Friday, September 21, 2012

Daily Read: Reconsidering State Action and Reconstruction

PbrandweinPolitical Science Prof Alec Ewald reviews Pamela Brandwein's book, Rethinking the Judicial Settlement of Reconstruction in Law & Politics Book Review here. 

Brandwein (pictured), a political science professor, has written a "bold revisionist book, sure to challenge the assumptions of anyone who has written on or taught Reconstruction-era Constitutional history," according to Ewald.

It's Brandwein's focus on the state action doctrine that will most interest conlawprofs.   Here is Ewald's ultimate assessment:

The total disenfranchisement of southern blacks after 1891 had many causes, but “[a] ‘closed’ doctrine of state action, one that shut the door on federal efforts to protect black rights, was not among them” (p.183). When we talk about the state-action doctrine, we are talking about a messy thing rather than a bright line. But the cases themselves, and particularly those all-too-quotable lines from the Civil Rights Cases, can seduce us into thinking the Court of the early 1880s drew a sharp boundary around all non-governmental action and declared it completely off-limits for the federal government. Brandwein shows it wasn’t so.

A good review can tell us whether or not the book is worth our time.  Ewald demonstrates that Brandwein's book is a necessary one for anyone teaching or writing on state action.

RR

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/conlaw/2012/09/daily-read-reconsidering-state-action-and-reconstruction-.html

Books, Equal Protection, Fourteenth Amendment, History, Race, Reconstruction Era Amendments, Scholarship, State Action Doctrine | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef017c31e9732f970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Daily Read: Reconsidering State Action and Reconstruction :

Comments

Post a comment