Little Rock on trial

Cooper v. Aaron and school desegregation
Author: Tony Allan Freyer
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 276
View: 2360

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Americans were riveted to their television sets in 1957, when a violent mob barred black students from entering Little Rock's Central High School and faced off against paratroopers sent by a reluctant President Eisenhower. That set off a firestorm of protest throughout the nation and ultimately led to the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Cooper v. Aaron, reaffirming Brown v. Board of Education's mandate for school integration "with all deliberate speed" and underscoring the supremacy of federal and constitutional authority over state law. Noted scholar Tony Freyer, arguably our nation's top authority on this subject, now provides a concise, lucid, and eminently teachable summary of that historic case and shows that it paved the way for later civil rights victories. He chronicles how the Little Rock school board sought court approval to table integration efforts and how the black community brought suit against the board's watered-down version of compliance. The board's request was denied by a federal appeals court and taken to the Supreme Court, where the unanimous ruling in Cooper reaffirmed federal law--but left in place the maddening ambiguities of "all deliberate speed." While other accounts have focused on the showdown on the schoolhouse steps, Freyer takes readers into the courts to reveal the centrality of black citizens' efforts to the origins and outcome of the crisis. He describes the work of the Little Rock NAACP--with its Legal Defense Fund led by Thurgood Marshall and Wiley Branton--in defining the issues and abandoning gradualism in favor of direct confrontation with the segregationist South He also includes the previously untold account of Justice William Brennan'ssurprising influence upon Justice Felix Frankfurter's controversial concurring opinion, which preserved his own "deliberate speed" wording from Brown. With Cooper, the "well morticed high wall" of segregation had finally cracked. As the most important test of Brown, which literally contained the means to thwart its own intent, it presaged the civil rights movement's broader nonviolent mass action combining community mobilization and litigation to finally defeat Jim Crow. It was not only a landmark decision, but also a turning point in America's civil rights struggle.

The 1950s: Key Themes and Documents


Author: James S. Olson
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440861331
Category: History
Page: 342
View: 5194

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This volume serves as an invaluable guide to key political, social, and cultural concepts of the 1950s. • Provides rigorously and thematically tags of encyclopedic entries, period chronology, and primary documents for ease of reference • Serves as a valuable reference source for a key period of American History • Offers features that will help readers understand the period better, including sample Documents Based Essay Question and Top Tips for answering Documents Based Essay Questions

OAH Annual Meeting


Author: Organization of American Historians. Meeting
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Historians
Page: N.A
View: 2214

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Fugitive slave on trial

the Anthony Burns case and abolitionist outrage
Author: Earl M. Maltz
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 174
View: 8407

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Capital punishment on trial

Furman v. Georgia and the death penalty in modern America
Author: David M. Oshinsky
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 144
View: 4645

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In his first book since the Pulitzer Prize--winning Polio: An American Story, renowned historian David Oshinsky takes a new and closer look at the Supreme Court's controversial and much-debated stances on capital punishment--in the landmark case of Furman v. Georgia. Career criminal William Furman shot and killed a homeowner during a 1967 burglary in Savannah, Georgia. Because it was a "black-on-white" crime in the racially troubled South, it also was an open-and-shut case. The trial took less than a day, and the nearly all-white jury rendered a death sentence. Aided by the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund, Furman's African-American attorney, Bobby Mayfield, doggedly appealed the verdict all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1972 overturned Furman's sentence by a narrow 5--4 vote, ruling that Georgia's capital punishment statute, and by implication all other state death-penalty laws, was so arbitrary and capricious as to violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment." Furman effectively, if temporarily, halted capital punishment in the United States. Every death row inmate across the nation was resentenced to life in prison. The decision, however, did not rule the death penalty per se to be unconstitutional; rather, it struck down the laws that currently governed its application, leaving the states free to devise new ones that the Court might find acceptable. And this is exactly what happened. In the coming years, the Supreme Court would uphold an avalanche of state legislation endorsing the death penalty. Capital punishment would return stronger than ever, with many more defendants sentenced to death and eventually executed. Oshinsky demonstrates the troubling roles played by race and class and region in capital punishment. And he concludes by considering the most recent Supreme Court death-penalty cases involving minors and the mentally ill, as well as the impact of international opinion. Compact and engaging, Oshinsky's masterful study reflects a gift for empathy, an eye for the telling anecdote and portrait, and a talent for clarifying the complex and often confusing legal issues surrounding capital punishment.

