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Featured Acquisitions - March 2012

 

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The Upside-Down Constitution by Michael S. Greve
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012
KF4600 .G748 2012 Balcony

Over the course of the nation's history, the Constitution has been turned upside-down, Michael Greve argues in this provocative book. The Constitution's vision of a federalism in which local, state, and federal government compete to satisfy the preferences of individuals has given way to a cooperative, cartelized federalism that enables interest groups to leverage power at every level for their own benefit. Greve traces this inversion from the Constitution's founding through today, dispelling much received wisdom along the way. The Upside-Down Constitution shows how federalism's transformation was a response to states' demands, not an imposition on them. From the nineteenth-century judicial elaboration of a competitive federal order, to the New Deal transformation, to the contemporary Supreme Court's impoverished understanding of constitutional structure, and the "devolution" in vogue today, Greve describes a trend that will lead to more government and fiscal profligacy, not less. Taking aim at both the progressive heirs of the New Deal and the vocal originalists of our own time, The Upside-Down Constitution explains why the current fiscal crisis will soon compel a fundamental renegotiation of a new federalism grounded in constitutional principles.


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Federalism and the Tug of War Within by Erin Ryan
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011
KF4600 .R93 2011 Balcony

Federalism and the Tug of War Within explores how constitutional interpreters reconcile the competing values that underpin American federalism, with real consequences for governance that require local and national collaboration. Drawing examples from Hurricane Katrina, climate governance, health care reform, and other problems of local and national authority, author Erin Ryan demonstrates how the Supreme Court's federalism jurisprudence can inhibit effective inter-jurisdictional governance by failing to navigate the tensions within federalism itself. The Constitution's dual sovereignty directive fosters an ideal set of good governance values, including checks and balances, accountability, local autonomy, and local and national synergy, that are nevertheless in constant competition. This inherent "tug of war" is responsible for the epic instability in the Court's federalism jurisprudence, but it is poorly understood. With new conceptual vocabulary to wrestle with old dilemmas, Ryan traces the development of federalism's tug of war, and proposes innovations to manage judicial, legislative, and executive efforts with more focus. Her analysis clarifies how the tug of war is already mediated through balancing, compromise, and negotiation. She proposes a Balanced Federalism model that mediates tensions on three separate planes: fostering balance among competing federalism values, leveraging the functional capacities of the three branches in interpreting federalism, and maximizing the wisdom of both state and federal actors in so doing. The new framework better harmonizes values that - though in tension - have made the American system of government so effective and enduring.


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The Supreme Court and the NCAA : the Case for Less Commercialism and More Due Process in College Sports by Brian L. Porto
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012
KF3989 .P67 2012 Balcony

Two Supreme Court decisions, NCAA v. Board of Regents (1984) and NCAA v. Tarkanian (1988), have shaped college sports by permitting the emergence of a supercharged commercial enterprise with high financial stakes for institutions and individuals, while failing to guarantee adequate procedural protections for persons charged with wrongdoing within that enterprise. Brian L. Porto examines the conditions that led to the cases, the reasoning behind the justices' rulings, and the consequences of those rulings. Arguing that commercialized college sports should be compatible with the goals of higher education and fair to all participants, Porto suggests that the remedy is a federal statute. His proposed College Sports Legal Reform Act would grant the NCAA a limited "educational exemption" from the antitrust laws, enabling it to enhance academic opportunities for athletes. The Act would also afford greater procedural protections to accused parties in NCAA disciplinary proceedings. Porto's prescription for reform in college sports makes a significant contribution to the debate about how best to address perennial problems in college sports such as cost containment, access to a meaningful education for athletes, and fairness in rule enforcement.


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Cruel & Unusual : the American Death Penalty and the Founders' Eighth Amendment by John D. Bessler
Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2012
KF9227.C2 B478 2012 Balcony

The conventional wisdom is that the founders were avid death penalty supporters. In this fascinating and insightful examination of America's Eighth Amendment, law professor John D. Bessler explodes this myth and shows the founders' conflicting and ambivalent views on capital punishment. Cruel and Unusual takes the reader back in time to show how the indiscriminate use of executions gave way to a more enlightened approach--one that has been evolving ever since. While shedding important new light on the U.S. Constitution's "cruel and unusual punishments" clause, Bessler explores the influence of Cesare Beccaria's essay, On Crimes and Punishments, on the Founders' views, and the transformative properties of the Fourteenth Amendment, which made the Bill of Rights applicable to the states. After critiquing the U.S. Supreme Court's existing case law, this essential volume argues that America's death penalty--a vestige of a bygone era in which ear cropping and other gruesome corporal punishments were thought acceptable--should be declared unconstitutional.


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Anatomy of Injustice : a Murder Case Gone Wrong by Raymond Bonner
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
KF225.E43 B66 2012 Balcony

An impassioned and incisive investigation into the many shortcomings of the justice system brought to light in the story of a grievously mishandled murder case in South Carolina that left an innocent man facing execution.


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Corporate Governance After the Financial Crisis by Stephen M. Bainbridge
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012
KF1422 .B319 2011 Balcony

The first decade of the new millennium was bookended by two major economic crises. The bursting of the dotcom bubble and the extended bear market of 2000 to 2002 prompted Congress to pass theSarbanes-Oxley Act, which was directed at core aspects of corporate governance. At the end of the decade came the bursting of the housing bubble, followed by a severe credit crunch, and the worst economic downturn in decades. In response, Congress passed theDodd-Frank Act, which changed vast swathes of financial regulation. Among these changes were a number of significant corporate governance reforms. Corporate Governance after the Financial Crisisasks two questions about these changes. First, are they a good idea that will improve corporate governance? Second, what do they tell us about the relative merits of the federal government and the states as sources of corporate governance regulation? Traditionally, corporate law was the province of the states. Today, however, the federal government is increasingly engaged in corporate governance regulation. The changes examined in this work provide a series of case studies in which to explore the question of whether federalization will lead to better outcomes. The author analyzes these changes in the context of corporate governance, executive compensation, corporate fraud and disclosure, shareholder activism, corporate democracy, and declining US capital market competitiveness.


