Friday, February 18, 2022

Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII

Tomorrow (Feb. 19) is Civil Liberties Day of Remembrance, the anniversary of Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066, which set in motion the removal of thousands of Japanese American families from their homes and their imprisonment in isolated camps. See this brief essay on Read the order as it was published in the Federal Register Feb. 25, 1942. (HeinOnline has PDFs of the Federal Register starting with its first issue, in 1936. For more about the collection see this guide.)

PDF from HeinOnline of 7 Fed. Reg. 1407 (Feb. 25, 1942)

We Hereby Refuse cover - shows cartoon of Japanese Americans with bags and suitcases on a Seattle street
We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration (2021) is a graphic work presenting the history of three resisters. The law library's copy is in the Good Reads collection—but it happens to be checked out as I write this blog post. You can click on the link to request the book when it's available.

We Hereby Refuse was co-published by the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Take a look at the museum's interactive timeline showing the events in the book. 

Did you know that the Wing Luke Museum is named for a UW Law graduate? Wing Luke ('54) served as an assistant attorney general 1957-62, before becoming the first person of color on the Seattle City Council (and the first Asian American to hold any elective office in Washington State). He was killed in an airplane crash in 1965. In 2015, Attorney General Bob Ferguson established the Wing Luke Civil Rights Division.

Wing Luke's bio on the museum's site says that he fought back against high school bullying by drawing comic strips, eventually becoming so popular he was elected president of Roosevelt High School in Seattle. Wing Luke's teenage work in comics makes extra cool that the museum published a graphic novel. (For more on Roosevelt High, see this post from two weeks ago.)

In this YouTube video,Tom Ikeda, from Densho, interviews the two authors (Frank Abe and Tamiko Namura) and one of the illustrators (Ross Ishikawa) about how they researched and created this amazing work. Densho is an online resource with oral histories and other resources about the history of Japanese American incarceration.


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Meet ProQuest Legislative Insight (and Remember HeinOnline's Legislative Histories, Too)

The University Libraries has subscribed to ProQuest Legislative Insight Major Laws (1789-present). 

ProQuest says that the content in the database has been "selected to support entry-level study of U.S. History, Political Science, and Government." But you know who else likes to research federal statutes? That's right: legal researchers!

ProQuest's editors have selected several hundred federal laws, from the Congressional Oath Act (June 1, 1789) to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 

If you know when a law was enacted, you can browse by Congress. For example, if you're interested in the Copyright Act of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-553, you know that it was enacted in the 94th Congress (that's the first two digits of the Public Law number).

screen snip lists Congress number and then number of laws - e.g., 94th Congress: 37
 Screen snip from ProQuest Legislative Insight Major Laws,
showing number of laws included from 92nd Congress through
101st Congress

Skimming the laws from the 94th Congress, you'll see other topics the 94th Congress addressed, such as antitrust, tax reform, and pollution. You can quickly select 94-553. 

screen snip shows list of Public Law numbers and acts - e.g., PL94-435 Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, PL94-553 Copyright Law Revision Act of 1976
Screen snip from ProQuest Legislative Insight Major Laws,
showing some laws from 94th Congress that are included in
the collection

If you don't know the public law number, you can browse an alphabetical list of laws.

screen snip showing portion of alphabetical list of laws
Screen snip showing alphabetical list of laws (Cooperative Research Act
through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act)

You can also search. For example, searching for laws with "copyright" in the title field turns up 10 laws, including the Copyright Law Revision Act of 1976.  (Those 10 aren't the only statutes with "copyright" in the title--just the 10 that the editors selected for the "Major Laws" collection.)

Once you get to the Copyright Act, you get a list of dozens of related bills, some as old as 1967. Then there are links to the Congressional Record, House and Senate committee reports, and hearings. 

You can search within this set of materials. 

For instance, I searched for "Xerox" and found 10 documents. I could click on each to see a PDF and read about how witnesses and legislators were wrestling with technological innovations like photocopies and microfilm. For example, a witness from the American Book Publishers Council, Inc. read into the record a Wall Street Journal story that characterized a street near Harvard University as "the Sunset Strip of copying." The president of a clothing store said that the store's Xerox 2400 was "an aid to education" because students could copy journal articles or book chapters. 4 Copyright Law Revision: Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Patents, Trademarks of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 94th Cong. 1109 (1967).


