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Legal history

2023

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Appealing Magna Carta, Thomas J. Mcsweeney Dec 2023

Appealing Magna Carta, Thomas J. Mcsweeney

Faculty Publications

In 1999, Professor Richard Helmholz published Magna Carta and the Ius Commune, in which he argued that some of the ideas and language found in Magna Carta provide evidence that the early common law was engaging with the ius commune, the ancestor of modern civil law traditions. This Essay examines one piece of evidence highlighted by Helmholz and more recently by Professor Charles Donahue: that the Articles of the Barons, a preparatory document for Magna Carta, uses a phrase borrowed from canon law, appellatione remota (without possibility of appeal). Helmholz and Donahue pointed to its use as evidence that …


Pathways To Liberty: What Colonial, Antebellum, And Postbellum Education Can Teach Us About Today, Danielle Wingfield Dec 2023

Pathways To Liberty: What Colonial, Antebellum, And Postbellum Education Can Teach Us About Today, Danielle Wingfield

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Education is a critical part of nation-building. More specifically, it can also be a powerful pathway to liberty and a tool for disseminating knowledge. However, historically it has been used to subjugate and censor vulnerable groups like women, socio-economically disadvantaged persons, as well as men of color. Therefore, to avoid subordinating members of such minoritized groups and suppressing uncomfortable historical facts, advocates must continually evaluate the purpose and method of education. Such persistent monitoring can provide a basis for constructive reform of public education in the United States. Such reform must also consider changing social conditions.

Presently, for example, public …


The Superfluous Rules Of Evidence, Jeffrey Bellin Nov 2023

The Superfluous Rules Of Evidence, Jeffrey Bellin

Faculty Publications

There are few American legal codifications as successful as the Federal Rules of Evidence. But this success masks the project’s uncertain beginnings. The drafters of the Federal Rules worried that lawmakers would not adopt the new rules and that judges would not follow them. As a result, they included at least thirty rules of evidence that do not, in fact, alter the admissibility of evidence. Instead, these rules: (1) market the rules project, and (2) guide judges away from anticipated errors in applying the (other) nonsuperfluous rules.

Given the superfluous rules’ covert mission, it should not be surprising that the …


Jurisdiction Beyond Our Borders: United States V. Alcoa And The Extraterritorial Reach Of American Antitrust, 1909–1945, Laura Phillips Sawyer Nov 2023

Jurisdiction Beyond Our Borders: United States V. Alcoa And The Extraterritorial Reach Of American Antitrust, 1909–1945, Laura Phillips Sawyer

Scholarly Works

Chapter in the book Antimonopoly and American Democracy by Daniel A. Crane and William J. Novak, eds., Oxford University Press, 2023.

In 1945, Judge Learned Hand wrote one of the most influential opinions in modern antitrust law. In declaring that the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) had illegally monopolized the industry for virgin aluminum and had participated in an illegal international cartel, Hand both revived and extended American antitrust law. The ruling is famous for several reasons: it narrowly defined the relevant market in favor of the government; it expanded the category of impermissible dominant firm conduct; it interpreted congressional …


James Oakes's Treatment Of The First Confiscation Act In Freedom National: The Destruction Of Slavery In The United States, 1861-1865, Angi Porter Oct 2023

James Oakes's Treatment Of The First Confiscation Act In Freedom National: The Destruction Of Slavery In The United States, 1861-1865, Angi Porter

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

In his work, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865, James Oakes provides an overview of several Civil War era legal instruments regarding enslavement in the United States. One of the statutes he examines is An Act to Confiscate Property Used for Insurrectionary Purposes, passed by the Thirty Seventh Congress in August, 1861. This law, popularly known as the First Confiscation Act (FCA), is one of the several "Confiscation Acts" that contributed to the weakening of legal enslavement during the War. Fortunately, scholars have contextualized and deemphasized President Lincoln's role as the "Great Emancipator" by examining …


Movement On Removal: An Emerging Consensus On The First Congress, Jed Handelsman Shugerman Aug 2023

Movement On Removal: An Emerging Consensus On The First Congress, Jed Handelsman Shugerman

Faculty Scholarship

What did the “Decision of 1789” decide about presidential removal power, if anything? It turns out that an emerging consensus of scholars agrees that there was not much consensus in the First Congress.

