Hispanic Heritage Month

https://www.army.mil/article/87962/army_aims_outreach_at_hispanic_community

https://www.army.mil/article/87962/army_aims_outreach_at_hispanic_community

Saturday, September 15, marks the independence day of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize follow shortly after, on the 16th, 18th and 21st. The Harris County Law Library extends Happy Independence Day wishes to the more than 57 million Americans, and roughly 11 million Texans, who claim Hispanic roots. We would also like to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, by recognizing the contributions of several of our era’s high-profile Hispanic lawyers, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; United States Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio; New Mexico Governor, Susana Martinez; and former Director of Intergovernmental Affairs under President Obama, Cecilia Muñoz. We also honor the trailblazers who came before, including the rich history of Latina and Latino lawyers practicing before the United States Supreme Court.

National Bar Associations

State and Local Bar Associations

Judicial Review

Justice John Marshall was the first to flex SCOTUS's Judicial Review muscle. 

Justice John Marshall was the first to flex SCOTUS's Judicial Review muscle. 

There is a commonly held, but incorrect, belief that Judicial Review in the United States began with Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803). While this ruling marked the first time the Supreme Court held a law passed by Congress to be unconstitutional, the roots of Judicial Review in our land go even deeper, stemming beyond the Constitutional Convention, beyond Federalist No. 78, and even beyond 18th century British colonization in North America.

Jamestown, the first successful, permanent British settlement in North America, was established by the Virginia Company of London in 1607. Puritan separatists landed near Plymouth Rock in 1620. Judicial review existed in some form or another in 17th century England until William of Orange overthrew James II in 1688, but remained in the collective consciousness of the geographically separate North American colonists. By the time the Constitutional Convention rolled around in 1787, a majority of the newly formed states had already witnessed the power of Judicial Review exercised by their own supreme courts.

Despite dying in Greenwich Village in 1804, Alexander Hamilton can now be seen nightly on Broadway.

Despite dying in Greenwich Village in 1804, Alexander Hamilton can now be seen nightly on Broadway.

Though the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists argued over the level of power the Federal Judiciary should be able to wield over the co-equal Executive and Legislative branches, the record is clear that Judicial Review was a foregone conclusion on both sides, and the question was one of limitation. Jefferson fretted that the Judicial Branch would become the ultimate arbiters of what is or is not Constitutional, and would rule like oligarchs. Hamilton argued that the Judiciary was the weakest branch, and that its existence would ensure its own continued weakness by encouraging the Legislative and Executive Branches to preemptively conform their works to Constitutional restraints.

The 1953 Warren Court attempted to desegregate American schools through its  Brown  ruling.

The 1953 Warren Court attempted to desegregate American schools through its Brown ruling.

Celebrating San Jacinto Day

Today is San Jacinto Day! We, along with many others across the state, turn our thoughts to the final battle of the Texas Revolution that took place on April 21, 1836. The victory paved the way for a new government to form under the 1836 Constitution of the Republic of Texas and the rest is legal research.

To celebrate the day, we're offering a #shelfie opportunity the week of April 23 at the Harris County Law Library. Grab your phone and take a #shelfie in front of our monographic replica of the San Jacinto Monument. Be sure to post it to Twitter and tag it #SanJacintheStacks!

Fighting Hate Crimes and Bias in Texas - a free CLE event

The fight against violence and bigotry is of perennial concern in American Jurisprudence. Ten Dollars to Hate by Patricia Bernstein brings the story of one such fight from the 1920s into our modern consciousness. The book tells the story of Texas prosecutor Dan Moody, whose efforts against the Ku Klux Klan led to the nation's first successful prosecution of the well-connected group for their violent assaults and criminal acts. Moody's lead was followed around the country, loosening the supremacist group's grip on American politics.

Ms. Bernstein will present her research alongside a panel of attorneys who fight hate and bias everyday at a free CLE event on September 8. The event is cosponsored by the Offices of Vince Ryan, Harris County Attorney, and Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney, and is accredited for both CLE (3.0 hours in Texas; 0.5 hour ethics) and TCOLE credit. Register today at www.harriscountylawlibrary.org/tendollars.