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Judge Anthony Napolitano on Lincoln

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by RobertP, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Lady Val,

    Concerning your posts #33, 39, & 40 above, I have yet to see anything in the way of historical references, sources, documents, published works, etc., to back up your decidedly personal opinions that you have given in each of the posts I mention.

    I would appreciate any that you could find and give in any future posts, as I find fact over personal opinion much more compelling and much more worthy of a detailed response.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue

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  3. Elennsar

    Elennsar Lt. Colonel

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    Describing - for instance - the Shenandoah Valley as a "desert" is a sign one has no idea what kind of devastation an army actually determined to do what you are so insistent the Union army did can inflict. Was it pretty? Heavens no. Was it justified? Up for question. Was it unspeakably brutal? As has been covered by others with more documentation than I have, in a word, no.

    I have no interest in changing the facts, which is something I cannot say for you or your sources.

    Constantly we see claims like yours advanced with only the most tenuous connection to the truth.

    Repeatedly they are disproven. And yet they continue to be advanced.

    Speaking for myself, I am perfectly willing to accept books arguing something I disagree with. Before Plenty of Blame to Go Around, I was in the camp of people who thought "Jeb" should have been hung to encourage the others.

    Wittenburg and Petruzzi have ample sources and well reasoned conclusions, and so I was convinced.

    Your arguements...well, I'll put it this way. When I said "Why don't you just call Lincoln the antiChrist?" I wasn't expecting you to actually do so.

    That you did speaks deafeningly about you, and your sources.

    And not favorably.
  4. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    RobertP,

    I like Glenn Beck and I like Judge Anthony Napolitano when he appears on the Glenn Beck program.

    While I do not take everything Beck says as gospel, he makes a lot of sense and he is very interesting on topics the main news networks don't, or won't cover.

    The Judge also makes some very good sense on some current issues and topics. But he, like Beck, is not all things to all people, nor is he the only Constitutional scholar on the block.

    Ever hear of Akhil Reed Amar? Member of the Yale Law School faculty since 1985? Wrote the book, America's Constitution? Also wrote the books, The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction, and The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles?

    Or how about Mark E. Neely, Jr? Wrote the book, The Fate of Liberty? Also wrote Southern Rights: Political Prisoners and the Myth of Confederate Constitutionalism?

    Then there's Daniel Farber, who wrote, Lincoln's Constitution. Or Geoffrey R. Stone, who wrote, Perilous Time: Free Speech in Wartime, From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism. How about Brian McGinty, who wrote, Lincoln & The Court? Or Robert Bruce Murray who wrote Legal Cases of the Civil War?

    My point? There are a LOT of Constitutional scholars out there and they have various opinions on Lincoln, the Constitution, and the history of the period we call the Civil War, and a bunch of them do not share the Judge's opinion about Lincoln and his actions concerning the Constitution.

    The Judge is entitled to his opinion, no doubt, just as I am entitled to counter his views with my own views, based upon the research I have done.

    From what I have seen, Lincoln, as President and Commander-in-Chief, with the consent of Congress, along with several Supreme Court case rulings at that time, gave him every legal right to put down an illegal rebellion in the Southern States.

    From what I heard on the website that the Judge made his comments on, he has said nothing that convinces me otherwise, although I admit, I would like to hear him speak on the topic for the length of time he says he could.

    Maybe he will at some future time and we will both get to come back here and debate his views some more.

    Until that time,
    Unionblue
  5. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brigadier General Moderator

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    MS,
    Im very interested in reading your sources but after reading some of the ones you have shared, ie Karl Marx view on the war, its was clear that you hand picked a line from that source to back your position without showing that the complete source goes against your view.. Also, when others have offered you documented facts, as in the articles of secession not listing tarriffs as a cause for the CSA leaving the union, you offer nothing to rebuke this evidence.. When you start calling Lincoln possibly a past anti-christ cause of his evils heaped upon the south, then maybe you should take a step back and start backing up things with documented sources and not opinions.. If you want to change peoples opinions on things list sources, defend your position with records, and realize that the south wasn't paradise on earth until evil Lincoln gave Davis the apple...
  6. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    This is without a doubt the most bizarre thread yet.
  7. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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    Good luck with that!
  8. Glorybound

    Glorybound Major Retired Moderator

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    In a full blown armed rebellion, with the very survival of the Union at stake, I'd say Lincoln was well within his rights to institute any measure necessary to preserve the Union. Reparations for Southerners who fought in rebellion against the US? Those who led the rebellion were lucky they weren't hanged afterwards. They can thank Lincoln for that.


