January 13, 2010
The Green Bag, a quarterly journal devoted to readable, concise, and entertaining legal scholarship, has named a number of HLS faculty members and alumni to its “Exemplary Legal Writing 2009” list.
The list, which recognizes outstanding legal writing in the categories of opinions for the court, concurrences and dissents, books, short articles, long articles, news and editorials, and miscellany, was compiled from a list of nominees based on the votes of the journal’s Board of Advisers. The board includes distinguished members from the state and federal judiciaries, private law firms, the news media, and academia.
Professor Lani Guinier won for her long article “Courting the People: Demosprudence and the Law/Politics Divide,” in which she examines the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act signed into law on Jan. 29, 2009. Ledbetter was a 70-year-old grandmother who had worked in supervisory blue-collar jobs in Goodyear Tire and Rubber Plant in Gadsden, Ala., earning 15 to 40 percent less than her male counterparts. Guinier also discusses the concept of demosprudence, which she says “builds on the idea that lawmaking is a collaborative enterprise between formal elites – whether judges, legislators or lawyers – and ordinary people” and posits that “the wisdom of the people should inform the lawmaking enterprise in a democracy.”
In the miscellany category, former HLS dean and current U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan won for her joint-authorship of a brief on behalf of the United States as amicus curiae in support of the petitioners in Migliaccio v. Castaneda, Nos. 08-1529 and 08-1547 (U.S. 2009). In the brief, Kagan argues that individuals under the care of Public Health Service medical personnel who fail to receive adequate treatment may only sue the government for remedies, and may not sue PHS personnel in their individual capacities as medical professionals because of the Federal Tort Claim Act. Kagan was the dean of HLS from 2003 until 2009, when she was appointed by President Barack Obama ’91 to serve as solicitor general.
Assistant Professor Jeannie Suk made the Green Bag’s list of recommended reading for her article, “Is Privacy a Woman?,” 97 Georgetown L.J. 485 (2009).
Professor Henry E. Smith made the recommended reading list for his short article “Does Equity Pass the Laugh Test?: A Response to Oliar and Sprigman,” 95 Va. L. Rev. in Brief 9 (2009).
In the category of books, HLS Visiting Professor Annette Gordon-Reed ‘84 won for “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” (W.W. Norton & Co. 2008). Gordon-Reed’s book was also awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in history. Gordon-Reed is a distinguished presidential history scholar, and previously wrote about President Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings in her first book, “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy” (University Press of Virginia, 1997).
In the long articles category, Visiting Professor G. Edward White ’70 won for the introduction that he wrote to accompany the 2009 printing of The Common Law by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1881; Harvard University Press 2009 prtg.). White is the David and Mary Harris Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. He is a noted legal history scholar who has published 13 books and won numerous other awards for his works, including final listing for the Pulitzer Prize in history, the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association, the James Willard Hurst Prize from the Law & Society Association, the Littleton-Griswold Prize from the American Historical Association, the Scribes Award, and the Association of American Law Schools' Triennial Coif Award.
A number of other HLS alums were also recognized for their legal writing. In the opinions for the court category, Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’56-58 won for her opinion in United States v. Hayes, 129 S. Ct. 1079 (2009) and Jed S. Rakoff ’69 won for Securities and Exchange Commission v. Bank of America, 2009 WL 2916822 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). Opinions by Ferdinand F. Fernandez LL.M. ’63, Ralph D. Gants ’80, and Antonin Scalia ’60 were also recognized.
In the category concurrences, dissents, etc., John T. Noonan, Jr. ’59 won for Tucson Herpetological Society v. Salazar, 566 F.3d 870 (9th Cir. 2009); John G. Roberts, Jr. ’79 won for Virginia v. Harris, 130 S. Ct. 10 (2009 ) and David H. Souter ’66 won for United States v. Navajo Nation, 129 S. Ct. 1547 (2009). Roberts was also recognized for United States v. Hayes, 129 S. Ct. 1079 (2009).
In the books category, two alums were included on the recommended reading list: John Kroger ’96 for “Convictions: A Prosecutor’s Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2008) and Steven T. Wax ’73 “Kafka Comes to America: Fighting for Justice in the War on Terror” (Other Press 2008).
Michael Boudin ’64 made the Green Bag’s list of recommended reading for his short article “A Response to Professor Ramseyer, Predicting Court Outcomes Through Political Preferences," 58 Duke L.J. 1687 (2009) and Verna L. Williams ’88 was included for her long article "The First (Black) Lady," 86 Denv. U. L. Rev 833 (2009).
In the news and editorial category, Eugene R. Fidell ’68 won for “Appellate Review of Military Commissions,” at Balkinization, Oct. 8, 2009, and Jeffrey Toobin ’86 won for “Are Obama’s judges really liberals?,” The New Yorker, Sept. 21, 2009. Thomas E. Baker ’86 was included in the miscellany recommended reading category for A Primer on the Jurisdiction of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, §§ 1.01, 1-02, 3.01-05 (Federal Judicial Center 2d ed. 2009).