Legal History

1043 ABA Journal Legal History articles.

The strange tale of the ‘Voodoo reverend’ and Harper Lee’s lost true-crime book

The author of To Kill a Mockingbird spent years researching and writing about this true-crime tale, with the intention of producing her own book in the style of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. But did she ever finish it?

16% of Americans think Clarence Thomas is chief justice, ABA civics survey finds

In a new survey, the ABA highlighted gaps in Americans’ knowledge of history and government as part of the ABA Survey of Civic Literacy 2019, the first comprehensive survey of its kind by the association. The results of the nationwide poll of 1,000 people were released Wednesday to mark Law Day, a national event established by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958 to recognize the country’s commitment to the rule of law.

The Second Founding: A new exhibit explains the importance of the Civil War Amendments

On May 9, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia will give the Reconstruction Amendments pride of place with a new permanent exhibit: “Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality.”

Justice by Numbers: Proposals resurface to expand the size of the court

In recent months, a concept that has been on the fringes of political theory has suddenly gained steam, with several progressive organizations calling for an expansion of the court and pushing Democratic presidential candidates to respond to the idea.

May 9, 1960: FDA approves first birth control pill

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was asked to approve Enovid for contraception, the “birth control pill” had already proved highly effective. But with legal and moral objections, a regulatory storm was gathering.

12 Supreme Court milestones that helped define First Amendment rights (gallery)

The First Amendment is first in the Constitution for a reason, and it only makes sense that the 2019 Law Day theme is “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.”

Old-fashioned textualism is all about interpretation, not legislating from the bench

Although some lawyers and judges will always care more about policy arguments, nobody can safely ignore grappling with textual arguments.

April 6, 1841: John Tyler inaugurates precedential succession

On the death of President William Henry Harrison, Vice President John Tyler set a precedent when he made it clear that he planned to fully assume the office.

Have we been pronouncing ‘gerrymandering’ wrong? This man’s descendants think so

Updated: As the U.S. Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering Tuesday, another question lurked beneath the surface. Is gerrymandering pronounced with a soft or hard letter “g”?

Did an ax murderer go free? ‘The Trial of Lizzie Borden’ examines the evidence

In The Trial of Lizzie Borden, Cara Robertson uses her skills as a lawyer to go over the strategies used by the defense and prosecution, the evidence brought before the court, and the societal influences that contributed to the outcome.

How 2 Supreme Court cases from 1919 shaped the next century of First Amendment law

Just after World War I, the U.S. Supreme Court grappled with a series of cases involving the speech of political dissidents charged with violating federal laws designed to quell criticism of the U.S. war effort, draft or policy toward foreign nations.

Who do you think is an inspiring woman in law and why?

March is Women’s History Month in the United States, a time to recognize women from the past and present who overcame adversity to excel in a male-dominated society. Within the…

Letters: Immigrant rights
Chemerinsky: Do religious symbols on government property infringe on First Amendment?

The Supreme Court has a chance to clarify whether symbols of religion on government property violate the First Amendment. The establishment clause has returned to the court in American Legion v. American Humanist Association, to be argued Feb. 27.

Student free speech case ‘chipped away’ at after 50 years, but ‘overall idea’ remains

Mary Beth and John Tinker remain as engaged and committed to young people’s free-expression rights as they were more than 50 years ago when they were suspended from their middle and high schools in Des Moines, Iowa, for wearing black peace armbands.

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Web First
Prosecutor reveals in interview how he helped clear Richard Jewell’s name in Olympic bombing investigation
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Topics: Career & Practice
All ABA employees are eligible for federal loan forgiveness program after litigation settles
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Your Voice
What this law prof has learned about rural justice
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How 2 Texas lawyers are marketing their practice through song
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