“Charlottesville” as Legal History
Journal of American Constitutional History Issue 2, Volume 1, 2023
19 Pages Posted: 18 May 2023
Date Written: May 17, 2023
This article was originally a plenary lecture at the American Society for Legal History 2022 Annual Meeting. It offers a preliminary legal history of the white supremacist and anti-Semitic violence that took place in my hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11 and 12, 2017, as well as a meditation on the process of writing such a history. It explores questions of autobiography, legal history methodology, legal normativity, narrative framing, and the role of law in political protest and violence.
Keywords: White supremacy, Racism, Anti-Semitism, Civil rights, Free speech, First Amendment, Second Amendment, Equal Protection, Political protest, Legal history, Constitutional History, Juries
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