Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1939425
 


 



Did the Slaves Author the Thirteenth Amendment? An Essay in Redemptive History


Guyora Binder


SUNY Buffalo Law School

October 1, 1993

Yale Journal of Law & Humanities, Vol. 5, pp. 471-505, 1993
Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1993-001

Abstract:     
American constitutional interpretation is deeply traditionalist, and privileges original intent. The difficulty with thus authorizing the past in interpreting the Thirteenth Amendment is that it purports to abolish custom and tradition as unjust. This essay argues that, given the Amendment’s denunciation of the polity that enacted it as illegitimate, its questionable formal pedigree, and the agency of the slaves in precipitating, defining, and resolving the crisis that enabled it, the slaves have a moral claim to status as its authors. It follows that the original intent guiding interpretation should be that of the slaves themselves.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: constitutional law, constitutional history, law and literature, slavery, civil rights

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Date posted: October 6, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Binder, Guyora, Did the Slaves Author the Thirteenth Amendment? An Essay in Redemptive History (October 1, 1993). Yale Journal of Law & Humanities, Vol. 5, pp. 471-505, 1993; Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1993-001. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1939425

Contact Information

Guyora Binder (Contact Author)
SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )
528 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-2673 (Phone)
716-645-2640 (Fax)
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