Author: Dale Carpenter
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2012-03-12
“A highly informative, detailed, even thrilling account of how the Supreme Court arguments reshaped American law.”—Michael Bronkski, San Francisco Chronicle No one could have predicted that the night of September 17, 1998, would be anything but routine in Houston, Texas. Even the call to police that a black man was "going crazy with a gun" was hardly unusual in this urban setting. Nobody could have imagined that the arrest of two men for a minor criminal offense would reverberate in American constitutional law, exposing a deep malignity in our judicial system and challenging the traditional conception of what makes a family. Indeed, when Harris County sheriff’s deputies entered the second-floor apartment, there was no gun. Instead, they reported that they had walked in on John Lawrence and Tyron Garner having sex in Lawrence’s bedroom. So begins Dale Carpenter’s "gripping and brilliantly researched" Flagrant Conduct, a work nine years in the making that transforms our understanding of what we thought we knew about Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark Supreme Court decision of 2003 that invalidated America’s sodomy laws. Drawing on dozens of interviews, Carpenter has taken on the "gargantuan" task of extracting the truth about the case, analyzing the claims of virtually every person involved. Carpenter first introduces us to the interracial defendants themselves, who were hardly prepared "for the strike of lightning" that would upend their lives, and then to the Harris County arresting officers, including a sheriff’s deputy who claimed he had "looked eye to eye" in the faces of the men as they allegedly fornicated. Carpenter skillfully navigates Houston’s complex gay world of the late 1990s, where a group of activists and court officers, some of them closeted themselves, refused to bury what initially seemed to be a minor arrest. The author charts not only the careful legal strategy that Lambda Legal attorneys adopted to make the case compatible to a conservative Supreme Court but also the miscalculations of the Houston prosecutors who assumed that the nation’s extant sodomy laws would be upheld. Masterfully reenacting the arguments that riveted spectators and Justices alike in 2003, Flagrant Conduct then reaches a point where legal history becomes literature, animating a Supreme Court decision as few writers have done. In situating Lawrence v. Texas within the larger framework of America’s four-century persecution of gay men and lesbians, Flagrant Conduct compellingly demonstrates that gay history is an integral part of our national civil rights story.
Author: Dale Carpenter
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2012
Provides a detailed legal history and examines the motives of all players involved with the landmark Supreme Court gay rights case that protected consenting adults' rights, regardless of sexual preference, in the bedroom. 20,000 first printing.
Author: Terri Jennings Peretti
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2001-10-29
Can the Supreme Court be free of politics? Do we want it to be? Normative constitutional theory has long concerned itself with the legitimate scope and limits of judicial review. Too often, theorists seek to resolve that issue by eliminating politics from constitutional decisionmaking. In contrast, Terri Peretti argues for an openly political role for the Supreme Court. Peretti asserts that politically motivated constitutional decisionmaking is not only inevitable, it is legitimate and desirable as well. When Supreme Court justices decide in accordance with their ideological values, or consider the likely political reaction to the Court's decisions, a number of benefits result. The Court's performance of political representation and consensus-building functions is enhanced, and the effectiveness of political checks on the Court is increased. Thus, political motive in constitutional decision making does not lead to judicial tyranny, as many claim, but goes far to prevent it. Using pluralist theory, Peretti further argues that a political Court possesses instrumental value in American democracy. As one of many diverse and redundant political institutions, the Court enhances both system stability and the quality of policymaking, particularly regarding the breadth of interests represented.
Author: Theodore B. Olson
Release Date: 2014-06-17
“Breathtakingly inspiring.” —Laurence H. Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School When advocates for marriage equality sought to challenge California’s notorious Proposition 8, they were fortunate to have the support of two of the nation’s preeminent lawyers, David Boies and Theodore B. Olson. Despite the fact that they had argued against one another in the landmark Bush v. Gore case, their commitment to the marriage issue led them to join forces, ultimately defeating the unconstitutional proposition in the Supreme Court after a nearly five-year battle. Redeeming the Dream is the definitive inside account of the key civil rights struggle of our time.
