Reconstruction, how bad was it really?

Viper21

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How, why, when did he have his property taken away? WHO specifically took his property?
You are also preaching generalities here, the same spill I hear all the time, but no substance. HOW did THOSE soldiers cause "suffering" on a daily basis? How were folk NOT represented?
All I'm hearing is mostly anger, but nothing much else. It gets old, I'm offering an opportunity to give factual evidence.

Kevin Dally
Perhaps you should re-read the first paragraph of my post. It's pretty self explanatory. I realize you have zero sympathy for those folks I'm referencing, it doesn't change their plight. It's history.
 

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leftyhunter

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Reconstruction was not "a complete disaster" for African Americans.
Passage of the Freedmen's Bureau Act, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 succeeded in fulfilling the promise of emancipation. Qualified Blacks were elected to positions in every level of government and demonstrated their abilities were equal to those of Whites. The claim that Blacks were incapable of intelligent thought, that they could not govern was dispelled.
New schools and Colleges were built and there were improvements in education and literacy among all Southerners, Black and White.
The failures many attribute to Reconstruction were, in reality, successes of the Redemption. The social changes many had hoped would accompany military and political success never took hold. In spite of their solemn promises to President Hayes, former Rebels ruthlessly took back power and passed black codes, voter qualifications, and other legislation taking away the rights that Blacks had gained. Through the sharecropping system, former slaveholders reintroduced a form of their 'peculiar institution' and destroyed economic opportunity for Blacks.
Sadly the Supreme Court in its decisions in the Slaughterhouse Cases, the Civil Rights Cases, and United States v. Cruikshank effectively erased most of the civil rights gains Blacks achieved during Reconstruction.
We Americans need to put the blame for our post-Civil War civil rights failures where it belongs: not with the so-called 'Radical Republicans' and Reconstruction, but with the Southern Redeemers, a Supreme Court that simply 'got it wrong' and the failure the of successive, complacent Administrations and Congresses to act to uphold the principles of Lincoln and Reconstruction.
Despite some early gains Reconstruction was a major failure until rather recent events. However the ultimate battle over Civil Rights is far from over.
Leftyhunter
 

Tin cup

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Perhaps you should re-read the first paragraph of my post. It's pretty self explanatory. I realize you have zero sympathy for those folks I'm referencing, it doesn't change their plight. It's history.
Specifics?

Kevin Dally
 

cash

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Not at all. I know what was inflicted on the South during reconstruction as my GGG Grandfather Col W H McCardle was arrested in Vicksburg my Gen Ord for his editorial in the newspaper he owned. It went all the way to the Supreme Court and he won.

According to the source you posted, he lost. "Since Congress withdrew jurisdiction to hear the case, McCardle had no legal recourse to challenge his imprisonment in federal court."
 

ucvrelics

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You didn't read it all and your not familiar with his case as I am. His petition forced the Congress to change its tune.

However, some scholars have argued[citation needed] that McCardle is distinguishable because only one "path" to the Supreme Court was repealed by Congress in McCardle. In fact, the constitutionality of the Military Reconstruction Act (the issue McCardle was challenging) was eventually decided on habeas petitions that took a different "path" to the Supreme Court a few years after McCardle. Therefore, not all "paths" were closed. Based on this, Ex parte McCardle may only mean that Congress can regulate which method is used to petition for habeas as long as some "path" stays open.
 
Last edited:

uaskme

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Despite some early gains Reconstruction was a major failure until rather recent events. However the ultimate battle over Civil Rights is far from over.
Leftyhunter
The Republicans took it all away with a Supreme Court decision in 1883. Declared that the 1875 Civil Rights Law was unconstitutional.

During this time period Western Native Americans were murdered at will by the Federal Government.

1883 Chinese Exclusion Act. Banned an entire Race from Immigration. Few exceptions.

1870 the Federal Government confirmed White in our Immigration Laws.

Can’t blame it all on the South.
 

cash

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You didn't read it all and your not familiar with his case as I am. His petition forced the Congress to change its tune.
No, it didn't. Congress didn't repeal the Reconstruction Acts, he was still imprisoned.