    Lee
  9. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Reminder. Look at the title of this thread. The second reminder will be the last.

    Ole
  10. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    RobertP,

    I thought I would raise you a Supreme Court Justice of Rhode Island Frank Williams and one Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court William Rehnquist to your Judge Napolitano.

    First, Judge Williams.

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Lecture/Abraham-Lincoln-and-Civil-Liberties-in-Wartime

    Next, Judge Rehnquist.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/gergen/november98/gergen_11-11.html

    OK folks, we seem to have some folks who put a lot of store in what judges have to say about Lincoln and the Civil War. These two judges are no dummies and are obviously not Southern apologists and they are from the United States for pete's sake.

    So are they right or wrong?

    Enjoy,

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
  11. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brigadier General Moderator

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    Very nice links, thanks for supplying them.. I usually dont find texts on the legal issues very interesting but these were great thank you...
  12. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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    Thanks Neil for the link. It was overall a very good speech. The Judge is a firm believer of civil rights. He went after Adams over the Alien and Sedition Acts, Lincoln for Habeas Corpus and shutting down newspapers, FDR for internment camps, Carter for FISA and Bush for the Patriot Act. His blaming Lincoln for the deaths during the Civil War is out of line. However, his defense of liberty is very good. I personally believe Lincoln violated the Constitution when he suspended Habeas Corpus.
  13. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Freddy,

    You're welcome and I am glad you enjoyed the man's speech, as I did.

    I too, believe the Judge is a firm believer of civil rights and I liked the use of his examples through American history.

    I also believe he was spinning a bit when he blamed Lincoln for "700,000" deaths, but I tend to side with Judge Williams and Chief Justice Rehnquist who side with Lincoln over the issue of habeas corpus.

    Until our next post,
    Unionblue
  14. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

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    What makes you assume I haven't read your "sources," that I don't blindly agree w/ them? DiLorenzo is so full of lies and distortions he's completely non credible others you mention clearly come to the argument w/ an anti US bias. What is sad is that you appear to think because I fail to instantly agree w/ your breathless revelations that I somehow am an ignorant sheeple or prole. I'm not. You also appear to believe your rants are the first anyone has seen on the subject. They look to me as talking points that the whole board has seen before. And it has been shown to be a load of unresearched very biased anti US opinion before. Both here and on other boards. I don't care for propoganda and that is, at best, what you are spouting.

    I read, 3-4 books at the same time. Not all of them ACW related. I don't spend all my time staring at my belly button looking for lint but try to see the context. And Lady let me assure you that if any of those European powers that called the ACW brutal had been in charge the South would be a wasteland today, there would have been no apologetic memoirs from Davis or any for that matter as I suspect there would have been a whole lot of executions. As that didn't happen clearly they were not in charge. Might I suggest you look at what the English did in India after that little mutiny just prior to the ACW or ask the Irish what it means to be brutalized. Then ask the Spanish about the French, the Ukranians about the Russians the Greeks about the Turks and the Chinese what a brutal Civil War is really like. When you've done any of that look at the South during and after the ACW and ask yourself if that is what a minor bar room brawl looks like?

    When one sees the same thing, almost verbatim, over and over again one becomes jaded. I respect UnionBlue in particular for responding to you w/ something less than a yawn. Me, I'm jaded and cynical. I think since you've been here you've given two titles and very little in the way of sourcing.

    "First I was a liberal democrat, then a socialist... then I learned to read."
  15. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    The Presidential Oath of Office
    The oath to be taken by the president on first entering office is specified in Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    *****************************************************************************
    Article II
    Section 1

    [The president; the executive power.—1.]

    The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows



    [Appointment and qualifications of presidential electors.—2.]

    Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.



    [Original method of electing the president and vice president.6]

    (The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the States, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate should choose from them by ballot the Vice President.)

    6. This clause has been superseded by the 12th Amendment.


    [Congress may determine time of choosing electors and day for casting their votes.—3.]

    The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.



    [Qualifications for the office of president.7—4.]

    No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

    7. For qualifications of the vice president, see the 12th Amendment.


    [Filling vacancy in the office of president.8—5.]

    In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

    8. Amended by the 20th Amendment, Sections 3 and 4.


    [Compensation of the president.—6.]

    The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.



    [Oath to be taken by the president.—7.]
    Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:—“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”


    Section 2

    [The president to be commander in chief of army and navy and head of executive departments; may grant reprieves and pardons.—1.]