Author: Jo Becker
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Political Science
A groundbreaking work of reportage by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jo Becker,Forcing the Spring is the definitive account of five remarkable years in American civil rights history, when the United States experienced a tectonic shift on the issue of marriage equality. Focusing on the historic legal challenge of California's ban on same-sex marriage, Becker offers a gripping, behind-the scenes narrative told with the lightning pace of a great legal thriller. Taking the reader from the Oval Office to the Supreme Court ruling, from state-by-state campaigns to the landmark decision overturning DOMA, Forcing the Springis political and legal journalism at its finest. 'Not just the definitive account of the battle for same-sex marriage rights but a thrilling and compassionate one too. Grade A.' Entertainment Weekly 'A stunningly intimate story.' The New York Times Book Review 'Becker's account of the hearings, and her analysis of the complictated legal theories involved in the long appeals process, are excellent. Her writing about the four plaintiffs in the case - the true emotional heroes of this book - is particularly affecting.' Richard Socarides, The New Yorker
Author: David Cole
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2016-03-29
Genre: Political Science
From the National Legal Director of the ACLU, an essential guidebook for anyone seeking to stand up for fundamental civil liberties and rights One of Washington Post's Notable Nonfiction Books of 2016 In an age of executive overreach, what role do American citizens have in safeguarding our Constitution and defending liberty? Must we rely on the federal courts, and the Supreme Court above all, to protect our rights? In Engines of Liberty, the esteemed legal scholar and National Legal Director of the ACLU David Cole argues that we all have a part to play in the grand civic dramas of our era--and in a revised Introduction and Conclusion, he proposes specific tactics for fighting Donald Trump's policies. Examining the most successful rights movements of the last thirty years, Cole reveals how groups of ordinary Americans confronting long odds have managed, time and time again, to convince the courts to grant new rights and protect existing ones. Engines of Liberty is a fundamentally new explanation of how our Constitution works and the part citizens play in it.
A nonfiction legal thriller that traces the fourteen-year struggle of two lawyers to bring the most powerful coal baron in American history, Don Blankenship, to justice Don Blankenship, head of Massey Energy since the early 1990s, ran an industry that provides nearly half of America's electric power. But wealth and influence weren't enough for Blankenship and his company, as they set about destroying corporate and personal rivals, challenging the Constitution, purchasing the West Virginia judiciary, and willfully disregarding safety standards in the company's mines—in which scores died unnecessarily. As Blankenship hobnobbed with a West Virginia Supreme Court justice in France, his company polluted the drinking water of hundreds of citizens while he himself fostered baroque vendettas against anyone who dared challenge his sovereignty over coal mining country. Just about the only thing that stood in the way of Blankenship's tyranny over a state and an industry was a pair of odd-couple attorneys, Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley, who undertook a legal quest to bring justice to this corner of America. From the backwoods courtrooms of West Virginia they pursued their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and to a dramatic decision declaring that the wealthy and powerful are not entitled to purchase their own brand of law. The Price of Justice is a story of corporate corruption so far-reaching and devastating it could have been written a hundred years ago by Ida Tarbell or Lincoln Steffens. And as Laurence Leamer demonstrates in this captivating tale, because it's true, it's scarier than fiction.
The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. Here is the story of a precarious childhood, with an alcoholic father (who would die when she was nine) and a devoted but overburdened mother, and of the refuge a little girl took from the turmoil at home with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. But it was when she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes that the precocious Sonia recognized she must ultimately depend on herself. She would learn to give herself the insulin shots she needed to survive and soon imagined a path to a different life. With only television characters for her professional role models, and little understanding of what was involved, she determined to become a lawyer, a dream that would sustain her on an unlikely course, from valedictorian of her high school class to the highest honors at Princeton, Yale Law School, the New York County District Attorney’s office, private practice, and appointment to the Federal District Court before the age of forty. Along the way we see how she was shaped by her invaluable mentors, a failed marriage, and the modern version of extended family she has created from cherished friends and their children. Through her still-astonished eyes, America’s infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this warm and honest book, destined to become a classic of self-invention and self-discovery.
Author: Tim Groseclose, PhD
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2011-07-19
Genre: Social Science
Dr. Tim Groseclose, a professor of political science and economics at UCLA, has spent years constructing precise, quantitative measures of the slant of media outlets. He does this by measuring the political content of news, as a way to measure the PQ, or "political quotient" of voters and politicians. Among his conclusions are: (i) all mainstream media outlets have a liberal bias; and (ii) while some supposedly conservative outlets—such the Washington Times or Fox News' Special Report—do lean right, their conservative bias is less than the liberal bias of most mainstream outlets. Groseclose contends that the general leftward bias of the media has shifted the PQ of the average American by about 20 points, on a scale of 100, the difference between the current political views of the average American, and the political views of the average resident of Orange County, California or Salt Lake County, Utah. With Left Turn readers can easily calculate their own PQ—to decide for themselves if the bias exists. This timely, much-needed study brings fact to this often overheated debate.
