University of South Carolina

Secession or treason? Legal historian to discuss Civil War

The legality of secession, slavery, states rights and other Civil War-era concepts will be the focus of the University of South Carolina School of Law’s Alumni Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, March 15.

Legal historian Paul Finkelman, the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and a senior fellow at the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, will deliver the 6:30 p.m. lecture in the law school’s auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Among the questions to be addresses: Was secession constitutional? Did the South have the right to leave the union, or were its actions treason? What really caused the Civil War? Was it a fight about slavery or states' rights?

Finkelman, author of 20 books and more than 100 scholarly articles, specializes in the law of slavery, constitutional law and legal issues surrounding baseball. He recently was named the ninth-most-cited legal historian, according to “Brian Leieter's Law School Rankings.” Finkelman was the chief expert witness in the Alabama Ten Commandments monument case, and his scholarship on religious monuments in public spaces was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry (2005). He was also a key witness in the lawsuit over Barry Bonds' 73rd home-run ball.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 03/15/11 @ 3:10 PM | Updated: 03/15/11 @ 3:11 PM | Permalink

'Secession or treason?'

  • What: Lecture on legal aspects of the Civil War
  • Who: Legal historian Paul Finkelman, Albany Law School, to deliver lecture
  • When: Tuesday, March 15, 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: School of Law auditorium

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