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Rethinking the Judicial Settlement of Reconstruction

$26.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Studies on the American Constitution

  • Date Published: February 2011
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511855870

$ 26.00 USD
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About the Authors
  • American constitutional lawyers and legal historians routinely assert that the Supreme Court's state action doctrine halted Reconstruction in its tracks. But it didn't. Rethinking the Judicial Settlement of Reconstruction demolishes the conventional wisdom - and puts a constructive alternative in its place. Pamela Brandwein unveils a lost jurisprudence of rights that provided expansive possibilities for protecting blacks' physical safety and electoral participation, even as it left public accommodation rights undefended. She shows that the Supreme Court supported a Republican coalition and left open ample room for executive and legislative action. Blacks were abandoned, but by the president and Congress, not the Court. Brandwein unites close legal reading of judicial opinions (some hitherto unknown), sustained historical work, the study of political institutions, and the sociology of knowledge. This book explodes tired old debates and will provoke new ones.

    • The book offers the first fully developed challenge to standard legal and historical wisdom about 'state action' doctrine
    • It shows that an understanding of the Supreme Court's role in American politics depends on investigations of the discursive and institutional contexts in which legal concepts are shaped, debated, and deployed
    • It uses an historical case study to overcome the formalist-realist divide in legal studies, demonstrating that it is false to imagine Court decisions as either high jurisprudence or low politics
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511855870
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The emergence of the concept of state neglect, 1867–73
    3. The civil/social distinction: an intramural Republican debate
    4. The birth of state action doctrine, 1874–6
    5. A surviving sectional context, 1876–91
    6. The Civil Rights Cases and the language of state neglect
    7. Definitive judicial abandonment and residual expressions, 1896–1909
    8. A loss of context: the rise of distorted knowledge about state action doctrine
    9. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Pamela Brandwein, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Pamela Brandwein is Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Reconstructing Reconstruction: The Supreme Court and the Production of Historical Truth.

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