    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.


    [President may, with concurrence of Senate, make treaties, appoint ambassadors, etc.; appointment of inferior officers, authority of Congress over.—2.]

    He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.



    [President may fill vacancies in office during recess of Senate.—3.]

    The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their session.


    Section 3

    [President to give advice to Congress; may convene or adjourn it on certain occasions; to receive ambassadors, etc.; have laws executed and commission all officers.]

    He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers: he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.


    Section 4

    [All civil officers removable by impeachment.]

    The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Due to the timing of the attack on Fort Sumter, Congress was not seated at that time. Transportation was limited to horses, trains in some parts of travel, boat and or by foot. The well executed attack on Sumter was to purposefully place the President (Buchanan and Lincoln) in a position before transfer of powers and before Congress sat in as to partake in the official change of Administrations. Because of the newness of a "Rebellion aka Civil War" of such size and internal; Lincoln used the power of office to defend and protect the Government and Constitution, thus buying time for Congress to hurry back and join in the legal necessities of the crisis.

    Being the "Commander and Chief," of the military, he had full rights as a military power to deploy as necessary and call for troops.

    I am of the belief, that the transition of Administrations, provided full documentation on how Floyd (Buchanan's Sec. of War) and Col. Samuel Cooper (Buchanan's Administration of Adjutant General), that these 'men' worked against Buchanan and definately did everything to demasculate Major Anderson at Fort Sumter and shift military equipment to the secession states under the guise of their powers to be used against the very Government they were sworn to protect and defend, in Buchanan's Administration.

    As a former law enforcement officer with 20 years of service in Washington, DC--I can attest/swear on the bible or take any polygraph and pass, that not all judges are created equal or always within the boundries of law. A few judges have been thrown off the bench and defrocked. I have seen a few cases where Judges acted like idiots and were censured for it publicly. (Maryland Judge who slashed tires on a car that was in his parking spot..cops witnessing it and victim was an employee of the court as a cleaning lady who was tardy getting to the car to move it, having been working hard at night to clean--having a public hissy fit and whine addressing the issue at first.)....(D.C. Federal Appeals Administrative Judge who sued over his laundry, claiming he wasn't satisfied and sign of business guarenteed satisfaction or they would pay.... He sued company for millions for a $30.00 cleaning issue. He later sued over and over until another judge higher cut his frivolus law suits off at the balls. That judge didn't get rehired. Wasted tons of money of the cleaners -now bankrupt and closed, the courts money and time)...(US Federal Court Judge wearing pajamas under his robe one day, jeans the next...seemed he could have used a shower or two.)

    Got to remember judges and lawyers, like cops --are human too. They may know book law but not always do they related to history if it is judging from modern law verses historical law. Judge's opinions are just that. Often judges don't agree with other judges...we (in a general sense) see this with US Surpreme Court rulings. Looking at Judge Napolitano's "judgment" of Lincoln; I do not agree with a lot of things. I consider him sloppy. Using the Internet he would have seen the numbers more like 600,000 died...not the 700,000. Dyer's and Fox Regimental losses, Confederate Military History, etc., would have been at his reach and research. These too would have established a more reasonable number. Unless Judge Napolitano, was including civilian casualties, it would have been more correct but, the trouble in this, is establlishing death by disease, violence and or actual war deaths, e.g. washer woman killed in the retreat by a stray shot, murder by troops or hung as a spy, etc. These incidents would need credibility for me. Still an awful amount of lives taken and tragic. Law can be very exacting and these statements are not, in my opinion and due to my training as far as evidence, investigation skills -- I wouldn't take weight on what was said.

    We, in a general sense are entitled to an opinion....even publishing works that most consider rubbish. My "cop" in me has my yellow and red flags up. I would not be comfortable presenting such to a court of law, as I said--the statements are very sloppy and not in fine/full detail that would be required to pass a Grand Jury, jury trial and or establishing cause for prosecution and or defense. I would put it into the rubbish pile myself.

    As Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer. I am of the opinion (using my cop side), he was justified and within the law. Being on the street empowered by law, it is the cop that uses judgment to apply the law, to arrest, to detain and to protect the innocents. (I could show a few scars from protecting others--putting my body in between an attacker and victim).

    I see Lincoln applying "control" the situation. Then using force as necessary.

