Category Court Cases

The Protector

The citation for this case is 79 US (12 Wall.) 700. It was decided in 1870, with Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase delivering the Opinion of the Court. We begin by setting the circumstances of the case. “This was a motion by Mr. P. Phillips to dismiss an appeal from a decree of the Circuit […]

Constitutionalism in the Approach and Aftermath of the Civil War

This book, edited by Professors Paul D. Moreno and Johnathan O’Neill, is a collection of essays in honor of Professor Herman Belz. The editors tell us, “This collection of essays examines American constitutionalism from the founding to the Progressive era. At its center is Abraham Lincoln’s statesmanship on slavery and secession. Additional essays consider issues […]

CWTR Episode 1719: Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis

Here’s an excellent conversation between host Professor Gerald Prokopowicz and his guest, Professor Cynthia Nicoletti, on the case of United States v. Jefferson Davis.

Dow v. Johnson

You can find this case at 100 US 158. This is a case out of Louisiana involving US Brigadier General Neal Dow. Justice Fields provides the facts of the case: “Neal Dow, was a brigadier general in the Army of the United States during the late civil war, and in 1862 and 1863 was stationed […]

Liberty & Union

This book by Professor Timothy Huebner of Rhodes College in Memphis looks at the impact of the Civil War on American Constitutionalism. He begins by looking at slavery and the Constitution, and first writes about the Founders and the Constitution, telling us, “At least three ideological strains informed the thinking of the American founders. One […]

Treason on Trial

Robert Icenhauer-Ramirez is a lawyer who earned his Ph.D. in history. In this, his first book, Dr. Icenhauer-Ramirez looks at the fiasco surrounding the charge of treason against Jefferson Davis. The book does not have an auspicious start. I thought his Preface was atrocious. On page ix he claims, “Historians have largely ignored why the […]

Secession on Trial

This book by Professor Cynthia Nicoletti is an outstanding addition to the scholarship surrounding Jefferson Davis’s indictment and the machinations around his treason trial. Neoconfederates and Davis partisans from the late 19th century have sown so much disinformation about these events Professor Nicoletti’s careful analysis of the evidence does much to dispel the myth that […]

Justice Joseph Bradley and the Fourteenth Amendment

This is Professor Pamela Brandwein of the University of Michigan’s Political Science Department speaking about Justice Joseph Bradley and his dissent in the Slaughterhouse Cases and his view of the 14th Amendment. The video’s description reads, “University of Michigan Politics Professor Pamela Brandwein discussed Justice Bradley’s dissent in the Slaughterhouse Cases, which concerned New Orleans butchers’ right […]

America in 1857

This book by Professor Kenneth M. Stampp looks at the situation in America in the critical year 1857. In the Preface he wrote, “In 1856 three events had worsened the already strained relations between the North and South; first, a violent struggle between proslavery and free-state parties for control of Kansas Territory; second, a bitter […]

The Trouble With Treason: Prosecuting Jefferson Davis

This article contains an interview between Sarah Richardson and attorney Robert Icenhaur-Ramirez of Austin, Texas. He found the trial was botched from the beginning. We find, first of all, Lucius Chandler wrote Davis’s indictment. “Chandler was the U.S. district attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, an appointed attorney. But the reason he was appointed […]