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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

A "Progressive Contraction Of Jurisdiction": The Making Of The Modern Supreme Court, Carolyn Shapiro Feb 2013

A "Progressive Contraction Of Jurisdiction": The Making Of The Modern Supreme Court, Carolyn Shapiro

125th Anniversary Materials

The Supreme Court in 1888 was in crisis. Its overall structure and responsibilities, created a century earlier by the Judiciary Act of 1789, were no longer adequate or appropriate. The Court had no control over its own docket - at the beginning of the 1888 term, there were 1,563 cases pending - and the justices’ responsibilities, which included circuit riding, were impossible to meet. Shaped as it was by a law almost as old as the country itself, the Supreme Court in 1888 - and the federal judicial system as a whole - would be barely recognizable to many today.

This chapter - which ...


Brown And The Colorblind Constitution, Christopher W. Schmidt Dec 2008

Brown And The Colorblind Constitution, Christopher W. Schmidt

All Faculty Scholarship

This Essay offers the first in-depth examination of the role of colorblind constitutionalism in the history of Brown v. Board of Education. In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School Dist. No. 1 (2007), such an examination is needed today more than ever. In this case, Chief Justice John Roberts drew on the history of Brown to support his conclusion that racial classifications in school assignment policies are unconstitutional. Particularly controversial was the Chief Justice's use of the words of the NAACP lawyers who argued Brown as evidence for his ...