Thursday, February 27, 2014

Originalism and the Good Constitution

John O. McGinnis & Michael B. Rappaport (Northwestern University, University of San Diego). Originalism and the Good Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2013).

"In their innovative defense of originalism, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport maintain that the text of the Constitution should be adhered to by the Supreme Court because it was enacted by supermajorities—both its original enactment under Article VII and subsequent Amendments under Article V. A text approved by supermajorities has special value in a democracy because it has unusually wide support and thus tends to maximize the welfare of the greatest number. . . . A fascinating counterfactual they pose is this: had the Supreme Court not interpreted the Constitution so freely, perhaps the nation would have resorted to the Article V amendment process more often and with greater effect."
Originalism and the Good Constitution book jacket.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Burglary

Betty Medsger (San Francisco State University). The Burglary (Alfred A Knopf, 2014).

"Calling themselves the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the F.B.I., the burglars not only stole every file in the office, they also circulated the worst of them to journalists across the country. The reporter Betty Medsger received a batch in her mailbox at The Washington Post. Though nothing she read even remotely compromised national security, there was plenty of material guaranteed to embarrass the F.B.I. . . . The stolen material included the secret case histories of thousands of Americans. Much of it was malicious gossip about things like sexual deviance and race-­mixing, two of Hoover’s favorite subjects."
—David Oshinsky, New York Times

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Geography of Love: Same-sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America (The Story in Maps)

Peter Nicolas & Mark Strong (University of Washington).  The Geography of Love, Third Edition (2013).

"With 15 years' experience as a geographic-information systems or mapping specialist, Strong scoured census records and maps for information that brought election results and gay rights together.  Nicolas, meanwhile, brought his legal mind to what was an exhaustive research effort, as well as a bit of insider knowledge. In 1992, as a 21-year-old graduate student at the University of Michigan, he was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council and voted on an ordinance extending domestic-partner benefits to city employees. As a law professor who teaches a class each year on GLBT rights and the constitution, Nicolas said he found domestic partnership registries in places 'where you didn't think they existed.'"
 —Lornet Turnbull, Seattle Times

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Law of Ancient Athens

David D. Philips (UCLA).  The Law of Ancient Athens (University of Michigan Press, 2013).

"Offering a comprehensive treatment of Athenian law, it assumes no prior knowledge of the subject and is organized in user-friendly fashion, progressing from the person to the family to property and obligations to the gods and to the state. . . . Topics covered in the book include homicide and wounding; theft; marriage, children, and inheritance; citizenship; contracts and commerce; impiety; treason and other offenses against the state; and sexual offenses including rape and prostitution.  The volume's unique feature is its presentation of the actual primary sources for Athenian laws. . . . The translated sources, together with topical introductions, notes, and references, will facilitate both research in the field and the teaching of increasingly popular courses on Athenian law and law in the ancient world."  
The Law of Ancient Athens book jacket

Call number: KL 4115 .A75 P45 2013

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changes His Mind — and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

Thomas Healy (Seton Hall).  The Great Dissent (Metropolitan Books, 2013).

"Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes's journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero.  It is the story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon to their way of thinking—and a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from his loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends."

The Great Dissent book jacket

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Degraded Work: The Struggle at the Bottom of the Labor Market

Marc Doussard (University of Illinois). Degraded Work (University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

"Drawing on fieldwork in Chicago, Degraded Work examines changes in two industries in which inferior job quality is assumed to be intrinsic: residential construction and food retail. Arguing that a growing service sector does not have to mean growing inequality, Marc Doussard proposes creative policy and organizing opportunities to improve job quality despite the overwhelming barriers to national political action."
 —From publisher's website

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tort Law: Challenging Orthodoxy

Stephen G.A. Pitel, Jason W. Neyers & Erika Chamberlain, eds. (Western University). Tort Law: Challenging Orthodoxy (Hart Publishing, 2013).

"In this book leading scholars from the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia challenge established common law rules and suggest new approaches to both old and emerging problems in tort law.  Some chapters consider broad issues such as the importance of flexibility over certainty in tort law, connections between tort law and human flourishing and the indirect effects of changes in tort law.  Other chapters engage more specific topics . . .  [they] propose new approaches to contributory negligence, emotional distress, loss of a chance, damages for nuisance, the tort of conspiracy and vicarious liability."
Tort Law: Challenging Orthodoxy book jacket

Monday, February 10, 2014

Talent Wants to be Free: Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids, and Free Riding

Orly Lobel (University of San Diego).  Talent Wants to be Free (Yale University Press, 2013).

"This timely book challenges conventional business wisdom about competition, secrecy, motivation, and creativity.  Orly Lobel, an internationally acclaimed expert in the law and economics of human capital, warns that a set of counter-productive mentalities are stifling innovation in many regions and companies.  Lobel asks how innovators, entrepreneurs, research teams, and every one of use who experiences the occasional spark of creativity can triumph in today's innovation ecosystem."
Talent Wants to be Free book jacket 

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Point of No Return: Refugees, Rights, and Repatriation

Katy Long (University of Edinburgh).  The Point of No Return (Oxford University Press, 2013).

The Point of No Return: Refugees, Rights, and Repatriation sets out . . . to examine the fundamental tensions between liberalism and nationalism that repatriation exposes.  It makes clear that repatriation cannot be considered as a mere act of border-crossing, a physical moment of 'return'.  Instead, repatriation must be recognized to be a complex political process, involving the remaking of a relationship between citizen and state, the recreation of a social contract.
The Point of No Return book jacket