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Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: January 1, 1863


1/1/1863: Emancipation Proclamation issued.

President Abraham Lincoln

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87 responses to “Today in Supreme Court History: January 1, 1863

  1. Which freed no one…

    1. That’s true if you accept the CSA as legitimate. Fortunately most slaves did not.

      1. I think you mean “enslaved persons,” not “slaves.”

          1. Seriously, I was just mocking the latest terminological shift.

            Usually when a one-syllable word is changed into a four-syllable phrase, it’s to disguise the horror behind the word or make it more PC.

            “Slave” is a blunt, direct word. “Enslaved person” is adding extra syllables in worthless virtue-signalling.

            1. “Seriously, I was just mocking the latest terminological shift.”

              Cal, like the Volokh Conspiracy, prefers his language old-style — with plenty of vile racial slurs, Confederate flags, bigotry cloaked in superstition, and fondness for the good old days, before the homosexuals ruined a perfectly good word (gay) — unfettered by liberals and their virtue-signaling wokeness.

              The Federalist Society just asked me to contribute $1,000 to a Freedom Of Thought Project, which will attack liberal-libertarian mainstream institutions while providing cover for bigoted, conservative-controlled institutions. The Federalists hope there are plenty of people gullible enough not to notice the ‘heads we win, tails you lose’ approach being deployed in the service of racists, gay-bashers, misogynists, and other stale-thinking losers on the wrong side of history.

              This is why your betters can’t lose in the culture war, clingers.

              1. So “Lincoln freed the slaves” is a slur? Please go on.

                Also, would you be kind enough to provide a link showing where I admired the Confederate flag? Thanks in advance.

                1. (Kirkland’s lie about myself and the Confederate flag illustrates his approach to winning the culture war – using misrepresentation to appeal to the prejudices of people who are as dumb and gullible as he claims his opponents are.)

                2. So “Lincoln freed the slaves” is a slur?

                  When truth is relative, and language is a mere weapon, yes.

                  Also words like brown-bag ,picnic and blacklist are racial slurs, didn’t you know?


                  1. In the old Star Trek series, in the famous episode with President Lincoln, he comes on board and is shown the bridge. Upon introduction to Uhura, he mentions she is a “charming negress”, then immediately apologizes for the crudity of the time he was from. She replies, “Why should I take offense? In our century, we have learned not to fear words.”

                    It seems we have a long way to go. On the other hand, the battle being fought isn’t against free and open discussion, but against those who use such terms in hurtful ways, deliberately, today.

                3. I’m not outraged by the use of the word slave, but please be fair as to what the actual objection is. The word “slave” infers that it is a central part of a person’s identity, like race, sex or religion, and thus can be understood to imply that slavery was a legitimate institution. “Enslaved person” on the other hand underscores that the institution was illegitimate and that its victims had been kidnapped.

                  Now, if you don’t find that argument persuasive, fine. I’m not entirely sold on it myself. But it’s not a frivolous argument.

                  1. “please be fair as to what the actual objection is”

                    The actual objection is it doesn’t let the Kirklands of the world stimulate themselves to a climax at the thought of their own virtue, without having to free a single slave.

                  2. No, I think it’s pretty frivolous, it’s just that we’ve become numb to this particular sort of frivolity, we’re getting used to people trying to ban words for stupid reasons.

                    We should not be getting used to it, we should be fighting it.

                  3. But that’s the whole point. Slavery, at least as was practiced in the pre-Civil War south, treated human beings as chattel. That is what was so dehumanizing about it. So the term slave incorporates the very condemnation you are trying to assert.

                    It is worth pointing out the utter hypocrisy of the South on this point. On the one hand, they wanted to treat their slaves like chattel. On the other hand, they wanted them to count fully in the census, to get more seats in the House of Representatives (and more electoral votes). Which is utterly hypocritical. No one thought that chattel should count; it occurred to no one to count cows and horses, for example. The North forced the 3/5 clause. By the Southern logic, the slaves should have counted for zero, since they were treated like chattel.
                    To me, “enslaved person” merely enshrines that Southern hypocrisy. The term “slaves” captures how the slaves were treated legally — as chattel.

