Is Texas v. White ironclad proof of secession's illegality?

Shelby's Foot

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What's especially funny about Texas is that Chase couldn't find any language in the Constituion which declared and legally required the union to be perpetual, or that prohibited secession.So what did Chase do? Well, he did what any dishonest and corrupt political hack would do; he pilfered language from the defunct AoC in order to "prove" that the union under the Constitution was "perpetual". The decision was a sham and a farce.
Agree in part -
There is nothing in the Constitution to declare secession illegal.

Disagree in part -
It's not the Articles per se that are defunct so much as the "perpetual...United States in Congress assembled" are defunct So much for perpetuity. It ended, exactly when is hard to say, but somewhere around 1787 during the time that the States ratified their membership in another union.

However, the preceding documents are very relevant to understanding why no text denying or disparaging a right for a state to exit appears in the Constitution.

The Declaration states that people are endowed by their Creator with the inalienable (key word) right to "alter...abolish...and institute new government...to effect...Safety and [pursuit of] Happiness." The document is not just a declaration of secession and the causes which impel it, it is also a declaration of (as it were) divine right to alter, abolish and change government, as States, like in exiting or seceding a union. So naturally, the AoC is not going to deny or disparage (so to speak) the very god-given right to exit in their organic statute at the very moment they are exercising that right (1776-1781).

The past is significant, because the process repeats ca 1787. The states exit the (perpetual) United States in Congress, seceding (as it were). And while doing so, with each State individually using its (divine) right described by Madison in Federalist 43 as "superseding" the sovereignty of the "union" without its "consent," and he cites the same two goals cited in the Declaration of Independence, ie, "safety" and [pursuit of] "happiness" as all the justification they need So, naturally (again), they are not going to deny or disparage the god-given right to exit in their organic statute, at the very moment (1787-1790) they are exercising this right by leaving one union and joining another.

Just consider the context and ask yourself why would any rational person expect to find language denying or disparaging the right of a state to alter, abolish and institute new government in the AoC or Const? Didn't they just declare such right is inalienable and pledge the lives fortunes and sacred honor on that self evident truth?

So, of course, there is not going to be any language in the Constitution to deny or disparage the right of a State to pursue happiness by altering its government - for some of them - a third time.

As to Texas v White, where did Chase get "indissoluble?" He made it up (?). What Founder or Framer or relevant document used that word? Also, the southern states ca 1860 did not dissolve the union or claim to being so. They only, in effect, dissolved their relationship with it, as the ordinances state - by merely repealing their own unilateral enactments.
 
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OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
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Feb 23, 2010
Where is the eviidence that the seceding slave states were outside the Union, besides their own claims?

Where is the proof that any rebel state had undisputed authority to secede, complete and perfect in every detail?

The Court ruled that the seceding states Never achieved the goal of their Revolution, i.e., Revolution was not their goal, Independence was and Independence was Never Achieved and as a resultn neither was Revolution. Revolution in the context of Tx. v. White, meant successful Revolution; there was No contradiction.
 

Shelby's Foot

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Where is the eviidence that the seceding slave states were outside the Union, besides their own claims?
What says they are inside a union beside their own claims? (See Article VII, US Const.).
And what says they cannot repeal their own claim? Nothing.

Where is the proof that any rebel state had undisputed authority to secede, complete and perfect in every detail?
Where is the proof that they don't? How did they get out of the United States in Congress?

And who is in charge of assigning the burden of proof? Personally, I apply the burden to everything.

When I first started looking at this issue, and found this forum about 9 years ago, it appeared to me that most arguments were "theory." Mostly it is like a Lite Beer commercial: tastes great, no, less filling. That is, there is lot of: it is an indissoluble union, no, it is a loose association. Chase deserves some credit as his "perpetual" argument is textual - well - one word of text. However the argument is problematic for that and several other reasons.

