"A tour de force . . . A painstaking case study in the development of an important, but to most nonlawyers esoteric, legal doctrine."
—H. Jefferson Powell, Duke University
Joseph Story and the Comity of Errors examines the decisions of Supreme Court justice and Harvard law professor Joseph Story (1779–1845). According to Alan Watson, Story erred in his interpretation of Dutchman Ulrich Huber’s theory of comity—the respect accorded by one sovereignty to another sovereignty’s laws. Watson suggests that it is because of Story’s misinterpretation that the Dred Scott case went before the United States Supreme Court, whose notorious ruling against Scott fed directly into heated sectional conflict that culminated in the Civil War. Demonstrating the odd twists and turns that legal development sometimes takes, the book is also a fascinating case study that reveals much about the relationship of law to society.
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