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: Marc Solomon
Publisher: ForeEdge from University Press of New England
Release Date: 2014-11-12
Genre: Political Science
Ten years ago no state allowed same-sex couples to marry, support for gay marriage nationwide hovered around 30 percent, and politicians everywhere thought of it as the third rail of American politicsÑdraw near at your peril. Today, same-sex couples can marry in seventeen states, polls consistently show majority support, and nearly three-quarters of Americans believe legalization is inevitable. In Winning Marriage Marc Solomon, a veteran leader in the movement for marriage equality, gives the reader a seat at the strategy-setting and decision-making table in the campaign to win and protect the freedom to marry. With depth and grace he reveals the inner workings of the advocacy movement that has championed and protected advances won in legislative, court, and electoral battles over the decade since the landmark Massachusetts ruling guaranteeing marriage for same-sex couples for the first time. From the gritty battles in the state legislatures of Massachusetts and New York to the devastating loss at the ballot box in California in 2008 and subsequent ballot wins in 2012 to the joyous victories of securing President ObamaÕs support and prevailing in the Supreme Court, Marc Solomon has been at the center of one of the great civil and human rights movements of our time. Winning Marriage recounts the struggle with some of the worldÕs most powerful forcesÑthe Catholic hierarchy, the religious right, and cynical ultraconservative political operativesÑand the movementÕs eventual triumph.
Author: Tina Fetner
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Social Science
While gay rights are on the national agenda now, activists have spent decades fighting for their platform, seeing themselves as David against the religious righta s Goliath. At the same time, the religious right has continuously and effectively countered the endeavors of lesbian and gay activists, working to repeal many of the laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and to progress a constitutional amendment a protectinga marriage. In this accessible and grounded work, Tina Fetner uncovers a remarkably complex relationship between the two movementsa one that transcends political rivalry.
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: Adam Cohen
Release Date: 2016-03-01
Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction One of America’s great miscarriages of justice, the Supreme Court’s infamous 1927 Buck v. Bell ruling made government sterilization of “undesirable” citizens the law of the land In 1927, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling so disturbing, ignorant, and cruel that it stands as one of the great injustices in American history. In Imbeciles, bestselling author Adam Cohen exposes the court’s decision to allow the sterilization of a young woman it wrongly thought to be “feebleminded” and to champion the mass eugenic sterilization of undesirable citizens for the greater good of the country. The 8–1 ruling was signed by some of the most revered figures in American law—including Chief Justice William Howard Taft, a former U.S. president; and Louis Brandeis, a progressive icon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, considered by many the greatest Supreme Court justice in history, wrote the majority opinion, including the court’s famous declaration “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Imbeciles is the shocking story of Buck v. Bell, a legal case that challenges our faith in American justice. A gripping courtroom drama, it pits a helpless young woman against powerful scientists, lawyers, and judges who believed that eugenic measures were necessary to save the nation from being “swamped with incompetence.” At the center was Carrie Buck, who was born into a poor family in Charlottesville, Virginia, and taken in by a foster family, until she became pregnant out of wedlock. She was then declared “feebleminded” and shipped off to the Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded. Buck v. Bell unfolded against the backdrop of a nation in the thrall of eugenics, which many Americans thought would uplift the human race. Congress embraced this fervor, enacting the first laws designed to prevent immigration by Italians, Jews, and other groups charged with being genetically inferior. Cohen shows how Buck arrived at the colony at just the wrong time, when influential scientists and politicians were looking for a “test case” to determine whether Virginia’s new eugenic sterilization law could withstand a legal challenge. A cabal of powerful men lined up against her, and no one stood up for her—not even her lawyer, who, it is now clear, was in collusion with the men who wanted her sterilized. In the end, Buck’s case was heard by the Supreme Court, the institution established by the founders to ensure that justice would prevail. The court could have seen through the false claim that Buck was a threat to the gene pool, or it could have found that forced sterilization was a violation of her rights. Instead, Holmes, a scion of several prominent Boston Brahmin families, who was raised to believe in the superiority of his own bloodlines, wrote a vicious, haunting decision upholding Buck’s sterilization and imploring the nation to sterilize many more. Holmes got his wish, and before the madness ended some sixty to seventy thousand Americans were sterilized. Cohen overturns cherished myths and demolishes lauded figures in relentless pursuit of the truth. With the intellectual force of a legal brief and the passion of a front-page exposé, Imbeciles is an ardent indictment of our champions of justice and our optimistic faith in progress, as well as a triumph of American legal and social history. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Steven Fenberg
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Release Date: 2011-09-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
As President Obama began to unveil sweeping government programs to restore the crippled economy, the public and media drew numerous comparisons with the actions of Franklin Roosevelt, who faced the grim prospects of the Great Depression almost eighty years earlier. Steven Fenberg tells the story of Jesse Holman Jones, the Houston businessman who went to Washington as an appointed official and provided the pragmatic leadership that salvaged capitalism during the Great Depression and militarized industry in time to fight and win World War II. Jones—an entrepreneur with an eighth- grade education who built Houston’s tallest buildings of the time—was considered to be the most powerful person in the nation, next to President Roosevelt. As chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Jones saved farms, homes, banks and businesses; built infrastructure; set the price of gold with FDR each morning in the president’s bedroom; and in the process made a substantial profit for the government. Then Jones turned the RFC’s focus from domestic economics to global defense. In writing the comprehensive, definitive biography of this imposing twentieth-century figure, Fenberg had unrestricted access to the collections of Houston Endowment—the philanthropic foundation established by Jesse and Mary Gibbs Jones in 1937—and utilized the archives of the Library of Congress, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, the Houston Public Library, and an impressive array of other sources. According to Fenberg, Jones recognized that he would prosper only if his community thrived, a belief that directed him to combine capitalism and public service to strengthen his community, to restore the fortunes of his country, and to save nations. As we grapple today with economic recovery, the role of government, and reliance on other nations for vital resources, Unprecedented Power offers a fascinating and timely perspective. Students and scholars of government and business history, as well as policy makers, regional historians, and interested general readers, will find this book an indispensable addition to their libraries. Read more about the book here: www.jessejonesunprecedentedpower.com
Author: Lillian Faderman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2009-08-03
Drawing upon untouched archives of documents and photographs and more than 200 new interviews, the authors chart L.A.Us unique gay history, and show how geography, economic opportunity, and a constant influx of new people created a city that was more compatible to gay life than any other in America.
