Heroes, Rascals, and the Law: Constitutional Encounters in Mississippi History (Hardcover)
James L. Robertson focuses on folk encountering their constitutions and laws, in their courthouses and country stores, and in their daily lives, animating otherwise dry and inaccessible parchments. Robertson begins at statehood and continues through war and depression, well into the 1940s. He tells of slaves petitioning for freedom, populist sentiments fueling abnegation of the rule of law, the state's many schemes for enticing Yankee capital to lift a people from poverty, and its sometimes tragic, always colorful romance with whiskey after the demise of national Prohibition. Each story is sprinkled with fascinating but heretofore unearthed facts and circumstances. Robertson delves into the prejudices and practices of the times, local landscapes, and daily life and its dependence on our social compact. He offers the unique perspective of a judge, lawyer, scholar, and history buff, each role having tempered the lessons of the others. He focuses on a people, enriching encounters most know little about. Tales of understanding and humanity covering 130 years of heroes, rascals, and ordinary folk--with a bundle of engaging surprises--leave the reader pretty sure there's nothing quite like Mississippi history told by a sage observer.
James L. Robertson served on the Mississippi Supreme Court from 1983 to 1992, taught law at the University of Mississippi Law School from 1977 to 1992, was a shareholder in the Wise Carter law firm from 1993 to 2016, and is now of counsel to the firm. He is a native of Greenville and lives in Jackson, Mississippi.