Archive for the ‘legal history’ Category

  • Law Day

    May 1 is Law Day. This year’s theme for law day is the Magna Carta. The “Great Charter” is 800 years old this year. As the American Bar Association says: “Perhaps more than any other document in human history, Magna Carta has come to embody a simple but enduring truth: No one, no matter how […] Read more...
  • April is Poetry Month!

    Ven-Fuel was convicted of fraudulent acts, By the Trial Court’s finding of adequate facts. We think it likely that fraud took place, But Materiality was not shown in this case. So while the Government will no doubt be annoyed, We declare the conviction null and void. U.S. v. Ven-Fuel, Inc., 602 F.2d 747, 748 (C.A.Fla., […] Read more...
  • April is Poetry Month!

    We thought that we would never see A suit to compensate a tree. A suit whose claim in tort is prest Upon a mangled tree’s behest; A tree whose battered trunk was prest Against a Chevy’s crumpled crest; A tree that faces each new day With bark and limb in disarray; A tree that may […] Read more...
  • President Abraham Lincoln Fatally Shot by John Wilkes Booth, April 14, 1865

    The attack on President Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth came five days after General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Booth’s initial plot was to kidnap Lincoln and take him to Richmond, the Confederate capital. When this plot, which was to have occurred in mid-March became moot, because Richmond soon fell, he devised a second […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Congress’ First U.S. Wartime Conscription Law Takes Effect

    Congress passed the conscription law on March 3, 1863, when faced with a major challenge posed by the Confederacy to the Federal Government’s survival and President Lincoln’s legitimacy. However, the first draft in the United States was not imposed by Congress but by the Confederacy. This may come as a surprise to some, since a […] Read more...
  • U.S. Supreme Court Rules on the Amistad Case, March 9, 1841

    The Amistad case is a seminal case in the history of slavery in America. A group of men captured in West Africa and being transported to America revolted and took control of the transport ship, the Amistad. Intending to sail back to Africa, the ship was instead diverted to New York where the men were […] Read more...
  • Dred Scott Decision Announced by the U.S. Supreme Court, March 6, 1857

    The infamous Dred Scott case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court after winding through trials and appeals in both state and federal courts. By the time it reached the Court, the main issues were whether the Court had jurisdiction and whether Scott was a citizen. Seven of the nine justices who heard the […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Constitution Goes into Effect

    The Constitutional Convention was the result of intense negotiation and compromise, although it is said that George Washington, who was president of the assembly, spent much of that time fishing. One of the central controversies was the form of government for the new country. Some delegates favored the adoption of a monarchy, but Madison, an […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Dawes Severalty Act Signed, Tribes Further Dispossessed

    On February 8, 1887, President Grover Cleveland signed the Dawes Act, dividing up tribal lands into plots for individuals to farm.  The effect of the Act was to weaken tribes, break up traditional families, and put Indian lands into non-Indian hands.  Under the Act, farmers did not get ownership of the land for 25 years; […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: First session of first Supreme Court

    The first session of the U.S. Supreme Court met on February 1st, 1790. President George Washington’s inaugural nominations were John Jay (Chief Justice), John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson. The Court got off to a faltering start. Robert Harrison refused the nomination, John Jay was abroad attending diplomatic duties during […] Read more...