Lincoln and the Constitution

Did Lincoln violate the Constitution at any time during his presidency?


  • Total voters
    36

dvrmte

Major
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Location
South Carolina
It is unclear if that was presented as part of Davis's fondness for sharing what he thought with Lincoln or if that was ruled from the bench, but assuming the source can be trusted (I don't have any reason to doubt it, but I don't know it - which says absolutely nothing, I'm just observing in case someone who has read it can come to either its defense or note its unreliability), that does, indeed, make it clear Lincoln had at least one respectable judge say there was something wrong with them.

However, it is unclear if he was condemning their use - but not Lincoln - or both.

Lincoln did not, unless my memory is sorely failing me, order military tribunals - so for Davis to declare them unconstitutional and wrong does not mean Lincoln violated the Constitution over them.

After all, while it can and probably should be said Lincoln should have done something about the subordinates who used them despite his preferences, the violation of the Constitution was done by them.

As for the issue of Coles County, sadly your link does not tell us anything (or at least I didn't see anything) indicating Davis telling Lincoln that the Constitution is being broken by his behavior.

Good link though, thank you for adding it to the list of known resources.

Cole County was in Illinois, a western state. So Davis was referring to Indiana and Illinois. There were other trials in these areas that didn't get the publicity of Milligan's group and the Charleston Riot. Had not Milligan been a lawyer, he would probably been hanged and forgotten.

I'm not a Lincoln basher or lover. The heavy hand he put on the northern people bothers me as much or more than his total war policy on the south.

Thanks to ex parte Milligan, that kind of executive power didn't surface again until WWII and post 9/11. That kind of executive power, each time it is applied, leaves some still intact even after peace. You could call it a slow snow ball effect.

Sincerely,
dvrmte
 

Elennsar

Colonel
Joined
May 14, 2008
Location
California
Its in "a Western state", but no specific reference to it and Lincoln's behavior in that regard is mentioned. That military tribunals were unconstitutional there is on someone's else's record, not Lincoln's.

Meanwhile, any (ab)use of Habeus Corpus is relevant, unless someone has something new, to Congress's act/s, not the Constitution.
 

Mike Werner

Private
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
California
Violations of the Constitution

The Constitution lays out the specific powers of the Federal Government. It has been violated in the past and will be violated again when National Health Care is created.
 

K Hale

Colonel
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Texas
Wasn't there some big freak-out when Medicare was first enacted, with folks warning everyone that we were traveling down the pinko path or some such? This was before my time, but I seem to recall reading about this recently...
 

Elennsar

Colonel
Joined
May 14, 2008
Location
California
Remember, if it helps corporations or involves killing people overseas, its okay to spend billions of dollars. If it helps the poor, the elderly, and the disabled, it isn't.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
DWMack,

Welcome to the forum.

May I ask where you get your idea that the writ of habeas corpus can only be suspended under martial law?

Where in US law or in the US Constitution is that idea to be found?

I would really like to know what you base this on.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

DWMack

Cadet
Joined
Dec 1, 2009
Location
Lake Villa, Illinois
DWMack,

Welcome to the forum.

May I ask where you get your idea that the writ of habeas corpus can only be suspended under martial law?

Where in US law or in the US Constitution is that idea to be found?

I would really like to know what you base this on.

Sincerely,
Unionblue


After doing some research, I stand corrected. I was sure that I read that the writ of habeas corpus could only be suspended when martial law is declared. What I read was that Lincoln suspended it at the same time he declared martial law in Maryland first, and then nation-wide.

My mistake :smile:
 

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
IIRR, there isn't much of a question here. After the Civil War (1866?) there was at least one Supreme Court case in which Lincoln's legal argument was rejected. Ah, here it is: Ex parte Milligan, announced April 3, 1866, full decision with opinions published in July.

[FONT=Georgia,Serif;][FONT=Georgia,Serif;]Justice David Davis, a Lincoln appointee and a longtime friend, wrote:[/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=Georgia,Serif;][FONT=Georgia,Serif;]"During the late wicked Rebellion, the temper of the times did not allow that calmness in deliberation and discussion so necessary to a correct conclusion of a purely judicial question. Then considerations of safety were mingled with the exercise of power; and feelings and interest prevailed which are happily terminated. Now that the public safety is assured, this question, as well as others, can be discussed and decided without passion, or the admixture of any element not required to form a legal judgment." [/FONT][/FONT]

and

[FONT=Georgia,Serif;][FONT=Georgia,Serif;]"Wicked men, ambitious of power, with hatred of liberty and contempt of law, may fill the place once occupied by Washington and Lincoln; and if this right is conceded, and the calamities of war again befall us, the dangers to human liberty are frightful to contemplate." [/FONT][/FONT]

Milligan was released. Future President [FONT=Georgia,Serif;][FONT=Georgia,Serif;]James A. Garfield was part of Milligan's defense team.[/FONT][/FONT]

Tim
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
To All,

Bumped this thread up to the top so that debate could take place on individuals liberties being violated by Lincoln and to clear the thread, "Lincoln shut down northern newspapers, bigly," thread.

Let the games begin,
Unionblue
 
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