Featured Acquisition: The Age of Deference

9780199381487The Age of Deference: The Supreme Court, National Security and the Constitutional Order by David Rudenstine
New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016
Balcony KF7209 .R83 2016

In October 1948 – one year after the creation of the U.S. Air Force as a separate military branch – a B-29 Superfortress crashed on a test run, killing the plane’s crew. The plane was constructed with poor materials, and the families of the dead sued the U.S. government for damages. In the case, the government claimed that releasing information relating to the crash would reveal important state secrets, and refused to hand over the requested documents. Judges at both the U.S. District Court level and Circuit level rejected the government’s argument and ruled in favor of the families. However, in 1953, the Supreme Court reversed the lower courts’ decisions and ruled that in the realm of national security, the executive branch had a right to withhold information from the public. Judicial deference to the executive on national security matters has increased ever since the issuance of that landmark decision. Today, the government’s ability to invoke state secrets privileges goes unquestioned by a largely supine judicial branch.

David Rudenstine’s The Age of Deference traces the Court’s role in the rise of judicial deference to executive power since the end of World War II. He shows how in case after case, going back to the Truman and Eisenhower presidencies, the Court has ceded authority in national security matters to the executive branch. Since 9/11, the executive faces even less oversight. According to Rudenstine, this has had a negative impact both on individual rights and on our ability to check executive authority when necessary. Judges are mindful of the limits of their competence in national security matters; this, combined with their insulation from political accountability, has caused them in matters as important as the nation’s security to defer to the executive. Judges are also afraid of being responsible for a decision that puts the nation at risk and the consequences for the judiciary in the wake of such a decision. Nonetheless, The Age of Deference argues that as important as these considerations are in shaping a judicial disposition, the Supreme Court has leaned too far, too often, and for too long in the direction of abdication. There is a broad spectrum separating judicial abdication, at one end, from judicial usurpation, at the other, and The Age of Deference argues that the rule of law compels the court to re-define its perspective and the legal doctrines central to the Age.

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Law Library Hours for the Exam Period & Beyond

Wed. Nov. 23 7 am – 5 pm
Thanksgiving CLOSED
Fri. Nov. 25 10 am – 10 pm
Sat. Nov. 26 10 am – 5 pm (Home Game)

Beginning Sun Nov. 27 and continuing until Tues. Dec. 13

Mon. – Fri. 7 am – 2 am
Sat. & Sun. 8 am – 2 am
Wed. Dec. 14 7 am – 5 pm
Thurs. –  Sat. (15 – 17) 8 am – 5 pm
Sun. Dec. 18 CLOSED
Mon. – Fri. (19 – 23) 8 am – 5 pm

Sat. Dec. 24 – Sun. Jan. 1  CLOSED

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Featured Acquisition: The Myth of the Litigious Society

9780226305042The Myth of the Litigious Society: Why We Don’t Sue

by David M. Engel
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016
Balcony KF1251 .E54 2016

Why do Americans seem to sue at the slightest provocation? The answer may surprise you: we don’t! For every “Whiplash Charlie” who sees a car accident as a chance to make millions, for every McDonald’s customer to pursue a claim over a too-hot cup of coffee, many more Americans suffer injuries but make no claims against those responsible or their insurance companies. The question is not why Americans sue but why we don’t sue more often, and the answer can be found in how we think about injury and personal responsibility. With this book, David M. Engel demolishes the myth that America is a litigious society. The sobering reality is that the vast majority of injury victims–more than nine out of ten–rely on their own resources, family and friends, and government programs to cover their losses. When real people experience serious injuries, they don’t respond as rational actors. Trauma and pain disrupt their thoughts, and potential claims are discouraged by negative stereotypes that pervade American television and popular culture. (Think Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, who keeps a box of neck braces in his office to help clients exaggerate their injuries.)

Cultural norms make preventable injuries appear inevitable–or the victim’s fault. We’re taught to accept setbacks stoically and not blame someone else. But this tendency to “lump it” doesn’t just hurt the victims; it hurts us all. As politicians continue to push reforms that miss the real problem, we risk losing these claims as a way to quickly identify unsafe products and practices. Because injuries disproportionately fall on people with fewer resources, the existing framework creates a social underclass whose needs must be met by government programs all citizens shoulder while shielding those who cause the harm. It’s time for America to have a more responsible, blame-free discussion about injuries and the law. With The Myth of the Litigious Society, Engel takes readers clearly and powerfully through what we really know about injury victims and concludes with recommendations for how we might improve the situation.

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Alleviate Exam Stress by Taking a Break (in the Library!)

By Maureen Cahill
Throughout the exam period, the law library will provide access to a number of stress relievers.It’s easy to take advantage:
  • img_4796Ask at the circulation desk for a coloring kit (colored pencils and your choice from a variety of prints).
  • Stop by the reference desk and add the next dozen pieces to the jigsaw puzzle.
  • Grab a putter in the journal aisles on the way to the main floor bathrooms and show off your form on our putting greens.
  • Check out a video and relax for a couple of hours.
  • Roll a strike in the mini bowling aisle in the basement.
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New HeinOnline Database on Slavery in America and the World

heinonlineslavery3By Wendy Moore

The new HeinOnline Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law collection brings together essential legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This collection includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. There are more than a thousand pamphlets and books on slavery from the 19th century, including every English-language legal commentary on slavery published before 1920, which includes many essays and articles in obscure, hard-to-find journals in the United States and elsewhere. In addition, there are also many modern histories of slavery, including a section containing all modern law review articles on the subject. This collection will continue to grow, not only from new scholarship but also from additional historical material.

Because HeinOnline is dedicated to the dissemination of information on this important subject and they felt it would be inappropriate for them as a company to profit from this resource, the HeinOnline Slavery in America and the World collection is provided at no cost to researchers and institutions requesting access.


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Book Repair Clinic Next Week

The library’s popular Book Repair Clinic is back this month! Students and faculty are encouraged to drop off any damaged legal books between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. any day between November 14 – 17. Books can be left at the library’s circulation desk. Please allow our staff 24 hours for repairs to be made and for glue to dry. You will receive an email once your book is ready for pick up.


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A Favorable Decision of Judge Analytics

By Suzanne Graham

Investigating for judicial clerkships or preparing for a networking opportunity? Ravel Law’s Judge Analytics provides insight into a particular judge’s history of cases, trends in decision-writing, and procedural preferences.

Just type a judge’s name into the search box. This resource analyzes specific language and citations used in court decisions to offer more than a static history of cases. Results under the “Analytics” tab show a timeline of number of opinions, a list of frequently cited cases used by the judge, and references to most-cited judicial colleagues to help deepen your understanding of his or her patterns and influences.

In addition to the US Supreme Court and all federal Circuit Courts, the tool contains the Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals judges.

To access upgraded features, set up your account from one of our library computers using your UGA email address. For more details, check out the short promotional video.

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