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: Sherry F Colb
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2016-03-08
How can someone who condemns hunting, animal farming, and animal experimentation also favor legal abortion, the deliberate destruction of a human fetus? The authors of Beating Hearts aim to reconcile this apparent conflict and examine the surprisingly similar strategic and tactical questions faced by activists in the pro-life and animal-rights movements. Beating Hearts maintains that sentience, or the ability to have subjective experiences, grounds a being’s entitlement to moral concern. The authors argue that nearly all human exploitation of animals is unjustified. Early abortions do not contradict the sentience principle because they precede fetal sentience, and Beating Hearts explains why the mere potential for sentience does not create moral entitlements. Late abortions do raise serious moral questions, which the authors explore by comparing the plight of women forbidden from having abortions to the plight of laying hens and dairy cows exploited for their reproductive products. These ethical explorations lead to a wider discussion of the strategies deployed by the pro-life and animal-rights movements. Should legal reforms precede or follow attitudinal changes? Do gory images win over or alienate supporters? Is violence ever principled? By probing the connections between debates about abortion and animal rights, Beating Hearts uses each highly contested set of questions to shed light on the other.
Author: Ron LaBrecque
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Release Date: 1988-09
An investigative reporter probes the legal proceedings following the death of three people on the set of the movie "The Twilight Zone," pointing to culpable individuals who escaped questioning, analyzing problems with the trial, and questioning the moviei
Author: Raymond Bonner
Release Date: 2013
From Pulitzer Prize winner Raymond Bonner, the gripping story of a grievously mishandled murder case that put a twenty-three-year-old man on death row. In January 1982, an elderly white widow was found brutally murdered in the small town of Greenwood, South Carolina. Police immediately arrested Edward Lee Elmore, a semiliterate, mentally retarded black man with no previous felony record. His only connection to the victim was having cleaned her gutters and windows, but barely ninety days after the victim's body was found, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Elmore had been on death row for eleven years when a young attorney named Diana Holt first learned of his case. With the exemplary moral commitment and tenacious investigation that have distinguished his reporting career, Bonner follows Holt's battle to save Elmore's life and shows us how his case is a textbook example of what can go wrong in the American justice system. Moving, enraging, suspenseful, and enlightening, Anatomy of Injustice is a vital contribution to our nation's ongoing, increasingly important debate about inequality and the death penalty.
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 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.
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.
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.
Author: Francisco Valdes
Publisher: Temple University Press
Release Date: 2011-02-07
Genre: Social Science
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: Tennessee Williams
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service Inc
Release Date: 1986
THE STORY: Kerr, in the NY Herald-Tribune, describes: This, says Mr. Williams through the most sympathetic voice among his characters, 'is a true story about the time and the world we live in.' He has made it seem true--or at least curiously and su
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.