On Secession: An Analysis of Texas v. White

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jgoodguy

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The dissent doesn't address the question of whether secession is legal or not. Instead, it asserts that the legality of secession is irrelevant to the case at hand. The relevant passage reads: “Politically, Texas is not a State in this Union. Whether rightfully out of it or not is a question not before the court.”
Agree. The dissents were over definition of States. Not secession.
I found the use of Robert Cooper Grier as someone undermining the Texas v White ruling was interesting. He shows up in the Dred Scott decision and in the Prize Cases.

One of the few things that Justice Grier despised more than abolition was disunion. In his majority opinion, Grier supported Lincoln. “A civil war is never solemnly declared,” he wrote. “It becomes such by its accidents – the number, power, and organization of the persons who originate and carry it on.”[13] Though Congress did not proclaim a state of war existed, thought Grier, “its actual existence is a fact in our domestic history which the Court is bound to notice and to know.”[14]Thus, by citing the power that the Constitution confers on the president to use the military to protect the Union, Grier upheld Lincoln’s tactics. In what many claim as the most important judicial decision during the war, Grier delivered a dagger to the Confederacy and to the institution of slavery.
 

OpnCoronet

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Here is one link on the problems with Texas v. White:
"On Secession: An Analysis of Texas v. White," by Cory Genelin, in American Thinker, January 10, 2013
http://www.americanthinker.com/author/cory_genelin/
EXCERPT:

Strangely, after going to the trouble of laying out Texas' procedure for its attempt at secession, Chase, in his argument, practically ignores them. If, as is proffered, Texas v. White holds that no process could ever affect secession, then Chase's reasoning is more implicit than explicit. It is implied that the politicians representing Texas in 1845 were able to forever bind all Texans to the Union, yet the politicians representing Texas 16 years later had no power to unbind them. Did one of these governments have the consent of the governed and not the other? How is it possible for one generation of Texans to grant to their government the authority over every following generation until the end of time? If we assume that the holding in Texas v. White is absolute, and that Chase's criticisms went beyond procedural flaws, then these questions must be answered. There were certainly not answered by Chase.

Chase's argument is particularly troubling in light of his discussions regarding just what a state is. Essentially, Chase seems to say that the State, in the sense of the people, or the nation, lives on perpetually, while the State, in the sense of the government, can come and go. This certainly comports with history. However, as applied to the actual history of Texas, his logic would hold that the ephemeral state (government) can perpetually bind the eternal state (people).​



The Author of the Article, to me, would a classic example of making mountains out of mole hills, Even If, his basic premise for his article were not false, if not specious.

The Author claims to question whether Texas v. White is a binding precedent as to the future legality of a state attempting to secede.

Clearly, The Chase court set a binding precedent, in Law, as to the future legality of a state attempting to secede, until such time, if ever, it would be overturned by a future Court decision or another Constitutional medium(Congress, the People); Which is all that any Court can ever claim.
 

jgoodguy

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The Author of the Article, to me, would a classic example of making mountains out of mole hills, Even If, his basic premise for his article were not false, if not specious.

The Author claims to question whether Texas v. White is a binding precedent as to the future legality of a state attempting to secede.

Clearly, The Chase court set a binding precedent, in Law, as to the future legality of a state attempting to secede, until such time, if ever, it would be overturned by a future Court decision or another Constitutional medium(Congress, the People); Which is all that any Court can ever claim.
Agree.
 
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cash

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So, Texas v. White has NOT been overturned?
The main decision in Texas v. White that dealt with the bonds was in fact overturned by Morgan v. US.

"It is apparent that the original decision of the court in reference to the Texas indemnity bonds in Texas v. White, 7 Wall. 700, has been questioned and limited in important particulars in the subsequent cases involving the same questions. The position there taken that the legislature of Texas, while the State was owner of the bonds, could limit their negotiability by an act of legislation, of which all subsequent purchasers were charged with notice, although the bonds on their face were payable to bearer, must be regarded as overruled. And the further position that negotiable government securities, redeemable at the pleasure of the government after a specified day, but in which no date is fixed for final payment, cease to be negotiable as overdue after the day named when they first become redeemable, must be regarded as limited to cases where the title of the purchaser is acquired with notice of the defect of title, or under circumstances which discredit the instrument, such as would affect the title to negotiable paper payable on demand, when purchased after an unreasonable length of time from the date of issue." [Morgan v. United States, 113 US 476, 496]

The holding of Court regarding the unconstitutionality of secession in Texas v. White was left untouched.
 
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jgoodguy

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The main decision in Texas v. White that dealt with the bonds was in fact overturned by Morgan v. US.

"It is apparent that the original decision of the court in reference to the Texas indemnity bonds in Texas v. White, 7 Wall. 700, has been questioned and limited in important particulars in the subsequent cases involving the same questions. The position there taken that the legislature of Texas, while the State was owner of the bonds, could limit their negotiability by an act of legislation, of which all subsequent purchasers were charged with notice, although the bonds on their face were payable to bearer, must be regarded as overruled. And the further position that negotiable government securities, redeemable at the pleasure of the government after a specified day, but in which no date is fixed for final payment, cease to be negotiable as overdue after the day named when they first become redeemable, must be regarded as limited to cases where the title of the purchaser is acquired with notice of the defect of title, or under circumstances which discredit the instrument, such as would affect the title to negotiable paper payable on demand, when purchased after an unreasonable length of time from the date of issue." [Morgan v. United States, 113 US 476, 496]

The holding of Court regarding the unconstitutionality of secession in Texas v. White was left untouched.
Based on my reading of the case, the Bonds in the Texas v White still were the object of an illegal and void contract. White and Chiles did not recover them. The overturned part regarded that the State of Texas could limited negotiability of US bonds by an act of Texas legislature. The Bonds affected by the Morgan v. US were a different set from the ones in Texas V White.
 

KeyserSoze

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Texas did not, at the time of the trial, meet the definition of a state as laid out by Marshall in Hepburn & Dundass v. Ellxey
-- Texas had no representatives in Congress
-- "Has her voice been heard in the late election of President?"
--
Texas was then "held and governed as a conquered province by military force"
-- a legal Republican form of government, as guaranteed by the Constitution, was not in force in Texas
-- Congress had declared Texas a "rebel state"
Texas was a rebel state...but still a state. Admitted to the Union in 1845 and a state ever since.
 
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Andersonh1

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Texas was a rebel state...but still a state. Admitted to the Union in 1845 and a state ever since.
The dissenting judge laid out criteria to determine what a state in the Union is and is not, based on court precedent and the Constitution, and Texas did not meet the criteria. That's a lot more convincing to me than a simple unsupported assertion that "Texas was always a state."
 

unionblue

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The dissenting judge laid out criteria to determine what a state in the Union is and is not, based on court precedent and the Constitution, and Texas did not meet the criteria. That's a lot more convincing to me than a simple unsupported assertion that "Texas was always a state."
Andersonh1,

You really enjoy supporting a 'lost cause,' legal or otherwise but what does that support do for the decided legal and constitutional that was decided?

You give your opinion in the face of accomplished fact, and you say you are not convinced.

For me, when I read your posts, you are the lone, dissenting judge on this forum.

God bless you for that.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

jgoodguy

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The dissenting judge laid out criteria to determine what a state in the Union is and is not, based on court precedent and the Constitution, and Texas did not meet the criteria. That's a lot more convincing to me than a simple unsupported assertion that "Texas was always a state."
OTOH, in the time and place, had the dissenting opinion that you favor been followed, then the radical idea of reconstruction resulting in turning the former CSA States into territories, putting them through grinder of political process of new States and my State of Alabama would have vanished into some State of different shape possibility named after some Union general's Southern mistress could have been. Chase's decision short circuited that process. We do not know the possibility of that happening, but we do know it existed and Texas v White stopped it. Be wary of what you wish for.
 
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Andersonh1

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Andersonh1,

You really enjoy supporting a 'lost cause,' legal or otherwise but what does that support do for the decided legal and constitutional that was decided?

You give your opinion in the face of accomplished fact, and you say you are not convinced.

For me, when I read your posts, you are the lone, dissenting judge on this forum.

God bless you for that.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Sometimes the prevailing, winning, legally binding opinion doesn't convince me as much as the one that lost. No harm in saying so on an internet forum. :smile:
 

jgoodguy

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Sometimes the prevailing, winning, legally binding opinion doesn't convince me as much as the one that lost. No harm in saying so on an internet forum. :smile:
OTOH I place my bets on the prevailing, winning, legally binding opinion, regardless of my opinion.
 

cash

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Sometimes the prevailing, winning, legally binding opinion doesn't convince me as much as the one that lost. No harm in saying so on an internet forum. :smile:
No matter how many people claim the sky is blue, go ahead and keep insisting it's green.
 
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ivanj05

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Can we not hold SC decisions up to the level of Scripture? The court has been known to get it wrong, given that it has reversed itself on more than one occasion. One can look at a SCOTUS ruling critically while granting its standing as the current last (legal) word on the subject.
 

OpnCoronet

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The dissenting judge laid out criteria to determine what a state in the Union is and is not, based on court precedent and the Constitution, and Texas did not meet the criteria. That's a lot more convincing to me than a simple unsupported assertion that "Texas was always a state."



What you are saying is that in any law passed by a majority, does not count if your opinion is with the minority???

Like all Supreme Courts decisions(or any court?) the court's jurisdiction has First to be established. All Chase was doing was to establish, to the courts satisfaction, that Tx. was still a State, when the Bonds were issued, and never ceased being a State in the Union of States known as the United States of America and its Constitution and Law. With that established, then the Court could render its decision based on the Constitution and its laws...Which it did, for precisely the reasons it claimed in its decision.
 
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Andersonh1

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Can we not hold SC decisions up to the level of Scripture? The court has been known to get it wrong, given that it has reversed itself on more than one occasion. One can look at a SCOTUS ruling critically while granting its standing as the current last (legal) word on the subject.
Agreed, that's all I'm trying to say.
 
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