However, some scholars have argued[citation needed] that McCardle is distinguishable because only one "path" to the Supreme Court was repealed by Congress in McCardle. In fact, the constitutionality of the Military Reconstruction Act (the issue McCardle was challenging) was eventually decided on habeas petitions that took a different "path" to the Supreme Court a few years after McCardle. Therefore, not all "paths" were closed. Based on this, Ex parte McCardle may only mean that Congress can regulate which method is used to petition for habeas as long as some "path" stays open.

Different cases. According to your source, he lost.
Edited.
 

ucvrelics

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U.S. Supreme Court
Ex Parte McCardle, 73 U.S. 6 Wall. 318 318 (1867)
Ex Parte McCardle
73 U.S. (6 Wall.) 318


Syllabus
Under the Act of February 5, 1867, 14 Stat. at Large 385, to amend the Judiciary Act of 1789, an appeal lies to this Court on judgments in habeas corpus cases rendered by circuit courts in the exercise of original jurisdiction.
Page 73 U. S. 319

The Judiciary Act of 1789, [Footnote 1] enacts:
"That either of the Justices of the Supreme Court as well as judges of the district courts, shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus, for the purpose of an inquiry into the cause of commitment, provided that writs of habeas corpus, shall in no case extend to prisoners in jail, unless where they are in custody under or by color of the authority of the United States, or are committed for trial before some court of the same, or are necessary to be brought into court to testify."
A subsequent Act, one of February 5, 1867, [Footnote 2] to amend the Judiciary Act of 1789, enacts:
"SEC. 1. That the several courts of the United States, and the several justices and judges of such courts, within their respective jurisdiction, in addition to the authority already conferred by law, shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases where any person may be restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the Constitution, or of any treaty or law of the United States."
After providing for the awarding, direction, serving and return of the writ, and for the hearing &c., the act proceeds:
"From the final decision of any judge, justice, or court inferior to the circuit court, appeal may be taken to the circuit court of the United States for the district in which said cause is heard, and from the judgment of said circuit court to the Supreme Court of the United States."
"And pending such proceedings or appeal, and until final judgment be rendered therein, and after final judgment of discharge in the same, any proceeding against such person so alleged to be restrained of his or her liberty in any state court, or under the authority of any state, for any matter or thing so heard and determined, or in process of being heard and determined, under and by virtue of such writ of habeas corpus, shall be deemed null and void. "
Page 73 U. S. 320

The act further declares:
"SEC. 2. . . . This act shall not apply to any person who is or may be held in the custody of the military authorities of the United States, charged with any military offense."
In this state of statutory law, a writ of habeas corpus was issued from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Mississippi, on the 12th of November, 1867, upon the petition of William H. McCardle, directed to Alvin C. Gillem and E. O. C. Ord, requiring them to produce the body of the petitioner, together with the cause of his imprisonment, and to abide the order of the court in respect to the legality of such imprisonment.
At the time of issuing the writ, E. O. C. Ord was brevet Major General commanding the Fourth Military District, and Alvin C. Gillem was brevet Major General commanding the sub-district of Mississippi, under the Reconstruction Acts of Congress.
In obedience to the writ, Major General Gillem, on the 21st of November, made a return of the cause of imprisonment, from which it appeared that McCardle had been arrested and was held in custody for trial by a military commission, under the alleged authority of the Reconstruction Acts, for charges, (1) of disturbance of the public peace; (2) of inciting to insurrection, disorder, and violence; (3) of libel; and (4) of impeding reconstruction.
On making this return, Major General Gillem surrendered McCardle to the court, and he was ordered into the custody of the marshal.
Subsequently, on the 25th of November, 1867, the circuit court adjudged that the petitioner be remanded to the custody of Major General Gillem, from which judgment the petitioner prayed an appeal to this Court, which was allowed, and a bond for costs given according to the order of the court.
On the same 25th of November, on the motion of the petitioner, he was admitted to bail on his own recognizance, with sufficient sureties, in the sum of one thousand dollars,
Page 73 U. S. 321
conditioned for his appearance to abide by and perform the final judgment of this Court.
The legal consequence of this admission to bail was the discharge of the prisoner, both from the custody of the marshal and of Major General Gillem, with a continuing liability, however, under the recognizance, to be returned, first to the civil court, and then to military custody, in case of affirmance by this Court of the judgment of the circuit court.
The ground assigned for the motion to dismiss the appeal was a want of jurisdiction in this Court to take cognizance of it.


