at Seattle University Law Library

November 2002

   

Habeas Corpus : Rethinking the Great Writ of Liberty. Eric M. Freedman. New York: New York University Press, 2001. KF9011.F74 2001

From the publisher: In this timely volume, Eric M. Freedman reexamines four of the Supreme Court's most important habeas corpus rulings: one by Chief Justice John Marshall in 1807 concerning Aaron Burr's conspiracy, two arising from the traumatic national events of the 1915 Leo Frank case and the 1923 cases growing out of murderous race riots in Elaine County, Arkansas, and one case from 1953 that dramatized some of the ugliest features of Southern Justice of the period. In each instance, Freedman uncovers new primary sources and tells the stories of the cases through such documents as the Justices' draft opinions and the memos of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist from when he was a law clerk on the court. Building on these results, Freedman challenges legalistic limits on habeas corpus and demonstrates how a vigorous writ is central to implementing the fundamental conceptions of individual liberty and constrained government power that underlie the Constitution.

About the author: Eric M. Freedman is Professor of Law, Hofstra University School of Law.

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The Trials of Lenny Bruce : The Fall and Rise of an American Icon. Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks MediaFusion, 2002. KF224.B78C65 2002


From the publisher: Lenny Bruce's words had the power to provoke laughter and debate - as well as shock and outrage. It was the force of his voice that would place him on the wrong side of the law in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Lenny's battles were fought on stage and in the courtroom - against cops in San Francisco and L.A. who took notes at his performances, against judges in Chicago and against a prosecutor in New York with a zeal to bring the comedian down. The first carefully documented account of Lenny Bruce's career and free speech struggles, The Trials of Lenny Bruce paints a vivid, shocking, hilarious and tragic portrait of a man too honest for his time.

About the authors: Ronald K.L. Collins is currently scholar-in-residence at the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Virginia. David M. Skover is professor of law at Seattle University School of Law.

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Playing It Safe : How the Supreme Court Sidesteps Hard Cases and Stunts the Development of Law. Lisa A. Kloppenberg. New York: New York University Press, 2001. KF 8748.K58 2001

From the Publisher: It is one of the unspoken truths of the American judicial system that courts go out of their way to avoid having to decide important and controversial issues. Even the Supreme Court - from which the entire nation seeks guidance - frequently engages in transparent tactics to avoid difficult, politically sensitive cases.

By sharing the stories of litigants who struggled unsuccessfully to raise before the Supreme Court constitutional matters of the utmost importance from the 1970s to the 1990s, Playing It Safe argues that judges who fail to exercise their power in hard cases in effect abdicate their constitutional responsibility when it is needed most, and in so doing betray their commitment to neutrality. Lisa Kloppenberg demonstrates how the Court often avoids socially sensitive cases, such as those involving racial and ethnic discrimination, gender inequalities, abortion restrictions, sexual orientation discrimination, and environmental abuses.

About the author: Lisa A. Kloppenberg is Dean of the University of Dayton School of Law.

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Rainbow Rights : The Role of Lawyers and Courts in the Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement. Patricia A. Cain. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000. KF4754.5.C35 2000

From the publisher: Rainbow Rights describes the substantive state of lesbian and gay rights law. Among other topics, Prof. Cain examines the way that early gay organizations (the earliest beginning in 1924), although different from today's gay rights groups, provided important contributions to the modern fight for lesbian and gay legal rights. She also looks at how the most important cases of the 1950s and 1960s - the political battles over keeping gay and lesbian bars open and the fight by government employees to keep their jobs during the governmental purge of suspected homosexuals along with suspected communists during the McCarthy era - have helped to shape the state of the law today.

About the author: Patricia Cain is Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law.

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Thanks to: Greg Soejima (Technical Direction) and Nancy Minton (Compiler).

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