An Essay Concerning Judicial Resignation and Non-Cooperation in the Presence of Evil

35 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2011

See all articles by Bruce Ledewitz

Bruce Ledewitz

Duquesne University - School of Law

Date Written: 1988

Abstract

In the 1840’s Wendell Phillips and his fellow Garrisonians challenged the conscience of the legal profession by their call upon anti-slavery judges to resign their offices. Only a very few ever did so. Surprisingly, the failure of the anti-slavery judges to resign has not embarrassed legal commentators and theorists. There have been no symposia examining their response to the abolitionists; there have been no impassioned exchanges in the pages of the law reviews. The one project of evaluation by a law professor, that of the late Robert Cover, ended as a mild criticism of the failure of these judges to ameliorate the worst aspects of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Professor Cover never analyzed the refusal to resign.

Suggested Citation

Ledewitz, Bruce, An Essay Concerning Judicial Resignation and Non-Cooperation in the Presence of Evil (1988). Duquesne University Law Review, Vol. 27, p. 1, 1988; Duquesne University School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931782

Bruce Ledewitz (Contact Author)

Duquesne University - School of Law ( email )

600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
United States

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