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I shall try to weave together three stories today-stories of three bloody wars in American history, and the constitutional lessons that emerged from the bloodshed. The fIrst story involves the Revolutionary War, which led to the creation of the nation, the establishment of the Constitution, and the birth of the Bill of Rights. Second comes the story of the Civil War, prompting the reconstruction of the nation and the rebirth of the Bill of Rights through the Fourteenth Amendment. Finally, there is the story of the Vietnam War and Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, a case powerfully illuminated-or so I shall argue-by the lessons of the fIrst two stories.

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