On April 5th, the College of Law hosted Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, for the 4th lecture in the New Lincoln Lectures series. Megan McKisson '17 submitted the winning essay for The Lincoln Legacy Essay Competition, which was hosted in conjunction with Mr. Ornstein’s lecture as part of the New Lincoln Lectures series.
For this essay competition, students were asked to consider the legacy and continued relevance of Abraham Lincoln, arguably America’s greatest lawyer, as it specifically relates to the following topic:
"Abraham Lincoln’s words to the Illinois Republican State Convention on June 16, 1858 still resonate today - 'A house divided against itself cannot stand.' Two years later, Lincoln, a country lawyer, won his party’s presidential nomination and he ultimately went on to win the 1860 general election. He appointed party favorites to his cabinet, and later made a Democrat Secretary of War. Lincoln’s cabinet, known as the 'team of rivals,' was a transformative political moment. It ushered in an administration hoping to unite a country divided. In the face of open dissent and challenges from his cabinet-appointed rivals, Lincoln persevered and won support from some. Lincoln’s call for bipartisan cooperation, and his steadfast efforts to bring together dissenting views, arguably strengthened our Republic. Consider the legacy and continued relevance of Abraham Lincoln’s embrace of dissent."
Read Megan's winning essay: "The Necessity of Dissonance: Lincoln's Legacy of Embracing Patriotic Dissent"
The New Lincoln Lectures: What Abraham Lincoln Means to the 21st Century – is a series of several lectures to be held in 2016 and 2017 in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and/or Springfield. The series was founded in commemoration of the sesquicentennial anniversary of President Lincoln’s death and then, two years later, of the founding of the University of Illinois. The lectures will feature luminaries in various fields related to law, government, and history, who will reflect on Lincoln’s legacy and its continuing relevance – both in their individual lives and the life of the nation – 150 years after his passing. Thus far, the College of Law has hosted Bob Woodward, George Will, and Dick Durbin for the series.