The Continuing Importance of Congressman John A. Bingham and the Fourteenth Amendment
Lead article in a symposium issue.
In the now-famous 1830s chronicle of a visit to America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that in America every political issue is ultimately a legal issue in the courts. For Americans who lived through the antislavery and abolitionist era as well as the crisis of the war of 1861-1865, the military victory of the Union forces on the field of battle still left open large political issues. These issues were attempted to be resolved through the political process that produced a legal solution: a constitutional amendment that we currently identify as the Fourteenth Amendment. The meaning of the Amendment was ultimately determined by the courts.
Richard L. Aynes, The Continuing Importance of Congressman John A. Bingham and the Fourteenth Amendment, 36 Akron Law Review 589 (2003).