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"This Honorable Court": The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, 1789-2000
by:Mark Edward Lender
The United States District Court for New Jersey is one of the original thirteen federal district courts established under the new constitutional government in 1789. The courts of the District have functioned without interruption for over two centuries, and during this time they have become a major institutional presence. Each year, thousands of new...
The United States District Court for New Jersey is one of the original thirteen federal district courts established under the new constitutional government in 1789. The courts of the District have functioned without interruption for over two centuries, and during this time they have become a major institutional presence. Each year, thousands of new civil and criminal cases are filed, making it one of the busiest district courts in the nation-and a mirror of the federal justice system.In this first historical account of the District of New Jersey, Mark Edward Lender traces its evolution from its origins through the turn of the twenty-first century. Drawing on extensive original records, including those in the National Archives, he shows how it was at the district court level that the new nation first tested the role of federal law and authority. From these early decades through today, the cases tried in New Jersey stand as prime examples of the legal and constitutional developments that have shaped the course of federal justice. At critical moments in our history, the courts participated in the Alien and Sedition Acts, the transition from Federalist to Jeffersonian political authority, the balancing of state and federal roles during the Civil War and Reconstruction, and modern controversies over civil rights and affirmative action.Situating the District of New Jersey in the broader context of U.S. history, Lender shows how the state's federal courts have long reflected the ebb and flow of American legal, social, political, and economic developments.
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