Demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, March 26, 2024.

The Truth About the Comstock Act

The anti-obscenity law is unenforceable and probably unconstitutional. Conservatives still want to use it to ban medication abortions.
Police officer sitting at the front of a classroom of kids.

Police Used the DARE Program to Get Inside of U.S. Schools

It was never very effective at preventing drug use.
Women march for free abortion on demand.

More than Missionary: Abortion On Demand

The surprising history of a politically charged phrase.
Woman holding up a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution.

Conservatives Don’t Have a Monopoly on Originalism

The text and historical context of the Constitution provide liberals with ample opportunities to advance their own vision of America.
Packets of Mifepristone, the abortion pill.

Judge Kacsmaryk’s Medication Abortion Decision Distorts a Key Precedent

One of the cases on which the judge relies said the opposite of what he claims it did.
A Black woman swearing the oath to join the Navy.

A New ERA for Women in the Navy

Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr, z-grams, and the all-volunteer force.
Three women standing in front of a 1915 automobile with a suffragist banner hanging on the side.

How Women Used Cars To Fuel Female Empowerment

From a 1915 suffragist road trip to the “First Lady of Drag Racing.”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar slam dunking basketball

How Lew Alcindor Became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The early years of a future basketball icon.
Tiburcio Parrott sitting holding cane

Birth of the Corporate Person

The defining of corporations as legal “persons” entitled to Fourteenth Amendment rights got a leg up from the fight over a California anti-Chinese immigrant law.
The Branch Davidian compound, Mount Carmel, Waco, Texas.

I Will Give Thee Madonna

Kevin Cook and Jeff Guinn on David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and the 1993 siege of Waco.
Map of routes of the Underground Railroad, 1850-1865

Marronage & Police Abolition

Marronage as a placemaking practice, pointing to histories that shape and inspire abolitionist struggles.
Tobias Menzies (right) as Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in "Manhunt."

The Real History Behind Apple TV+'s 'Manhunt' and the Search for Abraham Lincoln's Killer

A new series dramatizes Edwin Stanton's hunt for John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators in the aftermath of the president’s 1865 assassination.

The Forgotten Lessons of Truly Effective Protest

Organizing is a kind of alchemy: it turns alienation into connection, despair into dedication, and oppression into strength.
Spectators and witnesses at the trial for a case involving an automobile accident, Oxford, North Carolina, 1939.

A ‘Wary Faith’ in the Courts

A groundbreaking new book demonstrates that even during the days of slavery, African Americans knew a lot more about legal principles than has been imagined.
Fr. Daniel Berrigan, left, and his brother, Fr. Philip Berrigan, outside the Montgomery County Court House in Norristown, Pennsylvania, 1981 (AP Photo/Paul Shane).

When the FBI Feared the Catholic Left

Even if today's anti-war protestors couldn’t tell you who the Berrigan brothers were, the Catholic Left’s shadow looms large.
Portrait of Creek men.

A Federal Court Has Ruled Blood Cannot Determine Tribal Citizenship. Here’s Why That Matters.

The struggle over blood and belonging in American Indian communities.
Black man making V symbol near posters for war bonds.

Beyond the Battlefield: Double V and Black Americans’ Fight for Equality

A civil rights initiative during World War II known as the Double V campaign advocated for dual victories: over fascism abroad, and racial injustice in the U.S.
James Baldwin.

What James Baldwin Saw

A documentary that follows the writer’s late-in-life journey to the South chronicles his vision for Black politics in a post–Civil Rights era world.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators holding signs

A ‘Black-Jewish Alliance’ in the US? Israel-Gaza War Shows It’s More Myth Than Special Relationship

It has been an article of faith that Jews and Black Americans have a natural bond, but a ‘Black-Jewish alliance’ is not, or at least not reliably, a thing.
Image of a joint sticking out of the sidewalk in a suburban neighborhood.

The Suburbs Made the War on Drugs in Their Own Image

Matthew Lassiter’s history plays out in ranch houses, high school parking lots, and courtrooms from Shaker Heights to Westchester to Orange County.
Law and Political Economy Project logo

What Centuries of Common Law Can Teach Us About Regulating Social Media

Today, tech platforms, including social media, are the new common carriers.
A Buddhist monk stands next to a banner with a picture of monk Thich Quang Duc who set fire to himself to protest the Vietnam War.

Why Would Anyone Kill Themselves to Stop A War?

In the past 3 months, two people in the US have taken or risked taking their own lives in an attempt to change US policies on Palestine and call for a cease-fire.
Endesha Ida Mae Holland in the documentary “Freedom on My Mind.

“Freedom on My Mind”: A Symphony of Voices for Civil Rights

This 1994 documentary brings the passions and agonies of Mississippi’s voter-registration drive into the present tense.
Demonstrators show support for Palestine.

How the ADL’s Anti-Palestinian Advocacy Helped Shape U.S. Terror Laws

Long before 9/11, Zionist groups like the Anti-Defamation League lobbied for counterterror legislation that singled out Palestinians.
1970 Map of the United States Interstate Highway Plan

How Black Activists Have Long Used Mapmaking to Document Culture and Racism in the U.S.

The neglected history of Black mapmaking in America and the creative ways in which Black people have historically used mapping to tell stories.
Mother of school shooter enters courtroom

The Problem With Punishing Parents for Their Kids' Crimes

Americans have long tried to hold parents responsible for their children’s misdeeds—but it never really works.
Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells and the Long Crusade to Outlaw Lynching

Journalist, civil rights activist and suffragist, she dedicated her life to documenting injustices against Black Americans and calling for change.
New York City draft riots.

The 1863 Draft Riots and the Birth of the New York City Police

With low police morale, limited peacekeeping ability and agitated immigrants, the city only needed a match to set it ablaze.
Oil pumpjack in the rural southwest.

Public Universities Are Profiting In Billions From Industries On Stolen Indigenous Land

Extractive industries filling public university coffers on stolen land. Here's how 14 land-grant colleges took 8.2 million acres from 123 Indigenous nations.

Why the Long Shadow of Bush v. Gore Looms Over the Supreme Court’s Colorado Case

In the fight over keeping Trump’s name on the ballot, the 2000 decision is a warning but not a precedent.