1. The appellate jurisdiction of this court is conferred by the Constitution, and not derived from acts of Congress, but is conferred "with such exceptions, and under such regulations, as Congress may make," and, therefore, acts of Congress affirming such jurisdiction have always been construed as excepting from it all cases not expressly described and provided for.

2. When, therefore, Congress enacts that this court shall have appellate jurisdiction over final decisions of the Circuit Courts in certain cases, the act operates as a negation or exception of such jurisdiction in other cases, and the repeal of the act necessarily negatives jurisdiction under it of these cases also.

3. The repeal of such an act, pending an appeal provided for by it, is not an exercise of judicial power by the legislature, no matter whether the repeal takes effect before or after argument of the appeal.

4. The act of 27th March, 1868, repealing that provision of the act of 5th of February, 1867, to amend the Judicial Act of 1789, which authorized appeals to this court from the decisions of the Circuit Courts in cases of habeas corpus, does not except from the appellate jurisdiction of this [p507] court any cases but appeals under the act of 1867. It does not affect the appellate jurisdiction which was previously exercised in cases of habeas corpus.

The case was this:

The Constitution of the United States ordains as follows:

§ 1. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

§ 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law or equity arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States,

&c.

And in these last cases, the Constitution ordains that,

The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations, as the Congress shall make.

With these constitutional provisions in existence, Congress, on the 5th February, 1867, by "An act to amend an act to establish the judicial courts of the United States, approved September 24, 1789," provided that the several courts of the United States, and the several justices and judges of such courts, within their respective jurisdiction, in addition to the authority already conferred by law, should have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases where any person may be restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the Constitution, or of any treaty or law of the United States. And that, from the final decision of any judge, justice, or court inferior to the Circuit Court, appeal might be taken to the Circuit Court of the United States for the district in which the cause was heard, and from the judgment of the said Circuit Court to the Supreme Court of the United States.

This statute being in force, one McCardle, alleging unlawful restraint by military force, preferred a petition in the court below, for the writ of habeas corpus. [p508]

The writ was issued, and a return was made by the military commander admitting the restraint, but denying that it was unlawful.

It appeared that the petitioner was not in the military service of the United States, but was held in custody by military authority for trial before a military commission upon charges founded upon the publication of articles alleged to be incendiary and libelous, in a newspaper of which he was editor. The custody was alleged to be under the authority of certain acts of Congress.

Upon the hearing, the petitioner was remanded to the military custody, but, upon his prayer, an appeal was allowed him to this court, and upon filing the usual appeal bond, for costs, he was admitted to bail upon recognizance, with sureties conditioned for his future appearance in the Circuit Court, to abide by and perform the final judgment of this court. The appeal was taken under the above-mentioned act of February 5, 1867.

A motion to dismiss this appeal was made at the last term, and, after argument, was denied. [n1]

Subsequently, on the 2d, 3d, 4th, and 9th March, the case was argued very thoroughly and ably upon the merits, and was taken under advisement. While it was thus held, and before conference in regard to the decision proper to be made, an act was passed by Congress, [n2] returned with objections by the President, and, on the 27th March, repassed by the constitutional majority, the second section of which was as follows:

And be it further enacted, That so much of the act approved February 5, 1867, entitled "An act to amend an act to establish the judicial courts of the United States, approved September 24, 1789," as authorized an appeal from the judgment of the Circuit Court to the Supreme Court of the United States, or the exercise of any such jurisdiction by said Supreme Court, on appeals which have been, or may hereafter be taken, be, and the same is hereby repealed. [p509]

The attention of the court was directed to this statute at the last term, but counsel having expressed a desire to be heard in argument upon its effect, and the Chief Justice being detained from his place here by his duties in the Court of Impeachment, the cause was continued under advisement. Argument was now heard upon the effect of the repealing act. [p512]

TOP
Opinion

CHASE, C.J., Opinion of the Court

THE CHIEF JUSTICE delivered the opinion of the court.

