Featured New Books - July 2014


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On democracy's doorstep : the inside story of how the Supreme Court brought "one person, one vote" to the United States

The inside story of the Supreme Court decisions that brought true democracy to the United States.

As chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Earl Warren is most often remembered for landmark rulings in favor of desegregation and the rights of the accused. But Warren himself identified a lesser known group of cases—Baker v. Carr, Reynolds v. Sims, and their companions—as his most important work. J. Douglas Smith's On Democracy's Doorstep masterfully recounts the tumultuous and often overlooked events that established the principle of "one person, one vote" in the United States.

Before the Warren Court acted, American democracy was in poor order. As citizens migrated to urban areas, legislative boundaries remained the same, giving rural lawmakers from sparsely populated districts disproportionate political power—a power they often used on behalf of influential business interests. Smith shows how activists ranging from city boosters in Tennessee to the League of Women Voters worked to end malapportionment, incurring the wrath of chambers of commerce and southern segregationists as they did so. Despite a conspiracy of legislative inaction and a 1946 Supreme Court decision that instructed the judiciary not to enter the "political thicket," advocates did not lose hope. As Smith shows, they skillfully used the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause to argue for radical judicial intervention. Smith vividly depicts the unfolding drama as Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy pressed for change, Solicitor General Archibald Cox cautiously held back, young clerks pushed the justices toward ever-bolder reform, and the powerful Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen obsessively sought to reverse the judicial revolution that had upended state governments from California to Virginia.

Today, following the Court's recent controversial decisions on voting rights and campaign finance, the battles described in On Democracy's Doorstep have increasing relevance. With erudition and verve, Smith illuminates this neglected episode of American political history and confronts its profound consequences.


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Internet privacy rights : rights to protect autonomy

Internet Privacy Rights analyses the current threats to our online autonomy and privacy and proposes a new model for the gathering, retention and use of personal data. Key to the model is the development of specific privacy rights: a right to roam the internet with privacy, a right to monitor the monitors, a right to delete personal data and a right to create, assert and protect an online identity. These rights could help in the formulation of more effective and appropriate legislation, and shape more privacy-friendly business models. The conclusion examines how the internet might look with these rights in place and whether such an internet could be sustainable from both a governmental and a business perspective.


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Family law reimagined

One of the law's most important and far-reaching roles is to govern family life and family members. Family law decides who counts as kin, how family relationships are created and dissolved, and what legal rights and responsibilities come with marriage, parenthood, sibling ties, and other family bonds. Yet despite its significance, the field remains remarkably understudied and poorly understood both within and outside the legal community.

Family Law Reimagined is the first book to evaluate the canonical narratives, examples, and ideas that legal decisionmakers repeatedly invoke to explain family law and its governing principles. These stories contend that family law is exclusively local, that it repudiates market principles, that it has eradicated the imprint of common law doctrines which subordinated married women, that it is dominated by contract rules permitting individuals to structure their relationships as they choose, and that it consistently prioritizes children's interests over parents' rights. In this book, Jill Elaine Hasday reveals how family law's canon misdescribes the reality of family law, misdirects attention away from the actual problems that family law confronts, and misshapes the policies that legal authorities pursue. She demonstrates how much of the "common sense" that decisionmakers expound about family law actually makes little sense.

Family Law Reimagined uncovers and critiques the family law canon and outlines a path to reform. Challenging conventional answers and asking questions that judges and lawmakers routinely overlook, it calls on us to reimagine family law.


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Controversies in innocence cases in America

This volume brings together leading experts on the investigation, litigation and scholarly analysis of innocence cases in America, from legal, political and ethical perspectives. The contributors consider the challenges faced by the exoneration movement, causes of wrongful convictions, problems associated with investigating, proving, and defining 'innocence', and theories of reform. These issues are investigated from a multi-disciplinary perspective and with the aim of improving the American criminal justice system when it is faced with its most harrowing sight an innocent defendant.


