Featured Acquisitions - November 2009

See also:  Recent Acquisitions in Selected Subject Areas


Book Jacket Photo Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars  by William Patry
New York : Oxford University Press, [2009]
K1420.5 .P376 2009  Balcony

In Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars, William Patry lays bare how we got to where we are: a bloated, punitive legal regime that has strayed far from its modest, but important roots. Patry demonstrates how copyright is a utilitarian government program--not a property or moral right. As a government program, copyright must be regulated and held accountable to ensure it is serving its public purpose. Just as Wall Street must serve Main Street, neither can copyright be left to a Reaganite "magic of the market." The way we have come to talk about copyright--metaphoric language demonizing everyone involved--has led to bad business and bad policy decisions. Unless we recognize that the debates over copyright are debates over business models, we will never be able to make the correct business and policy decisions. A centrist and believer in appropriately balanced copyright laws, Patry concludes that calls for strong copyright laws, just like calls for weak copyright laws, miss the point entirely: the only laws we need are effective laws, laws that further the purpose of encouraging the creation of new works and learning. Our current regime, unfortunately, creates too many bad incentives, leading to bad conduct. Just as President Obama has called for re-tooling and re-imagining the auto industry, Patry calls for a remaking of our copyright laws so that they may once again be respected.

Book JacketPhoto The Price of Defiance : James Meredith and the Integration of Ole Miss by Charles W. Eagles
Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, c2009
LD3413 .E24 2009   Basement

After fighting a protracted legal battle, James Meredith broke the color barrier in 1962 as the first African American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi.  The riot that followed his arrival on campus seriously wounded scores of U.S. marshals and killed two civilians, more casualties than any other clash of the civil rights era.  To restore order, the Kennedy administration dispatched thousands of soldiers to Oxford.  Based on extraordinary research, Eagles vividly portrays the culture of segregation and the eventual desegregation of one of the last bastions of racial segregation: Ole Miss.

Book Jacket Photo The Ethics of Representing Organizations : Legal Fictions for Clients by Lawrence J. Fox, Susan R. Martyn
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2009
KF306 .F687 2009   Balcony

Whether a company, organization, entity, family business, a publicly held corporation, non-profit, or even the government, the legal representation of an organization is rarely as straightforward as representing a single person. The client in such cases is a construct-a legal fiction-that often operates through many individuals with different roles, views, and interests, and therefore requires an attorney to consider any number of special professional-responsibility issues. The Ethics of Representing Organizations: Legal Fictions for Clients is the first book to practically address ethics within the special context of representing entities. Fox and Martyn have combined their extensive legal knowledge and designed an accessible aid for attorneys-whether in the representation of an organization as outside counsel or as in-house counsel-in this increasingly important and complex but often-neglected process. The Ethics of Representing Organizations not only outlines ethical duties for lawyers, but also includes strategic remedies and suggestions for ethical problems as they arise.

Book Jacket Photo Broken Landscape : Indians, Indian Tribes, and the Constitution by Frank Pommersheim
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
KF8205 .P636 2009   Balcony

Broken Landscape is a sweeping chronicle of Indian tribal sovereignty under the United States Constitution and the way that legal analysis and practice have interpreted and misinterpreted tribal sovereignty since the nation's founding. The Constitution formalized the relationship between Indian tribes and the United States government--a relationship forged through a long history of war and land usurpation--within a federal structure not mirrored in the traditions of tribal governance. Although the Constitution recognized the sovereignty of Indian nations, it did not safeguard tribes against the tides of national expansion and exploitation As Broken Landscape demonstrates, the federal government has repeatedly failed to respect the Constitution's recognition of tribal sovereignty. Instead, it has favored excessive, unaccountable authority in its dealings with tribes. The Supreme Court has strayed from its Constitutional roots as well, consistently issuing decisions over two centuries that have bolstered federal power over the tribes. Frank Pommersheim, one of America's leading scholars in Indian tribal law, offers a novel and deeply researched synthesis of this legal history from colonial times to the present, confronting the failures of constitutional analysis in contemporary Indian law jurisprudence. Closing with a proposal for a Constitutional amendment that would reaffirm tribal sovereignty, Pommersheim challenges us to finally accord Indian tribes and Indian people the respect and dignity that are their due.

