Law

Health Care for Some: Beatrix Hoffman on the PPACA ruling

June 29, 2012
By
Health Care for Some: Beatrix Hoffman on the PPACA ruling

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock (under Iraq? Unforgiveable pun?), yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the majority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), ruled in the National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, likely caught your attention. Despite attempts to repeal the act by both the 111th and 112th Congresses, the Court determined that the government mandate for health care was a tax, and thus fell under Congress’s taxing authority, with the caveat that the federal government could not withhold Medicaid funds in their entirety to states that refused to comply with Medicaid expansion. The Washington Post has a helpful electronic cheat sheet that explains how the legislation will affect you directly in the months and year to come, based on the type of insurance you do or do not carry, your income, and household status. With that in mind, we asked scholar Beatrix Hoffman, author of Health Care for Some: Rights and Rationing in the United States since 1930, to weigh in on Court’s ruling in light of her own research on America’s long tradition of unequal access to health care. Her thoughts follow below. *** A Historic Ruling for Health Care The Supreme . . .

Read more »

Failing Law Schools: What’s so funny?

June 28, 2012
By
Failing Law Schools: What’s so funny?

Wait. I’ve got one— “A lawyer walks into a bar”—oh, you’ve already heard it. “A one-legged lawyer walks into a bar”—no? That, too? How about this one? I’m working on my timing. “What’s the difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer?” Give up? “A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge.” Is that funny? n 1873, Robert Vischer coined the term Einfühlung in “On an Optical Sense of Form: A Contribution to Aesthetics” in order to designate a sort of personification—the projection of human feelings on the natural world. Vischer was concerned with our ability to feel ‘into’ nature and art, and Einfühlung picks up from the German Romantic tradition of Johann Gottfried Herder and Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardernberg (Novalis) as a process of poetic identification with the natural world and its underlying spiritual relationship with man. Part of Vischer’s interest laid in the fact his father Friedrich Theodor Vischer had, a generation earlier, written the monumental Aesthetik and attempted the use of Einfühlen in order to describe architectural form in congruence with German Idealist philosophy and the rebellions of 1848–49. Vischer relegated empathy to the place between purely responsive and intellectual . . .

Read more »

All other persons

August 15, 2011
By
All other persons

The Constitutional Convention took place from May 14th to September 17th, 1787. The delegates spent much of the early month of August adjourned as the Committee of Detail met to refine previously reached agreements, including the contentious role of slavery, before submitting what became an early draft of the U.S. Constitution. Though ten states had already outlawed the slave trade, three key Southern holdouts (Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) threatened to leave the convention and stall progress if the trade were banned outright. Ultimately, delegates instead ratified the Three-Fifths compromise (Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution), which created this federal ratio in order to assess slaves (“all other persons”) as three-fifths of their actual number for purposes of representation in the House and Senate. In A Slaveholders’ Union: Slavery, Politics, and the Constitution in the Early American Republic, George W. Van Cleve judiciously demonstrates that this Constitution was pro-slavery in its politics, its economics, and its law. Framing the development of a strong federal republic around the allegiance of the Southern states, A Slaveholders’ Union establishes this long-term protection of slavery as the consequence of Southern participation in the fledgling Union. Pulitzer Prize-winner Annette Gordon-Reed, in . . .

Read more »

Cultures of Border(less) Control

July 14, 2011
By
Cultures of Border(less) Control

In a recent post for the Yale University Press blog, Eva Ledóchowicz (our shared sales representative for Eastern Europe) penned an article on the potential of the ebook as a “book without border,” linking the changing landscape of publishing (for better or worse) with developments in the European Union surrounding ID-free travel made possible by laws governing the Schengen area. The Schengen area came to be on March 26, 1995, when five original signatories (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) implemented the Schengen Agreement (1985, named for Schengen, Luxembourg, where the document was first signed) into law, allowing for what approaches a single state for international travel, with no internal border controls (harkening back to pre-World War I days, when one could travel from Paris to St. Petersburg without a passport). Two years later, and twenty-five countries were onboard. In recent years, concerns over the pressure to provide shared security for the entire Schengen region, along with the preferences of individual nations over migration, has led to a new vulnerability for Schengen, its member nations, and those travelers who come and go within its amorphous borders. In Cultures of Border Control: Schengen and the Evolution of European Frontiers, political . . .

Read more »

Eggs and Agencies

August 31, 2010
By
Eggs and Agencies

You might want to finish your bibimbap before reading this post. The salmonella outbreak that led to the largest egg recall in American history has now led to a disturbing Food and Drug Administration report about conditions on the Iowa farms where the eggs originated. The Chicago Tribune notes that the report’s grisly details include horrors such as “barns with dozens of holes chewed by rodents that mice, insects, and wild birds used to enter and live inside the barns.… manure built up in 4- to 8-foot-tall piles in pits below the hen houses, in such quantities that it pushed pit doors open, allowing rodents and other wild animals access to hen houses.” The farms in question are among the largest in the nation, and nearly half a billion eggs have been recalled. Given the extent and nature of the problems the inspectors have documented, it is clear the facilities haven’t been visited by the FDA in a fairly long time. This kind of regulatory failure is the focus of Rena Steinzor and Sidney Shapiro’s The People’s Agents and the Battle to Protect the American Public: Special Interests, Government, and Threats to Health, Safety, and the Environment. Steinzor and . . .

