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|TW, may I suggest that perhaps President Lincoln actually took his oath of office seriously--"to preserve and protect the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC." Lincoln did indeed take some extralegal powers in the first month of his administration, however, they were enumerated and presented to the Congress when the came into session and all necessarily laws were all passed retroactively. As someone mentioned here earlier, the constitution is NOT a suicide pact. A lesser president (like J. Buchanan) would have allowed the nation to fall apart. May I suggest you carefully read "Tried by Fire" by James McPherson. Cheers!