The first question necessarily is that of jurisdiction, for if the act of March, 1868, takes away the jurisdiction defined by the act of February, 1867, it is useless, if not improper, to enter into any discussion of other questions.

It is quite true, as was argued by the counsel for the petitioner, that the appellate jurisdiction of this court is not derived from acts of Congress. It is, strictly speaking, conferred [p513] by the Constitution. But it is conferred "with such exceptions and under such regulations as Congress shall make."

It is unnecessary to consider whether, if Congress had made no exceptions and no regulations, this court might not have exercised general appellate jurisdiction under rules prescribed by itself. For among the earliest acts of the first Congress, at its first session, was the act of September 24th, 1789, to establish the judicial courts of the United States. That act provided for the organization of this court, and prescribed regulations for the exercise of its jurisdiction.

The source of that jurisdiction, and the limitations of it by the Constitution and by statute, have been on several occasions subjects of consideration here. In the case of Durousseau v. The United States [n3] particularly, the whole matter was carefully examined, and the court held that, while "the appellate powers of this court are not given by the judicial act, but are given by the Constitution," they are, nevertheless, "limited and regulated by that act, and by such other acts as have been passed on the subject." The court said further that the judicial act was an exercise of the power given by the Constitution to Congress "of making exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court." "They have described affirmatively," said the court,

its jurisdiction, and this affirmative description has been understood to imply a negation of the exercise of such appellate power as is not comprehended within it.

The principle that the affirmation of appellate jurisdiction implies the negation of all such jurisdiction not affirmed having been thus established, it was an almost necessary consequence that acts of Congress, providing for the exercise of jurisdiction, should come to be spoken of as acts granting jurisdiction, and not as acts making exceptions to the constitutional grant of it.

The exception to appellate jurisdiction in the case before us, however, is not an inference from the affirmation of other [p514] appellate jurisdiction. It is made in terms. The provision of the act of 1867 affirming the appellate jurisdiction of this court in cases of habeas corpus is expressly repealed. It is hardly possible to imagine a plainer instance of positive exception.

We are not at liberty to inquire into the motives of the legislature. We can only examine into its power under the Constitution, and the power to make exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction of this court is given by express words.

What, then, is the effect of the repealing act upon the case before us? We cannot doubt as to this. Without jurisdiction, the court cannot proceed at all in any cause. Jurisdiction is power to declare the law, and, when it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of announcing the fact and dismissing the cause. And this is not less clear upon authority than upon principle.

Several cases were cited by the counsel for the petitioner in support of the position that jurisdiction of this case is not affected by the repealing act. But none of them, in our judgment, affords any support to it. They are all cases of the exercise of judicial power by the legislature, or of legislative interference with courts in the exercising of continuing jurisdiction. [n4]

On the other hand, the general rule, supported by the best elementary writers, [n5] is that, "when an act of the legislature is repealed, it must be considered, except as to transactions past and closed, as if it never existed." And the effect of repealing acts upon suits under acts repealed has been determined by the adjudications of this court. The subject was fully considered in Norris v. Crecker, [n6] and more recently in Insurance Company v. Ritchie. [n7] In both of these cases, it was held that no judgment could be rendered in a suit after the repeal of the act under which it was brought and prosecuted. [p515]

It is quite clear, therefore, that this court cannot proceed to pronounce judgment in this case, for it has no longer jurisdiction of the appeal, and judicial duty is not less fitly performed by declining ungranted jurisdiction than in exercising firmly that which the Constitution and the laws confer.