The Court ruled that the seceding states Never achieved the goal of their Revolution, i.e., Revolution was not their goal, Independence was and Independence was Never Achieved and as a resultn neither was Revolution. Revolution in the context of Tx. v. White, meant successful Revolution; there was No contradiction.
It is hard to imagine that in 1868 the US Court was going to say - 'oops, the South was right, and we hastily and ill-advisedly burned it to the ground. Sorry, neighbor.' After all, judges are politicians, too.

What is the actual reason to believe the (southern) states could not secede? IMO, just because someone said so, one way or the other, is not a "reason." That's not using reason applied to facts. As post 41 indicates, what is about reading the text of the founding documents, the Declaration, the AoC, the US Const., etc., and looking at the Founders' actions, which would lead someone to the conclusion (via reasoning) that states cannot secede? From the documents, there is nothing. That's why there are "theories."
 
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Tin cup

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Jan 9, 2010
Location
Texas
What says they are inside a union beside their own claims? (See Article VII, US Const.).
And what says they cannot repeal their own claim? Nothing.

Where is the proof that they don't? How did they get out of the United States in Congress?

And who is in charge of assigning the burden of proof? Personally, I apply the burden to everything.

When I first started looking at this issue, and found this forum about 9 years ago, it appeared to me that most arguments were "theory." Mostly it is like a Lite Beer commercial: tastes great, no, less filling. That is, there is lot of: it is an indissoluble union, no, it is a loose association. Chase deserves some credit as his "perpetual" argument is textual - well - one word of text. However the argument is problematic for that and several other reasons.

It is hard to imagine that in 1868 the US Court was going to say - 'oops, the South was right, and we hastily and ill-advisedly burned it to the ground. Sorry, neighbor.' After all, judges are politicians, too.

What is the actual reason to believe the (southern) states could not secede? IMO, just because someone said so, one way or the other, is not a "reason." That's not using reason applied to facts. As post 41 indicates, what is about reading the text of the founding documents, the Declaration, the AoC, the US Const., etc., and looking at the Founders' actions, which would lead someone to the conclusion (via reasoning) that states cannot secede? From the documents, there is nothing. That's why there are "theories."
What says they are inside a union beside their own claims? (See Article VII, US Const.).
And what says they cannot repeal their own claim? Nothing.

Where is the proof that they don't? How did they get out of the United States in Congress?

And who is in charge of assigning the burden of proof? Personally, I apply the burden to everything.

When I first started looking at this issue, and found this forum about 9 years ago, it appeared to me that most arguments were "theory." Mostly it is like a Lite Beer commercial: tastes great, no, less filling. That is, there is lot of: it is an indissoluble union, no, it is a loose association. Chase deserves some credit as his "perpetual" argument is textual - well - one word of text. However the argument is problematic for that and several other reasons.

It is hard to imagine that in 1868 the US Court was going to say - 'oops, the South was right, and we hastily and ill-advisedly burned it to the ground. Sorry, neighbor.' After all, judges are politicians, too.

What is the actual reason to believe the (southern) states could not secede? IMO, just because someone said so, one way or the other, is not a "reason." That's not using reason applied to facts. As post 41 indicates, what is about reading the text of the founding documents, the Declaration, the AoC, the US Const., etc., and looking at the Founders' actions, which would lead someone to the conclusion (via reasoning) that states cannot secede? From the documents, there is nothing. That's why there are "theories."
The US Constitution is NOT a "theory"! It states in there who has the power to do what. Might want to read it again.

Kevin Dally
 

Shelby's Foot

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The US Constitution is NOT a "theory"! It states in there who has the power to do what. Might want to read it again.

Kevin Dally
I never said the Constitution was a theory. That's false attribution. Might want to read the posts again.

If you intend to imply I have misstated the Constitution, prove it. If you can, I'll thank you.
 
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CW Buff

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Location
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Not necessarily completely true on the overthrown part, and I respectfully disagree on your point that the court was just saying its effective, but no really legal.

For four years the Federal Government had no say or power over the State of Texas as a whole, (though Federal forces did gain control of small areas) and Texas did stay outside of U.S. control at the government level and really most of the State for four years, so while unsuccessful, I think its safe to say a revolution happened, even if in a short term period, especially since there was a functioning government on the South's part till the end. To me the "might makes right" argument only applies if the revolutionary faction never forms a government and is squashed within say a month, but for four years, a government eh, the time and organization renders that argument null. But that's me.

Of course this is a legal discussion and inevitably there is always another twisting of events that can be put forward to say the initial overthrow was a hundred percent successful...

After Texas seceded it didn't automatically become part of the Confederacy, it like the other six original Confederate States were, self styled as independent. It was as "independent" States that the original seven Confederate States met and then created the Confederacy, and it was the Confederacy that initiated a War with the United States and vice versa. So it can be said the initial revolution was successful, as the Confederacy wasn't formed before or during secession, but afterwards and the so-called independent States that formed from secession 1861 didn't exist when war/insurrection was declared and weren't the same revolutionary states in 1865, and their intial secession was never stopped and so on, so thus it can be a successful revolution performed. But that's just one of the many certain points of view it can be looked at from, "legal shenanigans" are interesting things.

Thank you for your reasonable response.
First, let me say I appreciate your approach. It's nice to have a calm, respectful exchange.

But I think you're missing the point I was trying to make regarding the bonds/crux of the decision.

The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.

Your interpretation of “except through revolution” contradicts the rest of the decision. By your premise of legal/temporarily successful revolution, TX was independent of the US (i.e. it was a foreign country) during the war. However, SCOTUS finds just the opposite; TX was always a state of the Union.

The obligations of the State, as a member of the Union, and of every citizen of the State, as a citizen of the United States, remained perfect and unimpaired. It certainly follows that the State did not cease to be a State, nor her citizens to be citizens of the Union. If this were otherwise, the State must have become foreign, and her citizens foreigners. The war must have ceased to be a war for the suppression of rebellion, and must have become a war for conquest and subjugation.

Therefore, naturally, SCOTUS does not find that revolution (or consent) occurred.

In addition, the independence of TX during the war would mean two things:

1) TX was not subject to US law during the war, including when it sold the bonds. However, SCOTUS finds that TX’s sale of the bonds was illegal according to US law, because it was in support of its rebellion against the US. So not only was TX subject to US law, it was still in the process of rebellion against the US.

2) TX was conquered foreign territory after it surrendered. Which would mean TX was not a state when SCOTUS decided the case, and SCOTUS therefore did not have original jurisdiction. However, SCOTUS finds that TX was always a state, from the time it joined the Union, and SCOTUS therefore found it had original jurisdiction in the case.

So you see, SCOTUS does not find that revolution was completed, temporarily or otherwise.

As far as revolution as a legal process:
Kinda ambiguous, a State can by revolution in the hearts and minds of the people thereof secede and it be completely legal if it be a definable revolution, and the Federal Government can either honor it, or preserve the territorial integrity of the nation as a whole and either option be legal for the Government when looked at in that manner.
They’re opposites; they can’t both be legal. The government can’t legally take action against something that is legal. Consider for example a state instituting slavery. Completely constitutional prior to the 13th Amendment, so the Fed couldn’t possibly prevent a state from instituting slavery. You need consider the concept of constitutional revolution no further than the fact that the Constitution authorizes the Fed to suppress insurrection. What the Constitution authorizes the Fed to act against cannot possibly be considered constitutional. Revolution is never legal. No government is going to legally sanction its own overthrow. The purpose of government is law and order, and promoting revolution would be rather counterproductive to that.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
I never said the Constitution was a theory. That's false attribution. Might want to read the posts again.
If you intend to imply I have misstated the Constitution, prove it. If you can, I'll thank you.


Article VI, Sec. 2, gives light to the sins of secession, but, in this case, I point out only that No State is empowered or authorized to change the borders of the Union, set by treaties, State Constitutions or Laws to the contrary Notwithstanding.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Tx. v. white ruled that once in the Union, there was no way for a state to withdraw, out of that Union, except by either forcing its way out or by consultation with the other states of the Union. There is no logical way to misinterpret that.

The Constitution of the United States of America is the Organic Law(No Higher Man Made Law) of that Union of States. Secession, as confirmed by Tx. v. White, only through the operation of the Constitution, Not out of it.
 

ForeverFree

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I personally tend to steer clear of the topic of secession' legal status, and political discussions of the War period. Emotional attachment on both sides of the argument, unbending attitudes, a habit of modern politics infecting thought of the contenders and their conclusions, and finally outright baiting of people tends to dispel any thought of my part in participating, most of time because I don't care for being angry. But in the interest of seeing if calm debate can be had, after seeing yet another thread with passions running high, I wish to put out there a thought, on Texas v. White that people on one side claims as irrefutable proof of their point of view, and the other side fumbles to answer it. Here in this thread I'm not making my personal answers plain, and am just presenting a theory to see how the different sides of secession argument answer it, I may throw something out for digestion, but as of right now I want to observe, if you will. I'm not "trolling" or deliberately trying to start arguments where tempers flare, I'm simply curious as to everyone else's thoughts.

Texas v. White

I sometimes wonder how many people on either side of the debate of secession have actually sat down, read the whole thing and understood it, or how many people have sat down read it, and saw the clever legal shenanigan it can be interpreted as. Its conclusions are made abundantly clear, but reading that often argued over document, I can help but notice that it contradicts itself. Before any thoughts are given to saying one contradiction is irrelevant I'd like to point out in politics, in any era, one line of a document can be twisted in any direction to serve the person twisting it. Moving along and getting to the point I submit before the reader one little part of it.

"6. When Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation except through revolution or the consent of the States."

That one line, or even just the word "except" can be used to change the views of others, and be used to subvert the rest of the document and even say secession was legal because the way it was carried out. I'm not saying it does, just that it can be interpreted that way. The reason I say that is because of the word "revolution". Later in Texas v. White, it spells out the exact sequence of events leading to secession, this may be over simplifying it, but Texas called a secession convention, and voted for secession, and submitted it to the people to vote on it, which the majority of Texans voted for secession. The twist is, isn't that a revolution and therefore legalizing the secession of Texas?

The dictionary definition for revolution, specifically the Merriam-Webster definition 2-b is:
": a fundamental change in a political organization
especially: the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed

Is that not what happened? Both sides of the "Compact of States in the Constitution" vs. "Compact of the Union with the people" crowds of political and historical thought can find something here to either sink their argument or float it. The duly elected representatives of the people voted for secession and then submitted it to the people who voted for secession, so did not a revolution in the relationship between the governed and existing government happen? Does this not give the secession of the Southern United States a legal standing, albeit few years after the fact? I'm curious to see where this thread goes...

Reminder I am not making my views plain, I'm presenting a theory to see where it goes.

(1) It's important to define exactly what the right of revolution is.

The "right of revolution" is the right to "alter or abolish" a government, and create a new one, especially as a remedy for despotic or tyrannical behavior on the part of the government. As Wikipedia notes:
In political philosophy, the right of revolution is the right or duty, previously stated throughout history, of the people of a nation to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests. Belief in this right has been used throughout history to justify various revolutions, including the English Civil War, the American Revolution and the French Revolution.​
The concept of the right of revolution was developed at the beginning of the Enlightenment era in the work Two Treatises of Government. Written by the philosopher John Locke, the right to revolution formed an integral part of his social contract theory, in which he tried to define the origins and basis for social conditions and relationships. Locke declared that under natural law, all people have the right to life, liberty, and estate; under the social contract, the people could instigate a revolution against the government when it acted against the interests of citizens, to replace the government with one that served the interests of citizens. In some cases, Locke deemed revolution an obligation. The right of revolution thus essentially acted as a safeguard against tyranny.​
Locke affirmed an explicit right to revolution in Two Treatises of Government: “whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society; and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty.”​

The right to revolution is not based on any legal authority. Indeed, revolutionaries are conducting an action against the sovereign government. The right of revolution is a natural right, it is not a legal (or constitutional) right.

(2) Look at the DofI. Significantly, it does not cite any legal right that the colonists have to leave the Britain. Rather, they assert their natural rights to overthrow despots as the justification for their independence from their government:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.​
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.​

The Patriots do not claim any legal right to leave the British government. They point to God-given natural rights. They don't say, well, there's no law against this, so it must be OK. There are invoking the right of revolution, the natural right to overthrow despots.

The key thing to note is that, while people have the natural right to revolt, governments have the right to protect their sovereignty, and that includes the right to defend themselves against revolution, rebellion and insurrection. Revolution, like sovereignty, is only viable so long as it can achieved or maintained by force of arms. Thus, the American colonists had the right to revolt; and the British government had the right to resist that revolt, which it did.

(3) Per Wiki, Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity.

If a revolution upends the sovereignty of a government, then on a de facto basis, it is the new government. Texas v White recognizes this, but it is a recognition of the fact that there are extra-legal (eg, non-Constitutional) means to change government.

(4) It useful to end with a comment about natural law. As noted in Wiki,

Natural law is a philosophy that certain rights or values are inherent by virtue of human nature, and universally cognizable through human reason. Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze both social and personal human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior. The law of nature, being determined by nature, is universal.​
Although natural law is often conflated with common law, the two are distinct. Common law is not based on inherent rights, but is the legal tradition whereby certain rights or values are legally recognized by virtue of already having judicial recognition or articulation.​
Natural law is often contrasted with the human-made laws (positive law) of a given political community, society, or state. In legal theory, the interpretation of a human-made law requires some reference to natural law. On this understanding of natural law, natural law can be invoked to criticize judicial decisions about what the law says, but not to criticize the best interpretation of the law itself. Some jurists and scholars use natural law synonymously with natural justice or natural right (Latin ius naturale), while others distinguish between natural law and natural right.​

As noted above, "natural law" is not "common law," and in fact, is not "law" at all. It represents a perception, or a set of beliefs, about what people claim to be the "rights" granted by "God," or, rights that people suppose would exist under the so-called "law of nature."

Natural rights have no basis in monarchical or constitutional or executive or legislative or judicial sanction. Natural rights are inherently extra-legal. Indeed, a reason one would assert "natural law" or "natural right" is because there is no actual law (or perhaps positive law) to legitimize certain actions.

- Alan
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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Coffeeville, TX
First, let me say I appreciate your approach. It's nice to have a calm, respectful exchange.

But I think you're missing the point I was trying to make regarding the bonds/crux of the decision.

The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.

Your interpretation of “except through revolution” contradicts the rest of the decision. By your premise of legal/temporarily successful revolution, TX was independent of the US (i.e. it was a foreign country) during the war. However, SCOTUS finds just the opposite; TX was always a state of the Union.

The obligations of the State, as a member of the Union, and of every citizen of the State, as a citizen of the United States, remained perfect and unimpaired. It certainly follows that the State did not cease to be a State, nor her citizens to be citizens of the Union. If this were otherwise, the State must have become foreign, and her citizens foreigners. The war must have ceased to be a war for the suppression of rebellion, and must have become a war for conquest and subjugation.

Therefore, naturally, SCOTUS does not find that revolution (or consent) occurred.

In addition, the independence of TX during the war would mean two things:

1) TX was not subject to US law during the war, including when it sold the bonds. However, SCOTUS finds that TX’s sale of the bonds was illegal according to US law, because it was in support of its rebellion against the US. So not only was TX subject to US law, it was still in the process of rebellion against the US.

2) TX was conquered foreign territory after it surrendered. Which would mean TX was not a state when SCOTUS decided the case, and SCOTUS therefore did not have original jurisdiction. However, SCOTUS finds that TX was always a state, from the time it joined the Union, and SCOTUS therefore found it had original jurisdiction in the case.

So you see, SCOTUS does not find that revolution was completed, temporarily or otherwise.

As far as revolution as a legal process:

They’re opposites; they can’t both be legal. The government can’t legally take action against something that is legal. Consider for example a state instituting slavery. Completely constitutional prior to the 13th Amendment, so the Fed couldn’t possibly prevent a state from instituting slavery. You need consider the concept of constitutional revolution no further than the fact that the Constitution authorizes the Fed to suppress insurrection. What the Constitution authorizes the Fed to act against cannot possibly be considered constitutional. Revolution is never legal. No government is going to legally sanction its own overthrow. The purpose of government is law and order, and promoting revolution would be rather counterproductive to that.

I fully appreciate that we can discuss this with no apparent anger and so on.

But I think at this point we should just agree to disagree amicably. When discussing law it is always two or more sides with their own interpretations entrenched amongst the debaters, to try force one's views on another only invites discord and conflict and I see no need to take things that direction. I think we've both made our positions clear very well and fell we both have good points on the matter.

Which speaking of amicably I wonder if spoke to soon now earlier in this thread at this point.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
The question of secession was settled in the least desirable way possible.

Trial-by-combat. This was the courtroom decided upon by those declaring unilateral secession, a trial decided by armed conflict.

The Supreme Court put a bow on the battlefield results package and called it Texas v. White.

Over 700,000 deaths had already decided the issue long before Chase and the Supreme Court.

To argue the legality of secession or it's supposed nonmention or lack there of in the US Constitution is a waste of time and bandwidth.

Soldiers, both Union and Confederate, decided that issue long before any judge or lawyer put pen to paper.

Unionblue
 

Shelby's Foot

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Article VI, Sec. 2, gives light to the sins of secession, but, in this case, I point out only that No State is empowered or authorized to change the borders of the Union, set by treaties, State Constitutions or Laws to the contrary Notwithstanding.
Those prohibitions apply only to states in the union. If the relationship between any state and any union ceases for any reason, the terms of the relationship cease to have force.

If there were a Clause that prevented secession, it would probably be in Article 1, Section 10, the "no state shall" section. It would look like:
no state shall secede; or,
no state shall repeal, reverse or rescind its ratification statute; or directly rebuking the Declaration,
the states are hereby alienated from their unalienable God-given right to alter, abolish and change their union government

But no such prohibitions appear in any clause. On the subject of prohibitions to the states, the Constitution indicates that if the prohibition is not on the list, it does not exist. "Powers not..prohibited... are reserved" and that, as Art VI indicates, is the "supreme law of the land." The text is consistent with the states having a power or right to repeal their own ratification law, which is exactly what they did - and inconsistent with anything else.

The Court in Texas v White did not try to sneak a prohibition into the Const via Article VI, or any other part of the Const. that the states cannot repeal their ratification statute. And isn't the icing on the cake that several of the state ratification ordinances express that their right to repeal their ratification in the ordinance itself. They not only did not attempt to rebuke their inalienable right to self-determination, they re-affirmed it in the very document that made them members of this union.

If there were a Constitutional prohibition on states withdrawing, I suspect the southern states would not have "seceded," per se, and not issued "secession ordinances." Perhaps they would have issued declarations of independence. And one way or the other, Texas v White would never have been a case.

There is no text that says what your opinion needs it to say. That gets back to a question I posted, which no one answered - what reason would anyone reading the Declaration, the organic laws etc., have for reaching a conclusion that secession was illegal? Didn't you already think it was illegal when you came upon the word "supreme?" That's what I did when I held the same opinion as you and come upon that word -- 'ah, this must be it.'

Tx. v. white ruled that once in the Union, there was no way for a state to withdraw, out of that Union, except by either forcing its way out or by consultation with the other states of the Union.
You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. The Founders/Framers are entitled to theirs and wrote them down. But your opinion is not what they wrote.
 
