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Establishing Justice in Middle America

A History of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

2007
Author:

Jeffrey Brandon Morris
Foreword by William H. Webster

Establishing Justice in Middle America

An absorbing history of a court that helped to build a nation

Headquartered in St. Louis and serving primarily Midwestern states, the Eighth Circuit Court has ruled on cases that touch some of the most significant issues in American history, including Native American rights, school segregation, and abortion. Jeffrey Brandon Morris covers this court's history, revealing how, in many ways, the history of a regional court is a history of the nation itself.

Jeffrey Brandon Morris has done an excellent job of capturing the spirit and collegiality of the court and judges of the Eighth Circuit.

Hon. Judge Gerald W. Heaney, United States Court of Appeals, retired

Headquartered in St. Louis and serving primarily Midwestern states, the Eighth Circuit Court has ruled on cases that touch some of the most significant issues in American history, including Native American rights, school segregation, farm bankruptcies, abortion, the environment, pornography, the “war on drugs,” and the first successful class-action sexual-harassment lawsuit.

In Establishing Justice in Middle America, Jeffrey Brandon Morris covers its history, from its founding in 1866 through the present day. Morris also provides a panoramic view, discussing how the court has changed over time, the judges who have served on the court, and all of the court’s major cases. This work is one of the first histories of a court in the mostly regional tier of federal courts that are, judicially speaking, nearest to the Supreme Court.

Establishing Justice in Middle America reveals how, in many ways, the history of a regional court is a history of the nation itself.

Published for the Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit.

Establishing Justice in Middle America

Jeffrey Brandon Morris is professor of law at Touro Law Center in Long Island, New York. He is the author or editor of sixteen books, including histories of four federal courts, and is editor of the Encyclopedia of American History.

Establishing Justice in Middle America

Jeffrey Brandon Morris has done an excellent job of capturing the spirit and collegiality of the court and judges of the Eighth Circuit.

Hon. Judge Gerald W. Heaney, United States Court of Appeals, retired

Painting with broad strokes, Jeffrey Brandon Morris deftly sketches a veritable panorama of a circuit of continental dimensions, its geography, natural resources, economy, infrastructure, and political cultures. Found here are illuminating vignettes of able jurists who have so well served the circuit.

Peter G. Fish, author of Federal Justice in the Mid-Atlantic South: United States Courts from Maryland to the Carolinas, 1789-1835

This volume is a natural acquisition for any college, university or law library, where it may find its highest and best use simply by sparking that curiosity which leads to further reading and learning. It could prove a rich source for launching a flood of seminar papers, reports and theses.

Law & Politics Book Review

There is much in Morris’s history to satisfy students of Arkansas history.

Arkansas Historical Quarterly

Establishing Justice in Middle America is a successful exposition of the work of a busy and capable court intent on bringing legal finality to much of the litigation in the region. Like all of their midwestern brethren, Iowa readers can take pride and pleasure in learning from this thoughtful and perceptive analysis of one of their government’s most important but least understood entities.

The Annals of Iowa

The author of an institutional history faces a particular challenge to those who write in the genre: making such a history relevant and intriguing to a wider audience. Those familiar with the court will find the book of immediate interest. . . . This book is recommended reading not only for those ‘insiders’ who are familiar with the Eighth Circuit, but for all who are interested in the history and development of the United States court system.

Law and History Review

[Establishing Justice in Middle America] is a natural for law libraries, college and university libraries, and individuals who have an interest in judicial and legal history. It contributes a great deal to understanding the development of the region without being overly technical in its approach.

Nebraska History

An important contribution to an underserved field, and it deserves to find an audience among both academic specialists and interested lay readers.

Great Plains Research