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The right to health at the public/private divide : a global comparative study

Through a comparative global study of countries from all continents representing a diversity of health, legal, political, and economic systems, this book explores the role of health rights to advance greater equality through access to health care. Does health care promote equality, or does it in fact advance the opposite result? Does inserting the idea of "the right to health" into health systems allow the reinsertion of public values into systems that are undergoing privatization? Or does it allow for private claims to be rearticulated as "rights," in a way that actually reinforces inequality? This volume includes studies from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, The Netherlands, China, and Nigeria, among many others, as well as authors with expertise regarding both the legal and health systems of their countries, making this a seminal study that allows readers to see the differing role of rights in various health systems.


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The punisher's brain : the evolution of judge and jury

Why do we punish, and why do we forgive? Are these learned behaviors, or is there something deeper going on? This book argues that there is indeed something deeper going on, and that our essential response to the killers, rapists, and other wrongdoers among us has been programmed into our brains by evolution. Using evidence and arguments from neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, Morris B. Hoffman traces the development of our innate drives to punish - and to forgive - throughout human history. He describes how, over time, these innate drives became codified into our present legal systems and how the responsibility and authority to punish and forgive was delegated to one person - the judge - or a subset of the group - the jury. Hoffman shows how these urges inform our most deeply held legal principles and how they might animate some legal reforms.


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Uncertain justice : the Roberts Court and the Constitution

With the Supreme Court more influential than ever, this eye-opening book tells the story of how the Roberts Court is shaking the foundation of our nation’s laws

From Citizens United to its momentous rulings regarding Obamacare and gay marriage, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has profoundly affected American life. Yet the court remains a mysterious institution, and the motivations of the nine men and women who serve for life are often obscure. Now, in Uncertain Justice, Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz show the surprising extent to which the Roberts Court is revising the meaning of our Constitution.

This essential book arrives at a make-or-break moment for the nation and the court. Political gridlock, cultural change, and technological progress mean that the court’s decisions on key topics—including free speech, privacy, voting rights, and presidential power—could be uniquely durable. Acutely aware of their opportunity, the justices are rewriting critical aspects of constitutional law and redrawing the ground rules of American government. Tribe—one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers—and Matz dig deeply into the court’s recent rulings, stepping beyond tired debates over judicial “activism” to draw out hidden meanings and silent battles. The undercurrents they reveal suggest a strikingly different vision for the future of our country, one that is sure to be hotly debated.

Filled with original insights and compelling human stories, Uncertain Justice illuminates the most colorful story of all—how the Supreme Court and the Constitution frame the way we live.


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Copyfight : the global politics of digital copyright reform

Widespread file sharing has led content industries – publishers and distributors of books, music, films, and software – to view their customers as growing threats to their survival. Content providers and their allies, especially the U.S. government, have pushed for stronger global copyright policies through international treaties and domestic copyright reforms. Internet companies, individuals, and public-interest groups have pushed back, with massive street protests in Europe and online “internet blackouts” that derailed the 2012 U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). But can citizens or smaller countries really stand in the way of the U.S. copyright juggernaut?

To answer this question, Copyfight examines the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization internet treaties that began the current digital copyright regime. Blayne Haggart follows the WIPO treaties from negotiation to implementation from the perspective of three countries: the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Using extensive interviews with policymakers and experts in these three countries, Haggart argues that not all the power is in the hands of the U.S. government. Small countries can still set their own course on copyright legislation, while growing public interest in copyright issues means that even the United States might move away from ever-increasing copyright protection.


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Reinventing the practice of law : emerging models to enhance affordable legal services

This book offers an assortment of useful advice from nationally known lawyers who describe how they have begun to make our legal system more accessible to moderate income clients. These distinguished authors address the practical, ethical, and business dimensions of new ways of providing legal advice and assistance. You'll find assistance on:

• Unbundling
• Online legal services
• Fee-shifting statutes
• Co-pay clinics, and much, much more!

While readable by non-lawyers, great benefit can be had by lawyers who read this book and delve into its exploration of new ideas. The book is essential reading for solo and small firm lawyers, for those concerned with preparing tomorrow's lawyers for sustainable and satisfying careers, and law firms that help everyday people deal with the legal problems of everyday life.


 


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