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Featured Acquisitions - March 2014

 

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The New York Times

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License to Wed: What Legal Marriage Means to Same-Sex Couples by Kimberly D. Richman
New York: New York University Press, 2014
Balcony KF539 .R53 2014

A critical reader of the history of marriage understands that it is an institution that has always been in flux. It is also a decidedly complicated one, existing simultaneously in the realms of religion, law, and emotion. And yet recent years have seen dramatic and heavily waged battles over the proposition of including same sex couples in marriage. Just what is at stake in these battles? This book examines the meanings of marriage for couples in the two first states to extend that right to same sex couples: California and Massachusetts. The two states provide a compelling contrast: while in California the rights that go with marriage--inheritance, custody, and so forth--were already granted to couples under the state's domestic partnership law, those in Massachusetts did not have this same set of rights. At the same time, Massachusetts has offered civil marriage consistently since 2004; Californians, on the other hand, have experienced a much more turbulent legal path. And yet, same-sex couples in both states seek to marry for a variety of interacting, overlapping, and evolving reasons that do not vary significantly by location. The evidence shows us that for many of these individuals, access to civil marriage in particular--not domestic partnership alone, no matter how broad—and not — commitment ceremony alone, no matter how emotional--is a home of such personal, civic, political, and instrumental resonance that it is ultimately difficult to disentangle the many meanings of marriage. This book attempts to do so, and in the process reveals just what is at stake for these couples, how access to a legal institution fundamentally alters their consciousness, and what the impact of legal inclusion is for those traditionally excluded. Kimberly Richmann is Associate Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of San Francisco.


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Living in Infamy: Felon Disfranchisement and the History of American Citizenship by Pippa Holloway
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014
KF9747 .H65 2014 Balcony

Living in Infamy: Felon Disfranchisement and the History of American Citizenship examines the history of disfranchisement for criminal conviction in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the post-war South, white southern Democrats expanded the usage of laws disfranchising for crimes of infamy in order to deny African Americans the suffrage rights due them as citizens, employing historical similarities between the legal statuses of slaves and convicts as justification. At the same time, our nation's criminal code changed. The inhumane treatment of prisoners, the expansion of the prison system, the public nature of punishment by forced labor, and the abandonment of the idea of reform and rehabilitation of prisoners all contributed to a national consensus that certain categories of criminals should be permanently disfranchised. As racial barriers to suffrage were challenged and fell, rights remained restricted for persons targeted by such infamy laws. Criminal convictions - in place of race - continued the disparity in legal status between whites and African Americans. Decades later, after race-based disfranchisement has officially ended, legislation steeped in a legacy of racial discrimination continues to perpetuate a dichotomy of suffrage and citizenship that is still effecting our election outcomes today.


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The Nature of Legislative Intent by Richard Ekins
Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2012
Balcony K290 .E35 2012

Are legislatures able to form and act on intentions? The question matters because the interpretation of statutes is often thought to center on the intention of the legislature and because the way in which the legislature acts is relevant to the authority it does or should enjoy. Many scholars argue that legislative intent is a fiction: the legislative assembly is a large, diverse group rather than a single person and it seems a mystery how the intentions of the individual legislators might somehow add up to a coherent group intention. This book argues that in enacting a statute the well-formed legislature forms and acts on a detailed intention, which is the legislative intent. The foundation of the argument is an analysis of how the members of purposive groups act together by way of common plans, sometimes forming complex group agents. The book extends this analysis to the legislature, considering what it is to legislate and how members of the assembly cooperate to legislate. The book argues that to legislate is to choose to change the law for some reason: the well-formed legislature has the capacity to consider what should be done and to act to that end. This argument is supported by reflection on the centrality of intention to the nature of language use. The book then explains in detail how members of the assembly form and act on joint intentions, which do not reduce to the intentions of each member, before outlining some implications of this account for the practice of statutory interpretation.

Developing a robust account of the nature and importance of legislative intention, the book represents a significant contribution to the literature on deliberative democracy that will be of interest to all those thinking about legal interpretation and constitutional theory. Oxford Legal Philosophy publishes the best new work in philosophically-oriented legal theory. It commissions and solicits monographs in all branches of the subject, including works on philosophical issues in all areas of public and private law, and in the national, transnational, and international realms; studies of the nature of law, legal institutions, and legal reasoning; treatments of problems in political morality as they bear on law; and explorations in the nature and development of legal philosophy itself. The series represents diverse traditions of thought but always with an emphasis on rigor and originality. It sets the standard in contemporary jurisprudence.


