From my list on the role states played in American law and history.
Who am I?
I'm a retired trial lawyer and a legal history professor and fellow at Marquette Law School in Wisconsin. As a young lawyer, I was struck by how much Americans focus on federal lawmakers and judges at the expense of their state counterparts, even though state law has a much greater effect on people's daily lives than federal law. The scholar Leonard Levy once said that without more study of state legal history, “there can be no … adequate history of [American] civilization.” I want to help fill that need through my books and articles, and I enjoy sharing this fascinating world with my readers.
Joseph's book list on the role states played in American law and history
Why did Joseph love this book?
The South is endlessly fascinating to history fans, and Prof. Huebner gives us short, thought-provoking biographies of six important Southern state judges. He recounts the contributions that each judge made to American law – for example, Virginia chief justice Spencer Roane's ultimately futile effort to persuade Americans that state courts could interpret the federal Constitution for themselves, independent of federal authority; Tennessee Justice John Catron's efforts to embed Jacksonian principles in American law; and North Carolina chief justice Thomas Ruffin's clear-eyed assessment of the inherent conflict between slaveowners' views of slaves as human beings and as tools for maximizing agricultural production and profit. Huebner skillfully combines fascinating personal stories with sharp insights into each judge's legal legacy.