysis of both Maryland and federal evidence caselaw, rules, and statutes. The author includes:
- Discussion of the federal rule on each point
- An explanation of the many differences between Maryland and federal law
- Explanatory parentheticals for the cases when mere citations would be insufficiently informative
- Special emphasis on the Supreme Court, the Fourth Circuit, and the District of Maryland
- Footnotes referring the reader to relevant secondary sources
- Tables of statutes and court rules