                    1. The people who avoided the term “slave” have historically tended to be slavers or slavery-appeasers. The constitutional euphemisms (“other persons,” persons bound to service) came when the Framers were seeking to appease slavers but felt bad about it. Other euphemisms included “domestic institutions.”

                      It was the opponents of slavery who used the word “slave” most enthusiastically.

                      I suppose the only question today is whether we trust the good intentions of the latest batch of euphemizers and slogan-spouters, with their anti-freedom progressive ideology.

                    2. Cal, this is well beyond the scope of the OP but there are those of us who are progressive precisely because we see progressivism as being pro freedom and the conservative/libertarian position as being pro slavery. Not everyone shared your presuppositions. Maybe we can discuss that point in more detail on the next open thread.

                    3. “there are those of us who are progressive precisely because we see progressivism as being pro freedom and the conservative/libertarian position as being pro slavery. ”

                      The same way War is Peace, too, I gather.

                    4. Brett, no. The question is freedom from what, and slavery to what. Your oversimplification only works if it is assumed physical force is the only way to enslave someone, a dubious proposition at best

                    5. “Cal, this is well beyond the scope of the OP but there are those of us who are progressive precisely because we see progressivism as being pro freedom and the conservative/libertarian position as being pro slavery. Not everyone shared your presuppositions. Maybe we can discuss that point in more detail on the next open thread.”

                      I’m not even sure what my “presuppositions” are supposed to be.

                      I don’t mind fellow-travelling with libertarians at present, but if they actually took over I’d probably go into opposition (which to their credit they’d allow me to do).

                      I was thinking of the attitude of progressives who envision a supposedly superior class forcing a so-called inferior class to obey them and submit to them. Have you encountered any such progressives? It seems like an attitude favorable to slavery.

                    6. Cal, unless you are a total anarchist, any system at all has some people telling other people what to do. Since nobody really likes being told what to do, that inevitably brings resentment and claims that those in power are elitists who think they are better than those they’re governing. That’s the way human nature works, as any parent can probably tell you.

                      Of course progressives make mistakes. So did your parents, and so have you if you are a parent, but analogies to slavery are totally misguided. Most of the time it’s honest but imperfect people trying to get things right.

                      So if you disagree with progressives on a specific issue, fine. We frequently disagree among ourselves. But claims that we hate freedom are over the top nonsense. And the difference between us and genuine slavers is that we’re trying to make a better world.

                    7. I was referring to Artie’s comments, not my parents’ – and he is less interested in the merits of particular policies than in the who/whom of who gets to rule and who gets to be ruled.

                    8. But who/whom has little to do with it; an idea is either a good idea or a bad idea regardless of who proposes it.

                    9. I’m happy to consider any of Arty’s ideas when he proposes them. He generally has one idea, that he and those who believe as he does are better Americans, who alternate between stomping on lesser, inferior Americans and waiting for them to die.

                    10. “And the difference between us and genuine slavers is that we’re trying to make a better world.”

                      I was trying to confine my criticisms to a different poster, not you, but your appeal to subjective convictions doesn’t work – the founders of the Confederacy most assuredly believed they were trying to make a better world.

                      Their vision of a better world (like I said) “envision[ed] a supposedly superior class forcing a so-called inferior class to obey them and submit to them.”

                      If I may presume to ask once more, have you encountered any posters who talk that way?

                    11. Ah, but the Confederacy was trying to make a better world for white supremacist slaveholders, whereas progressives are trying to make a better world for everyone. That’s a fairly critical difference.

                      I find Arthur tiresome even though I mostly agree with him on issues. I wish he would stop. But that doesn’t change that there are some ideas that are beneficial enough to justify requiring everyone to go along whether they want to or not.

                    12. “But that doesn’t change that there are some ideas that are beneficial enough to justify requiring everyone to go along whether they want to or not.”

