SOURCE: New York Review of Books
by Sean Wilentz
Protests movements have latched on to a misguided interpretation of the Thirteenth Amendment that argues it allowed and even encouraged the system of mass incarceration as an extension of slavery. A new global history extends that critique to the age of emancipation in general.
The 1906 Decision in Hodges v. United States Shows the Error of Leaving Fundamental Rights to the States
by William H. Pruden III
The Court ruled that the 13th Amendment did not create a federal right to fairly contracted labor, and called for Black workers to "take their chances with other citizens in the states where they should make their homes," despite the plain determination of those citizens to oppress and expolit them.
SOURCE: Washington Post
by Clarence Lusane
Chattel slavery was ended by the enactment of the 13th Amendment. Whatever the merits of recognizing the Juneteenth holiday, it commemorates the specific emancipation of enslaved Texans, and not national abolition.
by Christian Samito
Amending the Constitution broke with Lincoln’s long-held belief that it should not be altered because the work of its Framers could not be improved.