Two more questions follow: Is the “unitary executive theory” based on originalism, and if so, is originalism a reliable method of interpretation based on historical evidence?

The unitary executive theory posits that a president has exclusive and “indefeasible” executive powers (i.e., powers beyond congressional and judicial checks and balances). This panel was an opportunity for unitary executive theorists and their critics to debate recent historical research questioning …


Freehold Offices Vs. 'Despotic Displacement': Why Article Ii 'Executive Power' Did Not Include Removal, Jed Handelsman Shugerman Jul 2023

Freehold Offices Vs. 'Despotic Displacement': Why Article Ii 'Executive Power' Did Not Include Removal, Jed Handelsman Shugerman

Faculty Scholarship

The Roberts Court has relied on an assertion that Article II’s “executive power” implied an “indefeasible” or unconditional presidential removal power. In the wake of growing historical evidence against their theory, unitary executive theorists have fallen back on a claim of a “backdrop” or default removal rule from English and other European monarchies. However, unitary theorists have not provided support for these repeated assertions, while making a remarkable number of errors, especially in the recent “The Executive Power of Removal” (Harvard L. Rev. 2023).

This Article offers an explanation for the difficulty in supporting this historical claim: Because …


An Historical And Empirical Analysis Of The Cyprès Doctrine, Christopher J. Ryan Jun 2023

An Historical And Empirical Analysis Of The Cyprès Doctrine, Christopher J. Ryan

ACTEC Law Journal

Cy près is a pivotal doctrine in estate law and indeed American jurisprudence. It places courts in the shoes of settlors of charitable trusts to discern not only their original intent but also affords the possibility of continuing the material purpose for which settlors created enduring legacies of philanthropy benefitting society. For this reason, it may well be that no other legal doctrine is as closely tied to the interests of the individual and the collective as cy près. And my first-of-its kind study puts the cy-près doctrine front and center, while providing three major contributions to the field. First, …


Forum Fights And Fundamental Rights: Amenability’S Distorted Frame, James P. George Jun 2023

Forum Fights And Fundamental Rights: Amenability’S Distorted Frame, James P. George

Faculty Scholarship

Framing—the subtle use of context to suggest a conclusion—is a dubious alternative to direct argumentation. Both the brilliance and the bane of marketing, framing also creeps into supposedly objective analysis. Law offers several examples, but a lesser known one is International Shoe’s two-part jurisdictional test. The framing occurs in the underscoring of defendant’s due process rights contrasted with plaintiff’s “interests” which are often dependent on governmental interests. This equation ignores, both rhetorically and analytically, the injured party’s centuries-old rights to—not interests in—a remedy in an open and adequate forum.

Even within the biased frame, the test generally works, if not …


Reconstruction's Lessons, Susan D. Carle May 2023

Reconstruction's Lessons, Susan D. Carle

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

In the current moment in the legal struggle for racial justice in the United States, the Nation appears at risk of repeating its history. The country stands at a time of some hope but more cause for pessimism. The current United States Supreme Court has exhibited hostility towards key legal priorities of the racial justice movement, and all indications point to this trend continuing or getting even worse. Leading commentators on race issues have suggested that the United States is headed back to the post Reconstruction era, sometimes referred to as “Redemption” in reference to southern states’ reassertion of white …


The Role Of Law In U.S. History Textbooks, Russ Versteeg Apr 2023

The Role Of Law In U.S. History Textbooks, Russ Versteeg

Cleveland State Law Review

This Article analyzes the references to law found in three standard U.S. History textbooks: (1) ALAN BRINKLEY, AMERICAN HISTORY CONNECTING WITH THE PAST 745 (McGraw-Hill Educ., 15th ed. 2015); (2) ERIC FONER, GIVE ME LIBERTY! AN AMERICAN HISTORY 461 (Steve Forman et al. eds., 5th ed. 2017); and (3) DAVID GOLDFIELD ET AL., THE AMERICAN JOURNEY: A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES (7th ed. Combined vol. 2014, 2011, 2008). The Article includes a quantitative analysis of topics (i.e., tabulating the topics that appear most frequently in the texts arranged chronologically) as well as summaries of those topics. It also discusses …


