Although landmark Supreme Court cases such as Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade have great implications for life and culture in America, the state courts were far more influential throughout most of the nation’s history. Local courthouses rather than the distant powers of Washington shaped daily life in the nineteenth century.
In Law and Society in the South, John W. Wertheimer explores the complex interweaving of law and social life in the South by analyzing eight crucial North Carolina court cases from the slavery era to the civil rights era. Nowhere was the influence of the state ...Read More
In March 1913, labor agitator Mary Harris “Mother” Jones and forty-seven other civilians were tried by a military court on charges of murder and conspiracy to murder—charges stemming from violence that erupted during the long coal miners’ strike in the Paint Creek and Cabin Creek areas of Kanawha County, West Virginia. Immediately after the trial, some of the convicted defendants received conditional pardons, but Mother Jones and eleven others remained in custody until early May.
This arrest and conviction came in the latter years of Mother Jones’s long career as a labor agitator. Eighty-one and feisty as ever, she was ...Read More
Known today to every student of constitutional law, principally for his dissenting opinions in early racial discrimination cases, Harlan was an important actor in every major public issue that came before the Supreme Court during his thirty-three-year tenure.
Named by a hopeful father for Chief Justice John Marshall, Harlan began his career as a member of the Kentucky Whig slavocracy. Loren Beth traces the young lawyer's development from these early years through the secession crisis and Civil War, when Harlan remained loyal to the Union, both as a politician and as a soldier. As Beth demonstrates, Harlan gradually shifted during ...Read More