at Seattle University Law Library


One case at a time: judicial minimalism on the Supreme Court by Cass R. Sunstein. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999. KF8748.S875 1999

From the cover: Abortion, affirmative action, the "right to die," pornography and free speech, homosexuality and sex discrimination: as eagerly as the Supreme Court's rulings on these hot issues are awaited and as intently as they're studied, they never seem to settle anything once and for all. But something is settled in the process--in the incremental approach--as Cass Sunstein shows us in this instructive book.

One of America's preeminent constitutional scholars, Sunstein mounts a defense of the most striking characteristic of modern constitutional law: the inclination to decide one case at a time. Examining various controversies, he shows how-and why-the Court has avoided broad rulings on issues from the legitimacy of affirmative action to the "right to die," and in doing so has fostered rather than foreclosed public debate on these hard topics. He offers an original perspective on the right of free speech and the many novel questions raised by Congress's efforts to regulate violent and sexual materials on new media such as the Internet and cable television. And on the relationship between the Constitution and homosexuality and sex discrimination, he reveals how the Court has tried to ensure against second-class citizenship--and the public expression of contempt for anyone--while leaving a degree of flexibility to the political process. One Case at a Time also lays out, and celebrates, the remarkable constellation of rights--involving both liberty and equality--that now commands a consensus in American law. An authoritative guide to the Supreme Court, the book offers a new understanding of the American Constitution, and of the relationship between democracy and constitutionalism, and between rights and self-government.

Cass R. Sunstein is the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago.

Read reviews:

  • Lincoln Caplan, They Don't Want to Get Involved, N.Y. TIMES, June 15, 1990, at section 7, p. 18, available in LEXIS, New York Times database
  • Gary L. McDowell, Judicial Activism Masquerading As Minimalism? WASHINGTON TIMES, Apr. 11, 1999, available in LEXIS, Washington Times database, and in WESTLAW, 1999 WL 3082394
  • David Rudenstein, Sunstein's Law, THE NATION, Oct. 11, 1999, available in LEXIS, The Nation database, and in WESTLAW, 1999 WL 9307296

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Art law : the guide for collectors, investors, dealers, and artists, 2nd ed. by Ralph E. Lerner & Judith Bresler. New York: Practising Law Institute, 1998. KF4288.L47 1998

From the publisher: Invaluable to anyone involved in today’s sophisticated multibillion-dollar international art world, here’s the much-anticipated new edition of this benchmark reference. Enhanced by a wealth of new and updated information, Art Law offers you practical and authoritative answers to all the legal and tax ramifications involved in the creation, purchase, ownership, sale or transfer of a work of art.

The Second Edition features new insights into statutes of limitations, fine-art multiples, tax and financial issues, commercial and transactional issues, the evolving copyright law, moral rights, first amendment law, museum law, international trade, auction law, and new technologies, including the Internet. In addition, it includes an array of new forms, addressing copyrights, consignments, sales, international transactions, escrow arrangements, museum loans, commissioned works, and taxation.

The revised and expanded Art Law encompasses:

  • Artist/dealer relationships
  • Commercial aspects of buying and selling art work, through a dealer or at auction
  • Fine-art multiple transactions
  • Protection of artists’ rights, including copyright interests, moral rights, resale rights, and freedom of expression
  • Appraisals
  • Museum law
  • Tax and financial aspects of IRS classification as a collector, investor or dealer
  • Tax and estate planning issues faced by collectors and artists, including income tax liability and gifts to charitable organizations

Ralph E. Lerner is a partner in the law firm of Sidley & Austin in its New York City office.

Judith Bresler is in private practice in New York City and an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School.

Read a review in the New York Law Journal: Tad Crawford, The Lawyer's Bookshelf, 219 N.Y.L.J. 2 (1998), available in WESTLAW and in LEXIS, New York Law Journal database

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Dying to win : doping in sport and the development of anti-doping policy by Barrie Houlihan. Strasbourg : Council of Europe Pub., 1999. KJC6292.D6H68 1999

Using the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta as a starting point, the author explores the history and current practices of performance-enhancing drug-use and subsequent preventive regulatory efforts. Included is the text of the Council of Europe's Anti-doping Convention of 1989, along with a table of signatories, and the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited classes of substances and prohibited methods.