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The Hague Child Abduction Convention: A Critical Analysis by Rhona Schuz
Oxford, United Kingdom; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2013
Basement KJE1189 .S38 2013

International child abduction is one of the most emotionally charged yet fascinating areas of family law practice. The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction was the response of the international community to the increase in the phenomenon of parental child abduction. However, behind the widely-acclaimed success of this Convention - which has been ratified by more than 80 States - lie personal tragedies, academic controversy, and diplomatic tensions. The continuing steady flow of case-law from the various EU Member States has resulted in the emergence of different approaches to the interpretation of key concepts in the Convention. In addition, over the years, other global and regional legal instruments and the recommendations of the Special Commissions have had an impact on the implementation of the Convention.

This book brings together all these strands and provides an up-to-date, clear, and highly-readable discussion of the international operation of the Abduction Convention together with in-depth critical academic analysis. Particular emphasis is placed on analyzing the interpretation of the Convention in the light of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Throughout the book, examples are brought from case-law in many jurisdictions and reference is made to relevant legal and social science literature and empirical research. Over the past decade, increasing focus has been placed on what are effectively procedural issues, such as separate representation for children, undertakings, judicial liaison, and mediation. The book analyzes the significance of these developments and the extent to which they can help resolve the continuing tension between the objectives of the Convention and the interests of individual children. This book will be essential reading for judges, practitioners, researchers, students, policy makers, and others who are seeking a critical and informed analysis of the latest developments in international abduction law and practice.


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The Marble and the Sculptor by Keith Lee
Chicago: American Bar Association, 2013
Main Floor KF297 .L44 2013

Let's face it. The entire legal industry is in a state of flux. If you're a new lawyer in today's economy, you're probably asking yourself one of the following questions: How do I transition from law school to law practice? How do I get a job? How can I find like-minded mentors and colleagues? How do I develop a book of business? How do I become a good lawyer? These questions weigh on you and keep you awake at night, along with thoughts like "Was going to law school really the right decision?" or "Should I be doing something else with my life?" If you aren't asking yourself these questions, you are ignoring the world to your detriment. Written from the in-the-trenches perspective of a young lawyer, The Marble and the Sculptor provides a clear no-nonsense path from law school to lawyering. It presents a fundamental understanding of what is expected of new attorneys and a framework for becoming a successful both as a lawyer and in life. With advice on everything from choosing classes that matter in law school to the importance of writing well, attracting clients, and avoiding five basic mistakes in your first job at a law firm, this book is destined to become the go-to guide for all young lawyers regardless of law school or area of practice. Simply put, if you care at all about practicing law, you can’t afford not to read it.


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Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law, Volume 2 edited by Leslie Green and Brian Leiter
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013
Balcony K235 .O97 2013

Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Law is an annual forum for some of the best new philosophical work on law, by both senior and junior scholars from around the world. The essays range widely over issues in general jurisprudence (the nature of law, adjudication, and legal reasoning), the philosophical foundations of specific areas of law (from criminal law to evidence to international law), the history of legal philosophy, and related philosophical topics that illuminate the problems of legal theory. OSPL will be essential reading for philosophers, academic lawyers, political scientists, and historians of law who wish to keep up with the latest developments in this flourishing field.


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Living on Fire: The Life of L. Brent Bozell Jr by Daniel Kelly
Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 2014
Basement CT275.B586133 K45 2014

From the beginning, L. Brent Bozell seemed destined for great things. An extraordinary orator, the young man with fiery red hair won a national debate competition in high school and later was elected president of Yale's storied Political Union, where his debating partner was his close friend William F. Buckley Jr. In less than a decade after graduating from Yale, Bozell helped Buckley launch National Review, became a popular columnist and speaker, and, most famously, wrote Barry Goldwater's landmark book The Conscience of a Conservative. But after setting his sights on high political office, Bozell took a different route in the 1960s. He abruptly moved his family to Spain; he founded a traditional Catholic magazine, Triumph, that quickly turned radical; he repudiated on religious grounds the U.S. Constitution; he made it his mission to transform America into a Catholic nation; he led the nation's major antiabortion protest (featuring a militant group known as the Sons of Thunder); he severed ties with his erstwhile friends from the conservative movement, including Buckley (who was also his brother-in-law).

