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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Only One Place of Redress

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David E. BernsteinGeorge Mason University School of Law, USA

ISBN13: 9780822325833
ISBN: 0822325837
Published: April 2001
Publisher: Duke University Press
Format: Hardback
Price: £37.00



In ""Only One Place of Redress"", David E. Bernstein offers a bold reinterpretation of American legal history - he argues that American labour and occupational laws, enacted by state and federal governments after the Civil War and into the 20th century, benefited dominant groups in society to the detriment of those who lacked political power. Both intentionally and incidentally, claims Bernstein, these laws restricted in particular the job mobility and economic opportunity of blacks.;A pioneer in applying the insights of public choice theory to legal history, Bernstein contends that the much-maligned jurisprudence of the Lochner era - with its emphasis on freedom of contract and private market ordering - actually discouraged discrimination and assisted groups with little political clout. To support this thesis he examines the motivation behind and practical impact of laws restricting interstate labour recruitment, occupational licensing laws, railroad labour laws, minimum wage statutes, the Davis-Bacon Act, and New Deal collective bargaining. He concludes that the ultimate failure of Lochnerism - and the triumph of the regulatory state - not only strengthened racially exclusive labor unions but contributed to a massive loss of employment opportunities for African Americans, the effects of which continue to this day. Scholars and students interested in race relations, labour law, and legal or constitutional history should be interested in Bernstein's controversial argument.

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Contents:
Emigrant agent laws; licensing laws; railroad labour regulations; prevailing-wage laws; New Deal labour laws.