ABA Journal

Legal History

1135 ABA Journal Legal History articles.

When most of law school faculty were straight white men, how did those who were not bring change?

This month’s Asked and Answered podcast looks at how work environments have changed for female law school faculty.

Typo in 1928 Supreme Court opinion created ‘reign of error,’ law prof says

A tiny typographical error in a 1928 U.S. Supreme Court opinion had a big impact after it was picked up in subsequent opinions and used to bolster arguments for property rights, a law professor has found.

Trump suit says executive privilege can’t be waived by Biden in Capitol records fight

Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Monday that calls the U.S. House of Representative's Jan. 6 committee’s request for records in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot “a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition.”

How SCOTUS enabled police abuses of civil rights⁠—and what we can do about it

Much has been said about police officers and departments who violate civil rights or enforce the law in discriminatory ways. But not as much attention has been paid to the ways in which the U.S. Supreme Court has enabled police excesses and insulated police from civil or criminal responsibility, says Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and author of the new book Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights.

Does executive privilege still protect Trump after his term ends? Fight brews over congressional subpoenas

Former President Donald Trump is asserting executive privilege to fight a request for presidential records sought by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot. Can he do that after his presidential term ends?

Nov. 30, 1920: Charlie Ponzi pleads guilty to larceny

By the time he reached his third stretch in prison, Carlo “Charlie” Ponzi was an American celebrity. In a single remarkable year, 1920, the smooth-talking Italian immigrant made money as fast as anyone, ever. In a matter of months, he took in more than $15 million ($200 million today); but by year’s end he had also been arrested, indicted and convicted for a scheme that came to bear his name.

How has practicing in the Supreme Court changed throughout the years?

This month’s Asked and Answered podcast is looking at how advocacy has changed in the country’s highest court. It’s part of a special series on how lawyers’ work has changed over the years.

What do lawyers think of the label ‘white shoe’ for law firms?

Lawyers and legal professionals are divided on whether to retain the term “white shoe” to describe the most prestigious law firms.

Sports gamblers tried their luck with courts long before betting became legal

The National Football League just kicked off its new season. The opening week’s games were played against a backdrop of widespread legalized sports wagering. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the activity, which is permissible in 32 states and the District of Columbia, is poised to generate revenue of about $4 billion in the U.S. this year.

DOJ relies on ruling against Eugene Debs in seeking to block Texas abortion law

The U.S. Department of Justice is relying on an 1894 U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving American Railway Union leader Eugene Debs in its lawsuit seeking to block a restrictive Texas abortion law.

A tale of love, loss and conservatorships in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Britney Spears' legal battle over the conservatorship that put her under the control of her father brought international attention to the conservatorship system. But many other rich and famous people have—appropriately or not—also found themselves in the grips of a system that is much more easy to enter than to leave.

When the Supreme Court cites your amicus brief

When the U.S. Supreme Court releases a decision, the parties and their lawyers scan the opinions to determine whether they won or lost. Meanwhile, those who filed amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs in the case also want to know the outcome. But first, they are eager to find the answer to a different question: Did one of the justices cite my brief?

Abortion opponents cite Justice Ginsburg in arguments to overturn Roe v. Wade

Many of the briefs seeking to overturn the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade are citing early misgivings about the decision by the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Obama makes surprise virtual appearance at ABA Thurgood Marshall event honoring civil rights lawyer

Former President Barack Obama made a surprise virtual appearance at the ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting on Friday evening to honor Thurgood Marshall Award winner Clarence B. Jones, a civil rights leader and member of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legal team.

Law & Order’s prime-time formula shaped a generation’s understanding of the legal system

During its original broadcast run from 1990 until 2010, Law & Order became a cultural phenomenon. With an emphasis on procedure as the primary plot device and less reliance on exploring characters’ personal lives or relationships, the success of the show spawned numerous similar shows and spin-offs while inspiring countless fans to go to law school or pursue careers in law enforcement.

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