The 31st Annual Whitehall Lecture Series, Landmarks of American Law: Court Cases, Congressional Acts, and Executive Influence During the Gilded Age, will explore landmarks of American law established through the actions of the Judicial, Legislative, Executive, and branches of American Government between 1865-1929.Where possible, a book signing with the author will follow the lecture.
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While a President's Constitutional powers includes the power to veto bills and nominate Supreme Court Justices, Presidents also enjoy a powerful forum they have often used for social and political responses that have influenced judicial decisions and opinions. Michael Gerhardt will discuss the legacies and Constitutional influence of several Gilded Age Presidents.
Backed by the Committee of Citizens, in 1892 Homer Plessy defied Louisiana's Separate Car Act by boarding a train car reserved for whites only. The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which upheld Louisiana's statute and the doctrine of "Separate But Equal." Author and professor Williamjames Hull Hoffer will discuss the various factors that lead the Supreme Court to uphold the doctrine of "Separate But Equal" as Constitutional.
During his storied career, Clarence Darrow defended corporations and individuals alike and is remembered as a fierce orator and crafty defense attorney. However, his reputation was repeatedly called into question during the most high-profile cases of his career. Author and professor, Andrew Kersten, will discuss the legal practices of Darrow, as seen through his most widely-publicized trials.
The early 20th Century was a time of great change in America's financial system. In the absence of a central bank, J.P. Morgan was called upon to bail out the U.S. Government and save the Nation from financial panic. And, though the Supreme Court has once ruled that a Federal Income Tax was unconstitutional, in 1913 a Constitutional Amendment and an Act of Congress changed everything. John Steele Gordon will discuss the effects of the Federal Reserve Act and the 16th Amendment on America's economy and government.
In 1922 the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that only one industry in American would be left unaffected by the antitrust laws of the time. In an opinion authored by Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, baseball was given an exemption from the antitrust laws of the late 19th and early 20th centuries despite that fact the business of baseball seemed to fit the very definition of Interstate Commerce. Author and professor Nathaniel Grow will examine Anti-Trust legislation the Baseball Ruling within the context of the time.
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