We are now more than half a century removed from height of the rights revolution, a time when the federal government significantly increased legal protection for disadvantaged individuals and groups, leading in the process to a dramatic expansion in access to courts and judicial authority tooversee these protections. Yet while the majority of the landmark laws and legal precedents expanding access to justice remain intact, less than two percent of civil cases are decided by a trial today. What explains this phenomenon, and why it is so difficult to get one's day in court?No Day in Court examines the sustained efforts of political and legal actors to scale back access to the courts in the decades since it was expanded, largely in the service of the rights revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. Since that time, for political, ideological, and practical reasons, amultifaceted group of actors have attempted to diminish the role that courts play in American politics. Although the conventional narrative of backlash focuses on an increasingly conservative Supreme Court, Congress, and activists aiming to constrain the developments of the Civil Rights era, thereis another very important element to this story, in which access to the courts for rights claims has been constricted by efforts that target the "rules of the game:" the institutional and legal procedures that govern what constitutes a valid legal case, who can be sued, how a case is adjudicated,and what remedies are available through courts. These more hidden, procedural changes are pursued by far more than just conservatives, and they often go overlooked. No Day in Court explores the politics of these strategies and the effect that they have today for access to justice in the U.S..
Should the Supreme Court defer to the will of the majority and uphold most democratically enacted laws? Or does the Constitution empower the Supreme Court to protect a broad range of individual rights from the reach of lawmakers? In this timely and provocative book, Damon Root traces the long war over judicial activism and judicial restraint from its beginnings in the bloody age of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction to its central role in today’s blockbuster legal battles over gay rights, gun control, and health care reform. It's a conflict that cuts across the political spectrum in surprising ways and makes for some unusual bedfellows. Judicial deference is not only a touchstone of the Progressive left, for example, it is also a philosophy adopted by many members of the modern right. Today’s growing camp of libertarians, however, has no patience with judicial restraint and little use for majority rule. They want the courts and judges to police the other branches of government, and expect Justices to strikedown any state or federal law that infringes on their bold constitutional agenda of personal and economic freedom. Overruled is the story of two competing visions, each one with its own take on what role the government and the courts should play in our society, a fundamental debate that goes to the very heart of our constitutional system.
Criminal Law & Procedure
For over sixty million Americans, possessing a criminal record overshadows everything else about their public identity. A rap sheet, or even a court appearance or background report that reveals a run-in with the law, can have fateful consequences for a personâe(tm)s interactions with just about everyone else. The Eternal Criminal Record makes transparent a pervasive system of police databases and identity screening that has become a routine feature of American life. The United States is unique in making criminal information easy to obtain by employers, landlords, neighbors, even cyberstalkers. Its nationally integrated rap-sheet system is second to none as an effective law enforcement tool, but it has also facilitated the transfer of ever more sensitive information into the public domain. While there are good reasons for a personâe(tm)s criminal past to be public knowledge, records of arrests that fail to result in convictions are of questionable benefit. Simply by placing someone under arrest, a police officer has the power to tag a person with a legal history that effectively incriminates him or her for life. In James Jacobsâe(tm)s view, law-abiding citizens have a right to know when individuals in their community or workplace represent a potential threat. But convicted persons have rights, too. Jacobs closely examines the problems created by erroneous record keeping, critiques the way the records of individuals who go years without a new conviction are expunged, and proposes strategies for eliminating discrimination based on criminal history, such as certifying the records of those who have demonstrated their rehabilitation.
Entertainment & Sports Law
This new collection examines not only how athletes looked to the nation’s judicial system to solve conflicts but also how their cases trans¬formed the interpretation of laws. These essays examine a vast array of social and legal controversies including Heywood v. NBA (1971), which allowed any player to enter the draft; Flood v. Kuhn (1972), which considered baseball’s antitrust status; the Danny Gardella lower level 1948 case regarding free agency and baseball; Muhammad Ali’s celebrated stance against the U.S. draft; Renée Richards’s 1976 lawsuit against the U.S. Tennis Association and its due process ramifications; and human rights violations in international law with respect to the increased recruitment of underage Latin baseball players in the Caribbean region are a few examples of the vast array of stories included. Sport and the Law links these cases to other cases and topics, giving the reader the opportunity to see the threads weaving law and sport together in American society.
Law & Society
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A masterly work of literary journalism about a senseless murder, a relentless detective, and the great plague of homicide in America On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes. But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift. Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder--a "ghettoside" killing, one young black man slaying another--and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities--and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped. Praise for Ghettoside "Moving and engrossing."--San Francisco Chronicle "A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement . . . [Jill Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain."--Dwight Garner, The New York Times "Leovy's relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights--and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that 'black lives matter.' "--The New York Times Book Review "Masterful . . . gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it."--Los Angeles Times "Ghettoside is fantastic. It does what the best narrative nonfiction does: It transcends its subject by taking one person's journey and making it all our journeys. That's what makes this not just a gritty, heart-wrenching, and telling book, but an important one. From the patrol cop to the president, everyone needs to read this book."--Michael Connelly "Jill Leovy writes with exceptional sharpness and tautness, and her pages glow and glitter with the found poetry of the street. This book will take an honored place on the shelf that includes David Simon's classic Homicide and Michelle Alexander's explosive study of mass incarceration, The New Jim Crow."--Martin Amis "A gripping and powerful account of urban homicide investigation in the United States."--Gilbert King, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Devil in the Grove "Unmissable . . . I'm astonished by Jill Leovy's forthcoming Ghettoside. Police and race in America are examined with forensic skill and furious, exceptional prose. Lucid, revelatory, superbly written, incredibly timely. A book of the year."--Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee "Ghettoside is a brilliant taxonomic investigation into the American violence epidemic disguised as a highly entertaining true crime book."--Matt Taibbi, author of The Divide "Absorbing . . . Readers may come for Leovy's detective story; they will stay for her lucid social critique."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)