By Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, Martha Umphrey (eds)
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Extra resources for Lives in the Law (The Amherst Series in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought)
J. Anthony Lukas, The Barnyard Epithet and Other Obscenities The sixties were marked by a massive challenge to the conventional conception of American identity. 1 As expected, the challenge met serious and massive resistance. 2 It served as yet another stage upon which the conflict about the deeper meaning of American identity was unfolding. The Chicago conspiracy trial probably was the result of a sea change in American politics, when the progressive politics of the Great Society gave way to the conservative politics of law and order, amid an escalating war, a swelling antiwar movement, turmoil in universities across the country, and the intensification of black militancy.
Kunstler. Well, Your Honor, as far as some of the rest of us are concerned, it is quite a political case. Judge Hoffman. It is a criminal case. There is an indictment here. I have an indictment right up here. I can’t go into politics here in this court. Kunstler. Your Honor, Jesus was accused criminally, too, and we understand really that this was not truly a criminal case in the sense that it is just an ordinary . . Judge Hoffman (interrupting). I didn’t live at that time. I don’t know. Some people think I go back that far, but I really didn’t.
By and large, each side noticed Jewishness in the other camp, but failed to see it in its own camp. Thus, both the Left and the Right shared the perception that Jewishness was there and that it was somehow negative. ” I argue that because of the peculiarity of the Chicago conspiracy trial, where many of the ordinary rules of decorum were suspended, the ever-present undercurrent of one’s Jewishness surfaced and its meaning was called into question. Thus, the courtroom served as space where different conceptions of American-Jewish identity clashed and informed various conceptions of law.