    Reference: Fairfax County Virginia - A History ; The Virginia General Assembly produced an Act, to which made it law in Virginia; that no Commonwealth or Federal Military were to be charged tolls upon passing, as to access any road from Washington to Richmond, passed in the early 1800's. The "turnpikes" were built in 1804-6, as to permit a more rapid and maintained road system.

    Having this understanding of a law that pre dated the War of 1812, knew the need for military to move. These "Acts" were not recinded when the Civil War broke out and in my opinion, the objection to the Union/Federal Forces entering Virginia as to pass through to move towards Fort Sumter was hollow.

    As I peel layers in my own vein of studying the history of my neighborhood, I am finding more ["self censored"] the Commonwealth used as excuses to validate secession and or rebellion. I am finding the dirty tricks, voter intimidation and such -- that makes me very interested to dig even deeper. The same "Lost Cause" type defenses are popping up like the access to roads -- unsupported by the laws on the books in Virginia, passed by an Act shortly after "then" Colonel George Washington and his men had marched and camped in the vicinity of Bailey's Cross Roads (Rt. 7 and Columbia Pike), on his way to give relief to the British General Braddock.

    I do agree with the Judge that it seems like we're only having one party system with two branches. I like to see a return to a three party system and elections of the President and Vice-President to be separated. I disagree that Presidents of either side 'wish/want' war. The "judge" forgets that these Presidents consulted members of Congress before they acted in the modern war era. There is so much behind the scenes were we (in a general sense) do not have a clue about--even if your some "judge." Declassified documents of past war time Presidents have raised near misses to total calamity here in the U.S.A. (e.g. Cuban missle crisis) I've had many critical situations on the street to deal with myself. Had to draw my weapon several times, used my police baton many times (makes a great knock on the door--saves the knuckles too, and thump tires just great!).

    Just some opinions and thoughts.

    Respectfully submitted for consideration,
    M. E. Wolf
  16. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    The good judge, I really do like to listen to him, was apparently playing to the audience. It happens. I don't know what he actually believes or knows. I figure his knowledge of the law is vastly superior to mine, but in the quote, he is wrong.

    We all know that Lincoln kinda stretched the constitutional limitations on his powers. And, I suspect, that most of us will admit that the stretching, when faced with a nation-rending rebellion, might be forgiveable. In pushing the limits (OK, breaking the rules), he was, in fact, preserving it.

    Lincoln did not violate the Constitution at the cost of "700,000" lives. That's playing to the crowd. When confronted with a belligerant, the rules tend to go away. I'll not observe the Marquis of Queensbury when attacked. I suspect that none of y'all will either. Open fire on me and we have a contest going in which there are no quaint rules of gentlemanly conduct.

    I will kill you or you will kill me. Simple as that. The legality of a killing fight has little to no bearing on the matter. Our grandchildrem might debate the right and wrong of it, but one of us is going to be quite dead. And that was the reality of the Civil War.
  17. Savez

    Savez Sergeant Major

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    This brings up something I've always been curious about. I'm a Christian and believe in the salvation of Jesus Christ. It has always been my opinon that Lincoln accepted Christ during the war. To me his attitude changed after the death of his son. I believe he had war fever and political ambitions in the begining just like everyone else during that period, but his attitude toward the South and just his attitude in general seemed to change. I guess it could have been the war itself that changed him. I have no basis for this opinion. I do remember reading something one time where someone else had the same opinion but I can't remember where. Its been a long time. Just a thought.
  18. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    There is an old adage that what's legal is whatever you can get away with..
    Congress was the only body that had power over Lincoln. They chose not to bring impeachment against him, thus gave him a pass.
    we can argue from now till doomsday about the legality of his actions, and I believe some of them were extra legal, but the fact remains
    that the only body that he had a legal obligation to answer to, declined to press the issue(s)
  19. K Hale

    K Hale Colonel Civil War Photo Contest
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    Yes... indeed.
  20. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    M. E. Wolf,

    Your post #54 above.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
  21. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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    The Militia Act of 1795 gave the President control over the militia. It is clear Lincoln had the legal authority to call out the Militia.

    "Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed or the execution thereof obstructed, in any state, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by this act,.........it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to call forth the militia of such state to suppress such combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed. And if the militia of a state, where such combinations may happen, shall refuse, or be insufficient to suppress the same, it shall be lawful for the President, if the legislature of the United States be not in session, to call forth and employ such numbers of the militia of any other state or states most convenient thereto, as may be necessary, and the use of militia, so to be called forth, may be continued, if necessary, until the expiration of thirty days after the commencement of the ensuing session."

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