Blue Laws and Black Codes: Conflict, Courts, and Change in Twentieth-Century Virginia

Blue Laws and Black Codes: Conflict, Courts, and Change in Twentieth-Century Virginia

by Peter Wallenstein
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0813922607

ISBN-13: 9780813922607

Pub. Date: 03/28/2004

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

Women were once excluded everywhere from the legal profession, but by the 1990s the Virginia Supreme Court had three women among its seven justices. This is just one example of how law in Virginia has been transformed over the past century, as it has across the South and throughout the nation. In Blue Laws and Black Codes, Peter Wallenstein shows that laws were often

Overview

Women were once excluded everywhere from the legal profession, but by the 1990s the Virginia Supreme Court had three women among its seven justices. This is just one example of how law in Virginia has been transformed over the past century, as it has across the South and throughout the nation. In Blue Laws and Black Codes, Peter Wallenstein shows that laws were often changed not through legislative action or constitutional amendment but by citizens taking cases to state and federal courtrooms. Due largely to court rulings, for example, stores in Virginia are no longer required by "blue laws" to close on Sundays.

Particularly notable was the abolition of segregation laws, modified versions of southern states' "black codes" dating back to the era of slavery and the first years after emancipation. Virginia's long road to racial equality under the law included the efforts of black civil rights lawyers to end racial discrimination in the public schools, the 1960 Richmond sit-ins, a case against segregated courtrooms, and a court challenge to a law that could imprison or exile an interracial couple for their marriage. While emphasizing a single state, Blue Laws and Black Codes is framed in regional and national contexts. Regarding blue laws, Virginia resembled most American states. Regarding racial policy, Virginia was distinctly southern.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813922607
Publisher:
University of Virginia Press
Publication date:
03/28/2004
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.02(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Tablesviii
Prefaceix
Introduction: Amending Virginia, Amending America1
1The Case of the Laborer from Louisa: Conscripts, Convicts, and Public Roads, 1890s-1920s15
2Necessity, Charity, and a Sabbath: Citizens, Courts, and Sunday Closing Laws, 1920s-1980s36
3These New and Strange Beings: Race, Sex, and the Legal Profession, 1870s-1970s60
4The Siege against Segregation: Black Virginians and the Law of Civil Rights82
5To Sit or Not to Sit: Scenes in Richmond from the Civil Rights Movement114
6Racial Identity and the Crime of Marriage: The View from Twentieth-Century Virginia142
7Power and Policy in an American State: Federal Courts, Political Rights, and Policy Outcomes170
8From Harry Byrd to Douglas Wilder: Gender, Race, and Judgeships198
Epilogue: Neither Blue Laws nor Black Laws210
Notes217
Index255

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