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Constitutional Law

Constitution

1997

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

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Learning From Lincoln, William Michael Treanor Jan 1997

Learning From Lincoln, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The most arresting aspect of Jack Balkin's thought-provoking paper about the consequences of fidelity to the Constitution is his use of Abraham Lincoln. Professor Balkin offers Lincoln as a prime example of someone blinded by fidelity to the Constitution. Lincoln's fidelity to the Constitution, Balkin tells us, allowed him to make a kind of peace with slavery, to think that it was "not so great an evil that it had to be abolished immediately." This is such a powerful point because, 130 years after Lincoln's assassination, we mourn him still. We mourn him because we miss his ...