By Sally E. Hadden, PhD
While it’s common in the current day to think of dispute resolution as the exclusive domain of judges in courtrooms, in the 17th and 18th centuries, early Americans had other options available for reaching judicial conclusions. This presentation explores a little-known realm of judicial action: decisions reached by legislative assemblies, governors, governors’ councils, and the King’s Privy Council, and how their transatlantic activities contributed to the concept we know today as judicial review.
Sally Hadden is Director of Graduate Studies and a professor of history at Western Michigan University. As a legal historian, her studies of early America led to her publication of Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas which details the white-on-black violence that pervaded American slave societies. She is currently co-authoring a study of the first Supreme Court and its forbears. Hadden is also a past officer and board member of the American Society of Legal History and serves on the editorial board of Law and History Review.