Hillman, Elizabeth Lutes 1967–

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Hillman, Elizabeth Lutes 1967–


Born 1967. Education: Duke University, B.S., 1989; University of Pennsylvania, M.A., 1994; Yale Law School, J.D., 2000; Yale University, Ph.D., 2001.


Office—Rutgers School of Law, 217 N. 5th St., Camden, NJ 08102. E-mail—[email protected].


U.S. Air Force, active duty officer for seven years, including two years as an instructor in history for the U.S. Air Force Academy; Yale University, New Haven, CT, instructor in history; Rutgers School of Law, Camden, NJ, professor of law, director of faculty development, codirector of Marshall-Brennan Fellowship Program; University of California Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, professor of law, 2008—.


Defending America: Military Culture and the Cold War Court-martial, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2005.

(With Eugene R. Fidell and Dwight H. Sullivan) Military Justice: Cases and Materials, LexisNexis Matthew Bender (Newark, NJ), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Beyond Zero Tolerance: Discrimination in Military Culture, edited by Mary Fainsod Katzenstein and Judith Reppy, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 1999; One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers, edited by Tara McKelvey, Seal Press (Emeryville, CA), 2006; and Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam; or, How Not to Learn from the Past, edited by Lloyd C. Gardner and Marilyn B. Young, New Press (New York, NY), 2007.


Born in 1967, Elizabeth Lutes Hillman served as an active duty officer in the U.S. Air Force. She received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in 1989 and an M.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1994. She attended Yale Law School, receiving her J.D. in 2000, and followed that with a Ph.D. in history from Yale University the next year.

During her seven years in the Air Force, she spent two of them teaching history at the U.S. Air Force Academy. After her retirement from the Air Force she taught history at Yale University, then became a professor at Rutgers School of Law in Camden, New Jersey. Her primary fields of interest are constitutional and military law and women's legal history.

Hillman's first book, Defending America: Military Culture and the Cold War Court-martial, is a historic study of the history and application of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) during the period of the Cold War from 1950 to the late 1980s. Instituted by Congress, the UCMJ is the rulebook for military courts-martial. It spells out the details of issues such as who can be tried, who the trial judges are to be, and the rights of the accused.

The book begins with an account of how military law was reformed after World War II. According to Hillman, the reforms of the UCMJ were an attempt to give better legal protection to the accused, but it also increased the authority of military commanders who, instead of advancing reform, turned to less public means of discipline to maintain control over members of the services. Hillman's conclusion is that justice in the military during the Cold War was bigoted and arbitrary and had little to do with a rule of law, but was used instead to advance repression and violence toward groups such as homosexuals and minorities.

William Kautt in his review of Defending America in the Journal of Military History, thought the book was "provocative and thought provoking; it should stand as a challenge to researchers of many disciplines." Although Kautt questioned some of Hillman's research methods, he still concluded that her work "is singular and will certainly incite lively and productive debate." In her assessment for Military Review, Janet G. Valentine called Defending America a "good brief description of post-World War II military justice reform and a profitable source of information on military legal cases."

Hillman also wrote the legal casebook Military Justice: Cases and Materials with Eugene R. Fidell and Dwight H. Sullivan in 2007.



Journal of Military History, Volume 71, number 4, October, 2007, William Kautt, review of Defending America: Military Culture and the Cold War Court-martial, pp. 1318-1319.

Military Review, Volume 87, number 2, March-April, 2007, Janet G. Valentine, review of Defending America, pp. 118-119.


Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey Web site,http://catalogs.rutgers.edu/ (February 13, 2007), author profile.

Rutgers School of Law Web site,http://www-camlaw.rutgers.edu/ (July 5, 2008), author profile.

University of California, Hastings School of Law Web site,http://www.uchastings.edu/ (July 17, 2008), author profile.

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