The Judicial Powers of the United States

The Judicial Powers of the United States : The Eleventh Amendment in American History

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Description

Although less than fifty words long, the meaning of the seemingly simple Eleventh Amendment has troubled the Supreme Court at crucial points in American history and continues to spur sharp debate in present-day courts. The first amendment adopted after the Bill of Rights, the Eleventh Amendment limits the exercise of U.S. judicial power when American states are sued. Its modern meaning was largely shaped around cases concerning the liability of Southern states to pay their debts during and after Reconstruction; by shielding states from liability, the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Eleventh Amendment eased the establishment of post-Reconstruction Southern society and left a maddeningly complicated law of federal jurisdiction. Here, Orth reconstructs the fascinating but obscure history of the Eleventh Amendment--the labyrinth of legal doctrine, the economic motives and consequences, the political context, and the legacy of the past--over the last two centuries. Using quotes from Wordsworth, Shaw, Mark Twain, Margaret Mitchell, and other writers to clarify and invigorate his narrative, Orth finally makes accessible an important but complex slice of constitutional history.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 244 pages
  • 147.8 x 227.1 x 21.3mm | 517.55g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195040996
  • 9780195040999

Review quote

Very readable...Presents an interesting exploration of the limits of sovereign immunity in a nation under the rule of law, and in so doing it offers an intriguing slice of legal history. With its excellent bibliographic essays, this book is a valuable addition to American studies. * Journal of American History *show more