Batavia, NY - A paralegal major at Genesee Community College has been honored for her essay exploring the arguments and practices of restricting some constitutional rights during wartime.
Medina resident Amanda Griffin won third place in the Garfinkel Essay Contest of the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York with her well-researched and thoughtful piece titled “Wages of Silence: The Dangers of Wartime Suppression of Rights.”
“I didn’t think my piece would go over very well, because it highlights a fairly unpopular opinion through some relatively disturbing facts and quotes about a president (Abraham Lincoln) who is generally regarded as a hero,” said Ms. Griffin. “But I believe my tattoo of the Roman proverb “Fortis Fortuna Audivuat” (Fortune Favors the Brave) exemplifies that I am willing take calculated risks!”
Ms. Griffin’s essay looked at President Lincoln’s restrictions of civil rights and liberties during the Civil War, which she argued eased the way for future leaders to do the same during times of war and civil unrest. You can read it by visiting this website: http://www.nycourts.gov/history/essay/2012/essay12.htm.
The essay also earned praise from her GCC history instructor. “Amanda’s essay is a carefully crafted piece which grounds constitutional questions in moral and political theory,” said Charles Scruggs. “It has been a privilege to work with such a fine student.”
Submissions from students enrolled at SUNY and CUNY campuses had to cover the specific topic of “The Blue and the Gray: New York during the Civil War.” The 2012 Garfinkel essay contest winners are:
•1st Prize ($1,500): Rodney Schuyler, Fulton-Montgomery Community College
•2nd Prize ($1,000): Mary E. Erckert, Erie Community College
•3rd Prize ($750): Amanda Griffin, Genesee Community College
Ms. Griffin is a graduate of Paw Paw Public High School in Michigan and plans to pursue a career in either the paralegal field or in sales/administration.
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