                      That’s different from self-anointed superiors lording it over designated inferiors. Officials (elected or otherwise) should have an attitude of service to those over whom they have authority. If officials assume that their authority derives from their own innate virtue, and that the people they govern are clingers worthy of being stomped, they will become tyrants, with all that entails.

                      I would presume that if you’re in favor of the interests of *everyone* then this would be one of the rare instances in which you disagree with Arty.

                    13. I agree that servant leadership means you don’t lord it over the people you’re trying to lead. But, the fact remains that a lot of people just resent being told what to do, and at some point a leader does simply need to pull rank. At which point he’s going to be called an elitist who thinks he’s better than everyone else, and he’s just going to have to grow a thick skin and ignore the criticism. As any parent can tell you.

                    14. This is phrased at a high level of generality so I don’t know what kind of orders we’re talking about.

                      Of course officials should be thick-skinned servant-leaders. They’ll probably get as much criticism for doing the right thing as for doing the wrong thing.

                    15. Of course there *are* examples of elitism, certain officials who disobey laws and edicts they want the proles to obey.

                      So it would hardly be paranoia to be critical of elitists.

                    16. Well, let’s take the current Covid situation. There are many reasons why Covid is not yet under control, and one of them is because people won’t mask, won’t social distance, and insist that their rights are more important than the common good of eradicating the virus. And yes, I know, there are those who say the science isn’t settled and it isn’t proven that those things work, but all of that is an excuse. The real reason people aren’t being responsive is that “you can’t tell me what to do — my rights.” And people would continue to say “you can’t tell me what to do — my rights” even if the science were 100% agreed to by everyone. It’s the mentality of a toddler; the only word in their vocabulary is “no”. The issue isn’t whether masking and social distancing are good ideas; the issue is that big bad gummint is telling them what to do.

                      So, what is a servant leader to do? Obviously lead by example; wear masks and social distance yourself. And we’re lucky — if lucky is the right word — that this virus has a relatively low virulence rate; if we were looking at ten million deaths rather than the current 300,000, this would be a very different conversation. (Though even with ten million deaths, you’d still have plenty of people saying you can’t tell me what to do.)

                      At some point, if the stakes are high enough, the servant leader simply has to say, You are going to comply if I have to declare martial law. I don’t believe the stakes are that high yet, but they could get there at some point in the future. And you know, and I know, that if that were to happen, the predictable response would be: You’re an elitist who thinks he knows better and is better than the common folk, and what about my rights? Count on it.

                    17. I can’t read anyone’s mind, though I suppose it’s at least remotely possible that, witnessing putative servant-leaders breaking laws which supposedly protect those leaders’ health, some members of the public may get the idea that if it’s an acceptable risk for the Party elite, it’s an acceptable risk for the masses.

                    18. I would think that if certain standards (codified in laws) are designed to stop the spread of an epidemic, it wouldn’t be too much to ask our servant-leaders to set an example and obey these standards.

                      That’s certainly characteristic of toddlers – deeming themselves at the center of the universe, which exists to serve and cater to them.

                    19. And you’re focusing on the relatively few leaders who don’t practice what they preach. Of course, the fact that someone is a hypocrite does not mean that what they’re preaching is wrong.

                    20. And anyone who uses someone else’s hypocrisy as an excuse to not do the right thing himself wasn’t looking to do the right thing in the first place.

                    21. “But, the fact remains that a lot of people just resent being told what to do, and at some point a leader does simply need to pull rank.”

                      That’s why we have the 2nd amendment: So that, at that point, we can pull trigger.

                      At some point we always arrive at this conflict: Either people are equals, entitled to make their own choices, even if somebody else thinks they’re bad ones, or some people are masters, entitled to make the decisions and enforce them against everybody else.

                      “Leaders” persuade people to follow. Once you “pull rank”, you stop being a “leader”, and become a “master”, because you’ve set aside persuasion for compulsion.

                    22. So no one should ever be told what to do? If I get pulled over for speeding and I disagree with the speed limit I should just shoot the cop?

                      Brett, you’re nuts.

