Connecticut State Library with state seal

Spotlight on ...the Law Collection at the CT State Library
Constitution, Courts, and Individual Liberties, row one

The Alchemy of Race and Rights, by Patricia Williams (Harvard University Press, 1991)

KF4757 .W53 1991
"An autobiographical essay written by a lawyer and a professor of commercial law at University of Wisconsin. Reflects on the intersection of race, gender, and class. Using the tools of critical literary and legal theory, she sets out her views of contemporary popular culture and current events, from Howard Beach to homelessness, from Tawana Brawley to the law-school classroom, from civil rights to Oprah Winfrey, from Bernhard Goetz to Mary Beth Whitehead. She also traces the workings of "ordinary racism" - everyday occurances, casual, unintended, banal perhaps, but mortifying. Taking up the metaphor of alchemy, Williams casts the law as a mythological text in which the powers of the Constitution, wealth and poverty, sanity and insanity, wage war across complex and overlapping boundaries of discourse. In deliberately transgressing such boundaries, she pursues a path toward racial justice that is, ultimately tranformative."

America's Jeffersonian Experiment: Remaking State Constitutions 1820-1850, by Laura J. Scalia (Northern Illinois University Press, 1999)

KF4541 .S32 1999
"Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, friends and fellow statesmen, had radically different views about constitutionalism. While Madison worried that frequent amendments would endanger the security of rights, Jefferson recommended subjecting constitutions and their embedded principles to regular popular scrutiny. The author argues that, when revising state constitutions during the post founding period, Americans enacted Jefferson's vision, boldly experimenting to broaden the franchise and to secure democratic government."

Belonging to the World: Women's Rights and American Constitution Culture, by Sandra F. Burkleo (Oxford University Press, 2001)

KF4758 .V36 2001
"This book surveys the treatment of women in American law from the nation's earliest beginnings in British North America to the present. Placing the legal history of women in the broader social, political, and economic context of American history, this book examines the evolution of women's constitutional status in the United States, the development of rights consciousness among women, and the attempts to expand zones of freedom for all women. This is the first general account of women and American constitutional history to include the voices of women alongside the more familiar voices of lawmakers. An original work of historical synthesis, it delineates the shifting relationships between American law practice and women, both within the family and elsewhere, as it looks beyond the campaign for woman suffrage to broader areas of contest and controversy. Women's stories are used throughout the book to illustrate the extraordinary range and persistence of female rebellion from the 1630s up through the present era of `postfeminist' retrenchment and backlash. This book dispels the myth that the story of women and the law is synonymous only with woman suffrage or married women's property acts, showing instead that American women have struggled along many fronts, not only to regain and expand their rights as sovereign citizens, but also to remake American culture."

Case Dismissed!: Taking Your Harassment Prevention Training to Trial, by Carol Merchasin, Mindy Chapman, & Jeff Polisky (ABA Publishing, 2003)

KF4758 .M47 2003
"Speaking of the vernacular, the phrases "harassment training" and "harassment policy" are most commonly used. However, "harassment prevention training" and "harassment prevention policy" are undoubtedly more accurate. We use them interchangeably. If you don't know the difference, it's a good thing you're [going to read] this book. It will "help you create the best harassment training program for your organization. One that will help you create a culture of respect. One that will be comprehensive enough to satisfy legal compliance issues, yet be fun and practical. One that will shield you from liability and keep you from ending up in litigation. But, if you do end up in court, it is there that our goal gets reduced to the bottom line. We want you to hear only two words based on your harassment prevention policy and training: "Case dismissed!"

The Case for Black Reparations, by Boris I Bittker (Random House, 1973)

KF4757 .B58
Written by a distinguished Yale University professor of law, this book examines "the theory of reparations - the development and enforcement of policies and laws designed to compensate groups for injustices imposed on them. Written some thirty years ago, the author covers issues ranging from post-Civil War demands for forty acres and a mule, to college open-admissions policies and school busing, to how black Americans can be identified without wading into the swamp of `scientific' racial identification. Generally, these positions have been based on moral and/or political grounds, but what had been critically needed was a thorough analysis of the situation on legal grounds." Given the fact that this topic has resurfaced in more recent times, this book provides a much needed glimpse into the formative ideas which support measures for reparation.