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Legal History


The Battle for the Court

Lawrence Baum, David Klein, and Matthew J. Streb

Once largely ignored, judicial elections in the states have become increasingly controversial over the past two decades. Legal organizations, prominent law professors, and a retired Supreme Court justice have advocated the elimination of elections as a means to choose judges. One of their primary... More


"Esteemed Bookes of Lawe" and the Legal Culture of Early Virginia

Edited by Warren M. Billings and Brent Tarter.

Virginia men of law constituted one of the first learned professions in colonial America, and Virginia legal culture had an important and lasting impact on American political institutions and jurisprudence. Exploring the book collections of these Virginians therefore offers insight into the history... More


The Road from Runnymede

A. E. Dick Howard

For the eight hundredth anniversary of the Magna Carta, the University of Virginia Press presents the first paperback edition of The Road from Runnymede by A. E. Dick Howard, originally published in 1968. In this volume, Howard explores the ways in which Magna Carta’s concepts, most notably due... More


Of Courtiers and Kings

Edited by Todd C. Peppers and Clare Cushman

Supreme Court justices have long relied on law clerks to help process the work of the Court. Yet few outside the Court are privy to the behind-the-scenes bonds that form between justices and their clerks.In Of Courtiers and Kings, Todd C. Peppers and Clare Cushman offer an intimate new look at the... More


Religious Freedom

John Ragosta

For over one hundred years, Thomas Jefferson and his Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom have stood at the center of our understanding of religious liberty and the First Amendment. Jefferson’s expansive vision—including his insistence that political freedom and free thought would be at risk... More


A Storm over This Court

Jeffrey D. Hockett

On the way to offering a new analysis of the basis of the Supreme Court’s iconic decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Jeffrey Hockett critiques an array of theories that have arisen to explain it and Supreme Court decision making generally. Drawing upon justices’ books, articles, correspondence... More


In Chambers

Edited by Todd C. Peppers and Artemus Ward

Written by former law clerks, legal scholars, biographers, historians, and political scientists, the essays in In Chambers tell the fascinating story of clerking at the Supreme Court. In addition to reflecting the personal experiences of the law clerks with their justices, the essays reveal how... More


Contract and Consent

J. R. Pole

In Contract and Consent, the renowned legal historian J. R. Pole posits that legal history has become highly specialized, while mainstream political and social historians frequently ignore cases that figure prominently in the legal literature. Pole makes a start at remedying the situation with a... More


The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson

David N. Mayer

In this comprehensive account of Thomas Jefferson's constitutional thought, David N. Mayer offers a fresh perspective on Jefferson's philosophy of government. Eschewing the "liberalism versus civic republicanism" debate that has so dominated early American scholarship in recent years, Mayer... More


Race Relations Litigation in an Age of Complexity

Stephen L. Wasby

The first book-length study of civil rights litigation from the late 1960s through the early 1980s, Race Relations Litigation in an Age of Complexity fills a void in the scholarly literature on American courts and poltics in the post Brown versus Board of Education era.


The Martinsville Seven

Eric W. Rise

This book offers the first comprehensive treatment of the case of the Martinsville Seven, a group of young black men executed in 1951 for the rape of a white woman in Martinsville, Virginia. Covering every aspect of the proceedings from the commission of the crime through two appeals, Eric W. Rise... More


New Communitarian Thinking

Amitai Etzioni, ed.

Communitarian thought is at the heart of a fierce debate in political theory about the justice, efficacy, and future of liberalism and liberal societies. Amitai Etzioni has collected a sterling list of contributors who bring communitarian thinking to bear on such timely and contentious issues as... More


Courts, Politics, and Culture in Israel

Martin Edelman

In this clearly written and tightly argued analysis of the various Israeli court systems, Martin Edelman probes a fundamental issue: whether those courts protect human rights while fostering the development of a common, inclusive national culture.Edelman's work is based on the assumption that... More


The Supreme Court Bar

Kevin T. McGuire

Who represents litigants in the Supreme Court of the United States? Kevin T. McGuire shows that the most sophisticated of them have the advantage of representation by an elite counsel made up of former clerks to the justices, alumni of the Office of the Solicitor General, partners in powerful... More


The Warren Court in Historical and Political Perspective

Mark Tushnet, ed.

The tenure of Earl Warren as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1953-69) was marked by a series of decisions unique in the history of the Court for the progressive agenda they bespoke. What made the Warren Court special? How can students of history and political science understand... More


Magna Carta

A. E. Dick Howard

A classic classroom reference since its 1964 publication, this indispensable volume offers the full text of Magna Carta in English, as well as a chapter-by-chapter discussion of its history and provisions.In his newly revised commentary on this founding document in the history of constitutionally... More