Justice Lies in the District: The U. S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1902-1960 by Charles L. Zelden, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Justice Lies in the District: The U. S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1902-1960

Justice Lies in the District: The U. S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1902-1960

by Charles L. Zelden
     
 

In 1902 a new federal district court court was established to serve a broad segment of the Texas Gulf Coast region, including Houston. In the use of its discretion to choose between "private" and "public" law, this court for many years served the interests of the region's economic and political elite and helped stabilize a fast-changing economy that was undergoing

Overview


In 1902 a new federal district court court was established to serve a broad segment of the Texas Gulf Coast region, including Houston. In the use of its discretion to choose between "private" and "public" law, this court for many years served the interests of the region's economic and political elite and helped stabilize a fast-changing economy that was undergoing wild swings of boom and bust. After 1945, however, the court reluctantly began to address growing demands for public law enforcement of national policies, including civil rights, and by 1960, public law issues had come to dominate the court's dockets.

In this groundbreaking study of a representative lower federal court, Charles L. Zelden provides insight into the functioning of district courts and their impact on the larger legal, economic, and political systems. Combining the perspectives of legal history with those of economic, business, urban, political, and social history, and drawing on largely untapped manuscript court records, he offers a unique view of the ways in which the federal courts have shaped the nation's public and private life.

The well-crafted narrative looks at the full range of the court's decisions, clearly explaining complex legal issues. It sketches in as well the personalities and political positions of the judges. Zelden demonstrates that a judge's personal and class background largely determined his judicial philosophy and set his agenda on the bench.

Zelden's work contributes an important dimension to the growing literature on the economic, social, and urban history of Texas and of America in the first half of this century. It elucidates the judicial role in consolidating a cultural ethos of economic growth, self-reliant individualism, and freedom from governmental restraint.

Editorial Reviews

Kermit L. Hall

"I want to echo what Zelden observes. The docket books, as Mary Tachau and others have shown, are the key to understanding the flow and nature of litigation in the courts. They also provide an excellent means of assessing the general level of business in courts and offer a guide to what really requires explanation, at least at a first level of analysis. Zelden's own work does a nice job of this, and while he may be too modest to recommend it, I will. See Justice Lies in the District, which is one of the best histories available of a district court."--Kermit L. Hall, author of From Local Courts to National Tribunals (and a host of other major books on legal history in America)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780890965207
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
06/28/1993
Series:
Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University, #46
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.08(d)

What People are saying about this

Kermit L. Hall

"I want to echo what Zelden observes. The docket books, as Mary Tachau and others have shown, are the key to understanding the flow and nature of litigation in the courts. They also provide an excellent means of assessing the general level of business in courts and offer a guide to what really requires explanation, at least at a first level of analysis. Zelden''s own work does a nice job of this, and while he may be too modest to recommend it, I will. See Justice Lies in the District, which is one of the best histories available of a district court."--Kermit L. Hall, author of From Local Courts to National Tribunals (and a host of other major books on legal history in America)

Kermit L. Hall, author of

Meet the Author


Charles L. Zelden received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and the Ph.D. from Rice University. His research and publications focus on the relationship between the courts and business. He is a visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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