                    23. “Of course, the fact that someone is a hypocrite does not mean that what they’re preaching is wrong.”

                      As I said, the specific context was public-health laws which these servant-leaders disregarded, even though one would think they would be risking their lives to do so. Yet they go ahead and eat at restaurants, get their hair styled, etc., as if they weren’t confident that they weren’t at risk.

                      This tends to confuse the simple people, who may conclude that if eating and haircuts don’t endanger the health of the servant-leaders, maybe the proles may safely indulge in it, too.

                      Of course, relying on the self-preservation instincts of the servant-leaders isn’t necessarily a good guide, since they might be acting stupidly and endangering themselves. But with the bad example they set, should we really assume that those who disobey them are being irrational?

                    24. Yes, you should assume that those who disobey are acting irrationally. If a servant leader jumps off a cliff, it would be irrational for me to follow his example. Someone else’s hypocrisy is not a defense.

                      My father, a three pack a day smoker, died of lung cancer at age 56. He urged his children not to smoke. What would you think of me saying that since he smoked, it must be ok for me to smoke too? You’d think me an idiot, that’s what you’d think.

                    25. I’m sorry to hear about your father – and I presume his strictures on smoking weren’t continually rebuked by the courts for violations of religious freedom, so there’s one way in which the comparison doesn’t seem to work.

                    26. The comparison actually works quite well for the point I was making, which is that just because someone in leadership isn’t practicing what they’re preaching doesn’t mean that what they’re preaching is wrong. It means they’re a frail human.

                      It doesn’t work for you changing the subject, that’s true.

                    27. And you’ve underscored the difference between us. You want to make it about the hypocrisy of those in power, which I see as largely irrelevant. If not wearing masks and social distancing kills people, as I believe it does, they will be just as dead whether Nancy Pelosi had her hair done or not. So go ahead and mock Pelosi’s hypocrisy if it makes you feel better. People are still going to die because other people, who don’t like being told what to do, continue to spread the virus.

                    28. You reduce my point to “oh, well, they’re flawed humans, who among us hasn’t defied health ordinances which we impose on others and get indignant about it when exposed.”

                      But if the people who make these rules think that doing their hair, eating at restaurants, etc., is safe for them, maybe it’s safe for others? They have the information about what is risky or not, and presumably despite (or because of) their corruption they have a sense of self-preservation. If a prole, modeling their behavior on the servant-leader experts, decides that certain behavior isn’t risky, then you can’t just brush them off by comparing them to toddlers defying their parents.

                      In fact, I suspect one reason for their “defiance” is that they think the people trying to boss them around are (a) full of shit and (b) hold ordinary people in as much contempt as they hold the evidence. And the tendency of these regulations to violate the First Amendment can hardly inspire confidence in the servant-leaders.

                      For myself, I am more cautious and more willing to follow health guidelines. In doing so I believe I go beyond what’s necessary, but I am often timid.

                      If you want the proles in general to be good citizens like myself, I suppose you can attempt mass arrests. Or more practically, you could enforce the regulations even-handedly without violating the Constitution or carving out politically-motivated exceptions for leaders, “social-justice” protesters, and otherwise make distinctions not warranted by the scientific evidence.

                    29. But let’s attempt the experiment: Adopt non-discriminatory health laws which apply without distinction of rank or political affiliation or religion – then if people disobey you can compare them to toddlers.

                    30. Cal, suppose we do as you suggest. How many people would still say you can’t tell me what to do and I’m ignoring it?

                      I’m not defending Nancy Pelosi’s hair appointment or Gavin Newsom’s dinner on the town. I agree that leaders need to lead by example. I suspect you’re right that st least some leaders do hold the public in contempt. But don’t let your justified annoyance at their hypocrisy get in the way of recognizing the second half of the problem, which is adult toddlers being defiant just to be defiant.

                      And part of the issue is I think it was not well thought through what is essential and what isn’t. We need grocery stores to stay open; bowling alleys and theaters not so much. I have lost a significant amount of respect for churches that know full well they’re super spreaders and just don’t care.

