Diamond, Raymond T.
Diamond, Raymond T.
Education: Yale University, B.A., 1973, J.D., 1977.
Has worked at a law firm in New Orleans, LA, as a legislative counsel for U.S. Representative Robert Livingston, as an antitrust attorney for the Federal Trade Commission, and as a faculty member of the Louisiana State University Law Center; Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, faculty member, beginning 1990, currently John Koerner Professor of Law.
Harlan B. Carter-Knight Freedom Fund Award, 2000, for work concerning the Second Amendment; David J. Langum, Sr., Prize, Langum Project for Historical Literature, 2003, for Brown v. Board of Education.
(With Robert J. Cottrol and Leland B. Ware) Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2003.
Raymond T. Diamond, a Yale University alumnus, has worked in the private, public, and academic sectors. He has worked as a New Orleans law firm attorney, as counsel to U.S. Representative Robert Livingston, as an antitrust lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission, and as an educator at Louisiana State University and Tulane University Law School. Diamond's specialty is constitutional law, and he received the Harlan B. Carter-Knight Freedom Fund Award for his research and writings about the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Along with Robert J. Cottrol and Leland B. Ware, Diamond is the author of Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution.
Brown v. Board of Education was published for the fiftieth anniversary of the famous case. The authors present the history leading up to the case about racial discrimination, and then they discuss the case itself and its ramifications. Calling the book an "excellent overview," Law and Politics Book Review critic Daniel Lipson commented: "To the authors' credit, the book is much more than a book on one court case; instead, the authors provide a thorough historical overview of the struggle over segregation in American law and culture." Lipson further reported that the book centers on the theme that Brown v. Board of Education was key in ending a "quasi-caste system in America." This is by no means an original observation, according to Lipson, but what "the book lacks in innovation … it makes up in rigor."
Although the editors note that the use of the word "caste" to compare racial separation in America that compares it to the Indian system of social castes might not be completely legitimate, "we use the term," they write, "because it captures the rigid and separate nature of the distinctions that were imposed or attempted, even though the considerable resistance to caste throughout American history should never be forgotten."
The first half of the book provides historical background to the case. The first chapter explains what racial attitudes were like in eighteenth-century America and that the situation became even worse in the nineteenth century, a trend discussed in more detail in the next chapter. Chapter three reveals strategies used by whites in power to limit the possibility for advances by blacks, including passing laws against the forma- tion of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). With the next essay, there is a discussion on how whites tried to employ science to argue for the superiority of their race. Lipson noted that chapter five in the book is particularly original; here, the analysis of Brown v. Board of Education begins in earnest, and the essay comments on how the NAACP presented strong arguments against the idea of "separate but equal" that was put forth in the Sweatt v. Painter case. Next, there is a presentation of the oral arguments given in Brown v. Board of Education. "The extensive section on the central debate over original intent is particularly fascinating," reported Lipson, who added that chapters six and seven "provide fascinating insights into the central role of two of Justice Frankfurter's law clerks: Philip Elman and Alexander Bickel."
The reverberations that followed Brown v. Board of Education are related in chapters eight and nine, including discussion of the civil rights movement. The authors then conclude that the case has evolved into a "yardstick against which the legitimacy of other cases and indeed differing strategies of constitutional interpretation are measured"; this is followed by commentary on recent cases in the United States demonstrating a trend toward resegregating schools in the country and increasing resistance to affirmative action.
In a review published in the Historian, critic James R. Sweeney found it interesting that the essays do not depend only on legal cases but "also use films, songs, and literature to examine ‘the symbiotic relationship between law and the broader culture.’"
Lipson appreciated the editorial efforts of Diamond and his collaborators in Brown v. Board of Education, especially the book's "solid history of civil rights in America." The critic wished, however, that they had addressed an argument made by the political scientist Gerald Rosenberg in his book The Hollow Hope about the weakening of the U.S. Supreme Court's powers in the face of congressional legislation. "While they acknowledge the powerful role of Congress in passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act," wrote Lipson, "the authors do not seriously consider Rosenberg's argument that Congress, rather than the Supreme Court, is the agent of social change in the arena of civil rights." Writing in the Journal of Southern History, Peter Wallenstein similarly observed that the authors do not address the important 1956 U.S. Supreme Court case of Board of Trustees v. Frasier, which regarded racism at the undergraduate program level at the University of North Carolina.
Despite some shortcomings, critics found valuable material within the pages of Brown v. Board of Education. Wallenstein felt it was important that the authors correctly assert that "black people have been uniquely singled out for treatment as a separate caste," and the reviewer concluded that it is a "thoughtful, wise, accessible, and prize-winning book." Lipson asserted that "this book deserves a place on the shelf," and he added: "It would be particularly good reading for undergraduate courses on racial history and politics, civil rights, and/or Constitutional law." The reviewer Jill Kasle in Perspectives on Political Science concluded that "this book takes an important story and tells it very well."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Cottrol, Robert J., Leland B. Ware, and Raymond T. Diamond, Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2003.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May, 2004, A.D. Sarat, review of Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution, p. 1739.
Court Review, summer, 2004, review of Brown v. Board of Education.
Historian, summer, 2005, James R. Sweeney, review of Brown v. Board of Education.
Journal of Southern History, November, 2006, Peter Wallenstein, review of Brown v. Board of Education, p. 984.
Journal of Supreme Court History, November, 2004, D. Grier Stephenson, review of Brown v. Board of Education, p. 346.
Law and History Review, summer, 2005, L.A. Powe, review of Brown v. Board of Education.
Law and Politics Book Review, July, 2004, Daniel Lipson, review of Brown v. Board of Education, p. 525.
Law and Social Inquiry, spring, 2004, review of Brown v. Board of Education.
Law Library Journal, spring, 2004, Brannon P. Denning, review of Brown v. Board of Education.
Library Journal, October 15, 2003, Terry Christner, review of Brown v. Board of Education, p. 78.
Louisiana Bar Journal, April 1, 2004, E. Phelps Gay, review of Brown v. Board of Education, p. 424; April 1, 2004, "An Interview with Ray Diamond: Coauthor of Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution," p. 420.
Perspectives on Political Science, fall, 2004, Jill Kasle, review of Brown v. Board of Education.
Tulane Law Review, June, 2004, Judith Kelleher Schafer, review of Brown v. Board of Education, p. 2317.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (September, 2004), Christopher W. Schmidt, review of Brown v. Board of Education.
Tulane University Law School Web site,http://www.law.tulane.edu/ (April 3, 2008), faculty profile.