The treason trials of Aaron Burr


Author: Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: N.A
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 212
View: 5227

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Aaron Burr was an enigma even in his own day. Founding father and vice president, he engaged in a duel with Alexander Hamilton resulting in a murder indictment that effectively ended his legal career. And when he turned his attention to entrepreneurial activities on the frontier he was suspected of empire building-- and worse. Burr was finally arrested as a threat to national security, under suspicion of fomenting insurrection against the young republic, and then held without bail for months. His trial, witnessing the unfortunate intrusion of partisan politics and personal animosity into the legal process, revolved around a highly contentious debate over the constitutional meaning of treason. In the first book dedicated to this important case, Peter Charles Hoffer unveils a cast of characters ensnared by politics and law at the highest levels of government, including President Thomas Jefferson--one of Burr's bitterest enemies--and Chief Justice John Marshall, no fan of either Burr or Jefferson. Hoffer recounts how Jefferson's prosecutors argued that the mere act of discussing an "overt Act of War"--the constitution's definition of treason--was tantamount to committing the act. Marshall, however, ruled that without the overt act, no treasonable action had occurred and neither discussion nor conspiracy could be prosecuted. Subsequent attempts to convict Burr on violations of the Neutrality Act failed as well. A fascinating excursion into the early American past, Hoffer's narrative makes it clear why the high court's ultimate finding was so foundational that it has been cited as precedent 383 times. Along the way, Hoffer expertly unravels the tale's major themes: attempts to redefinetreason in times of crisis, efforts to bend the law to political goals, the admissibility of evidence, the vulnerability of habeas corpus, and the reach of executive privilege. He also proposes an original and provocative explanation for Burr's bizarre conduct that will provide historians with new food for thought. Deftly linking politics to law, Hoffer's highly readable study resonates with current events and shows us why the issues debated two centuries ago still matter today.

Gibbons v. Ogden

John Marshall, steamboats, and the commerce clause
Author: Herbert Alan Johnson
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: N.A
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 198
View: 2135

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Free at Last to Vote

The Alabama Origins of the 1965 Voting Rights Act
Author: Brian K. Landsberg
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 264
View: 5939

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A compelling examination of three lesser known--but extremely important--federal voting rights cases in Alabama that ultimately influenced the language of the Voting Rights Act. Reveals how each case helped pave the way for the dramatic expansion of federal power in combating racist rules designed to keep blacks out of the polling booth.

Roe v. Wade

the abortion rights controversy in American history
Author: N. E. H. Hull,Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 370
View: 2470

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The sodomy cases

Bowers v. Hardwick and Lawrence v. Texas
Author: David A. J. Richards
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: N.A
Category: Law
Page: 214
View: 4261

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For America's gay community, the question of rights is often reduced to the issue of privacy. Until very recently, even though this right has been upheld by the Supreme Court in landmark cases relating to contraception and abortion, the issue of "nonprocreational sex" continued to trigger a double standard for gay men. Now David Richards, a leading legal scholar who is himself gay, shows how two other landmark cases nearly twenty years apart shed light on America's evolving views of privacy. The Supreme Court's decision in Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) stemmed from a 1982 gay-sex arrest in an Atlanta home under a Georgia law that criminalized sodomy--a case not originally prosecuted, but then pursued in court to challenge the statute's constitutionality. Lawrence v. Texas (2003) followed a similar arrest in 1998 in Houston, where Texas law also criminalized sodomy--but only when practiced by members of the same sex. Richards views these cases as the nadir and apogee of the gay community's efforts to fight discrimination through the courts. In Bowers, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no constitutional protection for sodomy and that states could outlaw those practices. But in Lawrence, the Court overturned the Texas law--and the Bowers decision as well--because it denied due process protection to consenting adults whose sexual practices were conducted in private. Justice Kennedy's majority opinion reaffirmed a constitutionally protected right to privacy that prevented the government from regulating intimate behavior. Tracing the Court's deliberations, Richards shows how Lawrence unambiguously establishes that the right to a private life is an innately human right and that ourconstitutional right to privacy rests on the moral bedrock of equal protection. He shifts gracefully from the law to literature, and from the Courts to the wider culture, to offer a brilliant analysis of the relevant arguments, going beneath their surface to link them to the emotional and moral foundations of the controversies raging around these decisions. Both of these cases show a Supreme Court ready to take seriously the idea that homosexuals have human rights--and that these rights are the basis of judicially enforceable constitutional rights. In describing these challenges to public prejudice, Richards's book offers students and general readers new insight into the practice and theory of constitutional law.

The zoning of America

Euclid v. Ambler
Author: Michael Allan Wolf
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: N.A
Category: Law
Page: 188
View: 3727

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When the Cleveland suburb of Euclid first zoned its land in 1922, the Ambler Realty Company was left with a sizable tract it could no longer sell for industrial use--and so the company sued. What emerged was the seminal zoning case in American history, pitting reformers against private property advocates in the Supreme Court and raising the question of whether a municipality could deny property owners the right to use their land however they chose. Reconstructing the case that made zoning a central element in urban planning for cities and towns throughout America, Michael Allan Wolf provides the first book-length study of the Supreme Court's landmark Euclid v. Ambler decision. Wolf describes how the ordinance, and the defense of it, burst onto the national stage and became the focus of litigation before moving all the way to the nation's highest court. He subsequently reveals how and why Justice George Sutherland broke from the Court's conservative bloc to support the urban reform movement eager to protect residential neighborhoods from disturbances created by rapidly expanding commercial, industrial, or multifamily uses of land. Following that decision, America saw the rapid proliferation of zoning ordinances, which greatly increased the power of local government to control and rationalize urban planning. As Wolf attests, many of today's environmental and land use laws might not have been deemed legal had Euclid v. Ambler been decided differently. But he also points out the potential dangers that emerged from the decision, such as its anticompetitive impact on the real estate market, its catalyzing effect on suburban sprawl, and its establishment of a legal basis for excluding minoritygroups from neighborhoods. Wolf's compelling account makes it clear that Euclid v. Ambler fundamentally altered how we think about the urban landscape, changed the way our cities and suburbs are organized, and left a long shadow over subsequent cases such as the controversial Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London (2005).

