Collegiality and the Constitution: The Eastern District of Texas 1846 to 2006
Collegiality and the Constitution: The Eastern District of Texas 1846 to 2006 chronicles Article III judges, up through the civil rights era and more recently, who presided over the contentious issues of the day. They frequently faced tough decisions from tension between upholding unpopular laws which conflicted with the accepted social and legal norms of their times. Armed with the power to transform and make changes, this book portrays judges who leaped, untroubled and unhesitatingly, at the issues of the day. The result was community uproar, rejection, and ostracism. . . . They adhered to the letter of the law but tried to avoid or minimize the conflict of forcing the implementation of disliked laws, which ultimately may not have benefitted the disputants or the community as a whole at that point. This history recounts many seminal moments where the mettle of the person and the strength of their commitment to uphold and enforce the law of our land was tested.
This book reflects that for decades following the 50s and 60s, dominant federal issues concerned the rights movement, civil rights, and its progeny. For the 100 years before the civil rights era, our courts handled routine disputes and cases while their major litigation addressed the great themes of our region's and country's progress. This litigation involved land title, revenue claims, debt, states' rights, Indian territory, oil production, and trust-busting, expansion of federal regulations, transportation, criminal trials, voting rights, and redistricting. Subsequently, our Texas Eastern judges' commitment to quick trials and resolutions helped transition and bridge the two distinct eras from civil rights to some of the largest class action, personal injury, and toxic tort lawsuits.