Remote Document Review/Assembly
Remote Video Consultations
David Kagle, Esq., LAWNY
Anna Anderson, Esq., LAWNY
Mike Grunenwald, ProBono.Net
|MCLE credits:||2.0 hours - Skills|
|Date:||Friday, October 7th, 2016|
12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
(Registration 11:30 a.m.)
Lunch will be served!
Monroe County Bar Association’s Rubin Center for Education
1 West Main Street, 5th Floor, Rochester, NY 14614
|Registration:||Please register by Wednesday, October 5th, 2016.|
This VLSP seminar is free of charge in exchange for a commitment to handle one (1) “Closing the Gap” VLSP pro bono case within one year of the date of the seminar.
VLSP has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an accredited provider of continuing legal education in the State of New York.
A most appropriate setting for the reception honoring the 2 newest Court of Appeals judges (Pictured, l. to r.: Justices Pigott, Smith, Rivera, & Abdus-Salaam)
The School Without Walls Summer Law Camp visiting the Rare Book Room & staff workroom during a tour of the library August 15, 2013
September 20, 2016
September 6, 2016
Much like today, by the time this election happened, one can imagine many were happy to see it end. But there was a problem. A big problem. So big that we were forced to amend our Constitution in order to solve it.
The Constitution originally gave each member of the Electoral College two votes. Whoever received the largest majority of votes became President, and whoever came in second became Vice-President. It was expected that the electors would cast one vote for the presidential candidate, and one vote for his running-mate. Jefferson won a majority of the electors—73, but since each elector had two votes, so did his running-mate, Aaron Burr. This meant both men were technically tied, leaving each with an equal claim to the presidency. The tie had to be broken by the House of Representatives.
Burr could have ended the controversy by disavowing any claims to the presidency and accepting the vice-presidency. However, Burr, branded an opportunist by even the most sympathetic historians, did not do this. Instead, he made it known that he would accept the presidency if Congress so chose. The result was surreal: a presidential candidate and his own running-mate squaring off in an election within the House of Representatives for the highest office in the land.
Enter Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was a member of the Federalists, the sworn enemies of Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans. Hamilton strongly disliked Jefferson, but he hated Aaron Burr. Hamilton lobbied members of Congress to choose between the lessor of two evils and elect Jefferson. Still, it took the House 36 ballots to break the deadlock and choose Jefferson as our nation’s third president. Burr, for his part, became the VP and the most reviled man in American politics. Jefferson never forgave him; in fact, he (unsuccessfully) put Burr on trial for treason in 1807.
The ads above seem tame when compared to these attacks:
[John Adams has a] “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”
[If Jefferson is elected] “murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced.”
The election of 1876 has cast a shadow that still lingers with us today, although most of us know nothing about it. In this absurd election, held only 11 years after the end of the Civil War, the same passions and prejudices that ignited that conflict were played out at the ballot box. Yet, ballots did not decide this election. Ultimately, it was decided in a smoke-filled back room at Washington, D.C.’s Wormley Hotel.
The mess that was the “election” of 1876 was possible because of the still-fractured status of the nation as it attempted to heal the wounds of the Civil War. Most of the former Confederate states had only recently seen federal troops removed from state governments, resulting in a re-assertion of white dominance (via the Democratic party) over black “freedmen.” However, three states, Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, remained under federal military control. The Reconstruction Era was breathing its final breaths.
|Caption:"OF COURSE HE WANTS TO VOTE THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET!"|
DEMOCRATIC "REFORMER": "You're as free as air, ain't you? Say you are, or I'll blow your head off."
Amidst widespread violence and intimidation of black voters, every single former Confederate state voted for Tilden, the Democrat. In Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, the three states that were still occupied by the military, federal officials disqualified many of the Tilden votes because it was known they were procured by fraud, resulting in apparent victories for Hayes. However, the locally-elected Democratic governments in the three states certified the original vote counts, which awarded apparent victories for Tilden. In the rest of the former Confederate states, the votes for Tilden were allowed to stand, because those states were now controlled by local white Democrats.
The nation faced a Constitutional crisis. With no guidance to be found in the Constitution or historical precedent, the politicians on both sides bickered for months, right up until the day before the new president was to be sworn in. At an infamous meeting at Washington’s Wormley Hotel, the “Compromise of 1877” was worked out. All 20 disputed electoral votes would be awarded to Hayes, the Republican, who would become president. In exchange, the Republicans agreed to remove all remaining federal troops from the South.
