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President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
09-21-2022, 01:00 PM
Post: #1
President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
Former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Paul Stevens (1975 - 2010) wrote in the epilogue to his book Five Chiefs - A Supreme Court Memoir (2011) on this subject of "Justice and the Duty of Government" as follows:

The text of the Constitution does not mention the word dignity or the word sovereignty. It does, however, state in its preamble that one of its purposes was to "establish justice." The term justice is not defined in either the Constitution itself or in any federal statute of which I am aware. I shall therefore conclude by referring to two quite different ways of thinking about the idea of justice that are both described in Plato's Republic.

A serene and elderly gentleman name Cephalus accepted Socrates' suggestion that justice consisted of speaking the truth and paying one's debts, whereas Thrasymachus, a younger and more belligerent antagonist, proclaimed that "justice is nothing more than the interest of the stronger." Presumably the senior citizen would require a ruler to tell the truth and to pay its debts. For Thrasymachus, however, whenever it was in a sovereign's interest to rely on sovereign dignity as a reason for refusing to obey the law, it would be just for him to do so.

An Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln shared Cephalus's thoughts about justice and my views about sovereign immunity. In his State of the Union message of 1861, he said: "It is as much the duty of Government to render prompt justice against itself, in favor of its citizens, as it is to administer the same between private individuals." (Emphasis added.)

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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09-22-2022, 10:49 AM (This post was last modified: 09-22-2022 11:23 AM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #2
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
All that study of Euclid did not go to waste on Abraham Lincoln!

"[I]f Judge Douglas will demonstrate somehow that this is popular sovereignty – the right of one man to make a slave of another, without any right in that other, or any one else, to object – demonstrate it as Euclid demonstrated propositions – there is no objection. But when he comes forward, seeking to carry a principle by bringing to it the authority of men who themselves utterly repudiate that principle, I ask that he shall not be permitted to do it." [Applause.]

Lincoln Speech at Columbus, Ohio, September 16, 1859

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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09-22-2022, 12:42 PM
Post: #3
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
Absolutely!
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09-23-2022, 11:24 AM (This post was last modified: 09-23-2022 11:27 AM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #4
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
Justice Stevens, in his book Five Chiefs - A Supreme Court Memoir (2011) wrote on this subject of a state's "dignity" (p. 47):

[N]either earlier [Supreme Court] history nor common sense provides any support for the notion that the preservation of a state's "dignity" can justify disobedience of federal law.

In 1821, in his opinion in Cohens v. Marshall, Chief Justice Marshall discussed the history of the Eleventh Amendment. After noting that the amendment was adopted at a time when all the states were greatly indebted and concerned about defending collection claims in federal court, he observed that we must ascribe the amendment "to some other cause than the dignity of a State."

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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09-24-2022, 05:46 AM
Post: #5
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
Excellent discussion!

Bill Nash
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09-24-2022, 11:24 AM
Post: #6
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
A final reference to President Lincoln by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at pages 90-91:

Chief Justice Earl Warren play[ed] a significant role in foreign affairs. He traveled widely when the Court was not in session, made numerous speeches to foreign groups -- as many as eight in one day on a visit to Ireland -- and attended and helped to organize international judicial conferences advocating world peace through law. (emphasis added) His liberal opinions motivated "Impeach Earl Warren" campaigns by hostile stateside critics, but Solicitor General J. Lee Rankin's travels with Warren led him to remark that people living beyond the borders of the United States regarded Warren as "the greatest humanitarian in the Western Hemisphere since Abraham Lincoln." In 1963, President John Kennedy asked him to head the American delegation at the coronation of Pope Paul VI and made Air Force One available to enable him to attend a world peace conference during the same trip. President Johnson also provided him with the use of Air Force On for several goodwill missions abroad. His choice of Warren to head the commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy reflected Johnson's judgment that the chief was the most trustworthy man available in the entire country.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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09-25-2022, 09:00 AM
Post: #7
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
(09-24-2022 05:46 AM)LincolnMan Wrote:  Excellent discussion!

