Thursday, May 12, 2011

Read On! International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court

I am pleased to announce the publication of a book co-edited by my friend and colleague, David Sloss (below left), entitled International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court: Continuity and Change (Cambridge University Press). Here's a brief blurb:

From its earliest decisions in the 1790s, the U.S. Supreme Court has used international law to help resolve major legal controversies. This book presents a comprehensive account of the Supreme Court's use of international law from the Court's inception to the present day. Addressing treaties, the direct application of customary international law and the use of international law as an interpretive tool, the book examines all the cases or lines of cases in which international law has played a material role, showing how the Court's treatment of international law both changed and remained consistent over the period. Although there was substantial continuity in the Supreme Court's international law doctrine through the end of the nineteenth century, the past century was a time of tremendous doctrinal change. Few aspects of the Court's international law doctrine remain the same in the twenty-first century as they were two hundred years ago.

The concept and structure of the book are inspired. For four major historical periods (from the civil war to the turn of the century, pre-WWII, post-WWII, and 2000 onward), the book contains essays featuring the role of treaties and custom in U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence and discussing the use of international law as an interpretive tool. Each section also includes an historical essay placing the jurisprudence within a larger context. The section devoted to the modern era features essays focused on key Supreme Court decisions touching on the sources of international law--such as Medellin, Roper, Empagran, and Sosa--as well as a separate section on the "War on Terror." IntLawGrrl Chimène Keitner contributes a great essay on customary international law. In short, the book offers what can fairly be described as a complete account of international law in the Court from the founding era to the present.

Get your copy today!

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