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  Law Day Movie Night: Lincoln

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This event took place on May 1, 2013 at 5:00 PM and has already passed.

Celebrate Law Day with the Denver and Colorado Bar Associations’ Young Lawyer Divisions at the Mayan Theater on Wednesday, May 1, at 5 p.m. Denver District Court Judge John Madden will give a CLE presentation on President Abraham Lincoln, followed by a showing of the 2012 Oscar-winning film, “Lincoln.” One general CLE credit has been applied for. Cost to attend CLE is $15 and $40 for nonmembers; movie is no charge. Due to film license restrictions, this event is limited to members and their significant others RSVP online or email

The new Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln chronicles Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution toward the end of the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation issued during the Civil War, in 1863, however, was based upon the President's war powers. As such, it was a temporary war measure which would terminate when the War ended. Because the movie's focus is on the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, it necessarily devotes minimal attention to the Constitutional history regarding slavery, the reasons for Lincoln's desire to end slavery, how these issues led to the Civil War, or the Emancipation Proclamation itself. Further, the movie references, but does not fully set forth, the details of the ratification process. Finally, other than brief references to General Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse and Lincoln's assassination, the conflict of the movie effectively ends with final vote by Congress, however, the history of the Thirteenth Amendment extends beyond that.

The talk prior to the film is intended to enhance the participants’ understanding of the context and circumstances of the events depicted in Lincoln. More importantly, it will supplement the information presented in the movie through an exploration of the historical, social and legal issues surrounding the Constitution's original deference to slavery, legislative efforts to end slavery prior to the Civil War, the election of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln's creation of his war powers, the Emancipation Proclamation, the ratification process and the growth of the amendment process following the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. The ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment represents a momentous point in the history of human rights in this country, but it also marks a fundamental change in the development of the Constitution of the United States. The format of the talk is designed to supplement the participants' movie experience, but its goal is to explore the social and legal history of the greater historical event.