Thank you, Bill.

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is one of those Supreme Court Justices that thought the way President Lincoln did. He was one of those United States Supreme Court Justices in the history of this democracy that you could address as "Your Honor," without having to choke on your own words.

An Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln shared Cephalus's thoughts about justice and my views about sovereign immunity. In his State of the Union message of 1861, he said: "It is as much the duty of Government to render prompt justice against itself, in favor of its citizens, as it is to administer the same between private individuals." (Emphasis added.)

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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09-25-2022, 10:27 AM
Post: #8
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
The following is the lead story in today's New York Times (Sunday, September 25, 2022):

Headline: "They Were Entitled to Free Care. Hospitals Hounded Them to Pay."

With the help of a consulting firm, the Providence hospital system trained staff to wring money out of patients, even those eligible for free care.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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Yesterday, 07:01 AM
Post: #9
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
The unacceptable face of capitalism ... reminds me of this:-

https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-...57vim.html

"AMP is being sued by the corporate regulator for allegedly charging thousands of dead people for insurance and financial advice despite being notified they had died."

“The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that” Robert Burns
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Yesterday, 09:51 AM
Post: #10
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
(Yesterday 07:01 AM)AussieMick Wrote:  The unacceptable face of capitalism ... reminds me of this:-

https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-...57vim.html

"AMP is being sued by the corporate regulator for allegedly charging thousands of dead people for insurance and financial advice despite being notified they had died."

It looks like you are referring to the "silent majority" of recipients for such life insurance and financial advices charges. The problem is that AMP can easily find attorneys to represent the "unacceptable face of capitalism," and whose bottom-line litigation policy is "if you got the money, I have the time."

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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Yesterday, 10:14 AM
Post: #11
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
Say, that reminds me of a song by Lefty Frizzell - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfsFmtcqnQM

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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Yesterday, 10:24 AM (This post was last modified: Today 10:05 AM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #12
RE: President Lincoln's thoughts on Justice and the Duty of Government
Thrasymachus proclaimed that "justice is nothing more than the interest of the stronger."

New York Times Headline: "They Were Entitled to Free Care. Hospitals Hounded Them to Pay."
By Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Katie Thomas
Sept. 24, 2022

In 2018, senior executives at one of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital chains, Providence, were frustrated. They were spending hundreds of millions of dollars providing free health care to patients. It was eating into their bottom line.

The executives, led by Providence’s chief financial officer at the time, devised a solution: a program called Rev-Up.

Rev-Up provided Providence’s employees with a detailed playbook for wringing money out of patients — even those who were supposed to receive free care because of their low incomes, a New York Times investigation found.

In training materials obtained by The Times, members of the hospital staff were instructed how to approach patients and pressure them to pay.

“Ask every patient, every time,” the materials said. Instead of using “weak” phrases — like “Would you mind paying?” — employees were told to ask how patients wanted to pay. Soliciting money “is part of your role. It’s not an option.”

If patients did not pay, Providence sent debt collectors to pursue them.

More than half the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals are nonprofits like Providence. They enjoy lucrative tax exemptions; Providence avoids more than $1 billion a year in taxes. In exchange, the Internal Revenue Service requires them to provide services, such as free care for the poor, that benefit the communities in which they operate. [Emphasis added.]

But in recent decades, many of the hospitals have become virtually indistinguishable from for-profit companies, adopting an unrelenting focus on the bottom line and straying from their traditional charitable missions.

(Yesterday 10:14 AM)Gene C Wrote:  Say, that reminds me of a song by Lefty Frizzell - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfsFmtcqnQM

Gene, I think it would be really funny if Providence’s chief financial officer at the time had asked former U. S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens for an attorney referral and Justice Stevens suggested calling attorney Early Lefty Frizzell.

I especially liked attorney Frizzell's sales pitch admonition which he sang with these words at the 2:03 mark [sing along, please]: "But if you run short of money, I'll run short of time. With you no more money, Honey, I've no more time."

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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