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The following resources are a sample of what is available in print, on the first floor of the DSOL library, or in digital format, through the numerous ebook collections LMU subscribes to. Follow the links to check availability. Take any print items you wish to check-out to the automated circulation unit in the lobby and scan your library bar code (affixed to the back of your LMU ID).
In "Lincoln's Constitution" Daniel Farber leads the reader to understand exactly how Abraham Lincoln faced the inevitable constitutional issues brought on by the Civil War. Examining what arguments Lincoln made in defense of his actions and how his words and deeds fit into the context of the times, Farber illuminates Lincoln's actions by placing them squarely within their historical moment. The answers here are crucial not only for a better understanding of the Civil War but also for shedding light on issues-state sovereignty, presidential power, and limitations on civil liberties in the name of national security-that continue to test the limits of constitutional law even today.
In this highly readable study of Abraham Lincoln's thoughts and actions concerning the U.S. Constitution, Brian R. Dirck combines extensive primary research and thoughtful, accessible consideration of Lincoln's views to reveal new insights into Lincoln's impact on the U.S. Constitution. In the statesman's roles as a leading antebellum politician, an ardent critic of slavery, and the president of the United States during the Civil War, Lincoln fashioned a strong antislavery constitutional ideology and articulated a constitutional vision of the Civil War that reinforced his determination to restore the Union. Grounding Lincoln's constitutionalism in his reading habits and early legal career, Dirck masterfully balances biographical details, Lincoln's value system, the opinions of his supporters and critics, and key events and ideas to show how his thinking about the U.S. Constitution changed over time. From Lincoln's deep reverence for the work of the Founding Fathers to his innovative interpretation of presidential war powers, Dirck reveals Lincoln's understanding of the Constitution to be progressive, emphasizing federal power as a tool to develop the economy, and pragmatic, in that he was often forced to make decisions on the fly during a remarkably volatile period in American history. Lincoln used his conception of presidential war powers to advance the twin causes of Union and emancipation, and Dirck explores the constitutional problems stirred by curbs Lincoln placed on civil liberties, internal security, and freedom of expression during wartime. More than a straightforward overview of Lincoln's constitutional views, Lincoln and the Constitution provides a starting point for further inquiry into interpretations and defenses as well as the political, intellectual, and cultural traditions of the founding document of the United States. In the end, Dirck shows, Lincoln viewed the political and legal traditions of the Constitution with optimism, emphasizing throughout his life the possibilities he believed the document held--always keeping faith in it and swearing to protect it, even as he was awash in a sea of blood and controversy. Univeristy Press Books for Public and Secondary Schools 2013 edition
Long before the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln recognized the challenge American slavery posed to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. A constitutional amendment would be the ideal solution to ending slavery, yet the idea of such an amendment conflicted with several of Lincoln's long-held positions. In this study, Christian G. Samito examines how Lincoln's opposition to amending the United States Constitution shaped his political views before he became president, and how constitutional arguments overcame Lincoln's objections, turning him into a supporter of the Thirteenth Amendment by 1864. For most of his political career, Samito shows, Lincoln opposed changing the Constitution, even to overturn Supreme Court rulings with which he disagreed. Well into his presidency, he argued that emancipation should take place only on the state level because the federal government had no jurisdiction to control slavery in the states. Between January 1863 and mid-1864, however, Lincoln came to support a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery because it worked within the constitutional structure and preserved key components of American constitutionalism in the face of Radical Republican schemes. Samito relates how Lincoln made the amendment an issue in his 1864 reelection campaign, chronicles lobbying efforts and the final vote in the House on the amendment resolution, and interrogates various charges of corruption and back-room deals. He also considers the Thirteenth Amendment in the context of the Hampton Roads conference, Lincoln's own thoughts on the meaning of the amendment, and the impact of Lincoln's assassination on the reading of the amendment. Samito provides the authoritative historical treatment of a story so compelling it was recently dramatized in the movie Lincoln. Closing with a lively discussion that applies the Thirteenth Amendment to current events, this concise yet comprehensive volume demonstrates how the constitutional change Lincoln helped bring about continues to be relevant today.