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How to Fix Copyright by William Patry
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011
K1420.5 .P3757 2011 Balcony

Do copyright laws directly cause people to create works they otherwise wouldn't create? Do those laws directly put substantial amounts of money into authors' pockets? Does culture depend on copyright? Are copyright laws a key driver of competitiveness and of the knowledge economy? These are the key questions William Patry addresses in How to Fix Copyright. We all share the goals of increasing creative works, ensuring authors can make a decent living, furthering culture and competitiveness and ensuring that knowledge is widely shared, but what role does copyright law actually play in making these things come true in the real world? Simply believing in lofty goals isn't enough. If we want our goals to come true, we must go beyond believing in them; we must ensure they come true, through empirical testing and adjustment. Patry argues that laws must be consistent with prevailing markets and technologies because technologies play a large (although not exclusive) role in creating consumer demand; markets then satisfy that demand. Patry discusses how copyright laws arose out of eighteenth-century markets and technology, the most important characteristic of which was artificial scarcity. Artificial scarcity was created by the existence of a small number gatekeepers, by relatively high barriers to entry, and by analog limitations on copying. Markets and technologies change, in a symbiotic way, Patry asserts. New technologies create new demand, requiring new business models. The new markets created by the Internet and digital tools are the greatest ever: Barriers to entry are low, costs of production and distribution are low, the reach is global, and large sums of money can be made off of a multitude of small transactions. Along with these new technologies and markets comes the democratization of creation; digital abundance is replacing analog artificial scarcity. The task of policymakers is to remake our copyright laws to fit our times: our copyright laws, based on the eighteenth century concept of physical copies, gatekeepers, and artificial scarcity, must be replaced with laws based on access not ownership of physical goods, creation by the masses and not by the few, and global rather than regional markets. Patry's view is that of a traditionalist who believes in the goals of copyright but insists that laws must match the times rather than fight against the present and the future.


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Democracy, Expertise, and Academic Freedom : a First Amendment Jurisprudence for the Modern State by Robert C. Post
New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2012
KF4772 .P67 2012 Balcony

A leading American legal scholar offers a surprising account of the incompleteness of prevailing theories of freedom of speech. Robert C. Post shows that the familiar understanding of the First Amendment, which stresses the "marketplace of ideas" and which holds that "everyone is entitled to an opinion," is inadequate to create and preserve the expert knowledge that is necessary for a modern democracy to thrive. For a modern society reliably to answer such questions as whether nicotine causes cancer, the free and open exchange of ideas must be complemented by standards of scientific competence and practice that are both hierarchical and judgmental. Post develops a theory of First Amendment rights that seeks to explain both the need for the free formation of public opinion and the need for the distribution and creation of expertise. Along the way he offers a new and useful account of constitutional doctrines of academic freedom. These doctrines depend both upon free expression and the necessity of the kinds of professional judgment that universities exercise when they grant or deny tenure, or that professional journals exercise when they accept or reject submissions.


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Intersexuality and the Law : Why Sex Matters by Julie A. Greenberg
New York: New York University Press, 2012
KF478.5 .G74 2012 Balcony

The term "intersex" evokes diverse images, typically of people who are both male and female or neither male nor female. Neither vision is accurate. The millions of people with an intersex condition, or DSD (disorder of sex development), are men or women whose sex chromosomes, gonads, or sex anatomy do not fit clearly into the male/female binary norm. Until recently, intersex conditions were shrouded in shame and secrecy: many adults were unaware that they had been born with an intersex condition and those who did know were advised to hide the truth. Current medical protocols and societal treatment of people with an intersex condition are based upon false stereotypes about sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability, which create unique challenges to framing effective legal claims and building a strong cohesive movement. In Intersexuality and the Law, Julie A. Greenberg examines the role that legal institutions can play in protecting the rights of people with an intersex condition. She also explores the relationship between the intersex movement and other social justice movements that have effectively utilized legal strategies to challenge similar discriminatory practices. She discusses the feasibility of forming effective alliances and developing mutually beneficial legal arguments with feminists, LGBT organizations, and disability rights advocates to eradicate the discrimination suffered by these marginalized groups. This volume will enlighten readers about societal and legal conceptions of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability and the role that legal institutions can play in challenging discriminatory practices based on sex, gender, and disability stereotypes. Julie A. Greenberg is Professor of Law and former Associate Dean at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and an internationally recognized expert on the legal issues relating to sex and gender identity.


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Constitutional Cliffhangers : a Legal Guide for Presidents and their Enemies by Brian C. Kalt
New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2012
KF5051 .K35 2012 Balcony

The United States Constitution's provisions for selecting, replacing, and punishing presidents contain serious weaknesses that could lead to constitutional controversies. In this compelling and fascinating book, Brian Kalt envisions six such controversies, such as the criminal prosecution of a sitting president, a two-term president's attempt to stay in power, the ousting of an allegedly disabled president, and more. None of these things has ever occurred, but in recent years many of them almost have. Besides being individually dramatic, these controversies provide an opportunity to think about how constitutional procedures can best be designed, interpreted, and repaired. Also, because the events Kalt describes would all carry enormous political consequences, they shed light on the delicate and complicated balance between law and politics in American government.