Author: Ann Aldrich
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY
Release Date: 2015-09-01
Genre: Social Science
Ann Aldrich flings a provocative assertion at her readers in 1955 when she opens her groundbreaking account of lesbian life in New York City by saying this book is the "result of fifteen years of participation in society as a female homosexual." After the release of We Walk Alone, Aldrich became both a heroine and a scapegoat in some of the period's most contentious public debates over what exactly "lesbian culture" was. Her non-fiction pulp literally transformed the landscape overnight. Part Kinsey-esque portraits of real people, part you-are-there reports on the scene in bars and offices and at clubs and house parties, this is a unique "cultural artifact," a compelling composite of an alienated yet amazingly self-aware community. Ann Aldrich is both observer and commentator, writing investigative journalism in the mode of Doris Lessing. As Stephanie Foote explains in her afterword, the combination produces "as rich and conflicted a look at the formation of lesbian urban culture as that of any contemporary queer historian."
Author: Robin L. Murray
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Release Date: 2012-10-01
Most film critics point to classic conflicts—good versus evil, right versus wrong, civilization versus savagery—as defining themes of the American Western. In this provocative examination of Westerns from Tumbleweeds (1925) to Rango (2011), Robin L. Murray and Joseph K. Heumann argue for a more expansive view that moves beyond traditional conflicts to encompass environmental themes and struggles. The environment, after all, is the fundamental stage for most western stories, from land rush dramas that pit “sod busters” against ranchers to conflicts between mining-town communities and corporations. Because environmental issues lie at the forefront of so many conflicts today, Murray and Heumann believe that the Western is ripe for such new examination. Drawing on perspectives from both film studies and environmental history, the authors show how western films frequently deal with issues related to land use and different ways of looking at the natural world. In films as diverse as Gene Autry musicals, early John Wayne B-Westerns, and revisionist critiques such as the 2010 remake of True Grit, resources are exploited in the name of progress. Beginning with an analysis of two iconic Westerns, Shane and The Searchers, Murray and Heumann identify the environmental dichotomies—previously overlooked by critics—that are broached in both films, and they clarify the history that lies behind the environmental debates in these films and many others. How do Westerns respond to the historical contexts they present? And what do those responses suggest about American views of nature and its exploitation? The conflicts these movies address grow out of differing views of progress, frequently in relation to technology. The authors show that such binary oppositions tend to blur when examined closely, demonstrating that environmental issues are often more complex than we realize.
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, which is 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, but forcing a woman to carry a child to term is problematic as a form of gender-based exploitation. 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: Wayne Thorburn
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2014-09-01
Genre: Political Science
In November 1960, the Democratic party dominated Texas. The newly elected vice president, Lyndon Johnson, was a Texan. Democrats held all thirty statewide elective positions. The state legislature had 181 Democrats and no Republicans or anyone else. Then fast forward fifty years to November 2010. Texas has not voted for a Democratic president since 1976. Every statewide elective office is held by Republicans. Representing Texas in Washington is a congressional delegation of twenty-five Republicans and nine Democrats. Republicans control the Texas Senate by a margin of nineteen to twelve and the Texas House of Representatives by 101 to 49. Red State explores why this transformation of Texas politics took place and what these changes imply for the future. As both a political scientist and a Republican party insider, Wayne Thorburn is especially qualified to explain how a solidly one-party Democratic state has become a Republican stronghold. He analyzes a wealth of data to show how changes in the state's demographics—including an influx of new residents, the shift from rural to urban, and the growth of the Mexican American population—have moved Texas through three stages of party competition, from two-tiered politics, to two-party competition between Democrats and Republicans, and then to the return to one-party dominance, this time by Republicans. His findings reveal that the shift from Democratic to Republican governance has been driven not by any change in Texans' ideological perspective or public policy orientation—even when Texans were voting Democrat, conservatives outnumbered liberals or moderates—but by the Republican party's increasing identification with conservatism since 1960.
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.