The Political Thirteenth Amendment
Rebecca E. Zietlow
University of Toledo College of Law
December 8, 2011
Maryland Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 1, p. 283, 2011
University of Toledo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-11
The United States Supreme Court has done little to develop the meaning of the Thirteenth Amendment. One could conclude from the Court's lack of development that the Amendment is unimportant, irrelevant, or limited to remedying the historical circumstances of chattel slavery, but it would be a mistake to interpret the lack of judicial doctrine as a lack of constitutional meaning. The political Thirteenth Amendment mandates that both its interpretation and its enforcement occur primarily through constitutional politics, not constitutional law. This essay, the conclusion to a Maryland symposium on the Thirteenth Amendment, explores the relationship between the Amendment and constitutional politics, and explains how the symposium contributes to our understanding of the political Thirteenth Amendment.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: Constitutional Law, Constitutional History, Thirteenth Amendment, Legal History
JEL Classification: K10, K19Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 8, 2012 ; Last revised: April 19, 2012
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