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For a complete list of acquisitions for a particular week, please select a link from the list below. Full monthly listings can be found in the Acquisitions List Archive.


Selective Listing of Recent Acquisitions

Dissent and the Supreme Court: Its Role in the Court's History and the Nation's Constitutional Dialogue

by Melvin I. Urofsky, Knopf Doubleday Publishing, 2015

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Melvin Urofsky’s major new book looks at the role of dissent in the Supreme Court and the meaning of the Constitution through the greatest and longest lasting public-policy debate in the country’s history, among members of the Supreme Court, between the Court and the other branches of government, and between the Court and the people of the United States.

Urofsky writes of the necessity of constitutional dialogue as one of the ways in which we as a people reinvent and reinvigorate our democratic society. In Dissent and the Supreme Court, he explores the great dissents throughout the Court’s 225-year history. He discusses in detail the role the Supreme Court has played in helping to define what the Constitution means, how the Court’s majority opinions have not always been right, and how the dissenters, by positing alternative interpretations, have initiated a critical dialogue about what a particular decision should mean. This dialogue is sometimes resolved quickly; other times it may take decades before the Court adjusts its position. Louis Brandeis’s dissenting opinion about wiretapping became the position of the Court four decades after it was written. The Court took six decades to adopt the dissenting opinion of the first Justice John Harlan in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)—that segregation on the basis of race violated the Constitution—in Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

Urofsky shows that the practice of dissent grew slowly but steadily and that in the nineteenth century dissents became more frequent. In the (in)famous case of Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), Chief Justice Roger Taney’s opinion upheld slavery, declaring that blacks could never be citizens. The justice received intense condemnations from several of his colleagues, but it took a civil war and three constitutional amendments before the dissenting view prevailed and Dred Scottwas overturned.

Urofsky looks as well at the many aspects of American constitutional life that were affected by the Earl Warren Court—free speech, race, judicial appointment, and rights of the accused—and shows how few of these decisions were unanimous, and how the dissents in the earlier cases molded the results of later decisions; how with Roe v. Wade—the Dred Scott of the modern era—dissent fashioned subsequent decisions, and how, in the Court, a dialogue that began with the dissents in Roe has shaped every decision since.

Gender Nonconformity and the Law

by Kimberly A. Yuracko, Yale University Press, 2016

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When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, its primary target was the outright exclusion of women from particular jobs. Over time, the Act’s scope of protection has expanded to prevent not only discrimination based on sex but also discrimination based on expression of gender identity. Kimberly Yuracko uses specific court decisions to identify the varied principles that underlie this expansion. Filling a significant gap in law literature, this timely book clarifies an issue of increasing concern to scholars interested in gender issues and the law.

Courtrooms and Classrooms: A Legal History of College Access, 1860-1960

by Scott M. Gelber, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015

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Conventional wisdom holds that American courts historically deferred to institutions of higher learning in most matters involving student conduct and access. Historian Scott M. Gelber upends this theory, arguing that colleges and universities never really enjoyed an overriding judicial privilege.

Focusing on admissions, expulsion, and tuition litigation, Courtrooms and Classrooms reveals that judicial scrutiny of college access was especially robust during the nineteenth century, when colleges struggled to differentiate themselves from common schools that were expected to educate virtually all students. During the early twentieth century, judges deferred more consistently to academia as college enrollment surged, faculty engaged more closely with the state, and legal scholars promoted widespread respect for administrative expertise. Beginning in the 1930s, civil rights activism encouraged courts to examine college access policies with renewed vigor.

Gelber explores how external phenomena―especially institutional status and political movements―influenced the shifting jurisprudence of higher education over time. He also chronicles the impact of litigation on college access policies, including the rise of selectivity and institutional differentiation, the decline of de jure segregation, the spread of contractual understandings of enrollment, and the triumph of vocational emphases.

School Bullying: How Long is the Arm of the Law

by James Hanks, ABA Publications, 2015

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One measure of the scope of a problem is the attention it attracts from society in general and from the government in particular. There are support groups, programs, websites, and campaigns on Facebook, all focused on the problem of bullying. The news media regularly reports on incidents of bullying.

Sometimes the consequences of bullying are tragic. Rebecca Sedwick, a twelve-year-old girl, tragically ended her life by jumping from a cement silo as a result of more than a year and a half of bullying by her fellow classmates, both at school and online. Another twelve-year- old, Hailee Lamberth, shot herself after being bullied daily, including name calling and several comments made by bullies such as “Drink Bleach and Die.”