Book JacketPhoto John Brown's Trial by Brian McGinty
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2009
KF223.B765 M34 2009  Balcony

Mixing idealism with violence, abolitionist John Brown cut a wide swath across the United States before winding up in Virginia, where he led an attack on the U.S. armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Supported by a "provisional army" of 21 men, Brown hoped to rouse the slaves in Virginia to rebellion. But he was quickly captured and, after a short but stormy trial, hanged on December 2, 1859.  Brian McGinty provides the first comprehensive account of the trial, which raised important questions about jurisdiction, judicial fairness, and the nature of treason under the American constitutional system. After the jury returned its guilty verdict, an appeal was quickly disposed of, and the governor of Virginia refused to grant clemency. Brown met his death not as an enemy of the American people but as an enemy of Southern slaveholders.  Historians have long credited the Harpers Ferry raid with rousing the country to a fever pitch of sectionalism and accelerating the onset of the Civil War. McGinty sees Brown's trial, rather than his raid, as the real turning point in the struggle between North and South. If Brown had been killed in Harpers Ferry (as he nearly was), or condemned to death in a summary court-martial, his raid would have had little effect. Because he survived to stand trial before a Virginia judge and jury, and argue the case against slavery with an eloquence that reverberated around the world, he became a symbol of the struggle to abolish slavery and a martyr to the cause of freedom.

Book JacketPhoto Refugee Roulette : Disparities in Asylum Adjudication and Proposals for Reform  by Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Andrew I. Schoenholtz, and Philip G. Schrag
New York : New York University Press, c2009
KF4836 .R36 2009  Sohn Library

Through the Refugee Act of 1980, the United States offers the prospect of safety to people who flee to America to escape rape, torture, and even death in their native countries. In order to be granted asylum, however, an applicant must prove to an asylum officer or immigration judge that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her homeland. The chance of winning asylum should have little if anything to do with the personality of the official to whom a case is randomly assigned, but in a ground-breaking and shocking study, Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Andrew I. Schoenholtz, and Philip G. Schrag learned that life-or-death asylum decisions are too frequently influenced by random factors relating to the decision makers. In many cases, the most important moment in an asylum case is the instant in which a clerk randomly assigns the application to an adjudicator. The system, in its current state, is like a game of chance.  Refugee Roulette is the first analysis of decisions at all four levels of the asylum adjudication process: the Department of Homeland Security, the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the United States Courts of Appeals. The data reveal tremendous disparities in asylum approval rates, even when different adjudicators in the same office each considered large numbers of applications from nationals of the same country. After providing a thorough empirical analysis, the authors make recommendations for future reform. Original essays by eight scholars and policy makers then discuss the authors' research and recommendations.

Book Jacket Photo Executive Power of the European Union : Law, Practices, and the Living Constitution by Deirdre Curtin
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
KJE5329 .C87 2009  Basement

The picture of Brussels-based bureaucrats exercising wide-ranging, arbitrary executive powers with no accountability is one of the favorite images conjured by Eurosceptics across the political spectrum. What truth is there in the image? This book aims to bring the EU's executive powers out of the shadows by mapping the evolution and current form of the EU's various executive actors, their powers, and the mechanisms for holding them accountable. In doing so it provides a rich understanding of the way in which the EU's institutional and legal framework fits within national constitutional presumptions about how power should be controlled and accountability achieved. Covering both the political executive and the administrative executive at the EU institutional level, the book analyzes their relationship with national executive power, and traces the historical evolution of executive order in Europe from the Peace of Westphalia through classic inter-governmental organizations to the allegedly unique EU framework. The book's analysis covers both the formal legal structure of the Union and the evolution of the EU's living institutions in practice. The picture presented is of a fragmented, cluttered and complex European executive space, resistant to radical constitutional reform and in need of a more nuanced understanding of the different forms of executive power required by different political aims and modes of decision-making.

Book Jacket Photo The Division of Wrongs : A Historical Comparative Study by Eric Descheemaeker
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
K923 .D47 2009  Balcony

The common law, despite procedural divisions, has only ever had one class of civil wrongs. The civilians, by contrast, have typically split their law of wrongs in two, one group being called delicts and the other quasi-delicts. Yet this division, which originated in Roman law, remains mysterious: it is clear neither where the line was drawn nor why a separation was made along this line. This book does two things. In the first two parts, it investigates the origins of the division and its development in a modern civilian jurisdiction, France. What is argued for is that the Roman dichotomy was originally one between fault (culpa)-based and situational liability, which was prompted by a historical contraction of the Roman concept of a wrong (delictum). French law, building on medieval interpretations of the division, redrew the line one level higher, between deliberate and negligent wrongdoing. By doing so, it involved itself in severe taxonomical difficulties, which the book explores. The third part of the work concerns itself with the significance of the civilian division of wrongs according to degrees of blame worthiness (dolus, culpa, casus) for the common law. A provocative thesis is developed, in effect, that there is a strong case for the adoption of a similar trichotomy as the first-level division of the English law of civil wrongs. From its formulary age, English law has inherited an unstable taxonomy where wrongs intersect. The existence of these mismatched categories continues to cause significant difficulties, which a realignment of causes of action along the above lines could rectify.

Book Jacket Photo The Idea of Justice by Amartya Sen
Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009
JC578 .S424 2009  Basement

More than a matter of intellectual discourse, the idea of justice plays a real role in how--and how well--people live. A distinguished scholar offers a powerful critique of the theory of social justice that has left practical realities behind.

