by Alexander Taft In June 2015, by a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved decades of debate by declaring marriage a fundamental right regardless of sexual orientation. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision changed the landscape of American marriage law, but what was this landscape in the first place? […]
By Luritta DuBois When Hollywood media websites announced Chadwick Boseman would portray Thurgood Marshall in December 2015, people immediately slammed director Reginald Hudlin’s choice to select an actor who did not share Marshall’s phenotype. Boseman is brown skinned with 4b hair, while Thurgood Marshall was light skinned and had a 3b curl pattern. Those vast […]
We are especially pleased to post this essay by a long-time supporter of the UT Austin Department of History. Josiah M. Daniel III, of counsel at the international law firm Vinson & Elkins, LLP, received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law in 1978 and his master’s degree in History from UT in 1986. In […]
In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court in Furman v. Georgia struck down state death penalty laws nationwide on grounds they violated the Eighth Amendment’s protection against “cruel and unusual punishment.” The 5-4 decision was extremely controversial. Each justice wrote a separate opinion; not one could be persuaded to join with another. The combined verbiage filled 232 pages, making Furman the wordiest decision the Court had ever released. And the implications were stunning. Not only were 587 men and two women immediately removed from death rows across the country and re-sentenced to life in prison, but capital punishment itself now seemed a relic of the past.