The Miracle case

film censorship and the Supreme Court
Author: Laura Wittern-Keller,Raymond J. Haberski
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: N.A
Category: Performing Arts
Page: 233
View: 6989

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It was only a forty-minute foreign film, but it sparked a legal confrontation that has left its mark on America for more than half a century. Roberto Rossellini's II Miracolo (The Miracle) is deceptively simple: a demented peasant woman is seduced by a stranger she believes to be Saint Joseph, is socially ostracized for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, but is finally redeemed through motherhood. Although initially approved by state censors for screening in New York, the film was attacked as sacrilegious by the Catholic establishment, which convinced state officials to revoke distributor Joseph Burstyn's license. In response, Burstyn fought back through the courts and won. Laura Wittern-Keller and Raymond Haberski show how the Supreme Court's unanimous 1952 ruling in Burstyn's favor sparked a chain of litigation that eventually brought filmmaking under the protective umbrella of the First Amendment, overturning its long-outdated decision in Mutual v. Ohio (1915). Their story features a more formidable cast than did the film itself, with the charismatic Francis Cardinal Spellman decrying the film as a Communist plot, while outspoken film critic Bosley Crowther vigorously advocated "freedom of the screen." Meanwhile, movie producers stood by silently for fear of alienating the Church and its large movie-going membership, leaving Burstyn to muster his own defense. More than the inside story of one case, this book explores the unique place that the movies occupy in American culture and the way that culture continues to be shaped by anxiety over the social power of movies. The Burstyn decision weakened the ability of state censorship boards and the Catholic Church to influence the types offilms Americans were allowed to see. Consequently, the case signaled the rise of a new era in which films would be more mature and more controversial than ever before. Focusing on this single most important case in the jurisprudence surrounding motion picture expression, Wittern-Keller and Haberski add a significant new dimension to the story of cinema, censorship, and the history of First Amendment protections.

Brown V. Board of Education

Caste, Culture, and the Constitution
Author: Robert J. Cottrol,Leland Ware
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780700612895
Category: History
Page: 292
View: 4178

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Tracing the litigations, highlighting the pivotal role of the NAACP, and including incisive portraits of key players, this book simply but powerfully shows that "Brown" not only changed the national equation of race and caste, it also changed our view of the Court's role in American life.

Speaking Freely

Whitney V. California and American Speech Law
Author: Philippa Strum
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780700621347
Category: History
Page: 208
View: 7682

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Anita Whitney was a child of wealth and privilege who became a vocal leftist, early in the twentieth century, became a vocal leftist, supporting radical labor groups such as the Wobblies and helping to organize the Communist Labor Party. In 1919 she was arrested and charged with violating California's recently passed laws banning any speech or activity intended to change the American political and economic systems. The story of the Supreme Court case that grew out of Whitney's conviction, told in full in this book, is also the story of how Americans came to enjoy the most liberal speech laws in the world. In clear and engaging language, noted legal scholar Philippa Strum traces the fateful interactions of Whitney, a descendant of Mayflower Pilgrims; Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, a brilliant son of immigrants; the teeming immigrant neighborhoods and left wing labor politics of the early twentieth century; and the lessons some Harvard Law School professors took from World War I-era restrictions on speech. Though the Supreme Court upheld Whitney's conviction, it included an opinion by Justice Brandeis—joined by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.—that led to a decisive change in the way the Court understood First Amendment free speech protections. Speaking Freely takes us into the discussions behind this dramatic change, as Holmes, Brandeis, Judge Learned Hand, and Harvard Law professors Zechariah Chafee and Felix Frankfurter debate the extent of the First Amendment and the important role of free speech in a democratic society. In Brandeis’s opinion, we see this debate distilled in a statement of the value of free speech and the harm that its suppression does to a democracy, along with reflections on the importance of freedom from government control for the founders and the drafters of the First Amendment. Through Whitney v. California and its legacy, Speaking Freely shows how the American approach to speech, differing as it does that of every other country, reflects the nation's unique history. Nothing less than a primer in the history of free speech rights in the US, the book offers a sobering and timely lesson as fear once more raises the specter of repression.

The Passenger Cases and the Commerce Clause

Immigrants, Blacks, and States' Rights in Antebellum America
Author: Tony Allan Freyer
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780700620081
Category: Law
Page: 204
View: 4062

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The tangled history of the 19th century court ruling that defined the powers of the states to control who they could and could not allow to cross their borders and its application to the current immigration debates.