You can do this sort of research in HeinOnline's U.S. Federal Legislative History Library too. In fact, HeinOnline has three different compiled legislative histories of the Copyright Act of 1976!

Copyright Act of 197, Pub. L. No. 94-553 

HeinOnline has some convenient search features, as well as great content. If you're really into the Copyright Act, try the HeinOnline legislative histories, perhaps in addition to the ProQuest collection. 

Both collections had legislative histories of the Copyright Act of 1976, but there are lots of statutes that are included in one collection but not the other.  For example, HeinOnline doesn't have a compiled legislative history for Pub. L. No. 80-104, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and ProQuest Legislative Insight Major Acts does. The ProQuest collection doesn't have a legislative history of Pub. L. 80-129, the Housing and Rent Control Act of 1947, but HeinOnline does. 

It's not one-stop shopping, but these are two great resources!

Monday, February 14, 2022

Lawyers of Color - Snapshot from the 1970s, Plus Links for Today

The legal profession, which was almost entirely white, slowly began to crack open its doors to lawyers of color in the 1970s. The 1972-73 Prelaw Handbook (p. 9) noted that "the number of lawyers from minority groups is still disproportionately small" but there were "signs of change."   

👉Research tip: Back before prospective students researched law schools on the web, people relied on the annual Prelaw Handbook, which included profiles of all accredited law schools. The law library has a long run, so you can look for information about law schools over the decades. Classified Stacks KF285 .A83.

The Handbook noted: 

Large law firms and corporations which once were not open to Negroes now seek young black lawyers. . . . There has been a significant increase in government positions, with minority group lawyers serving in the offices of city attorneys, federal district attorneys and agencies of all kinds. Black judges sit on federal, state and municipal benches. In 1970 there were 3,845 black lawyers and 214 black judges. By contrast in the 1971-72 academic year, there were 3,732 Blacks, 881 Chicanos, and about 1,000 other minority group members enrolled in law schools. 

Think of that: there were almost as many Black law students that year as there were Black lawyers!

What was it like for those early lawyers of color?

One snapshot is in Minority Opportunities in Law for Blacks, Puerto Ricans & Chicanos (Christine Philpot Clark ed., 1974) [link to catalog record]. Its chapters include private practice, law teaching (by critical race theory pioneer Professor Derrick A. Bell, Jr.), politics and government, "community interest law," and the bench. It also has a chapter on the bar exam and one discussing the Black bar's role in Black people's struggle for social justice. 

The book had an interesting genesis. The Practising Law Institute recruited Christine Clark to edit a collection of articles about career opportunities for minority lawyers. She did, but PLI decided not to publish it. The official reason was that it was far too negative in tone, emphasizing obstacles rather than opportunities." Clark said that the real reason was that the book was "too radical." Joel Dreyfuss, The Verdict Was 'Too Negative,' Wash. Post, Sept. 30, 1973, at L1 [ProQuest Historical Newspapers link] The book was published the next year, but by Law Journal Press, not PLI. 

👉Research tip: UW users can search current and historic newspapers through databases that the University Libraries licenses. Start with this guide.

What about now? 

Today the United States has about four times as many lawyers as it did in 1970. 

1970: 326,842 lawyers

2021: 1,327,910 lawyers

Source: ABA National Lawyer Population Survey at 3. Perhaps 15% of lawyers are Black, Latinx, Asian, or multiracial. Id. at 4. 

👉Research tip: For statistics on the legal profession, a good place to start is the ABA Legal Profession Statistics page

  • Why did I give the vague number "perhaps 15%"? Because that column of the table was based on only 25 state bar associations or licensing authorities who reported the statistic. 

Research guide

Our guide, Diversity in the Legal Profession, includes lots of sources, such as studies of the profession, advice for employers, and advice for law students and lawyers. Take a look! (Black History Month is one of the best twelve months to learn about this topic!)

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Get Involved with the Gallagher Law Library!