Read more »

Interview with Robert K. Elder, author of Last Words of the Executed

August 5, 2010
By
Interview with Robert K. Elder, author of Last Words of the Executed

Earlier today the New Yorker‘s Book Bench blog posted an interview with Robert K. Elder, author of Last Words of the Executed. In the interview Elder discusses how he came across the idea for his book and some of the fascinating historical and cultural insights it offers, including an interesting, albeit morbid, discussion of how various methods of execution—from the firing squad, to the gas chamber, to the electric chair, “a.k.a. Old Sparky”—influenced the final expressions of the prisoners. Read it online at the Book Bench blog. Read excerpts from the book. . . .

Read more »

Robert K. Elder’s Last Words of the Executed on WGN

July 27, 2010
By
Robert K. Elder’s Last Words of the Executed on WGN

Robert K. Elder author of Last Words of the Executed discussed his book earlier this morning on WGN’s noontime news program. Check out the archived video below. The product of seven years of extensive research by journalist Robert K. Elder, Last Words of the Executed presents an oral history of American capital punishment, as heard from the gallows, the chair, and the gurney. The book explores the cultural value of these final statements and asks what we can learn from them. We hear from both the famous—such as Nathan Hale, Joe Hill, Ted Bundy, and John Brown—and the forgotten, and their words give us unprecedented glimpses into their lives, their crimes, and the world they inhabited. Organized by era and method of execution, these final statements range from heartfelt to horrific. Some are calls for peace or cries against injustice; others are accepting, confessional, or consoling; still others are venomous, rage-fueled diatribes. Even the chills evoked by some of these last words are brought on in part by the shared humanity we can’t ignore, their reminder that we all come to the same end, regardless of how we arrive there. Read excerpts from the book. . . .

Read more »

Last Words of the Executed in the Huffington Post

July 23, 2010
By
Last Words of the Executed in the Huffington Post

The Huffington Post ran a short piece by Robert K. Elder, author of Last Words of the Executed talking about his new book and offering up a selection of some of the provocative “last words” from its pages. Check the Huffington Post website to read and post a comment, as well as check other reader’s reactions to the controversial issues Elder’s book raises. Also see Elder’s website for the book or read another selection of excerpts . . . .

Read more »

Supreme Court Overturns Chicago Hand Gun Ban, John Lott Applauds Decision

June 29, 2010
By
Supreme Court Overturns Chicago Hand Gun Ban, John Lott Applauds Decision

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantee to bear arms trumps state and local gun control laws, rendering a Chicago hand gun ban unenforceable. This isn’t the first time the high court has ruled this way; just two years ago, it struck down a similar ban on hand guns in Washington, D. C. The ruling—considered, as the New York Times puts it, an “enormous symbolic victory for supporters of gun rights”—will set of heated debate over gun control, the right to bear arms, and public safety—and one book will be essential to understanding the ramifications of the decision: John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime. The definitive study of the relationship between gun ownership and crime, More Guns, Less Crime relies on a wealth of data to demonstrate that, contrary to conventional wisdom, when citizens are free to carry guns, crime rates invariably fall. An updated third edition—which features an additional ten years of data, with specific attention paid to the Chicago and Washington DC gun bans and the effect of the end of the assault weapons ban and “stand your ground” laws—was published last month. The revisions bring the book fully up to date—and further . . .

Read more »

An interview with Rob Elder, author of Last Words of the Executed

June 10, 2010
By
An interview with Rob Elder, author of Last Words of the Executed

I’m innocent! I’m innocent! I’m innocent! As guards dragged him into the gas chamber: Don’t let me go like this, God! —Robert Otis Pierce, convicted of murder, California. Executed April 6, 1956 I’d just like to say I’m sailing with the Rock and I’ll be back like ‘Independence Day’ with Jesus, June 6, like the movie, big mother ship and all. I’ll be back. —Aileen Wuornos, convicted of murder, Florida. Executed October 9, 2002 Some claim innocence. Others beg for forgiveness. At least three cheer for their favorite football teams. Through final utterances like these, author Rob Elder constructs a compelling oral history of American capital punishment ranging from women put to death during the Salem witch trials, to some of the most infamous criminal figures of the twentieth century like Ted Bundy and Illinois’ own John Wayne Gacy. And though there’s been a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois for some time now, in an interview for The Onion A.V. Club, Elder discusses more of the famous last words of local convicts not lucky enough to escape the chair, the chamber, or the noose. From the interview: AVC: Any other Illinois big shots? RE: A gentleman who was . . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors