The Circuit Spotlight
Western Legal History
The Guest Editor of this edition, Rhett Larson, is widely recognized as one of America’s best informed and knowledgeable water experts. He is no stranger to the thirst of arid lands for water, having cut his working teeth in the deserts of Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel where he helped develop solar powered wells in the midst of sectarian conflict. Rhett has assembled a wide and talented group of individuals immersed in Western water issues to provide a description of the various competitors for the limited supply of its lifeblood and so much more about Water in the West.
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The Supreme Court has recently adopted a jurisprudence giving “history and tradition” a central role in its constitutional decision-making. As a result, the question of exactly how historians should engage legal issues, and how judges and lawyers should assess and apply historians’ contributions, has become a matter of significant interest and controversy. This panel discussed the variety of problems these interactions have raised.
The availability and use of water are determined by a complicated and heady mix of public policy, federal law and regulation, and state law. Our panel will discuss how despite the complex overlapping jurisdictional issues at play.
The 40 million people living in the Colorado River Basin face a persistent water shortage. This panel discussed the legal history of the Colorado River Basin, how that history shows both failures and successes in advancing water equity, the relationship between that history and the present shortage, and what reforms might secure a more sustainable and equitable water future for all who call the Colorado River Basin home.
During WWII, the death of an Italian POW. The longest Army court-martial of the war. Three Black enlisted men convicted of murder. Years later alarming information in previously-classified documents is uncovered leading the Army to set aside the convictions.
A cataclysmic explosion at a munitions loading port during WWII killed 320 enlisted men, 2/3 of them African American. When 50 refused to continue the dangerous work, they were convicted of mutiny and sentenced in ways that would change their lives.
Do politics and diplomacy factor into our definition of war crimes? How are war crimes dealt with currently, compared to the past? The NJCHS and fellow historical societies invite you to hear our esteemed panelists speak on this topic.
The Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society and the Northern District Historical Society will honor the memory of Bill Edlund by presenting this year’s Bill Edlund Award for Professionalism in the Law to John W. Keker, Esq. of Keker, Van Nest & Peters.
Don’t miss this moving and inspiring presentation by Judges Bea, Nguyen, and Benitez, in conversation with Judge Michael Daly Hawkins about having fled their homelands to come to the United States.
Read more about these Judges’ stories, and those of Judges Tashima and Du, in our recent issue of Western Legal History.
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