                    31. “Cal, suppose we do as you suggest. How many people would still say you can’t tell me what to do and I’m ignoring it?”

                      I have no idea, but then of course my sympathy with the remaining pockets of defiance would by much less, regardless of the number.

                      That is to say, if authorities pass actual health laws, based on science and hence without irrelevant distinctions based on rank, political sympathy, etc., then I’d be more likely to look down on violators from my high moral perch, even to urge enforcement (yes – enforcement against Pelosi as well).

                    32. I’d say that if lawmaker could know in advance that they laws they passed would – both in theory and practice – apply to themselves and their supporters, that might inspire more care in legislative draftsmanship.

                      “You mean I’d have to do my own hair? You mean my angry supporters won’t be able to congregate on the streets? Let’s recheck the scientific evidence and make sure such drastic measures are really necessary.”

                  4. K2, I do understand your point, but I notice you use the word “victims.” Wouldn’t this fall under the same category of identity? Why don’t we say “victimized persons”?

                    I honestly don’t think this is particularly useful. Pretty much everyone referring to slavery by any name understands it to be an evil institution perpetrated on innocent people. Nobody uses the term “slaves”to imply that the scope of their identity as humans was to be enslaved.

                    1. I didn’t say I agreed with the distinction myself; just that it’s important to be clear why the distinction is made. Which is why I haven’t really been defending it.

                  5. But let’s attempt the experiment: Adopt non-discriminatory health laws which apply without distinction of rank or political affiliation or religion – then if people disobey you can compare them to toddlers.

                  6. It’s a dumb argument, but to fair, it’s not a new “woke” argument or unique to slavery. We see the same arguments about other negative conditions, like calling someone a “person with diabetes” instead of a “diabetic” or the like. The jargon is “person first language.”

            2. I thought you were referring to the actual text of the Constitution, which doesn’t say “slaves” but uses various euphemisms around the word “persons”.

              1. That’s a fair enough point – bless their hearts, the Founders were uncomfortable making these concessions to slavery, and their phraseology reflects that.

                It turns out that the concessions they made were not enough for the slaveholding faction, which tilted the Constitution more and more in their direction beyond (IMHO) the original intent.

                Now, the Framers’ euphemistic language indicates discomfort with the reality of slavery which they believed they had to accommodate. Hardly the same as the current situation.

                Today, the applicable constitutional language, the 13th Amendment, (an amendment bought at the price of much blood), uses the term “slavery.” It’s a valid term, used in the constitution (to ban it of course).

                1. “bless their hearts, the Founders were uncomfortable making these concessions to slavery”

                  Some Founders were enthusiastic bigots. Bigotry continues to stain America, mostly in our southern, rural, and conservative respects.

                  1. I know – you’re against bigots, whites, southerners, and rural people.

                2. They really thought that slavery was on its way out, naturally, and that they could kick the can down the road a bit, to be resolved at a point when the federation was more secure, and the forces of slavery were weaker. They didn’t think this was a good choice, just the least bad one available.

                  Then along came the cotton gin, and slavery stopped going away.

        1. Believe it or not, there actually slaves fighting for the CSA.

          But get real here: At least at first, the CSA had the coercive powers of a state and *was* legitimate — and remember that at the time, most authority was state (not Federal) anyway. Until military occupation, Virginia (etc.) was still the legitimate authority.

          The concept of freedom for slaves who fought for the other side dated back to the Revolutionary War some 85 years earlier, and while some slaves escaped North to join the union forces, it wasn’t that many. (The 54th Massachusetts came from already-free Blacks.)

          1. “actually *were* slaves…”

            1. Believe it or not, there [were] actually slaves fighting for the CSA.

              As with everything you say, the correct response is “not.”

              Many confederate soldiers, of course, owned slaves. So there were slaves around the confederate camps. Cooking, cleaning, caring for the horses, etc. But not fighting. Indeed, the confederacy was so strongly built on white supremacy that it was only about a month before the war ended that they even considered allowing blacks in the confederate army, and it never happened because slaveowners were unwilling to free their slaves for such an effort.

