The Historian and the Murderer

A Croatian Historian's Death Ultimately Put Our Profession on Trial

On May 14, 2018, I was led into a nondescript courtroom in Kew Gardens, Queens to testify at a murder trial. I am a historian who loves details, and the resources involved in getting me into that humdrum room to be questioned with a jury to my left, a judge to my right, and a murderer sitting in front of me astounded. An entire system of asking, telling, tracking, and filing for the grand finale of live community listening and judging: no wonder so many historians love to study court …

Why ‘Treason’ Usually Isn’t Treason | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why ‘Treason’ Usually Isn’t Treason

The Constitution Defines Treason Narrowly. That Hasn’t Stopped the Overblown Rhetoric

The last four years have been a strange time to be a scholar of American treason law. The members of this tiny (and I mean really tiny) group used to …

The Supreme Court Gets Ready to Remake America, But How?

Legal Scholars Foresee Corporations and Criminal Defendants Gaining Protections, While Reproductive Rights and Affirmative Action Wither

The United States Supreme Court could use the power it has over American life to identify new protections for criminal defendants and for people whose privacy has been invaded by …

Suppressing Voting Rights Is as Old as the Republic—But the Tactics Keep Changing 

Discriminatory State Constitutions, Poll and Literacy Taxes, and Now Photo ID Laws All Have Been Used to Keep Ballots From the Less Powerful 

The more that efforts to suppress voting rights in America change, the more they remain the same.

From the earliest days of the republic to the present, politicians have sought to …

Why America Keeps Battling to Live Up to the 14th Amendment

From Its Post-Civil War Origins to Today's Immigration Debates, the Constitutional Guarantee of Equal Protection and 'Birthright Citizenship' Has Been Bitterly Contested

The first clause of the 14th Amendment is a scant 28 words long. Yet when the amendment was adopted on July 9, 1868, it advanced the crucial task of turning …

The 1919 Murder Case That Gave Americans the Right to Remain Silent

Decades Before the Supreme Court's Miranda Decision, a Washington Triple Slaying Paved the Way to Protect Criminal Suspects

If you’ve ever watched an American television crime drama, you probably can recite a suspect’s rights along with the arresting officers. Those requirements—that prisoners must be informed that they may …