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American Legal System: It's Dynamics and Limits, Second Edition

NCJ Number
Stephen D. Ford
Date Published
1057 pages
Intended to be used in an undergraduate class on the American legal system, this second edition of The American Legal System identifies new demands upon the law and those who control it, with attention to how the legal system interacts with the rest of society and the limits of law's effectiveness as a tool for influencing human behavior.
The first of nine chapters focuses on "The Nature of Law" discussing the characteristics of law and how law is related to morals. Chapter 2 "Individual v. State" presents some manifestoes on civil disobedience and discusses the contemporary problem of refusing to comply with the law when it mandates killing and inflicting harm on others when the state decides to wage war. Chapter 3 "Behavioral Sciences and Law" addresses how sociology and psychology inform the law. Chapter 4 "Private v. Legal Arrangements" considers the following topics: unions and professional associations, "social" arrangements, domestic affairs, schools, and churches. Chapter 5 "Political Questions" discusses the organization of State governments and electoral systems and the conduct of foreign relations and the regulation of aliens. Chapter 6 "Law Before Indictment and After Conviction" focuses on law related to grand juries, which bring indictments, and laws that bear upon the management and treatment of prisoners. Chapter 7 "Law and Discrimination" considers how the law counters racial discrimination and sex-based discrimination. Chapter 8 "Law and Claims for Self-autonomy" examines issues related to how the law is applied to or restrained from controlling behaviors that depart from the norm. Chapter 9 "Protecting the Environment" focuses on the role of law in protecting the environment. Topics covered are life styles, abortion, law in opposition to and in aid of religion, and obscenity. Appended selections from the U.S. Constitution and a subject index


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