Author: Linda Hirshman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2012-06-05
Genre: Political Science
In the vein of Taylor Branch’s classic Parting of the Waters, Supreme Court lawyer and political pundit Linda Hirshman delivers the enthralling, groundbreaking story of the gay rights movement, revealing how a dedicated and resourceful minority changed America forever. When the modern struggle for gay rights erupted in the summer of 1969, forty-nine states outlawed sex between people of the same gender. Four decades later, in 2011, New York legalized gay marriage and the armed services stopped enforcing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Successful social movements are always extraordinary, but these advances seem like something of a miracle. Linda Hirshman recounts the long roads that led to these victories, detailing the remarkable and revolutionary story of the movement that has blurred rigid gender lines, altered the shared culture, and broadened our definitions of family. Written in vivid prose, at once emotional and erudite, Victory is an utterly vibrant work of reportage and eyewitness accounts and demonstrates how, in a matter of decades, a focused group of activists forged a classic campaign for cultural change that will serve as a model for all future political movements. “Remarkable for its emotional punch as for its historical insight.”—New York Times Book Review
Author: Mara Leveritt
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-01-30
Genre: True Crime
Based on a true story, this edition of Devil's Knot will tie-in to a major motion picture starring Academy Award winners Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. This riveting portrait of a small Arkansas town recounts the all-too-true story of a brutal triple murder and the eighteen-year imprisonment of three innocent teenagers. For weeks in 1993, after the grisly murders of three eight-year-old boys, police in West Memphis, Arkansas, seemed stumped. Then suddenly, detectives charged three teenagers - alleged members of a satanic cult - with the killings. Despite the witch-hunt atmosphere of the trials and a case that included stunning investigative blunders, the teenagers, who became known as the West Memphis Three, were convicted. Jurors sentenced Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley to life in prison and Damien Echols, the accused ringleader, to death. The guilty verdicts were popular in their home state - even upheld on appeal - and all three remained in prison until their unprecedented release in August 2011. In Devil's Knot, award-winning investigative journalist Mara Leveritt presents the most comprehensive, insightful reporting ever done on this story - one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American legal history. In-depth research, meticulous reconstruction of the investigation and close-up views of its key participants unravel the many tangled knots of this endlessly shocking case.
Author: Anthony Lewis
Release Date: 2011-09-14
A history of the landmark case of James Earl Gideon's fight for the right to legal counsel. Notes, table of cases, index. The classic backlist bestseller. More than 800,000 sold since its first pub date of 1964.
Author: Francisco Valdes
Publisher: Temple University Press
Release Date: 2002-08-12
Its opponents call it part of "the lunatic fringe," a justification for "black separateness," "the most embarrassing trend in American publishing." "It" is Critical Race Theory. But what is Critical Race Theory? How did it develop? Where does it stand now? Where should it go in the future? In this volume, thirty-one CRT scholars present their views on the ideas and methods of CRT, its role in academia and in the culture at large, and its past, present, and future. Critical race theorists assert that both the procedures and the substance of American law are structured to maintain white privilege. The neutrality and objectivity of the law are not just unattainable ideals; they are harmful actions that obscure the law's role in protecting white supremacy. This notion—so obvious to some, so unthinkable to others—has stimulated and divided legal thinking in this country and, increasingly, abroad. The essays in Crossroads, Directions, and a New Critical Race Theory—all original—address this notion in a variety of helpful and exciting ways. They use analysis, personal experience, historical narrative, and many other techniques to explain the importance of looking critically at how race permeates our national consciousness.
Author: Adam Winkler
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2011-09-19
A provocative history that reveals how guns—not abortion, race, or religion—are at the heart of America's cultural divide. Gunfight is a timely work examining America’s four-centuries-long political battle over gun control and the right to bear arms. In this definitive and provocative history, Adam Winkler reveals how guns—not abortion, race, or religion—are at the heart of America’s cultural divide. Using the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller—which invalidated a law banning handguns in the nation’s capital—as a springboard, Winkler brilliantly weaves together the dramatic stories of gun-rights advocates and gun-control lobbyists, providing often unexpected insights into the venomous debate that now cleaves our nation.
What role did crystal meth and other previously underreported factors play in the brutal murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard? The Book of Matt is a page-turning cautionary tale that humanizes and de-mythologizes Matthew while following the evidence where it leads, without regard to the politics that have long attended this American tragedy. Late on the night of October 6, 1998, twenty-one-year-old Matthew Shepard left a bar in Laramie, Wyoming with two alleged “strangers,” Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. Eighteen hours later, Matthew was found tied to a log fence on the outskirts of town, unconscious and barely alive. He had been pistol-whipped so severely that the mountain biker who discovered his battered frame mistook him for a Halloween scarecrow. Overnight, a politically expedient myth took the place of important facts. By the time Matthew died a few days later, his name was synonymous with anti-gay hate. Stephen Jimenez went to Laramie to research the story of Matthew Shepard’s murder in 2000, after the two men convicted of killing him had gone to prison, and after the national media had moved on. His aim was to write a screenplay on what he, and the rest of the nation, believed to be an open-and-shut case of bigoted violence. As a gay man, he felt an added moral imperative to tell Matthew’s story. But what Jimenez eventually found in Wyoming was a tangled web of secrets. His exhaustive investigation also plunged him deep into the deadly underworld of drug trafficking. Over the course of a thirteen-year investigation, Jimenez traveled to twenty states and Washington DC, and interviewed more than a hundred named sources. The Book of Matt is sure to stir passions and inspire dialogue as it re-frames this misconstrued crime and its cast of characters, proving irrefutably that Matthew Shepard was not killed for being gay but for reasons far more complicated — and daunting. From the Hardcover edition.