Roberta Sue Alexander

Roberta Sue Alexander is Distinguished Service Professor of History and Professor Emeritus at the University of Dayton. She is the author of North Carolina Faces the Freedmen: Race Relations During Presidential Reconstruction, 1865-67.

Listed in: Legal History · Ohio and Regional · History · American History · Law

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Justice and Legal Change on the Shores of Lake Erie · A History of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Roberta Sue Alexander

Explores the many ways that the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has affected the region, the nation, the development of American law, and American politics.

“From the Fugitive Slave Act trials in the 1850s to the draft registration resister trial in the 1980s, political activists have voiced their claims about the most salient issues of the times during their trials in federal courts. While the trial of Eugene Debs is the most well-known example discussed in the book, the stories of all the litigants in these politically charged cases are eloquent testimonies. Justice and Legal Change on the Shores of Lake Erie also provides a close-up view of the role of federal law in addressing social issues, including labor strife, race discrimination, the death penalty, and environmental damage. This book makes a significant contribution to the field of legal history.”

Rebecca E. Zietlow, Charles W. Fornoff Professor of Law and Values at the University of Toledo College of Law, and author of Enforcing Equality: Congress, the Constitution and the Protection of Individual Rights




A Place of Recourse · A History of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, 1803–2003
By Roberta Sue Alexander

The first history of a federal district court in a midwestern state, A Place of Recourse explains a district court’s function and how its mission has evolved. The court has grown from an obscure institution adjudicating minor debt and land disputes to one that plays a central role in the political, economic, and social lives of southern Ohioans.

"Our national history will not be adequately written until the history of our judicial systems can be adequately told through monograph studies of individual [lower federal] courts."

Felix Frankfurter and James M. Landis, The Business of the Supreme Court