Finkelman on the Emancipation Proclamation

Paul Finkleman’s Lincoln, Emancipation, and the Limits of Constitutional Change appeared in the 2008 Supreme Court Review and is now posted for free download.

The abstract:

This article examines the policy behind President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation with the assumption that it would be challenged legally, while this never happened because its legality became moot after the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, Lincoln aimed to keep the proclamation as narrowly focused and constitutionally solid as possible. The article explores constitutional limitations on emancipation, the conditions leading up to emancipation, and the lasting effects of the emancipation during and following the Civil War.

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