From the cover: European sports fans were dramatically alerted to the issue of drug abuse in sport by the death of Tom Simpson [left], aged 29, during the 1967 Tour de France. The first Englishman to wear the yellow jersey, he was recognised as a leading cyclist of his generation, known for his courage and determination in one of the most gruelling of sports.

Simpson's autopsy revealed that his heart had collapsed and traces of amphetamine and methyl amphetamine were found in his blood supply. While the amount of stimulant was insufficient to have killed him, it led him to go beyond the normal limit of his strength and stamina. The capture on television of his death increased world interest in doping.

Today, doping may make the difference which could win an athlete a gold medal, lucrative sponsorship and the adulation of courntrymen. But doping undermines the integrity of sport and is a real danger to the health of thousands of athletes. Drug abuse in sport has now become an acute international preoccupation.

This overview of doping, illustrated by specific cases in various pan-European and world sports events, reflects the extent to which athletes will jeopardise their health to attain glory. What sports rely on what drugs to sustain performance or to build up the appropriate muscles? How do certain drugs affect the athlete's body? How are such drugs monitored, what masking agents are applied to hide their use and how do monitoring systems stay ahead of new drug methods and practices?

The control of doping, ranging from the practicalities of monitoring and coverage of major events to the harmonisation of both practice and policy among the major world sports bodies, requires a re-evaluation of the direction of future anti-doping policy.

Barrie Houlihan is Professor of Sport Policy at Loughborough University (UK).

Read reviews:

  • Andrew Longmore, Drugs Test That Sport Is Failing, THE INDEPENDENT (London), Jan. 31, 1999, available in WESTLAW, 1999 WL 5979064 and in LEXIS, The Independent database
  • Craig Sharp, Drugs Wipe Out a Sporting Chance, 398 NATURE 675 (1999), full article not available online

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Punishing hate : bias crimes under American law by Frederick M. Lawrence. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999. KF9345.L39 1999

From the cover: Should bias crimes be punished more harshly than similar crimes that are not motivated by bias? Lawrence answers strongly in the affirmative, as do a great many scholars and citizens, but he is the first to provide a solid theoretical grounding for this intuitive agreement, and a detailed model for a bias crimes statute based on the theory. The book also acts as a strong corrective to recent claims that concern about hate crimes is overblown. A former prosecutor, Lawrence argues that the enhanced punishment of bias crimes, with a substantial federal law enforcement role, is not only permitted by doctrines of criminal and constitutional law but also mandated by our societal commitment to equality.

Drawing upon a wide variety of sources, from law and criminology, to sociology and social psychology, to today's news, Punishing Hate will have a lasting impact on the contentious debate over treatment of bias crimes in America.

Frederick M. Lawrence is Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the Boston University School of Law.

Read a review and reply on JURIST

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Dissent, injustice, and the meanings of America by Steven H. Shiffrin. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999. KF4772.S448 1999

From the cover: Americans should not just tolerate dissent. They should encourage it. In this provocative and wide-ranging book, Steven Shiffrin makes this case by arguing that dissent should be promoted because it lies at the heart of a core American value: free speech. He contends, however, that the country's major institutions-- including the Supreme Court and the mass media--wrongly limit dissent. And he reflects on how society and the law should change to encourage nonconformity.

Shiffrin is one of the country's leading first-amendment theorists. He advances his dissent-based theory of free speech with careful reference to its implications for such controversial topics of constitutional debate as flag burning, cigarette advertising, racist speech, and subsidizing the arts. He shows that a dissent-based approach would offer strong protection for free speech--he defends flag burning as a legitimate form of protest, for example--but argues that it would still allow for certain limitations on activities such as hate speech and commercial speech. Shiffrin adds that a dissent-based approach reveals weaknesses in the approaches to free speech taken by postmodernism, Republicanism, deliberative democratic theory, outsider jurisprudence, and liberal theory.

Throughout the book, Shiffrin emphasizes the social functions of dissent: its role in combating injustice and its place in cultural struggles over the meanings of America. He argues, for example, that if we took a dissent-based approach to free speech seriously, we would no longer accept the unjust fact that public debate is dominated by the voices of the powerful and the wealthy. To ensure that more voices are heard, he argues, the country should take such steps as making defamation laws more hospitable to criticism of powerful people, loosening the grip of commercial interests on the media, and ensuring that young people are taught the importance of challenging injustice.

Steven H. Shiffrin is Professor of Law at Cornell University.

Read an online exchange with the author on JURIST

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