The Rule of Law in Dark Times

in Lincoln's Constitution

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780226237930
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226237954 | DOI:
The Rule of Law in Dark Times

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The relation between the Civil War and the rule of law seems paradoxical. Lincoln's goal was to prove that “among free men, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and that they who take such appeal are sure to lose their case, and pay the cost.” Lincoln had once called on Southerners to seek a judicial ruling on slavery in the territories rather than breaking apart the Union. The certainty of executive execution of the law, including rules of law articulated by the courts, is important both for the security of individual rights and for the supremacy of federal law. The strongest argument against the jurisdictional view of suspension is that in practice it would leave the executive as the sole judge of whether the writ was validly suspended.

Keywords: Civil War; union; judicial supremacy; federal law; slavery

Chapter.  8843 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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