Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Hamilton And The Law

Hamilton and the Law: Reading Today's Most Contentious Legal Issues through the Hit Musical (Lisa Tucker (Drexel) ed., Cornell University Press 2020):

Hamilton and the LawLawyers and legal scholars, recognizing the way the musical speaks to some of our most complicated constitutional issues, have embraced Alexander Hamilton as the trendiest historical face in American civics. Hamilton and the Law offers a revealing look into the legal community's response to the musical, which continues to resonate in a country still deeply divided about the reach of the law.

A star-powered cast of legal minds―from two former U.S. solicitors general to leading commentators on culture and society―contribute brief and engaging magazine-style articles to this lively book. Intellectual property scholars share their thoughts on Hamilton's inventive use of other sources, while family law scholars explore domestic violence. Critical race experts consider how Hamilton furthers our understanding of law and race, while authorities on the Second Amendment discuss the language of the Constitution's most contested passage. Legal scholars moonlighting as musicians discuss how the musical lifts history and law out of dusty archives and onto the public stage. This collection of minds, inspired by the phenomenon of the musical and the Constitutional Convention of 1787, urges us to heed Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Founding Fathers and to create something new, daring, and different.

Part 1: "And so the American Experiment Begins": The Constitution and the Three Branches of Government
1. Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Future of Originalism, Richard Primus (Michigan)
2. Some Alexander Hamilton, but Not So Much Hamilton, in the New Supreme Court, John Q. Barrett (St. John's)
3. Tragedy in the Supreme Court: "I'd Rather Be Divisive Than Indecisive", Lisa A. Tucker (Drexel)
4. Alexander Hamilton's "One Shot" before the U.S. Supreme Court, Gregory G. Garre (Latham & Watkins, Washington D.C.)
5. "Never Gon' Be President Now", Michael Gerhardt (North Carolina)
6. Hamilton: Child Laborer and Truant, Paul M. Secunda (Marquette)
Part 2: "America, You Great Unfinished Symphony"
7. Hamilton's America—and Ours, Kermit Roosevelt III (Pennsylvania)
8. Hamilton and Washington at War and a Vision for Federal Power, Elizabeth B. Wydra (President, Constitutional Accountability Center)
9. Two Oaths: Supporting and Defending the Constitution with Hamilton, Jill I. Goldenziel (Marine Corps University)
Part 3: "We'll Never Be Truly Free": Hamilton and Race
10. Finding Constitutional Redemption through Hamilton, Christina Mulligan (Brooklyn)
11. Race, Nation, and Patrimony, or, the Stakes of Diversity in Hamilton, Anthony Paul Farley (Albany)
12. "The World Turned Upside Down": Employment Discrimination, Race, and Authenticity in Hamilton, Marcia L. McCormick (St. Louis)
13. Hamilton and the Power of Racial Fables in Examining the U.S. Constitution, Danielle Holley-Walker (Dean, Howard)
Part 4: "I'm 'a Compel Him to Include Women in the Sequel"
14. On Women's Rights, Legal Change, and Incomplete Sequels, Eloise Pasachoff (Georgetown)
15. When Your Job Is to Marry Rich: Marriage as a Market in Hamilton, Kimberly Mutcherson (Rutgers)
16. "Love" Triangles: Romance or Domestic Violence?, Rosa Frazier
Part 5: "Immigrants, We Get the Job Done"
17. Hamilton's Dissent to the Travel Ban, Neal Katyal (Hogan Lovells, Washington D.C.)
18. Hamilton and the Limits of Contemporary Immigration Narratives, Anil Kalhan (Drexel)
19. Hamilton's Immigrant Story Today, Elizabeth Keyes (Baltimore)
Part 6: "The Ten Duel Commandments"
20. Hamilton, Hip-Hop, and the Culture of Dueling in America, Glenn Harlan Reynolds (Tennessee)
21. Alexander Hamilton, Citizen-Protector?, Jody Madeira (Indiana-Bloom.)
22. We Will Never Be Satisfied: Hamilton and Jefferson's Duel Over Constitutional Meaning, Ian Millhiser (
23. Hamilton, Burr, and Defamation: Physical versus Verbal Duels, Benjamin Barton (Tennessee)
24. Elections as Duels: "You Know What? We Can Change That. You Know Why?" 'Cuz We Have the Support of Two-Thirds of Each House of Congress and Three-Quarters of the States!, Joshua A. Douglas (Kentucky)
25. Modern-Day Protests: As American as Apple Pie, Kimberly Jade Norwood (Washington Univ.)
Part 7: "Who Tells Your Story?"
26. Every Action's an Act of Creation: Hamilton and Copyright Law, Rebecca Tushnet (Harvard)
27. Hollering to Be Heard: Copyright and the Aesthetics of Voice, Zahr K. Said (Washington)
28. Taking Law School Musicals Seriously: A Little Love Letter to Legal Musicals and the Lawyers Who Love Them, Robin J. Effron (Brooklyn)
29. "The World Turned Upside Down": Hamilton and Deconstruction, Bret D. Asbury (Drexel)
Part 8: "What Is a Legacy?": Lessons from Hamilton beyond the Libretto
30. "Cabinet Battle #1": The Structure of Federalism, Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Berkeley)
31. Hamilton's Bank and Jefferson's Nightmare, Mehrsa Baradaran (UC-Irvine)
32. Alexander Hamilton's Legacy: The American Board of Directors, M. Todd Henderson (Chicago)
33. I Never Thought I'd Live Past Twenty": Hamilton through the Lens of Anticipated Early Death, Sarah Fishel (JD/PhD 2011, Drexel)

For more on my obsession with interest in Hamilton, see here and:

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