I want to highlight two terrific new pieces of scholarship that you should check out. I read them on my trip.
The first one is A Structural Vision of Habeas Corpus by Eve Brensike Primus. Here is the abstract:
For decades, scholars and judges have assumed that federal habeas corpus review of state court criminal convictions should focus on the individual rights of habeas petitioners and that the federal courts should ask whether a state prisoner is being unlawfully detained because the state violated his individual federal rights. This individualized approach to federal habeas review is expensive, time-consuming, and woefully ineffective in stopping states from violating defendants’ federal rights. Indeed, many states systematically violate criminal defendants’ federal rights with impunity. This Article proposes a new conception of federal habeas review under which the federal courts focus on states, not on individual petitioners. Federal habeas relief should be available when a state routinely violates its criminal defendants’ federal rights as part of a systemic practice. Reconfiguring federal habeas corpus review to focus on states and systemic practices would reduce redundancy, increase efficiency, and be more respectful of state institutions while, at the same time, recovering one of the original and now lost purposes of federal habeas corpus review.
The second one is Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy by David O. Stewart. It’s a blow-by-blow account that is full of fascinating details that I’m finding really useful as part of my Bingham research. The discussion of the bribes that were used to buy Johnson’s acquittal is especially fun.