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All the Laws but One: Civil Liberties in Wartime

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In All the Laws but One, William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States, provides an insightful and fascinating account of the history of civil liberties during wartime and illuminates the cases where presidents have suspended the law in the name of national security.

Abraham Lincoln, champion of freedom and the rights of man, suspended the writ of habeas corpus
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 4th 2000 by Vintage (first published September 22nd 1998)
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Bob H
Nov 27, 2015 Bob H rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, law-history
Worth reading if only because the Rehnquist court considered, after 9/11, the fate of wartime detainees, both US citizens and foreign prisoners, whether they can be held without due process and possibly tried by military tribunals. He reviews past clashes between civil liberty and national security, notably the Civil War era. He does highlight some little-known cases -- the military courts' overreaching in WWII Hawaii, for example. Other commentators noted, however, he could've said more about t ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
Fascinating story of the history of habeas corpus the law forbidding detention without charges. Focusing on the use of the law during wartime, written by the previous Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, this is well-written for those without a legal background. Rehnquist has a strong sense of narrative, exploring how the judicial system in the U.S. has evolved over 200+ years.

Details: Rehnquist details the curtailing of rights during war time focusing most of the book on the Civil War, before ex
Jacob Lines
“Are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself to do to pieces, lest that one be violated?” So asked Lincoln near the beginning of the Civil War. This is the question that lawyers and judges and citizens have been arguing since then – how restrained must the government be in time of war? How much must it respect civil liberties when so much is at stake? This book, written by Chief Justice Rehnquist, tells the history of this question very well. He recounts the controvers ...more
Jun 04, 2012 Doug rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was written before 9/11, so I was interested in reading this book to see how he read on executive power and how he subsequently applied to to the War on Terror and the Hamdi and Hamdan cases, but I took me until the last chapter to find out that the book is limited to cases of declared war. Alas. The analysis of the limits of executive power is interesting, but it's disquieting to see how applying this analysis leads to the outcome that enough deference could be given to the executive ...more
Sep 21, 2011 Patrick rated it really liked it
Read this book after a recommendation by a law professor. The subject is fascinating, and the writing is good. If you are looking for a left-wing or right-wing biased attack on American History, this book isn't for you. The impression I got was that Rehnquist was just trying to lay the facts all out (things might be a bit skewed right-wing but slight at best). If you read one of Rehnquist's books, make it this.
Dec 28, 2007 Ross rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Law or History Nerds
A good history of government disregard for Habeas Corpus in the United States. Rehnquist's storytelling prevented me from getting bored. Lots of interesting and random history about the beginning of the civil war.
Sep 22, 2009 Jeanie rated it liked it
Legal history of the loss of habeas corpus. Good depiction of the issues in Lincoln's administration. Gives some perspective. My poditrist, Dr. McDermott gave it to me to read.
Nov 02, 2012 Chad rated it really liked it
A good book for those interested in law or in the the Lincoln administration's suspension of habeas corpus.
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William Hubbs Rehnquist was an American lawyer, jurist, and a political figure who served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States and later as the Chief Justice of the United States. Considered a conservative, Rehnquist favored a federalism under which the states meaningfully exercised governmental power. Under this view of federalism, the Supreme Court of the United Stat ...more
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