Pulitzer Prize Finalist Bancroft Prize Winner ABA Silver Gavel Award Winner A New York Times Notable Book of the Year In the closing days of 1862, just three weeks before Emancipation, the administration of Abraham Lincoln commissioned a code setting forth the laws of war for US armies. It announced standards of conduct in wartime—concerning torture, prisoners of war, civilians, spies, and slaves—that shaped the course of the Civil War. By the twentieth century, Lincoln’s code would be incorporated into the Geneva Conventions and form the basis of a new international law of war. In this deeply original book, John Fabian Witt tells the fascinating history of the laws of war and its eminent cast of characters—Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Lincoln—as they crafted the articles that would change the course of world history. Witt’s engrossing exploration of the dilemmas at the heart of the laws of war is a prehistory of our own era. Lincoln’s Code reveals that the heated controversies of twenty-first-century warfare have roots going back to the beginnings of American history. It is a compelling story of ideals under pressure and a landmark contribution to our understanding of the American experience.
Lincoln' s reelection in 1864 was a pivotal moment in the history of the United States. The Emancipation Proclamation had officially gone into effect on January 1, 1863, and the proposed Thirteenth Amendment had become a campaign issue. Lincoln and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth Amendment captures these historic times, profiling the individuals, events, and enactments that led to slavery' s abolition. Fifteen leading Lincoln scholars contribute to this collection, covering slavery from its roots in 1619 Jamestown, through the adoption of the Constitution, to Abraham Lincoln' s presidency. This comprehensive volume, edited by Harold Holzer and Sara Vaughn Gabbard, presents Abraham Lincoln' s response to the issue of slavery as politician, president, writer, orator, and commander-in-chief. Topics include the history of slavery in North America, the Supreme Court' s Dred Scott decision, the evolution of Lincoln' s view of presidential powers, the influence of religion on Lincoln, and the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation. This collection effectively explores slavery as a Constitutional issue, both from the viewpoint of the original intent of the nation' s founders as they failed to deal with slavery, and as a study of the Constitutional authority of the commander-in-chief as Lincoln interpreted it. Addressed are the timing of Lincoln' s decision for emancipation and its effect on the public, the military, and the slaves themselves. Other topics covered include the role of the U.S. Colored Troops, the election campaign of 1864, and the legislative debate over the Thirteenth Amendment. The volume concludes with a heavily illustrated essay on the role that iconography played in forming and informing public opinion about emancipation and the amendments that officially granted freedom and civil rights to African Americans. Lincoln and Freedom provides a comprehensive political history of slavery in America and offers a rare look at how Lincoln' s views, statements, and actions played a vital role in the story of emancipation.
Americans hate and distrust their government. At the same time, Americans love and trust their government. These contradictory attitudes are resolved by Fletcher's novel interpretation of constitutional history. He argues that we have two constitutions--still living side by side--one thatcaters to freedom and fear, the other that satisfied our needs for security and social justice. The first constitution came into force in 1789. It stresses freedom, voluntary association, and republican elitism. The second constitution begins with the Gettysburg Address and emphasizes equality, organic nationhood, and popular democracy. These radical differences between our twoconstitutions explain our ambivalence and self-contradictory attitudes toward government. With September 11 the second constitution--which Fletcher calls the Secret Constitution--has become ascendant. When America is under threat, the nation cultivates its solidarity. It overcomes its fear and looks to government for protection and the pursuit of social justice. Lincoln's messagesof a strong government and a nation that must "long endure" have never been more relevant to American politics. "Fletcher's argument has intriguing implications beyond the sweeping subject of this profoundly thought-provoking book."--The Denver Post
pt. I. An introduction to the debate over the unitary executive. The oldest debate in constitutional law and why it still matters today ; The modern debate ; Why presidential views of the scope of presidential power matter ; The preratification origins of the unitary executive debate and the decision of 1789 --
