Posts Tagged ‘legal history’

  • 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: 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...
  • Today in Legal History: Gandhi Assassinated, 1948

    Gandhi was the leading figure in India’s drive for independence.  He studied law in England and practiced for a short time in South Africa where he encountered the racism of the apartheid system first hand.  His first success with political activism and civil disobedience occurred in South Africa.  Gandhi returned to India in 1914 and […] Read more...
  • In Legal History: Roe v. Wade Decided

    On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued one of the most famous and controversial legal decisions of our era.  Justice Harry Blackmun authored the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.  At the time, news of the decision was pushed off the front page of many newspapers when former President Lyndon B. […] Read more...
  • This Week in Legal History

    Formal Transfer of Alaska Territory to the United States, October 18, 1867 Although considered foolish at the time, the United States bought the Alaska territory for $7,200,000 from Russia at the behest of William Seward, Secretary of State. Opposition in the House of Representatives postponed appropriation of funds for over a year. The new territory […] Read more...
  • The Zacarias Moussaoui (September 11) Trial

    Zacarias Moussaoui is the only person charged in a United States courtroom in connection with the 9-11 attacks. In August of 2001, Moussaoui was suspected of possible terrorist activity after raising suspicion at a flight school for requesting information about flying a 747. U.S. immigration officials arrested him, and he was in custody during the […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: President James A. Garfield Dies, Leading to Famous Insanity Defense Trial

    President James A. Garfield died on September 19, 1881, after serving less than half a year in office. President Garfield died at a New Jersey seaside location, where he was recovering from two bullet wounds he suffered on July 2, 1881. Garfield’s assassin was Charles Guiteau, an attorney, theologian, and rebuffed office seeker. Guiteau insisted […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Nuremberg Race Laws Went Into Effect In Nazi Germany

    On September 15, 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were adopted.  The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour prohibited marriage between Jews and “Germans” and also prohibited Jewish households from employing “German” women under the age of 45.  The Reich Citizenship Law basically stripped Jews of German citizenship. Learn more about the Nuremberg […] Read more...
  • This Week in Legal History: Attica Prison Riot Ends

    Attica Prison Riot Ends, September 13th 1971 On September 9th, 1971, prisoner’s in New York’s Attica Correctional facility began a riot to demand better living conditions and more human treatment. After four days of violence, taking of hostages and stalled negotiations, the Attica prison riots ended on September 13th when New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller […] Read more...
  • This Week in Legal History: Clinton Affair

    Starr Report Released, September 11th 1998 On September 11, 1998, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr released the Starr Report, a 455 page report detailing President Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The report concluded with a discussion of eleven potential grounds for impeachment. To learn more see: The Starr Report Richard Posner, An Affair of State : […] Read more...