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Loyola Professor Lectures at the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society

Loyola press release - February 2, 2007

Loyola Professor Lectures at the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society

(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans History Professor Michael Ross will lecture at the United States Supreme Court on February 27, 2007 at 6 p.m. Professor Ross’ lecture is part of the Supreme Court Historical Society’s 2007 Leon Silverman Lecture Series on Associate Justices of the Gilded Age. His lecture will focus on Justice Samuel Miller. The lecture takes place in the chambers of the Court and Ross will be introduced by Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.

Ross’ lecture is based on his award-winning book, Justice of Shattered Dreams: Samuel Miller and the Supreme Court during the Civil War Era (Louisiana State University Press, 2003) which is the first biography of Miller since 1939. His book has been described by historians and writers as “the definitive treatment of Miller for the next generation.”

Ross spent seven years researching the book during which time he discovered a number of letters that had gone missing for decades. The letters trace the correspondence between Miller and his brother in-law. According to Ross, “These letters were a rich window into Miller’s thoughts on legal issues and family matters.”

Appointed by Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. Supreme Court during the Civil War, Justice Miller (1816 -1890) served on the nation’s highest tribunal for 28 tumultuous years and holds a place in legal history as one of the Court’s most influential justices. Most notably, was the important role he played in shaping and determining what the civil war amendments were going to mean to the nation. In Justice of Shattered Dreams, Ross creates a colorful portrait of a passionate man grappling with the difficult legal issues arising from a time of wrenching social and political change.

Ross was previously a corporate attorney and is now an associate professor of history at Loyola where he has been a recipient of the university’s prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award. His area of expertise is the Civil War Era and U.S. Legal History. Justice of Shattered Dreams won the 2004 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship and the 2005 Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Book Award. His articles and book reviews have appeared in the American Journal of Legal History, Civil War History, Journal of American History, Journal of Southern History, Journal of Women’s History, Law & History Review and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. His holds a law degree from Duke University and earned a doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.