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The original title of Constitutional Redemption—which my publisher

prevailed on me not to use—was “Agreements with Hell.” The

phrase comes from a famous statement of the abolitionist William

Lloyd Garrison—himself drawing on the words of the prophet

Isaiah—that the United States Constitution was “a covenant with

death, and an agreement with hell.” By agreeing to protect slavery,

the Framers had embedded evil in the constitutional system, and Garrison

believed that the only remedy for this original sin of constitutionalism

was to dissolve the Union, and for the North to secede from

the South.

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