49 Tulsa L. Rev. 469 (2013-2014)
The Declaration of Independence as Canon Fodder

handle is hein.journals/tlj49 and id is 478 raw text is: THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
AS CANON FODDER
Mark A. Graber *
ALEXANDER TSESIS, FOR L1BERTY AND EQUALITY: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (2012). Pp. 408. Hardcover $29.95.
JUSTIN BUCKLEY DYER, NATURAL LAW AND THE ANTISLAVERY CONSTITUTIONAL
TRADITION (2012). Pp. 208. Hardcover $91.00.
NICHOLAS BUCCOLA, THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS (2012).
Pp. 225. Hardcover $65.00.
BRIAN R. DIRCK, LINCOLN AND THE CONSTITUTION (2012). Pp. 184. Hardcover
$19.95.
Every August at law schools throughout the United States, young people in blue
and gray suits can be found scurrying about in dubious battle' to find lucrative em-
ployment. The scene bears an eerie to resemblance to a Civil War reenactment fought
entirely by lawyers. Meanwhile, ensconced in their upstairs offices, many professors, of-
ten dressed in blue or gray dungarees, are engaged in their preferred form of Civil War
reenactment. Whole forests have been consumed for the production of law review arti-
cles and university press books devoted to demonstrating who are the modern day Un-
ionists and who are the modern day Confederates. History, these manuscripts highlight,
is not invariably told by the winning army. Rather, the contemporary army that wins the
battle over history is likely to win the war over the direction of public policy. He or she
who captures the mantle of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or Abraham Lincoln
rules.
The Civil War is the single leading source of canonical material for contemporary
American constitutionalism.2 Slavery is the canonical constitutional evil in the United
States. If a present practice is analogous to slavery, that practice is wrong and violates
the Thirteenth Amendment.3 Abraham Lincoln is the canonical political leader and inter-
* Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Much thanks to Linda
McClain, Ken Kersch, and the staff of the Tulsa Law Review.
1. John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I, line 104 (1674).
2. The classical article on that constitutional canon is J.M. Balkin & Sanford Levinson, The Canons of
Constitutional Law, 111 HARV. L. REV. 963 (1998).
3. See e.g., Akhil Reed Amar & Daniel Widawsky, Child Abuse as Slavery: A Thirteenth Amendment Re-

469

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