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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.

MU Law Acquisitions Lists

January/February Acquisitions

Selective Listing of Recent Acquisitions

Attacking Judges: How Campaign Advertising Influences State Supreme Court Elections

by Melinda Hall, Stanford University Press, 2014

Nasty, below-the-belt campaigns, mudslinging, and character attacks. These tactics have become part and parcel of today's election politics in America, and judicial elections are no exception. Attacking Judges takes a close look at the effects of televised advertising, including harsh attacks, on state supreme court elections. Author Melinda Gann Hall investigates whether these divisive elections have damaging consequences for representative democracy. To do this, Hall focuses on two key aspects of those elections: the vote shares of justices seeking reelection and the propensity of state electorates to vote. In doing so, Attacking Judges explores vital dimensions of the conventional wisdom that campaign politics has deleterious consequences for judges, voters, and state judiciaries.

Countering the prevailing wisdom with empirically based conclusions, Hall uncovers surprising and important insights, including new revelations on how attack ads influence public engagement with judicial elections and their relative effectiveness in various types of state elections. Attacking Judges is a testament to the power of institutions in American politics and the value of empirical political science research in helping to inform some of the most significant debates on the public agenda. This book's results smartly contest and eradicate many of the fears judicial reformers have about the damaging effects of campaign negativity in modern state supreme court elections.

The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses

by James T. O'Reilly and Margaret S. P. Chalmers, Oxford University Press, 2014

The sexual abuse of children and teens by rogue priests in the U.S. Catholic Church is a heinous crime, and those who pray for a religious community as its ministers, priests and rabbis should never tolerate those who prey on that community. The legal disputes of recent years have produced many scandalous headlines and fuelled public discussion about the sexual abuse crisis within the clergy, a crisis that has cost the U.S. Catholic Church over $3 billion.

In The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses, two eminent experts, James O'Reilly and Margaret Chalmers, draw on the lessons of recent years to discern the interplay between civil damages law and global church-based canon law. In some countries civil and canon law, although autonomous systems of law, both form part of the church's legal duties. In the United States, freedom of religion issues have complicated how the state adjudicates both cases of abuse and who can be held responsible for clerical oversight. This book examines questions of civil and criminal liability, issues of respondeat superior and oversight, issues with statutes of limitations and dealing with allegations that occurred decades ago, and how the Church's internal judicial processes interact or clash with the civil pursuit of these cases.

The Passenger Cases and the Commerce Clause: Immigrants, Blacks, and States' Rights in Antebellum America

by Tony Allan Freyer, University Press of Kansas, 2014

In 1849 Chief Justice Taney's Court delivered a 5-4 decision on the legal status of immigrants and free blacks under the federal commerce power. The closely divided decision, further emphasized by the fact there were eight opinions, played a part in the increasingly contested politics over growing immigration, and the controversies about fugitive slaves and the western expansion of slavery that resulted in the Compromise of 1850.

In the decades after the Civil War federal regulation of immigration almost entirely displaced the role of the states. Yet, over a century later, Justice Scalia in Arizona v. US appealed to the era when states exercised greater control over who they allowed to cross their borders; a dissent which has returned the Passenger Cases to the contemporary relevance. The Passenger Cases provide a counter-history that allowed the Court to affirm federal supremacy and state-federal cooperation in Arizona I (2011) and II (2012).

In The Passenger Cases and the Commerce Clause Tony Allan Freyer focuses on the antebellum Supreme Court's role prescribing state-federal regulation of immigrants, the movement of free blacks within the United States and on the origins, state court decisions, federal precedents, appellate arguments, and opinion-making that culminated in the Court's decision of the Passenger Cases. The Court's split decision provided political legitimacy for the 1850 Compromise: enactment of a stronger fugitive slave law, admission of slavery in western territories based on popular vote of residents (popular sovereignty), and the abolition of the slave trade in Washington D.C. The divided opinions in the Passenger Cases also influenced the immigrant and slavery crises which disrupted the balance between free and slave-labor states, culminating in the Civil War. The states did indeed enact laws enabling exclusion of undesirable white immigrants and free blacks.

The 5-4 division of the Court anticipated the better known, but even more divisive, views of the Justices in the Dred Scott case (1857). And in considering the post-Reconstruction evolution of new standards by which to judge immigration issues, the Passenger Cases revealed the continuing controversy over how to treat those who wish to come to our country, even as federal law came to dominate the regulation of immigration. These issues continued to complicate immigration law as much today as they did more than a century and a half ago. The persistence of these problems suggested that a "decent respect to the opinions of mankind" continued to demand a coherent, humane, and more consistent immigration policy.

