Featured New Books

May 2018

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Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories: A Bibliography of Government Documents, Periodical Articles, and Books, 1st Congress – 114th Congress

Edited by Ron Wheeler and Jenna Fegreus

This new 4th edition is updated with nearly 1,200 new laws and 1,800 new bibliographic entries and includes two types of compiled legislative histories. The first part of this book includes works issued by commercial sources and legislative histories by topic. The second part, the main portion of this work, includes works compiled for major laws. The third and final part contains an Author-Title Index (to Part I) and a Public Law Index (to Part II). Beginning with the 113th Congress, this new edition also includes a summary of each source at the conclusion of every entry to provide further insight into sources and the ways in which they may be useful for further research.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy of Dissent: Feminist Rhetoric and the Law

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lifelong effort to reshape the language of American law has had profound consequences: she has shifted the rhetorical boundaries of jurisprudence on a wide range of fundamental issues from equal protection to reproductive rights. Beginning in the early 1970s, Ginsburg led a consequential attack on sexist law in the United States. By directly confronting the patriarchal voice of the law, she pointedly challenged an entrenched genre of legal language that silenced the voices and experiences of American women and undermined their status as equal citizens. On the United States Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg continues to challenge the traditional scripts of legal discourse to insist on a progressive vision of the Constitution and to demand a more inclusive and democratic body of law.

This illuminating work examines Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s contributions in reshaping the rhetoric of the law (specifically through the lens of watershed cases in women’s rights) and describes her rhetorical contributions—beginning with her work in the 1970s as a lawyer and an advocate for the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project through her tenure as a Supreme Court justice. Katie L. Gibson examines Ginsburg’s rhetoric to argue that she has dramatically shifted the boundaries of legal language. Gibson draws from rhetorical theory, critical legal theory, and feminist theory to describe the law as a rhetorical genre, arguing that Ginsburg’s jurisprudence can appropriately be understood as a direct challenge to the traditional rhetoric of the law.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg stands as an incredibly important figure in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century feminism. While a growing number of admirers celebrate Justice Ginsburg’s voice of dissent today, Ginsburg’s rhetorical legacy reveals that she has long articulated a sharp and strategic voice of judicial dissent. This study contributes to a more complete understanding of her feminist legacy by detailing the unique contributions of her legal rhetoric.

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Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America

With the election of Donald J. Trump, many people on both the left and right feared that America’s 240-year-old grand experiment in democracy was coming to an end, and that Sinclair Lewis’ satirical novel, It Can’t Happen Here, written during the dark days of the 1930s, could finally be coming true. Is the democratic freedom that the United States symbolizes really secure? Can authoritarianism happen in America?

Acclaimed legal scholar, Harvard Professor, and New York Times bestselling author Cass R. Sunstein queried a number of the nation’s leading thinkers. In this thought-provoking collection of essays, these distinguished thinkers and theorists explore the lessons of history, how democracies crumble, how propaganda works, and the role of the media, courts, elections, and “fake news” in the modern political landscape—and what the future of the United States may hold.

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The Burning House: Jim Crow and the Making of Modern America

In this dramatic reexamination of the Jim Crow South, Anders Walker demonstrates that racial segregation fostered not simply terror and violence, but also diversity, one of our most celebrated ideals. He investigates how prominent intellectuals like Robert Penn Warren, James Baldwin, Eudora Welty, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, and Zora Neale Hurston found pluralism in Jim Crow, a legal system that created two worlds, each with its own institutions, traditions, even cultures. The intellectuals discussed in this book all agreed that black culture was resilient, creative, and profound, brutally honest in its assessment of American history. By contrast, James Baldwin likened white culture to a “burning house,” a frightening place that endorsed racism and violence to maintain dominance. Why should black Americans exchange their experience for that? Southern whites, meanwhile, saw themselves preserving a rich cultural landscape against the onslaught of mass culture and federal power, a project carried to the highest levels of American law by Supreme Court justice and Virginia native Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

Anders Walker shows how a generation of scholars and judges has misinterpreted Powell’s definition of diversity in the landmark case Regents v. Bakke, forgetting its Southern origins and weakening it in the process. By resituating the decision in the context of Southern intellectual history, Walker places diversity on a new footing, independent of affirmative action but also free from the constraints currently placed on it by the Supreme Court. With great clarity and insight, he offers a new lens through which to understand the history of civil rights in the United States.

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The Sit-Ins: Protest and Legal Change in the Civil Rights Era

On February 1, 1960, four African American college students entered the Woolworth department store in Greensboro, North Carolina, and sat down at the lunch counter. This lunch counter, like most in the American South, refused to serve black customers. The four students remained in their seats until the store closed. In the following days, they returned, joined by growing numbers of fellow students. These “sit-in” demonstrations soon spread to other southern cities, drawing in thousands of students and coalescing into a protest movement that would transform the struggle for racial equality.

The Sit-Ins tells the story of the student lunch counter protests and the national debate they sparked over the meaning of the constitutional right of all Americans to equal protection of the law. Christopher W. Schmidt describes how behind the now-iconic scenes of African American college students sitting in quiet defiance at “whites only” lunch counters lies a series of underappreciated legal dilemmas—about the meaning of the Constitution, the capacity of legal institutions to remedy different forms of injustice, and the relationship between legal reform and social change. The students’ actions initiated a national conversation over whether the Constitution’s equal protection clause extended to the activities of private businesses that served the general public. The courts, the traditional focal point for accounts of constitutional disputes, played an important but ultimately secondary role in this story. The great victory of the sit-in movement came not in the Supreme Court, but in Congress, with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, landmark legislation that recognized the right African American students had claimed for themselves four years earlier. The Sit-Ins invites a broader understanding of how Americans contest and construct the meaning of their Constitution.