By the mid-1970s, Bozell had fallen prey to bipolar disorder and alcoholism, leading life as if “manacled to a roller coaster," as a friend put it. Biographer Daniel Kelly tells Bozell's remarkable story vividly and with sensitivity in Living on Fire. To write this book, Kelly interviewed dozens of friends and family members and gained unprecedented access to Bozell's private correspondence. The result is a richly textured portrait of a gifted, complex man - his triumphs as well as his struggles. Once destined for Capitol Hill, L. Brent Bozell wound up working in Washington soup kitchens just blocks away. Bringing mercy to the poor became his vocation and, as Living on Fire shows, he succeeded admirably by the standards he came to embrace.


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Caught on Camera: Film in the Courtroom from the Nuremberg Trials to the Trials of Khmer Rouge by Christian Delage
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014
Basement P96.C74 D4613 2014

When the Allied forces of World War II formed an international tribunal to prosecute Nazi war crimes, they introduced two major innovations to court procedure. The prosecution projected film footage and newsreels shot by British, Soviet, and American soldiers as they discovered Nazi camps. These images, presented as human testimony and material evidence, were instrumental in naming and prosecuting war crimes. At the same time, the Nuremberg tribunal was filmed so that the memory of "the greatest trial in history" would remain strong in future generations. In the decades that followed, the use of film in the courtroom greatly influenced the conduct of the Eichmann trial--and subsequently the trials of Klaus Barbie, Paul Touvier, and Maurice Papon in France, as well as the proceedings against Slobodan Milosevic and the Khmer Rouge Kang Kek lew. Combining the practical knowledge of a renowned director with the perspective of a historian and media specialist, Christian Delage examines archival footage from these trials and explores the conditions and consequences of using film for the purposes of justice and memory. Revised and expanded from the original French publication, Caught on Camera retraces the steps by which the United States pioneered jurisprudence that sanctioned the introduction of film as evidence and then established the precedent of preserving an audiovisual record of those proceedings. From the Nuremberg trials to the current Khmer Rouge trials, Delage considers how national attitudes toward the introduction of filmic evidence in court vary widely, and how different countries have sought to use film as a recordkeeping medium. Caught on Camera demonstrates how reproduced images, as evidence, testimony, and archival documentation, have influenced the writing of modern history.


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The Law of State Immunity edited by Philippa Webb
Oxford, United Kingdom; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013
Sohn Collection KZ4012 .F69 2013

The doctrine of state immunity bars a national court from adjudicating or enforcing claims against foreign states. This doctrine, the foundation for high-profile national and international decisions such as those in the Pinochet case and the Arrest Warrant cases, has always been controversial. The reasons for the controversy are many and varied. Some argue that state immunity paves the way for state violations of human rights. Others argue that the customary basis for the doctrine is not a sufficient basis for regulation and that codification is the way forward. Furthermore, it can be argued that even when judgments are made in national courts against other states, the doctrine makes enforcement of these decisions impossible. This fully restructured new edition provides a detailed analysis of these issues in a more clear and accessible manner. It provides a nuanced assessment of the development of the doctrine of state immunity, including a general comprehensive overview of the plea of immunity of a foreign state, its characteristics, and its operation as a bar to proceedings in national courts of another state. It includes a coherent history and justification of the plea of state immunity, demonstrating its development from the absolute to the restrictive phase, arguing that state immunity can now be seen to be developing into a third phase which uses immunity allocate adjudicative and enforcement jurisdictions between the foreign and the territorial states. The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of states and their Property is thoroughly assessed. Through a detailed examination of the sources of law and of English and US case law, and a comparative analysis of other types of immunity, the authors explore both the law as it stands, and what it could and should be in years to come.


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The Wire: The Complete Series
New York, N.Y.: HBO Home Entertainment, 2011
Media Display PN1997 .W57 2011

The Wire is an American crime drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the series was broadcast by the premium cable network HBO in the United States. The Wire premiered on June 2, 2002, and ended on March 9, 2008, comprising 60 episodes over five seasons.

Each season of The Wire introduces a different facet of the city of Baltimore. In chronological order they are: the illegal drug trade, the seaport system, the city government and bureaucracy, the school system, and the print news media. The large cast consists mainly of character actors who are little known for their other roles. Simon has said that despite its presentation as a crime drama, the show is "really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals. Whether one is a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge or a lawyer, all are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution to which they are committed."

Despite only receiving average ratings and never winning major television awards, The Wire has been described by many critics and fans as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time. The show is recognized for its realistic portrayal of urban life, its literary ambitions, and its deep exploration of social and political themes.