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Shelby's Foot

Corporal
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Jan 12, 2010
@Shelby's Foot ,
What does Texas v. White say to you? What does it mean to you? What does it imply to you?
More importantly, what does Texas v. White do not do for you?
Sincerely, Unionblue
Thank you for the question, but it is a little broad. I am not sure what you are looking for beyond what I already posted - that the ruling is politically motivated and poorly constructed. In terms of the thread title, I would add that the ruling is not "proof." Proof is a very strong word and opinions are not proof. Did Taney "prove" that Negroes are a sub-order?

My personal method of deconstructing cases is threefold:
Is the law in question good, evil or silent?
What is the judge's oath and responsibility in the relevant system? Politics or jurisprudence.
If the judge is engaging in sophistry, is he good at it, bad at it, or just arrogantly laying it bare?
(Not to sidetrack into well-worn ground, but the primary observation of Dred Scott ought to be - court upholds wicked law?).

The court in Texas-White bootstraps its argument onto one cherry-picked word - perpetual. He overlooks (LOL) "...Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence." His opinion re "indissoluble" and that text are in diametric opposition. Is that proper construction, if effect, using one part of a document to defeat another part? Is it good or bad sophistry to fail to deal with the defeated text?

To believe Chase, requires an extraordinary suspension of disbelief. As I indicated in post 41, Chase's opinion has the founders fighting and sacrificing lives and fortunes in the name of the very right (to alter and abolish, to secede), they are simultaneously (1776-81) rebuking that right in the AoC.

In other threads, i have seen you (at least I think it was you) apply civil law contract principles to secession arguments. He is another contract law principle - the parties have to be sane (competent). If Chase is correct, the Founders were signing away rights at the very moment they were fighting a war to preserve. That would make them insane.
 
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Shelby's Foot

Corporal
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Thank you for the question, but it is a little broad. I am not sure what you are looking for beyond what I already posted - that the ruling is politically motivated and poorly constructed. In terms of the thread title, I would add that the ruling is not "proof." Proof is a very strong word and opinions are not proof. Did Taney "prove" that Negroes are a sub-order?

My personal method of deconstructing cases is threefold:
Is the law in question good, evil or silent?
What is the judge's oath and responsibility in the relevant system? Politics or jurisprudence.
If the judge is engaging in sophistry, is he good at it, bad at it, or just arrogantly laying it bare?
(Not to sidetrack into well-worn ground, but the primary observation of Dred Scott ought to be - court upholds wicked law?).

The court in Texas-White bootstraps its argument onto one cherry-picked word - perpetual. He overlooks (LOL) "...Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence." His opinion re "indissoluble" and that text are in diametric opposition. Is that proper construction, if effect, using one part of a document to defeat another part? Is it good or bad sophistry to fail to deal with the defeated text?

To believe Chase, requires an extraordinary suspension of disbelief. As I indicated in post 41, Chase's opinion has the founders fighting and sacrificing lives and fortunes in the name of the very right (to alter and abolish, to secede), they are simultaneously (1776-81) rebuking in the AoC. Huh?

In other threads, i have seen you (at least I think it was you) apply civil law contract principles to secession arguments. He is another contract law principle - the parties have to be sane (competent). If Chase is correct, the Founders were signing away rights at the very moment they were fighting a war to preserve. That would make them insane.
 

Shelby's Foot

Corporal
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
You need consider the concept of constitutional revolution no further than the fact that the Constitution authorizes the Fed to suppress insurrection. What the Constitution authorizes the Fed to act against cannot possibly be considered constitutional. Revolution is never legal.
I agree with the reasoning that what the Const authorizes, it cannot prevent (and vice verse).

However, I have a question about the facts. Ca. 1787, the state began individually passing laws establishing themselves as part of the union organized by the Constitution. Ca. 1860-61 some states repealed those laws. When first passed, some of those laws even stipulated that if the state so chooses, at a later date, they might repeal their ratification statute.

How do you get "revolution" out of that? Wouldn't revolution require an inherently lawless act?

Has anyone else considered that when the states were ratifying the US Const., they could alternatively ratified agreements to be in union with France or England, for example? It's a fascinating subject, trying to learn how that right to be in a union with anyone you choose, vanished.
 
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Shelby's Foot

Corporal
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
To argue the legality of secession or it's supposed nonmention or lack there of in the US Constitution is a waste of time and bandwidth.
I agree with you to some extent. Constitutions and written law don't matter, and that whoever has the most guns and ambition rules.

However, I disagree in part, also. While I don't "care" so-to-speak whether Davis and his pals were brigands who tried to steal a large chunk of land, or whether Lincoln conquered the CSA the same way Genghis Khan conquered Asia - I do want to know the truth. Why else study history? Isn't it more fun just to watch Star Wars and Harry Potter?
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
I agree with you to some extent. Constitutions and written law don't matter, and that whoever has the most guns and ambition rules.

However, I disagree in part, also. While I don't "care" so-to-speak whether Davis and his pals were brigands who tried to steal a large chunk of land, or whether Lincoln conquered the CSA the same way Genghis Khan conquered Asia - I do want to know the truth. Why else study history? Isn't it more fun just to watch Star Wars and Harry Potter?


If one does not care about legalities, why care about what Tx v. White says, or how it came to say it?
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Those prohibitions apply only to states in the union. If the relationship between any state and any union ceases for any reason, the terms of the relationship

The Court in Texas v White did not try to sneak a prohibition into the Const via Article VI, or any other part of the Const. that the states cannot repeal their ratification statute.document that made them members of this union.

Founders/Framers are entitled to theirs and wrote them down. But your opinion is not what they wrote.


The question was were the rebel slave states out of the Union? Confederates said yes, the Union said No, and, as it turned out not only were they Not out of the Union, but they never had been and for good measure, never could be, without permission of the Union.

The Supremacy Clause, says no state can violate any of the clearlytexpressedpowers of the Constitution, for any reason including state constiittions or laws. So, for instance, if one wanted to secede without permission legally(Constitutionally) they would first have to do it wiout violating any of the powers of the Supremacy Clause

The Court did not cite the Supremacy clause, because they had a better reason, in the Claims of the Articles of Confederation.





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cease to have force.

If there were a Clause that prevented secession, it would probably be in Article 1, Section 10, the "no state shall" section. It would look like:
no state shall secede; or,
no state shall repeal, reverse or rescind its ratification statute; or directly rebuking the Declaration,
the states are hereby alienated from their unalienable God-given right to alter, abolish and change their union government

But no such prohibitions appear in any clause. On the subject of prohibitions to the states, the Constitution indicates that if the prohibition is not on the list, it does not exist. "Powers not..prohibited... are reserved" and that, as Art VI indicates, is the "supreme law of the land." The text is consistent with the states having a power or right to repeal their own ratification law, which is exactly what they did - and inconsistent with anything else.

The Court in Texas v White did not try to sneak a prohibition into the Const via Article VI, or any other part of the Const. that the states cannot repeal their ratification statute. And isn't the icing on the cake that several of the state ratification ordinances express that their right to repeal their ratification in the ordinance itself. They not only did not attempt to rebuke their inalienable right to self-determination, they re-affirmed it in the very document that made them members of this union.

If there were a Constitutional prohibition on states withdrawing, I suspect the southern states would not have "seceded," per se, and not issued "secession ordinances." Perhaps they would have issued declarations of independence. And one way or the other, Texas v White would never have been a case.

There is no text that says what your opinion needs it to say. That gets back to a question I posted, which no one answered - what reason would anyone reading the Declaration, the organic laws etc., have for reaching a conclusion that secession was illegal? Didn't you already think it was illegal when you came upon the word "supreme?" That's what I did when I held the same opinion as you and come upon that word -- 'ah, this must be it.'
You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. The Founders/Framers are entitled to theirs and wrote them down. But your opinion is not what they wrote.[/QUOTE]
 
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