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All the Laws but One: Civil Liberties in Wartimeby William H. Rehnquist
Synopses & Reviews
A cold drizzle of rain was falling February 11 when Lincoln and his party of fifteen were to leave Springfield on the eight o'clock at the Great Western Railway Station. Chilly gray mist hung on the circle of the prairie horizon. A short locomotive with a flat-topped smokestack stood puffing with the baggage car and special passenger car coupled on; a railroad president and superintendent were on board. A thousand people crowded in and around the brick station, inside of which Lincoln was standing. One by one came hundreds of old friends, shaking hands, wishing him luck and Godspeed, all faces solemn. Even huge Judge Davis, wearing a new white silk hat, was a somber figure."
On that dreary Illinois winter day in 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln began his journey to Washington, D.C., where he hoped to be inaugurated as President on March 4. "Hoped to" because there were already rumors afloat that secessionist sympathizers would somehow prevent his inauguration from taking place. In the November presidential election, Lincoln had prevailed over three opponents, receiving 180 electoral votes. The incumbent Vice President, John Breckenridge, the candidate of the South, received 72; John Bell, the candidate of the Constitutional Union Party, 39; and Lincoln's longtime Democratic opponent Stephen Douglas, only 12. But the electoral vote did not tell the whole story of this bitterly contested election. Lincoln received a minority of the popular vote, slightly less than 1.9 million votes out of a total of some 4.7 million. In ten states of the South, he did not get a single popular vote. Indeed, he was not even on the ballot in some states. He was elected by the nearly solid electoral votes of the North, together with those of California and Oregon. In an election dominated by the issue of the extension of slavery, Lincoln received no electoral votes from any state south of the Ohio River.
Unquestionably, then, he was a sectionally chosen President, and soon after his election the states of the Deep South began to carry out their threat to secede from the Union. Within days of the election, the two Senators from South Carolina resigned their seats, and the state legislature enacted a bill calling a convention to determine whether it should secede from the Union. Delegates were duly elected, and on December 20, 1860, the convention voted to take South Carolina out of the Union. By the time Lincoln was boarding the train to Washington, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana had passed ordinances of secession, and delegates from these states were meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, to launch the Confederate States of America.
From the rear platform of the car that would bear him and his party on their slow and circuitous journey to Washington, Abraham Lincoln said goodbye to his Springfield friends:
My friends-No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, w
The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court offers a thought-provoking look at the impact of war on America's civil liberties, examining repressive acts by the U.S. government during the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
In All the Laws but One, William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States, provides an insightful and fascinating account of the history of civil liberties during wartime and illuminates the cases where presidents have suspended the law in the name of national security.
Abraham Lincoln, champion of freedom and the rights of man, suspended the writ of habeas corpus early in the Civil War--later in the war he also imposed limits upon freedom of speech and the press and demanded that political criminals be tried in military courts. During World War II, the government forced 100,000 U.S. residents of Japanese descent, including many citizens, into detainment camps. Through these and other incidents Chief Justice Rehnquist brilliantly probes the issues at stake in the balance between the national interest and personal freedoms. With All the Laws but One he significantly enlarges our understanding of how the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution during past periods of national crisis--and draws guidelines for how it should do so in the future.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
William H. Rehnquist is Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
ch. 1 Mr. Lincoln goes to Washington — ch. 2 Lincoln suspends habeas corpus — ch. 3 Taney rebukes Lincoln — ch. 4 Seward and Stanton — ch. 5 Burnside and Vallandigham — ch. 6 Copperheads in the heartland — ch. 7 The Indianapolis treason trials — ch. 8 David Davis and the Supreme Court — ch. 9 The Arguments in the Milligan case — ch. 10 The Milligan decision — ch. 11 Lincoln is assassinated — ch. 12 Confederates in Canada — ch. 13 Booth's accomplices — ch. 14 World War I — ch. 15 World War II: Japanese internments — ch. 16 Postwar criticism — ch. 17 Hawaii under martial law — ch. 18 Inter arma silent leges.
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