The Indecisions Of 1789: Inconstant Originalism And Strategic Ambiguity, Jed Handelsman Shugerman Mar 2023

The Indecisions Of 1789: Inconstant Originalism And Strategic Ambiguity, Jed Handelsman Shugerman

Faculty Scholarship

The unitary executive theory relies on the First Congress and an ostensible "Decision of 1789" as an originalist basis for unconditional presidential removal power. In light of new evidence, the First Congress was undecided on any constitutional theory and retreated to ambiguity in order to compromise and move on to other urgent business.

Seila Law's strict separation-of-powers argument depends on indefeasibility (i.e., Congress may not set limits or conditions on the president's power of civil removal). In fact, few members of the First Congress defended or even discussed indefeasibility. Only nine of fifty-four participating representatives explicitly endorsed the presidentialist …


International Criminal Trials Creating A Dominate Narration Of History And Overlooking Historical Blind Spots, Hoor El Masry Feb 2023

International Criminal Trials Creating A Dominate Narration Of History And Overlooking Historical Blind Spots, Hoor El Masry

Theses and Dissertations

History is key to developing a better understanding of the world, what has happened in the past helps one understand the present. Understanding and studying history helps one understand the identity of his country and other countries as well. History can be the link to understanding and connecting events. You can understand why Israel is hated by Arabs when you study the history of its creation. The definition and the determination of history itself are complicated. Regardless of how major the event you are learning about, history remains the stories which are narrated about this specific event. Historians support these …


Worker Welfare And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2023

Worker Welfare And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

The important field of antitrust and labor has gone through a profound change in orientation. For the great bulk of its history labor has been viewed as a competitive threat, and the debate over antitrust and labor was framed around whether there should be a labor “immunity” from the antitrust laws. In just the last decade, however, the orientation has flipped. Most new writing views labor as a target of anticompetitive restraints imposed by employers. Antitrust is increasingly concerned with protecting labor rather than challenging its conduct.

Antitrust interest in labor markets is properly focused on two things. The smaller …


Property And Sovereignty In America: A History Of Title Registries & Jurisdictional Power, K-Sue Park Jan 2023

Property And Sovereignty In America: A History Of Title Registries & Jurisdictional Power, K-Sue Park

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Article tells an untold history of the American title registry—a colonial bureaucratic innovation that, though overlooked and understudied, constitutes one of the most fundamental elements of the U.S. property system today. Prior scholars have focused exclusively on its role in catalyzing property markets, while mostly ignoring their main sources in the colonies -- expropriated lands and enslaved people. This analysis centers the institution’s work of organizing and “proving” claims that were not only individual but collective, to affirm encroachments on tribal nations’ lands and scaffold colonies’ tenuous but growing political, jurisdictional power. In other words, American property and property …


Federal Rules Of Private Enforcement, Luke Norris, David L. Noll Jan 2023

Federal Rules Of Private Enforcement, Luke Norris, David L. Noll

Law Faculty Publications

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were made for a different world. Fast approaching their hundredth anniversary, the Rules reflect the state of litigation in the first few decades of the twentieth century and the then-prevailing distinction between "substantive" rights and the "procedure" used to adjudicate them. The role of procedure, the rulemakers believed, was to resolve private disputes fairly and efficiently. Today, a substantial portion of litigation in federal court is brought under regulatory statutes that deploy private lawsuits to enforce public regulatory policy. This type of litigation, which scholars refer to as "private enforcement," is the engine for …


The Mystery Of The Leavenworth Oaths, M H. Hoeflich, Stephen M. Sheppard Jan 2023

