Morton J. Horwitz

Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, Emeritus

Langdell Library 308

617-495-3164

Assistant: Isaac Moore / 617-496-1760

Areas of Interest

Morton J. Horwitz, Constitutional Transplants, 10 Theoretical Inquiries L. 535 (2009).
Categories:
Constitutional Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Government & Politics
,
Legal Profession
,
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Constitutional History
,
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Separation of Powers
,
Comparative Law
,
Developing & Emerging Nations
,
European Law
,
Human Rights Law
,
Legal & Political Theory
,
Property Rights
Type: Article
Abstract
How does one explain the dramatic spread of judicial review after World War II, which culminated in a world-wide constitutional revolution during the 1990s? In order to explore this question, this Article first attempts to examine some methodological difficulties that regularly impede the study of constitutional transplants. It concludes with speculation about the relationship between the rise of judicial authority and the decline in the legitimacy of democratic institutions.
Morton J. Horwitz, Conceptualizing the Right of Access to Technology, 79 Wash. L. Rev. 105 (2004).
Categories:
Technology & Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
Property Rights
,
Intellectual Property Law
Type: Article
Morton J. Horwitz, Transformation I: After 25 Years, 28 Law & Soc. Inquiry 1157 (2003).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal History
,
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Morton J. Horwitz, Mark Tushnet, Legal Historian, 90 Geo. L.J. 131 (2001).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
,
Legal History
Type: Article
Abram Chayes, William Fisher, Morton Horwitz, Frank Michelman, Martha Minow, Charles Nesson & Todd Rakoff, The Bridge (1999).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
,
Legal & Political Theory
Type: Other
Abstract
The Bridge is divided into two major parts: a six-unit series on legal reasoning, and a series of modules on American Legal Theory, divided into six "tracks" representing important schools of thought. The series on legal reasoning should be approached in sequence. The materials on legal theory are more modular, and can be used in numerous ways.
Morton J. Horwitz, The Warren Court and the Pursuit of Justice (Hill And Wang 1998).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Legal Profession
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Constitutional Law
Sub-Categories:
Fourteenth Amendment
,
Civil Rights
,
Supreme Court of the United States
,
Legal History
Type: Book
Abstract
When Earl Warren was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1953, few Americans imagined that the noted Republican would become the remarkable leader of a Court now recognized as the greatest liberal Court of this century. Here distinguished legal historian Morton Horwitz considers the landmark cases that transformed American law in those postwar years.
Morton J. Horwitz, In Memoriam: William J. Brennan, Jr., Harv. L. Rev. 23 (1997).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Supreme Court of the United States
,
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Morton J. Horwitz, Judicial Biography Symposium: Commentary, 70 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 714 (1995).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Supreme Court of the United States
,
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Biography & Tribute
,
Legal Scholarship
Type: Article
Morton J. Horwitz, Foreword, The Constitution of Change: Legal Fundamentality Without Fundamentalism, 107 Harv. L. Rev. 30 (1993).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Constitutional Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Constitutional History
,
Supreme Court of the United States
,
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Legal History
,
Legal & Political Theory
Type: Article
Morton J. Horwitz, Reconstructing Historical Theory from the Debris of the Cold War, 102 Yale L.J. 1287 (1993) (reviewing The Antislavery Debate: Capitalism and Abolitionism as a Problem in Historical Interpretation (Thomas Bender ed., 1992).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal History
,
Legal & Political Theory
Type: Article
American Legal Realism (Morton J. Horwitz, William W. Fisher & Thomas A. Reed eds., Oxford Univ. Press 1993).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Legal History
,
Legal & Political Theory
Type: Book
Abstract
This anthology offers a set of readings in legal realism, the most influential movement in American legal history, and one that remains the subject of lively debate. The readings were written between 1900 and 1940 and are not generally available.
Morton J. Horwitz, The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy (Oxford Univ. Press 1992).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Banking & Finance
,
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Contracts
,
Critical Legal Studies
,
Law & Political Theory
,
Legal History
,
Property Rights
Type: Book
Abstract
The Bancroft Prize-winning first volume of Morton Horwitz's monumental history of American law has become the standard source on the subject for the period between 1780 and 1860. Now, Horwitz presents The Transformation of American Law, 1870 to 1960, the long-awaited sequel that brings his sweeping history to completion. In his pathbreaking first volume, Horwitz showed how economic conflicts helped transform law in antebellum America. Here, Horwitz picks up where he left off, tracing the struggle in American law between the entrenched legal orthodoxy and the Progressive movement, which arose in response to ever-increasing social and economic inequality. Horwitz introduces us to the people and events that fueled this contest between the old order and the new as we sit in on such cases as Lochner v. New York in 1905--where the new thinkers sought to undermine orthodox claims for the autonomy of law--and watch as Progressive thought first crystalized. The Transformation of American Law is a book certain to revise past thinking on the origins and evolution of law in our country. For anyone hoping to understand the structure of American law--or of America itself--this volume is indispensable.
Morton J. Horwitz, The Meaning of the Bork Nomination in American Constitutional History, 50 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 655 (1989).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Constitutional Law
Sub-Categories:
Constitutional History
,
Supreme Court of the United States
,
Judges & Jurisprudence
Type: Article
Morton J. Horwitz, Rights, 23 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 393 (1988).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Law & Political Theory
,
Critical Legal Studies
,
Legal & Political Theory
,
Legal History
Type: Article
Morton J. Horwitz, The Transformation of American Law, 1780-1860 (Harvard Univ. Press 1977).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Banking & Finance
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Contracts
,
Law & Political Theory
,
Critical Legal Studies
,
Legal History
,
Property Rights
Type: Book
Abstract
Awarded the Bancroft Prize in American History in 1978, Morton J. Horwitz's The Transformation of American Law, 1780-1860 is considered one of the most significant works ever published in American legal history. Since its publication in 1977, it has become the standard source on early nineteenth century American law. In this monumental book, Morton J. Horwitz offers a sweeping overview of the emergence of our national (and modern) legal system from English and colonial antecedents. He begins with the common law, which emerged during the eighteenth century as the standard doctrine with which to solve disputes in an egalitarian manner. He shows that the turning point in the use of common law came after 1790, when the law was slowly transformed to favor economic growth and development and the courts began to spur economic competition instead of circumscribe it. This new instrumental law would flourish during the nineteenth century as the legal profession and the mercantile elite forged a mutually beneficial alliance to gain wealth and power. Horwitz also demonstrates how the emergence of contract law corresponded to the development of economic and legal institutions of exchange. And he discusses how the rise of the market economy influenced legal practices, how contracts became ways to negate preexisting common law duties, and how (to the benefit of entrepreneurs and commercial groups) the courts were able to overthrow earlier anticommercial legal rules. Previous historical studies have viewed law and policy as an accurate reflection of the needs of an undifferentiated society. In The Transformation of American Law, Horwitz successfully challenges this misconception and shows how in the eighty years after the American Revolution, a major change in law took place in which aspects of social struggle turned to legal channels for resolution. Looking into the distribution of wealth and power during this time, Horwitz finds indeed that the change in legal ideology enabled commercial groups to win a disproportionate amount of wealth and power in American society. An accessible account of the history of law, this is a powerful statement on the great role of the legal system in American economic development.

Langdell Library 308

617-495-3164

Assistant: Isaac Moore / 617-496-1760