The Gallagher Law Library is seeking UW Law Students to become members of the first Law Library Student Advisory Board (LLSAB).
LLSAB is a quarterly forum for law students to share direct feedback with the library and establish a platform for students to discuss how the library can continue to support their needs. All members must be willing to attend one meeting per quarter during lunchtime. All members will receive a complimentary lunch.
First Meeting: March 1, 2022
Time: 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Place: TBA

Interested in joining? Please send a 3-5 sentence message to Tell us why you are interested.
If you would like to learn more about LLSAB click here!

New Books About Black Women on the Bench

Black History Month is one of the twelve best months to see new books about impressive Black leaders. These two just came in:

LaDoris H. Cordell, Her Honor: My Life on the Bench . . . What Works, What's Broken, and How to Change It (2021) (print)

Judge Cordell, the first African American woman to sit on the Superior Court of Northern California, knows firsthand how prejudice has permeated our legal system. And yet, she believes in the system. From ending school segregation to legalizing same-sex marriage, its progress relies on legal professionals and jurors who strive to make the imperfect system as fair as possible. Cordell takes you into her chambers where she haggles with prosecutors and defense attorneys and into the courtroom during jury selection and sentencing hearings. She uses real cases to highlight how judges make difficult decisions, all the while facing outside pressures from the media, law enforcement, lobbyists, and the friends and families of the people involved.--Provided by publisher.


Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality (2022) (ebook)

See  Karen Grigsby Bates, The Life of a 'Civil Rights Queen', NPR (Feb. 3, 2022)

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Documentary Explores Race & Education, Right Here in Seattle—@4racialequity

Whether you grew up here or just moved here for law school, you'll learn a lot about race in Seattle by watching the new documentary, Roosevelt High School: Beyond Black and White.

composite of images from documentary - people, buildings. One frame quotes Kerner Commission: "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white - separate and unequal."
Composite of images from Roosevelt High School: Beyond Black and White


Roosevelt High School is just under two miles north of UW Law. In the 1960s, it was almost entirely white, because of residential segregation shaped by redlining and other factors. See Segregated Seattle, by the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project. 

In the late 1960s, the Seattle Busing Voluntary Racial Transfer Program (VRT) brought a few dozen students of color to Roosevelt. Fifty years later, as protestors went to the streets over police treatment of Black Americans (as well as other inequities), some members of the class of '71, of different races, began talking (over Zoom) about their experience and their city. Why were so many issues the same as decades ago? 

They formed a group, Roosevelt Alumni for Racial Equity (RARE), which has grown beyond Roosevelt and beyond alumni.

This week, RARE premiered a half-hour documentary, Roosevelt High School: Beyond Black and White (31:00), which looks at race and education. It is thoughtful and thought-provoking. It includes interviews with alumni from that first group of busing students, as well as students, teachers, and administrators from today. One of the key people behind the film is UW Law Professor Emeritus Lea Vaughn, a member of that RHS class of '71. 

To explore racial patterns today, visit the 2010 and 2020 Census Map Viewer for Seattle and the Region. The interface lets you create different views of the city. For example, here is a map showing the racial make-up of Seattle. The area north of the UW is almost all light blue––the code representing people who identify as White. East of downtown and moving south, magenta dots represent Black or African American (not Hispanic or Latino) residents. And the green in the university district and south end represents Asian (not Hispanic or Latino).

map of Seattle area with colors indicating race

Seattle is not as segregated as it was in the 1960s, but it clearly has neighborhoods that are largely one race or another. In 2010, a Seattle Times analysis ranked US cities by percentage of White residents, and Seattle was fifth. Now Seattle has diversified a tiny bit (our city is now sixth) and it is diversifying at a faster rate than many other cities. Gene Balk, Seattle Ranks as Fifth Fastest-Diversifying Big City of the Decade, Seattle Times (Sept. 30, 2021). 

Take half an hour to watch the video. If you have a little more time, explore some of the other resources on RARE's website, which has a curriculum guide for using the film in classes. 

While you shouldn't limit your learning about these topics to one month, this is a good way to kick off Black History Month.