Thursday, January 8, 2009

Does Lincoln's treatment of the Constitution hold lessons for us today?

By special request from Alicia Jessop at the Chapman Law Review:


Lincoln's Constitutionalism in Time of War: Lessons for the Current War on Terror?

For good or for ill, civil liberties were sacrificed during Abraham Lincoln's administration, all for the sake of winning the Civil War. The government then pleaded necessity, just as it does now, during the War on Terror.

For its annual symposium, Chapman University's Law Review has assembled panels and speakers to assess Lincoln's trade-offs and discuss whether they hold lessons for modern America. Issues addressed include habeas corpus, wartime economics and the exchange of civil liberties losses for civil rights gains.

Friday, January 30, 2009
8:00am - 4:00pm
Chapman University School of Law
One University Drive
Orange, CA

(714) 628-2582


Blogger Kent McManigal said...

Yes, the lesson that is most important is this: JWB was a hero.

January 8, 2009 1:39 PM  
Anonymous TJP said...

What I don't understand is how most of the things done by Lincoln helped win a war. Conscription was probably the only one that helped, considering the ratio of Union troops killed in action. Oh right: in the North it was called "Enrollment".

I don't understand the historians' desire to dumb down history. Lincoln's administration initially rejected the idea of enlisting black men. At the very best, Lincoln's views on the black man's liberties and equality of rights are ambiguous. The fact that the North won the war shouldn't throw a blanket of acceptance over all the illegal and stupid activities that occurred. It's actually possible for someone to hold views that are both right and wrong, with respect to liberty. Party politics encourages this behavior, where one side takes an opposing view just because it belongs to the competing party.

I shouldn't complain that the "War on Terror" is causing people to pick up a copy of the Constitution and actually read it, but I am afraid that its usefulness is limited to only the last eight years in the minds of many people. I don't see the difference between an administration and congress that overtly curbs free speech by intimidation, and another administration that does it by using an army of journalists--taught in schools with state-approved curricula--to use hyperbole, to reduce, or to filter out unapproved ideology. The end result is the same.

January 11, 2009 9:00 AM  

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