Schools have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for students and protect their students from harassment and bullying in the school environment. Since public education remains a responsibility of the states and their units of local government, the primary response of the law thus far has been at the state and local level: the adoption of statutes and state or local policies.

This book, now revised and completely updated, reviews state statutes concerning bullying, discusses the constitutional issues that have arisen or that may arise from the application of antibullying regulations, examines the cases in which school district regulation of bullying has been addressed, reviews the existing federal guidance that is relevant to bullying, and offers some suggestions for a systemic approach to bullying.

Rutgers v. Waddington: Alexander Hamilton, the End of the War for Independence, and the Origins of Judicial Review

by Peter Charles Hoffer, University Press of Kansas, 2016

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Once the dust of the Revolution settled, the problem of reconciling the erstwhile warring factions arose, and as is often the case in the aftermath of violent revolutions, the matter made its way into the legal arena. Rutgers v. Waddington was such a case. Through this little-known but remarkable dispute over back rent for a burned-down brewery, Peter Charles Hoffer recounts a tale of political and constitutional intrigue involving some of the most important actors in America’s transition from a confederation of states under the Articles of Confederation to a national republic under the U.S. Constitution.

At the end of the Revolution, the widow Rutgers and her sons returned to the brewery they’d abandoned when the British had occupied New York. They demanded rent from Waddington, the loyalist who had rented the facility under the British occupation. Under a punitive New York state law, the loyalist Waddington was liable. But the peace treaty’s provisions protecting loyalists’ property rights said otherwise. Appearing for the defendants was war veteran, future Federalist, and first secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton. And, as always, lurking in the background was the estimable Aaron Burr. As Hoffer details Hamilton's arguments for the supremacy of treaty law over state law, the significance of Rutgers v. Waddington in the development of a strong central government emerges clearly—as does the role of the courts in bridging the young nation’s divisions in the Revolution’s wake.

Rutgers v. Waddington illustrates a foundational moment in American history. As such, it is an encapsulation of a society riven by war, buffeted by revolutionary change attempting to piece together the true meaning of, in John Adams’ formulation, “rule by law, and not by men.”

Women-at-Law: Lessons Learned Along the Pathways to Success

by Phyllis Epstein, ABA Publications, 2015

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Women-at-Law provides women with ideas and suggestions about how to deal with their professional and personal goals and challenges and make the compromises required to "have it all”—even when "having it all" can be different for each individual. You'll learn that, with some effort, a woman can redirect her career, home life, and interests in the long journey that is a successful life.

Civil Liability in Europe for Terrorism-Related Risk

by Lucas Bergkamp, Michael Faure, Monika Hinteregger, and Niels Philipsen, Cambridge University Press, 2015

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The most excruciatingly intense period of time is that brief period when the foreperson hands the verdict to the bailiff, who hands it to the judge, who hands it to the clerk to read. All of the months and years of education, training, and preparation are crystalized into that one unique point in time. For a trial attorney, it is the ultimate high—or the ultimate low. Practice Points for Trial Lawyers is designed for those who are or aspire to be trial lawyers, and for those who are actually preparing to try cases.

Judge Mark A. Drummond’s experience includes 20 years in front of the bench trying cases and another 15 years on the trial bench. In this book, he shares his unique perspective from both sides of the bench, focusing on trial preparation, jury selection, trial presentation, witness examination, and professionalism.

Employee Benefits Law: The Essential Cases

by Max Drew Siegel and Sharon Reece, ABA Publications, 2014

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There are literally tens of thousands of cases that relate to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  Courts’ relentless attention to ERISA is no surprise in light of the transformative consequences of employee benefits throughout society.  This can be overwhelming for anyone whose work implicates ERISA but especially for those who are uninitiated to employee benefit law.  The primary objective of this book is to present in as concise a manner as possible what the authors have agreed are the most essential cases and most frequently litigated issues under ERISA.  This book provides a window into the approach the courts have taken to the most fundamental aspects of ERISA litigation.

This book begins by defining what constitutes an ERISA plan and by classifying parties to such plans.  This book then proceeds into the other most litigated areas of ERISA: preemption and other procedural matters, fiduciary liability, remedies, disability benefits, disclosure requirements, and spousal protections, including the shifting treatment of sexual minorities under ERISA.  This book concludes with an examination of the anti-alienation and anti-assignment rules, vesting, and other highly litigated participant protections.