pt. II. The unitary executive during the early years of the republic, 1787-1837. George Washington ; John Adams ; Thomas Jefferson ; James Madison ; James Monroe ; John Quincy Adams ; Andrew Jackson --
pt. III. The unitary executive during the Jacksonian period, 1837-1861. Martin Van Buren ; William Henry Harrison ; John Tyler ; James K. Polk ; Zachary Taylor ; Millard Fillmore ; Franklin Pierce ; James Buchanan --
pt. IV. The unitary executive during the Civil War, 1861-1869. Abraham Lincoln ; Andrew Johnson --
pt. V. The unitary executive during the Guilded Age, 1869-1889. Ulysses S. Grant ; Rutherford B. Hayes ; James A. Garfield ; Chester A. Arthur ; Grover Cleveland's first term --
pt. VI. The unitary executive during the rise of the administrative state, 1889-1945. Benjamin Harrison ; Grover Cleveland's second term ; William McKinley ; Theodore Roosevelt ; William H. Taft ; Woodrow Wilson ; Warren G. Harding ; Calvin Coolidge ; Herbert Hoover ; Franklin Delano Roosevelt --
pt. VII. The unitary executive during the modern era, 1945-2007. Harry S. Truman ; Dwight D. Eisenhower ; John F. Kennedy ; Lyndon B. Johnson ; Richard M. Nixon ; Gerald R. Ford ; Jimmy Carter ; Ronald Reagan ; George H.W. Bush ; Bill Clinton ; George W. Bush.
Despite its venerated place atop American law and politics, our written Constitution does not enumerate all of the rules and rights, principles and procedures that actually govern modern America. The document makes no explicit mention of cherished concepts like the separation of powers and the rule of law. On some issues, the plain meaning of the text misleads. For example, the text seems to say that the vice president presides over his own impeachment trial--but surely this cannot be right. As esteemed legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar explains in America's Unwritten Constitution, the solution to many constitutional puzzles lies not solely within the written document, but beyond it--in the vast trove of values, precedents, and practices that complement and complete the terse text. In this sequel to America's Constitution: A Biography, Amar takes readers on a tour of our nation's unwritten Constitution, showing how America's foundational document cannot be understood in textual isolation. Proper constitutional interpretation depends on a variety of factors, such as the precedents set by early presidents and Congresses; common practices of modern American citizens; venerable judicial decisions; and particularly privileged sources of inspiration and guidance, including the Federalist papers, William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. These diverse supplements are indispensible instruments for making sense of the written Constitution. When used correctly, these extra-textual aids support and enrich the written document without supplanting it. An authoritative work by one of America's preeminent legal scholars, America's Unwritten Constitution presents a bold new vision of the American constitutional system, showing how the complementary relationship between the Constitution's written and unwritten components is one of America's greatest and most enduring strengths.
The most important individual interpreter of the United States Constitution is the President. Presidents both direct and are directed by the stream of American history. In this book, Harold Bruff shows how Presidents have formed constitutional law by behavior that sets or alters precedents. Although Presidents ordinarily obey both court judgments and explicit statutory commands, presidential interpretations of the Constitution are ultimately independent of the views of the other two branches of government. When accepted by Congress and the people, presidential precedents become conventions that form constitutional law. The nature of precedents has depended on each President’s personal character and political values, the problems and incentives he faces, and the influence of precedents generated by his predecessors. This book reviews both the process of formation of precedents by all forty four Presidents and the contents of the constitutional conventions that have evolved. Precedents constantly evolve to adjust to present conditions. Presidential behavior does not support several recently popular constitutional theories: original intent approaches to constitutional interpretation, visions of a constitutionally unitary executive branch, and calls for broad presidential power that is not amenable to statutory control. Presidents have developed emergency powers that are extensive and sufficient, especially in foreign policy and warmaking. Thus, Presidents use their commander in chief power to employ military force unilaterally in all situations that are short of warmaking in the constitutional sense. The book concludes that presidential initiatives that are subject to congressional control ordinarily suffice to protect the nation and the rule of law.