Book JacketPhoto Sexism in America : Alive, Well, and Ruining our Future by Barbara J. Berg
Chicago, Ill. : Lawrence Hill Books, c2009  1st ed
HQ1237.5.U6 B47 2009  Basement

The news in 2008 was that women had taken huge strides forward. Feminists’ decades-long struggle finally seemed to be paying off, not only in boardrooms, classrooms, and kitchens but also at the very top—in presidential politics. But what is the truth behind the headlines?  In Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future, renowned feminist author Barbara J. Berg debunks the many myths about how far women have come and the pervasive belief that ours is a postfeminist society. Combining authoritative research and compelling storytelling, Berg traces the assault on women’s status from the 1950s—when Newsweek declared “for the American girl, books and babies don’t mix”—to the present, exploring the deception about women’s progress and contextualizing our current situation. All women are hurt by a society lauding their attributes in speeches while scorning them in public policy and popular culture, and the legacy of the women’s movement is being short-circuited in every aspect of their lives. Passionate, extensively documented, humorous, and persuasive, Sexism in America is simultaneously enlightening, frightening, and revitalizing. Berg, an ardent optimist, helps women understand where they are and why and how they can move beyond the marginalizing strategies. It is exactly the right book at exactly the right time.

Book Jacket Photo Prosecuting Domestic Violence : A Philosophical Analysis by Michelle Madden Dempsey
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
KF9322 .D46 2009  Balcony

This series aims to cover all aspects of criminal law and procedure including criminal evidence. The scope of this series is wide, encompassing both practical and theoretical works.

Book JacketPhoto Uncommon Sense : Economic Insights, From Marriage to Terrorism  by  Gary S. Becker, Richard A. Posner
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2009
HB71 .B435 2009  Basement

Nobel Prize-winning economist Becker (Human Capital) and U.S. Court of Appeals judge Posner (How Judges Think) apply economic perspectives to a wide range of contemporary issues in these unwieldy essays culled from their jointly written blog. Social problems ranging from terrorism and pre-emptive war to Internet gambling and steroid use are subjected to analysis yielding surprising arguments; for example, they argue that drunk-driving laws penalize behavior that is not criminal (drinking) instead of the harmful outcome (accidents) and ask, "Why punish the 99-plus percent of drunk driving that is harmless?" The book is most compelling when addressing the legal aspects of eminent domain and pharmaceutical patents, much less so when it pans over national and global issues like ethnic profiling, where the arguments feel well-worn. Despite some valuable insights, the writing itself is ponderous and lacks the references and rigor to make it genuinely academic, but comes across as too dense for good blog writing. And even though the authors acknowledge that their audience might be unfamiliar with the economic principles they apply, their only concession is a brief overview of economics in the introduction.

Book Jacket Photo Constituting Equality : Gender Equality and Comparative Constitutional Law  edited by Susan H. Williams
New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009
K3243 .C66 2009   Balcony

Constituting Equality addresses the question, how would you write a constitution if you really cared about gender equality? The book takes a design-oriented approach to the broad range of issues that arise in constitutional drafting concerning gender equality. Each section of the book examines a particular set of constitutional issues or doctrines across a range of different countries to explore what works, where, and why. Topics include (1) governmental structure (particularly electoral gender quotas); (2) rights provisions; (3) constitutional recognition for cultural or religious practices that discriminate against women; (4) domestic incorporation of international law; and (5) the role of women in the process of constitution-making. Interdisciplinary in orientation and global in scope, the book provides a menu for constitutional designers and others interested in how the fundamental legal order might more effectively promote gender equality.

Book Jacket Photo The Limits of Ethics in International Relations : Natural Law, Natural Rights, and Human Rights in Transition by David Boucher
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
JZ1306 .B68 2009   Sohn Library

Ethical constraints on relations among individuals within and between societies have always reflected or invoked a higher authority than the caprices of human will. For over two thousand years Natural Law and Natural Rights were the constellations of ideas and presuppositions that fulfilled this role in the west, and exhibited far greater similarities than most commentators want to admit. Such ideas were the lens through which Europeans evaluated the rest of the world. In his major new book David Boucher rejects the view that Natural Rights constituted a secularisation of Natural Law ideas by showing that most of the significant thinkers in the field, in their various ways, believed that reason leads you to the discovery of your obligations, while God provides the ground for discharging them. Furthermore, the book maintains that Natural Rights and Human Rights are far less closely related than is often asserted because Natural Rights never cast adrift the religious foundationalism, whereas Human Rights, for the most part, have jettisoned the Christian metaphysics upon which both Natural Law and Natural Rights depended. Human Rights theories, on the whole, present us with foundationless universal constraints on the actions of individuals, both domestically and internationally. Finally, one of the principal contentions of the book is that these purportedly universal rights and duties almost invariably turn out to be conditional, and upon close scrutiny end up being 'special' rights and privileges as the examples of multicultural encounters, slavery and racism, and women's rights demonstrate.