Counsel seem to have supposed, if effect be given to the repealing act in question, that the whole appellate power of the court, in cases of habeas corpus, is denied. But this is an error. The act of 1868 does not except from that jurisdiction any cases but appeals from Circuit Courts under the act of 1867. It does not affect the jurisdiction which was previously exercised
 

cash

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U.S. Supreme Court
Ex Parte McCardle, 73 U.S. 6 Wall. 318 318 (1867)
Ex Parte McCardle
73 U.S. (6 Wall.) 318


Syllabus
Under the Act of February 5, 1867, 14 Stat. at Large 385, to amend the Judiciary Act of 1789, an appeal lies to this Court on judgments in habeas corpus cases rendered by circuit courts in the exercise of original jurisdiction.
Page 73 U. S. 319

The Judiciary Act of 1789, [Footnote 1] enacts:
"That either of the Justices of the Supreme Court as well as judges of the district courts, shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus, for the purpose of an inquiry into the cause of commitment, provided that writs of habeas corpus, shall in no case extend to prisoners in jail, unless where they are in custody under or by color of the authority of the United States, or are committed for trial before some court of the same, or are necessary to be brought into court to testify."
A subsequent Act, one of February 5, 1867, [Footnote 2] to amend the Judiciary Act of 1789, enacts:
"SEC. 1. That the several courts of the United States, and the several justices and judges of such courts, within their respective jurisdiction, in addition to the authority already conferred by law, shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases where any person may be restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the Constitution, or of any treaty or law of the United States."
After providing for the awarding, direction, serving and return of the writ, and for the hearing &c., the act proceeds:
"From the final decision of any judge, justice, or court inferior to the circuit court, appeal may be taken to the circuit court of the United States for the district in which said cause is heard, and from the judgment of said circuit court to the Supreme Court of the United States."
"And pending such proceedings or appeal, and until final judgment be rendered therein, and after final judgment of discharge in the same, any proceeding against such person so alleged to be restrained of his or her liberty in any state court, or under the authority of any state, for any matter or thing so heard and determined, or in process of being heard and determined, under and by virtue of such writ of habeas corpus, shall be deemed null and void. "
Page 73 U. S. 320

The act further declares:
"SEC. 2. . . . This act shall not apply to any person who is or may be held in the custody of the military authorities of the United States, charged with any military offense."
In this state of statutory law, a writ of habeas corpus was issued from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Mississippi, on the 12th of November, 1867, upon the petition of William H. McCardle, directed to Alvin C. Gillem and E. O. C. Ord, requiring them to produce the body of the petitioner, together with the cause of his imprisonment, and to abide the order of the court in respect to the legality of such imprisonment.
At the time of issuing the writ, E. O. C. Ord was brevet Major General commanding the Fourth Military District, and Alvin C. Gillem was brevet Major General commanding the sub-district of Mississippi, under the Reconstruction Acts of Congress.
In obedience to the writ, Major General Gillem, on the 21st of November, made a return of the cause of imprisonment, from which it appeared that McCardle had been arrested and was held in custody for trial by a military commission, under the alleged authority of the Reconstruction Acts, for charges, (1) of disturbance of the public peace; (2) of inciting to insurrection, disorder, and violence; (3) of libel; and (4) of impeding reconstruction.
On making this return, Major General Gillem surrendered McCardle to the court, and he was ordered into the custody of the marshal.
Subsequently, on the 25th of November, 1867, the circuit court adjudged that the petitioner be remanded to the custody of Major General Gillem, from which judgment the petitioner prayed an appeal to this Court, which was allowed, and a bond for costs given according to the order of the court.
On the same 25th of November, on the motion of the petitioner, he was admitted to bail on his own recognizance, with sufficient sureties, in the sum of one thousand dollars,
Page 73 U. S. 321
conditioned for his appearance to abide by and perform the final judgment of this Court.
The legal consequence of this admission to bail was the discharge of the prisoner, both from the custody of the marshal and of Major General Gillem, with a continuing liability, however, under the recognizance, to be returned, first to the civil court, and then to military custody, in case of affirmance by this Court of the judgment of the circuit court.
The ground assigned for the motion to dismiss the appeal was a want of jurisdiction in this Court to take cognizance of it.


