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Lecture 13

Complete Lecture 13 Notes

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Boston College
Political Science
POLI 2327

10/15/13 Lecture 13 Midterm Format: IDs (say what it is and significance and list possible document or case where it is important), Essay (very broad) • Lincoln did a lot of questionable things at the beginning of the Civil War • Lincoln blockaded southern ports, which are allowed under condition of war o Technically, legally not a war since it was never declared as a war • Before Lincoln enters presidency, he has to take the oath that he will preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the united states o Everyone else except the president just follows the constitution  Has to save all the laws as a group – inherent in the oath • “are all the laws but one to go unexecuted and the government itself go to pieces lest that one be violated?” • Writ of Habeus Corpus suspension o Force government to tell judge why you are being held – can’t be held if not breaking a law  Lincoln said to his commanders that they can suspend it whenever helpful o Court ruling said it was unconstitutional  Lincoln completely ignored the Supreme Court • Negative attitude toward Supreme Court after Dred Scott case o Also, SC was dominated by southern slaveholders o Lincoln doesn’t want his powers to be debated over • Tries people in military tribunals o One of the issues is that he did not just try soldiers o Many of the cases involved newspaper writers/editors that resisted the draft or war  Civilians o Judges in a military tribunal are military officers  Different understanding of law than typical judges • More likely to convict • Ex-parte Milligan case shuts down Lincoln’s use of military tribunals….but way after the war when Lincoln is dead o Involved a civilian operating in an area that was not a warzone  Case was being heard after the war when danger and emergency was over o Congress’ power to suspend Habius Corpus, congress can set up military tribunals….president cannot do either o Constitution is ALWAYS in effect and peoples’ rights are always being protected  Didn’t make ruling during war time, did it in time of peace • Idea that Lincoln articulated that part of extreme crisis that threatens existence of government, the president has the power to do what it takes to save the government o Depends on how dire the situation is at the time • Do present day presidents abuse Lincoln by citing Lincoln? “Lincoln did it…” o Can every president do what he think is nec
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