The result was disastrous for the Republicans. Sure, they “won” the battle that was the election. But they’d lost the war: the moment federal troops left the South, blacks were effectively disenfranchised. Jim Crow laws abounded, and the Southern Democrats reversed with impunity the gains that blacks had made during Reconstruction. These wounds are still with us today, 140 years later.
Centennial Crisis: the Disputed Election of 1876
Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams knew each other well—they had faced each other (and a few others) in the previous election of 1824. That election had to be resolved in the House of Representatives, because no candidate received a majority of the electoral votes. Jackson had won the most, by a fairly comfortable margin, but through a deal that came to be known as the “Corrupt Bargain,” he was denied the presidency in favor of Adams. Jackson swore revenge. He eventually got it, but paid a horrible price.
The deeply personal attacks reached depths that have never quite been matched (though many have tried.)
Adams, the sitting president, is accused of pimping for the czar or Russia, among other things:
• John Quincy Adams served as ambassador to Russia from 1809-1814. One of Adams’s chambermaids, a young woman, had expressed a desire to meet the czar. The czar agreed to allow Adams to bring her to his court, where they engaged in a very short, very mundane and very public conversation. Somehow, Jackson’s supporters twisted this event into a story involving Adams “procuring prostitutes for the czar.”
• Adams was accused of transforming the White House into a “gambling den” because he installed a pool table. Then some more creative mudslingers declared that the pool table had been purchased with government money, allowing Adams to wager the “public treasury” on games of billiards. (Adams did purchase and install the pool table, but with his own money and by all accounts he had no time ever use it.)
• Adams was called an aristocrat, and was accused of spying for Europe with the intent of introducing monarchy in America. Never mind that during the four years he served as president, or at any point in his life did he ever even hint at desiring a monarchy.
• Adams’s father, the recently deceased former president John Adams, was called “the worst president…ever” and a “traitor” by Jackson’s supporters. It was claimed that the younger Adams was “unfit to carry his father’s water.” Adams was so offended by the insults to his dead father that he virtually ceased all campaigning.
Jackson was called a murderer, and his wife and mother were both disparaged:
• Jackson was accused of being a murderer. He had indeed shot and killed a man in a duel in 1806, but that was not the source of the insult. Instead, it was for the execution of soldiers for desertion that served under him during the War of 1812. Handbills were circulated featuring six coffins, one for each soldier executed.
• Jackson’s mother was called "a common prostitute, brought to this country by the British soldiers," after whose service she "married a MULATTO MAN, with whom she had several children of which number General JACKSON IS ONE!!!"
• Jackson’s wife, Rachel, was called a “bigamist” because of a previous marriage, a “whore” and in the most childish insult of all, fat. Jackson loved his wife dearly, and was deeply affected by the insults. Rachel was affected too, so much so that when she suffered a heart attack and died shortly after her husband’s triumph in the election. Jackson remarked, “In the presence of this dear saint[Rachel], I can and do forgive all my enemies. But those vile wretches who have slandered her must look to God for mercy.”
Andrew Jackson, Portrait of a President
August 23, 2016
Also in the paper today is a nice selection of photos from Friday's reception in Buffalo for the three new Appellate Division Fourth Department Associate Justices. It appears to have been quite the event, with attendees including Court of Appeals Justice Eugene F. Pigott, Jr., retired AD 4 Justice Jerome Gorski, past and present NYSBA presidents, and a frequent library patron or two!
July 26, 2016
We and our partners in the undertaking, the Charles B. Sears Law Library at the University of Buffalo Law School and the State Supreme Court Law Library in Buffalo, have been invited to speak about the digital archive at NYLA’s annual conference this fall.
Fun facts: NYLA, founded in 1890, was the first statewide library organization in the United States; one of its founding members was Melville Dewey (as in Dewey Decimal System), who was NY State Librarian at the time.
June 28, 2016
|By John Stango, CC BY-SA 3.0|
Originally appeared in our newsletter of November 2014
June 6, 2016
|Tents will be set up in two parking lots close to the library - AllPro Parking at 86 Gibbs Street and Regents Park Station at 61 East Avenue. See our Transit & Parking page for alternatives.|
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