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Lincoln and the Court

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a meticulously researched and engagingly written narrative, Brian McGinty rescues the story of Abraham Lincoln and the Supreme Court from long and undeserved neglect, recounting the compelling history of the Civil War president's relations with the nation's highest tribunal and the role it played in resolving the agonizing issues raised by the conflict.

Lincoln was, more than any other president in the nation's history, a "lawyerly" president, the veteran of thousands of courtroom battles, where victories were won, not by raw strength or superior numbers, but by appeals to reason, citations of precedent, and invocations of justice. He brought his nearly twenty-five years of experience as a practicing lawyer to bear on his presidential duties to nominate Supreme Court justices, preside over a major reorganization of the federal court system, and respond to Supreme Court decisions--some of which gravely threatened the Union cause.

The Civil War was, on one level, a struggle between competing visions of constitutional law, represented on the one side by Lincoln's insistence that the United States was a permanent Union of one people united by a "supreme law," and on the other by Jefferson Davis's argument that the United States was a compact of sovereign states whose legal ties could be dissolved at any time and for any reason, subject only to the judgment of the dissolving states that the cause for dissolution was sufficient. Alternately opposed and supported by the justices of the Supreme Court, Lincoln steered the war-torn nation on a sometimes uncertain, but ultimately triumphant, path to victory, saving the Union, freeing the slaves, and preserving the Constitution for future generations.

Synopsis:

In a meticulously researched and engagingly written narrative, McGinty rescues the story of Abraham Lincoln and the Supreme Court from long and undeserved neglect, recounting the compelling history of the Civil War president's relations with the nation's highest tribunal and the role it played in resolving the agonizing issues raised by the conflict.

About the Author

Brian McGinty is an attorney and writer specializing in American history and law.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. A Solemn Oath

2. Dred Scott

3. First Blood

4. Judges and Circuits

5. The Prizes

6. The Boom of Cannon

7. The Old Lion

8. A New Chief

9. A Law for Rulers and People

10. The Union Is Unbroken

11. History in Marble

Afterword: The Legacy

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674032422
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge
Author:
McGinty, Brian
Subject:
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Subject:
United States - Civil War
Subject:
Courts - Supreme Court
Subject:
Legal History
Subject:
US History-1800 to Civil War
Subject:
Law-Legal History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
April 2009
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 halftones
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference
History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to Civil War

Lincoln and the Court
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$ In Stock
Product details 384 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674032422 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In a meticulously researched and engagingly written narrative, McGinty rescues the story of Abraham Lincoln and the Supreme Court from long and undeserved neglect, recounting the compelling history of the Civil War president's relations with the nation's highest tribunal and the role it played in resolving the agonizing issues raised by the conflict.
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