President Lincoln issued a very frightening executive order in 1861. The executive order suspended the writ of habeas corpus in some areas of the United States during the Civil War. On September 24, 1862, he issued another executive order expanding the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus to include the entire nation. The order subjected virtually anyone who was against the President's position on slavery to martial law: specifically, those who "guilty of any disloyal practice." What exactly is the definition of disloyal practice? I suppose whatever the arresting officer believes it is. Not only did it subject them to martial law, but it took away their God-given right to have their day in court. The order stated, "That the Writ of Habeas Corpus is suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now, or hereafter during the rebellion shall be, imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prison, or other place of confinement by any military authority of by the sentence of any Court Martial or Military Commission." Does this sound like an executive order issued be a President who champion's liberty? What if President Obama had issued this executive order today with respect to any issue of his choice?
Now, don't get me wrong. I am 100% against slavery, as is almost every other American. However, does the fact that slavery is unethical automatically give the federal government and the President the authority to begin taking away the God-given rights of those who disagree? President Lincoln was completely intolerant of any other viewpoint besides his: that the southern states should abandon slavery. I believe when a crisis arises, people get hysterical. Examples are World War II, the Civil Rights movement, the Civil War, the Great Depression, September 11 terrorist attacks, etc. In each of these examples, the federal government believed the crisis warranted the suspension of certain Constitutionally protected rights. I contend that when something evil goes on (e.g. abortion) it does not give the federal government authority to act. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that. I could write forever about the different ways President Lincoln could have handled the issue of slavery so that it would have been in compliance with the Constitution. However, it is all for naught at this point. Let's make sure we don't let the federal government take advantage of the most recent tragedy, the Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting. They are already attempting to do it, and we have to stop them. A flurry of mass shootings is the modern equivalent of slavery. Let's hope President Obama does not follow the example of President Lincoln. Let's hope he doesn't declare martial law on and suspend the rights of those who disagree with gun control. We need to safeguard our God-given liberty.