Tiedeman, Christopher G. (1857–1903)

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Christopher G. Tiedeman, a professor of law, published A Treatise on the Limitations of Police Power in the United States (1886). Second only to thomas cooley'sConstitutional Limitations in its influence on American constitutional law, Tiedeman's book spurred the conversion of the fourteenth amendment into a bulwark of vested rights. He believed that liberty found its highest expression in laissez-faire economics and that the police power, which he sought to reduce to the role of policeman, was making "socialism, communism, and anarchism … rampant in America." He found evidence for that claim in the advocacy of prolabor legislation and state protection of the weak against the strong. conservatism, he wrote, feared "the advent of an absolutism more tyrannical and more unreasoning than any before experienced by man, the absolutism of a democratic majority." judicial review in support of written constitutions that limited government provided the only hope, and Tiedeman's exposition of cases was calculated to assist courts in their task of thwarting invasions of private rights. In 1900, in the preface to a revised second edition, Tiedeman expressed gratification that "the first edition of this book has been quoted by the courts in hundreds of cases."

Leonard W. Levy