The Mystery Of The Leavenworth Oaths, M H. Hoeflich, Stephen M. Sheppard

Faculty Articles

Lawyers have sworn an oath to be admitted to the Bar since the beginnings of the Anglo-American legal profession. The oath serves several extremely important purposes. First, it is the formal act that admits an individual into the Bar and confers upon the oath taker the right to perform the duties of an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the oath is given. Second, the oath admits the new attorney to the broader world of the legal profession and signifies that the new attorney has been judged by the oath giver as worthy of the right to practice law. Third, …


Edward Barradall's Reports Of Cases In The General Court Of Virginia (1733-1741), William Hamilton Bryson Jan 2023

Edward Barradall's Reports Of Cases In The General Court Of Virginia (1733-1741), William Hamilton Bryson

Law Faculty Publications

Edward Barradall was born in London, the son of Henry Barradall and Catherine Blumfield Barradall. He was baptized on 17 October 1703 in the parish church of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. Both of his brothers and two of his sisters came to Virginia in the 1730s. Edward Barradall was in Virginia by February 1731. From at least then until about 1733, he practiced law in the county courts of Caroline County and the Northern Neck. His law reports begin in 1733, and so it is to be presumed that that is the year he moved his practice from the county …


Alexander Forrester's Chancery Reports, William Hamilton Bryson Jan 2023

Alexander Forrester's Chancery Reports, William Hamilton Bryson

Law Faculty Publications

This is a new edition of Alexander Forrester's Chancery reports. It is based upon the best manuscript copy that has survived, Lincoln's Inn MSS. Misc. 52 and Misc. 54, and the first printed edition. The edition that was first published in 1741 included only the cases from 1732 to 1739. Compared to the copy in Lincoln's Inn, they are not much different in quality from each other. The cases in the 1741 edition are the basis for this edition as far as they go. The learned apparatus of the third edition by John Griffith Williams (d. 1799) has not been …


The Purloined Debtor: Edgar Allan Poe’S Bankruptcy In Law And Letters, Erin L. Sheley, Zvi Rosen Jan 2023

The Purloined Debtor: Edgar Allan Poe’S Bankruptcy In Law And Letters, Erin L. Sheley, Zvi Rosen

Faculty Scholarship

This Article represents the first interdisciplinary case study of Edgar Allan Poe’s bankruptcy as an inflection point in the legal and cultural history of debt. Although Poe hardly leaps to mind for portrayals of legal procedure, much of his oeuvre reveals a terror of legal process as an interstitial principle. The anxiety around identity in Poe’s work reveals an ongoing struggle between an individual subject and two opposing yet equally degenerate legal statuses: possession and indebtedness. This opposition renders a distinct form of legal process legible in these texts: the then emerging law of bankruptcy. Poe declared bankruptcy at a …


Bridging The Gap In Lgbtq+ Rights Litigation: A Community Discussion On Bisexual Visibility In The Law, Nancy C. Marcus, Bendita Malakia, Ann E. Tweedy, Mya Reid Jan 2023

Bridging The Gap In Lgbtq+ Rights Litigation: A Community Discussion On Bisexual Visibility In The Law, Nancy C. Marcus, Bendita Malakia, Ann E. Tweedy, Mya Reid

Faculty Scholarship

This essay discusses the genesis of BiLaw, a coalition of Bi+ lawyers and law students, and highlights the importance of a 2021 Lavender Law session organized by BiLaw in which representatives of LGBT rights organizations discussed the erasure of Bi+ persons in jurisprudence and the importance of, and their commitment to, serving the needs of the Bi+ community, along with those of other stakeholders. A transcript of the groundbreaking discussion follows the essay.


Gouverneur Morris And The Drafting Of The Federalist Constitution, William M. Treanor Jan 2023

Gouverneur Morris And The Drafting Of The Federalist Constitution, William M. Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Salmon P. Chase Colloquium series has had two themes: One is great moments in constitutional law, and the other is people who have been forgotten but should not have been. This colloquium is primarily in the latter category—it is about a forgotten founder of the Constitution. But the Constitution has more than one forgotten founder. I did a Google search this afternoon for “Forgotten Founder” and there are a whole series of books on various people who are the Constitution’s Forgotten Founder. So the Chase Colloquium series has another decade of subjects: Luther Martin, George Mason, Charles Pinckney, Roger …