          2. and while some slaves escaped North to join the union forces, it wasn’t that many.

            Actually, it was. More than 100,000. (Well, it wasn’t so much them escaping north as it was them joining up with advancing union armies in the south.)

      2. No, it’s pretty close to true. The Proclamation only applied to Confederate states, where it had no effect. Everywhere the Union actually had control of was exempt from it, it did NOT free slaves in slave states that didn’t secede, or even the part of Virginia that later became West Virginia. New Orleans and parts of Louisiana were exempt, too. All told somewhere between a half and a whole million slaves in Union controlled territory remained slaves.

        Although it did provide a legal basis for freeing slaves as the Union advanced into the Confederacy, it immediately freed almost no one, because it was deliberately written to not apply to Union slaves.

        Some of the Union slave states abolished slavery on their own, but slavery remained legal in Delaware and Kentucky even after the Civil war was won, until the 13th amendment was ratified.

        So, yes, it was something of a joke.

        1. Here’s the text.

          “Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.”

          1. Lincoln did not have the authority to abolish slavery in the Union. But he did as military commander of places “in rebellion”.

            It was a necessary prelude to the thirteenth amendment. Getting those freed slaves back would be very hard after two years of war. And with slavery surviving only in the four border states, ratification was ensured.

            1. Lincoln, of all Presidents, was never one to care if he actually had authority to do something. He only ‘freed’ slaves in the Confederacy because he was trying to spark a slave rebellion there, but didn’t want to piss off slave owners in the Union.

              Making the war about abolishing slavery was a late PR tactic after offering to preserve it failed to lure the Confederate states back. It was really just about establishing that the federation was a roach motel.

              In any event Ed was right here: The Proclamation freed virtually no slaves, because it explicitly preserved slavery everywhere Lincoln’s reach extended.

              1. Lincoln was insulating himself against legal attack which might be upheld by the Supreme Court or by Congress after the war. The interplay between the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13A and his legal strategy is well set out in the movie Lincoln.

              2. In my opinion, almost everything you wrote here is incorrect. First, Lincoln cared very deeply about the constitutional authority of all his actions, and wrote and spoke extensively about that. You ascribe bad motives to the limits of the proclamation, but those limits are an excellent indicator that Lincoln did indeed care about his authority. One can disagree about his conclusions concerning his authority, but I believe it incorrect to write that he “was never one to care” about it.

                Second, the war wasn’t so much about abolishing slavery on the part of the Union, as it was about preserving slavery on the part of the fire eaters in the South. From Lincoln’s point of view, the war was about a lot of things beside preserving the union, including stolen US property. And I’d be interested in seeing any actual evidence that Lincoln was “trying to spark a slave rebellion” with the Proclamation.

                And lastly, the proclamation freed a great many slaves, including the many many slaves who had already fled to the shelter of US troops, as well as those slaves who had relocated or were already living in union areas within Confederate states, such as the outer banks of North Carolina, or the city of New Orleans.

        2. Brett — You’re forgetting the big one — Maryland, where Roger Taney was from and which was a big-time slave state in 1860.

          Had Maryland joined the CSA, there is no way that DC could have been held as it would have become like West Berlin in an era before airplanes — surrounded by VA & MD. Worse, there is no defensible border between MD & DC the way there is with the Potomac River. While there were minor battles in DC proper (e.g. on Georgia Avenue near where Walter Reed used to be), the CSA’s goal of capturing the capitol would have been easier.

          Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland and did a lot of things to prevent it from joining the CSA, and my guess is that most of the slave owners were in prison by 1865, but technically slavery was legal there until 12-6-1865 and the 13th Amendment.

          As to Delaware, it’s not clear but it appears that slavery had been somehow restricted to existing ones only.

        3. So, yes, it was something of a joke.

          Thank you for veryverywhitesplaining that, but I assure you that southern slaves did not think it was a joke.