The Workplace Constitution from the New Deal to the New Right

by Sophia Z. Lee, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Today, most Americans lack constitutional rights on the job. Instead of enjoying free speech or privacy, they can be fired for almost any reason or no reason at all. This book uses history to explain why. It takes readers back to the 1930s and 1940s when advocates across the political spectrum – labor leaders, civil rights advocates, and conservatives opposed to government regulation – set out to enshrine constitutional rights in the workplace. The book tells their interlocking stories of fighting for constitutional protections for American workers, recovers their surprising successes, explains their ultimate failure, and helps readers assess this outcome.

The View from the Bench and Chambers: Examining Judicial Process and Decision Making on the U.S. Courts of Appeals

by Jennifer Barnes Bowie, Donald R. Songer, and John Szmer, Cambridge University Press, 2014

For most of their history, the U.S. courts of appeals have toiled in obscurity, well out of the limelight of political controversy. But as the number of appeals has increased dramatically, while the number of cases heard by the Supreme Court has remained the same, the courts of appeals have become the court of last resort for the vast majority of litigants. This enhanced status has been recognized by important political actors, and as a result, appointments to the courts of appeals have become more and more contentious since the 1990s. This combination of increasing political salience and increasing political controversy has led to the rise of serious empirical studies of the role of the courts of appeals in our legal and political system.

At once building on and contributing to this wave of scholarship, The View from the Bench and Chambers melds a series of quantitative analyses of judicial decisions with the perspectives gained from in-depth interviews with the judges and their law clerks. This multifaceted approach yields a level of insight beyond that provided by any previous work on appellate courts in the United States, making The View from the Bench and Chambers the most comprehensive and rich account of the operation of these courts to date.

Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty

by Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier, Oxford University Press, 2015

In 1987, the United States Supreme Court decided a case that could have ended the death penalty in the United States. Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty examines the long history of the American death penalty and its connection to the case of Warren McCleskey, revealing how that case marked a turning point for the history of the death penalty. In this book, Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier explores one of the most important Supreme Court cases in history, a case that raised important questions about race and punishment, and ultimately changed the way we understand the death penalty today.

McCleskey's case resulted in one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in U.S. history, where the Court confronted evidence of racial discrimination in the administration of capital punishment. The case currently marks the last time that the Supreme Court had a realistic chance of completely striking down capital punishment. As such, the case also marked a turning point in the death penalty debate in the country.

Going back nearly four centuries, this book connects McCleskey's life and crime to the issues that have haunted the American death penalty debate since the first executions by early settlers through the modern twenty-first century death penalty. Imprisoned by the Past ties together three unique American stories. First, the book considers the changing American death penalty across centuries where drastic changes have occurred in the last fifty years. Second, the book discusses the role that race played in that history. And third, the book tells the story of Warren McCleskey and how his life and legal case brought together the other two narratives.

Strategically Created Treaty Conflicts and the Politics of International Law

by Surabhi Ranganathan, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Treaty conflicts are not merely the contingent or inadvertent by-products of the increasing juridification of international relations. In several instances, States have deliberately created treaty conflicts in order to catalyse changes in multilateral regimes. Surabhi Ranganathan uses such conflicts as context to explore the role of international law, in legal thought and practice. Her examinations of the International Law Commission's work on treaties and of various scholars' proposals on institutional action, offer a fresh view of 'mainstream' legal thought. They locate in a variety of writings a common faith in international legal discourse, built on liberal and constructivist assumptions. Ranganathan's three rich studies of treaty conflict, relating to the areas of seabed mining, the International Criminal Court, and nuclear governance, furnish a textured account of the specific forms and practices that constitute such a legal discourse and permit a grounded understanding of the interactions that shape international law.

The First Amendment and the Business Corporation

by Ronald J. Colombo, Oxford University Press, 2014

The role of the business corporation in modern society is a controversial one. Some fear and object to corporate power and influence over governments and culture. Others embrace the corporation as a counterweight to the State and as a vehicle to advance important private objectives. A flashpoint in this controversy has been the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which enshrines the fundamental rights of freedom to speech, religion, and association. The extent to which a corporation can avail itself of these rights goes a long way in defining the corporation's role. Those who fear the corporation wish to see these rights restricted, while those who embrace it wish to see these rights recognized.

The First Amendment and the Business Corporation explores the means by which the debate over the First Amendment rights of business corporations can be resolved. By recognizing that corporations possess constitutionally relevant differences, we discover a principled basis by which to afford some corporations the rights and protections of the First Amendment but not others. This is critically important, because a "one-size-fits-all" approach to corporate constitutional rights seriously threatens either democratic government or individual liberty. Recognizing rights where they should not be recognized unnecessarily augments the already considerable power and influence that corporations have in our society. However, denying rights where they are due undermines the liberty of human beings to create, patronize, work for, and invest in companies that share their most cherished values and beliefs.