 

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A Court of Refuge: Stories from the Bench of America’s First Mental Health Court

As a young legal advocate, Ginger Lerner-Wren bore witness to the consequences of an underdeveloped mental health care infrastructure. Unable to do more than offer guidance, she watched families being torn apart as client after client was ensnared in the criminal system for crimes committed as a result of addiction, homelessness, and mental illness. She soon learned this was a far-reaching crisis–estimates show that in forty-four states, jails and prisons house ten times more people with serious mental illnesses than state psychiatric hospitals. 

In A Court of Refuge, Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren tells the story of how the first dedicated mental health court in the United States grew from an offshoot of her criminal division, held during lunch hour without the aid of any federal funding, to a revolutionary institution. Of the two hundred thousand people behind bars at the court’s inception in 1997, more than one in ten were known to have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. To date, the court has successfully diverted more than twenty thousand people suffering from various psychiatric conditions from jail and into treatment facilities and other community resources. Working under the theoretical framework of therapeutic jurisprudence, Judge Lerner-Wren and her growing network of fierce, determined advocates, families, and supporters sparked a national movement to conceptualize courts as a place of healing. Today, there are hundreds of such courts in the US.

Poignant and compassionately written, A Court of Refuge demonstrates both the potential relief mental health courts can provide to underserved communities and their limitations in a system in dire need of vast overhauls of the policies that got us here. Lerner-Wren presents a refreshing possibility for a future in which criminal justice and mental health care can work in tandem to address this vexing human rights issue–and to change our attitudes about mental illness as a whole.

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Prostitution: Sex Work, Policy & Politics

The field of sex work has undergone a massive expansion in the past ten years. In this new Second Edition, three leading researchers come together to provide an interdisciplinary outline of sex work. This book provides comprehensive coverage of key areas common to the study of the female sex industry, as well as considering issues relating to male and transgender sex workers, young people who are sexually exploited, and migrant sex workers. It also includes discussion of more recent forms of commercial sex such as Internet-based sex work.

International in perspective, Prostitution: Sex Work, Policy & Politics combines sociological approaches with criminology and criminal justice studies, social policy, health research, and sexuality studies.

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Misdemeanorland: Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing

Felony conviction and mass incarceration attract considerable media attention these days, yet the most common criminal-justice encounters are for misdemeanors, not felonies, and the most common outcome is not prison. In the early 1990s, New York City launched an initiative under the banner of Broken Windows policing to dramatically expand enforcement against low-level offenses. Misdemeanorland is the first book to document the fates of the hundreds of thousands of people hauled into lower criminal courts as part of this policing experiment.

Drawing on three years of fieldwork inside and outside of the courtroom, in-depth interviews, and analysis of trends in arrests and dispositions of misdemeanors going back three decades, Issa Kohler-Hausmann argues that lower courts have largely abandoned the adjudicative model of criminal law administration in which questions of factual guilt and legal punishment drive case outcomes. Due to the sheer volume of arrests, lower courts have adopted a managerial model–and the implications are troubling. Kohler-Hausmann shows how significant volumes of people are marked, tested, and subjected to surveillance and control even though about half the cases result in some form of legal dismissal. She describes in harrowing detail how the reach of America’s penal state extends well beyond the shocking numbers of people incarcerated in prisons or stigmatized by a felony conviction.

Revealing and innovative, Misdemeanorland shows how the lower reaches of our criminal justice system operate as a form of social control and surveillance, often without adjudicating cases or imposing formal punishment.

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Regulation of Synthetic Biology: Biobricks, Biopunks and Bioentrepreneurs

This book explores the interplay between regulation and emerging technologies in the context of synthetic biology, a developing field that promises great benefits, and has already yielded fuels and medicines made with designer micro-organisms. For all its promise, however, it also poses various risks. Investigating the distinctiveness of synthetic biology and the regulatory issues that arise, Alison McLennan questions whether synthetic biology can be regulated within existing structures or whether new mechanisms are needed.

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, McLennan draws on diverse areas of law, the science of synthetic biology and the history and sociology of science. She concludes that synthetic biology presents novel regulatory challenges relating to environmental risk, biosafety, biosecurity and intellectual property. These challenges arise from the uniqueness of the science, the nature of its communities of scientists (including citizen scientists or ‘biobunks’) and the uncertainty surrounding possible hazards. Some scientists see intellectual property protection as a way to push innovation forward (bioentrepreneurs), while others openly share synthetic biology tools such as BioBricks. By understanding the range of regulatory challenges, the book make a case for enhanced regulation that protects us from synthetic biology’s risks, whilst capturing its potential to improve our world.

Regulation of Synthetic Biology will be essential reading for academics and students in the social sciences and law, as well as for scientists working in synthetic biology, and policymakers in innovation, science and the regulation of these fields.

 

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Legal Writing Style

Legal Writing Style promotes the art of good writing by teaching students and practitioners the tools to make their prose clear, precise, simple, and forceful. With examples of what works and what doesn’t, this short but comprehensive treatise provides an invaluable resource for recasting writing for maximum impact and ultimate success.

Texts from book descriptions. Copyright reserved by publishers.