    2. It freed slaves in areas held by the Confederacy at the time it was issued, which meant that as the Union Army advanced, more and more slaves became free, and slaves that escaped into Union held areas became free. Also gave the Union a more moral basis for the War.

      1. It preserved slavery everywhere the Union was capable of immediately ending it.

        1. It preserved slavery everywhere the President didn’t have the constitutional authority to end it via executive order. I would’ve thought you would applaud such constitutional restraint on the part of a President.

          1. The President didn’t have the constitutional authority to suspend the writ of habeus corpus, or close opposition newspapers, but he did both anyway.

            Lincoln didn’t give a shit what he had constitutional authority to do. “Are all the laws but one to go unexecuted, and the Government itself go to pieces lest that one be violated? Even in such a case, would not the official oath be broken if the Government should be overthrown when it was believed that disregarding the single law would tend to preserve it?” He thought he was entitled to violate the Constitution if he had a good reason.

            He knew quite well he was violating the Constitution, though he made a show of pretending that the power to suspend the writ being located in Article 1 didn’t mean that it was a legislative power.

  2. Once again, I am not sure of the relevance to Supreme Court history, in that the Supreme Court’s contributions to the slavery issue up to that proclamation had been mainly unhelpful at best.

    1. During the entire time up to the Civil War, slaveholders were a majority on the Court.

      1. That would explain the tendency of most of those decisions.

  3. Lincoln, a lawyer, was the very worst President in history. The lawyer touts him as the best. In a world of badness, he towers alone, an order of magnitude worse than all the bad Presidents combined.

    1. Woodrow Wilson was the worst, Lincoln only second worst.

      1. I have a Native American friend who, whenever she gets a $20 bill, she draws an arrow through Andrew Jackson’s head before passing it on. So there are various viewpoints here.

      2. Reconstruction would have been different had he lived, there wouldn’t have been the backlash to reconstruction that there was, ad maybe we wouldn’t have had the level of segregation that evolved as a result of both.

        I think it goes without saying that Andrew Johnson was a quite ineffective President….

        1. Degree of effectiveness of a President does not equate to a best-worst.

          And effective President pushing bad policies would be far worse than an ineffective President.

      3. Lincoln lectured law students, please don’t sue your neighbors. He was given choices. He chose war. It killed over 600000 Americans, like 2 million today. He started the draft, the income tax, industrial size prisons. A tyrannical gay man, Lincoln suspended the contitution. He was penpals, an admirer, and a good friend to Karl Marx

        I do like his soldiers’ pistol whipping judges in their courts, and throwung them in federal prison for their writs freeing Confederate spies. I support the arrest warrant he issued to arrest, try, and hang Chief Justice Tanney, the author of the Dred Scott decision. Taney could not read the plain language of the constitution, and set off a war by that decision. Taney also just made up a right. The substantive due process right in the Fifth Amendment. Only peocedural due process is mentionef. Justices write fictitious doctrines to support their feelings, biases, sick preferences. Unfortunately, a lawyer persuaded him to pull it from the federal marshal’s hand. Instead, Taney soon suffered a slow painful death from his medical problems.

    2. Hey, look, I was right when I predicted that you would say something stupid!

  4. Hi, Artie. The culture war has not started. I look forward to the purges of all neo-Marxists from our institutions. All PC is case, and lawyer bullshit. Zero tolerance for PC.

  5. Incidentally, it misses the point to say the Emancipation Proclamation was unenforceable in Confederate-held areas – because Lincoln had made clear his intention to seize these areas from the Confederacy, with accompanying emancipation, and that’s what happened. Not to mention slaves fleeing to the Union lines to free themselves.

    1. The objection to the Proclamation centers less on freeing slaves only where the Union had no control, than it does on the fact that it left them enslaved everywhere the Union DID have control.

      1. But as I wrote before, this was because Lincoln recognized that he had no constitutional authority to free slaves in states that were not in rebellion and/or under the control of US armed forces. A constitutional amendment was required for that, as opposed to an executive order.

        1. But when did Lincoln ever blink at doing something just because he had no constitutional authority to do it?