A program from Minnesota Public Radio, in which I participated along with Prof. Dan Rodriguez, is available here.
The annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History will take place in Atlanta, November 10-13, at the Loew’s Hotel in Midtown. Registration and program information is available here. Rooms are apparently no longer available at the Loew’s, but the Hotel Midtown Atlanta is offering a discounted rate of $89. It is a 3-minute walk to the Loew’s Atlanta Hotel. Meeting attendees can call the Midtown directly at 404-873-4800 or toll-free at 877-873-7829 and ask for the American Society for Legal History rate.
Travel tips: The Loews is in the “heart of the arts” with world-renowned cultural venues such as the Woodruff Arts Center, the High Museum of Art, and the legendary Fox Theatre, and borders Piedmont Park, Atlanta’s Central Park. The Loews is easily accessible from the Atlanta Airport via MARTA for a one-way fare of $2.50. Board the train at the Atlanta Airport, near baggage claim, and exit the train at the Midtown stop for a two block walk. Exiting the train station, proceed east one block to Peachtree Street, then north one block to the hotel. Cab fare is approximately $34, and various airport shuttles are also available outside the airport at the purple isle.
My most significant article to date on birthright citizenship in the US turns out to be the hardest to find, as someone recently brought to my attention. I published “Alien Land Restrictions in the American Common Law” in The American Journal of Legal History in 1999. A link to a downloadable version is here. This article explores the early history of citizenship at birth in the United States, and the fact that state court judges employed the English common law rule of jus soli in the absence of any definition of who was a citizen at birth in the federal or state constitutions. The basic doctrine of English common law familiar to courts in the early United States prevented aliens, those who were not “subjects,” from holding land within the territory of the English monarch. Numerous courts in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries resolved land title and inheritance disputes in cases that questioned the citizenship status of one or more litigants. The contemporary debate about citizenship at birth for children of undocumented aliens is, of course, governed by the Fourteenth Amendment. But as I and others have suggested elsewhere, the understanding of the drafters of the 14th Amendment was based on these prior common law practices. In any event, I have included a link to this article above in the hope of a broader dissemination of it.
The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has made available via YouTube a speech given by Judge Richard S. Arnold in 2002. Titled “The Art of Judging,”, this classic is available here.
I have written an article on the history of federal and state efforts to eradicate malaria in the southern United States in the early 20th century. The article, with the clever (for me) title “Federalization of the Mosquito,” is available here, via SSRN.
An interesting review of my book appeared in the Arkansas Lawyer. It is available online here, beginning at page 26. This review raises a conspiracy theory behind Stephen Breyer’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. I found no evidence for this, but take a look to see what it is.
Continuing the theme of last month’s topic, journalists recently have been interested in the claim by some members of the Republican Party that an Act of Congress could deny territorial birthright citizenship in the US to the children of undocumented aliens. As noted in the Minnesota Public Radio program linked in my last post, this is distinctly a minority view among legal scholars. Instead, changing the practice of awarding citizenship to persons born in the United States would require an amendment to the federal Constitution. My views on this appear in a recent article in Deutsche Welle World (in English), as well as Mundo Hispanico (in Spanish). Last year, I wrote an op-ed piece for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which is also linked here.
Last week I was in Minnesota as a speaker at the 8th Circuit Judicial Conference, along with Judge Morris Arnold, on the topic of my biography of Judge Richard Arnold. While I was there, I had the opportunity to appear on Minnesota Public Radio for a discussion of birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. The program and my views are available here.
Earlier this month I presented a signed copy of the Judge Richard Arnold biography to the University of Havana for its library. I visited the University of Havana and the Association of Cuban Jurists with a research license for legal travel to Cuba. Fascinating trip. Here is a picture of me, with my book, at the main entrance of the University of Havana.
I am grateful to Jeffrey Brandon Morris and Barbara Burke for their review of my book in the recent issue of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly. I hope to post the review, with permission, soon.