1. The appellate jurisdiction of this court is conferred by the Constitution, and not derived from acts of Congress, but is conferred "with such exceptions, and under such regulations, as Congress may make," and, therefore, acts of Congress affirming such jurisdiction have always been construed as excepting from it all cases not expressly described and provided for.

2. When, therefore, Congress enacts that this court shall have appellate jurisdiction over final decisions of the Circuit Courts in certain cases, the act operates as a negation or exception of such jurisdiction in other cases, and the repeal of the act necessarily negatives jurisdiction under it of these cases also.

3. The repeal of such an act, pending an appeal provided for by it, is not an exercise of judicial power by the legislature, no matter whether the repeal takes effect before or after argument of the appeal.

4. The act of 27th March, 1868, repealing that provision of the act of 5th of February, 1867, to amend the Judicial Act of 1789, which authorized appeals to this court from the decisions of the Circuit Courts in cases of habeas corpus, does not except from the appellate jurisdiction of this [p507] court any cases but appeals under the act of 1867. It does not affect the appellate jurisdiction which was previously exercised in cases of habeas corpus.

The case was this:

The Constitution of the United States ordains as follows:

§ 1. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

§ 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law or equity arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States,

&c.

And in these last cases, the Constitution ordains that,

The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations, as the Congress shall make.

With these constitutional provisions in existence, Congress, on the 5th February, 1867, by "An act to amend an act to establish the judicial courts of the United States, approved September 24, 1789," provided that the several courts of the United States, and the several justices and judges of such courts, within their respective jurisdiction, in addition to the authority already conferred by law, should have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases where any person may be restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the Constitution, or of any treaty or law of the United States. And that, from the final decision of any judge, justice, or court inferior to the Circuit Court, appeal might be taken to the Circuit Court of the United States for the district in which the cause was heard, and from the judgment of the said Circuit Court to the Supreme Court of the United States.

This statute being in force, one McCardle, alleging unlawful restraint by military force, preferred a petition in the court below, for the writ of habeas corpus. [p508]

The writ was issued, and a return was made by the military commander admitting the restraint, but denying that it was unlawful.

It appeared that the petitioner was not in the military service of the United States, but was held in custody by military authority for trial before a military commission upon charges founded upon the publication of articles alleged to be incendiary and libelous, in a newspaper of which he was editor. The custody was alleged to be under the authority of certain acts of Congress.

Upon the hearing, the petitioner was remanded to the military custody, but, upon his prayer, an appeal was allowed him to this court, and upon filing the usual appeal bond, for costs, he was admitted to bail upon recognizance, with sureties conditioned for his future appearance in the Circuit Court, to abide by and perform the final judgment of this court. The appeal was taken under the above-mentioned act of February 5, 1867.

A motion to dismiss this appeal was made at the last term, and, after argument, was denied. [n1]

Subsequently, on the 2d, 3d, 4th, and 9th March, the case was argued very thoroughly and ably upon the merits, and was taken under advisement. While it was thus held, and before conference in regard to the decision proper to be made, an act was passed by Congress, [n2] returned with objections by the President, and, on the 27th March, repassed by the constitutional majority, the second section of which was as follows:

And be it further enacted, That so much of the act approved February 5, 1867, entitled "An act to amend an act to establish the judicial courts of the United States, approved September 24, 1789," as authorized an appeal from the judgment of the Circuit Court to the Supreme Court of the United States, or the exercise of any such jurisdiction by said Supreme Court, on appeals which have been, or may hereafter be taken, be, and the same is hereby repealed. [p509]

The attention of the court was directed to this statute at the last term, but counsel having expressed a desire to be heard in argument upon its effect, and the Chief Justice being detained from his place here by his duties in the Court of Impeachment, the cause was continued under advisement. Argument was now heard upon the effect of the repealing act. [p512]

TOP
Opinion

CHASE, C.J., Opinion of the Court

THE CHIEF JUSTICE delivered the opinion of the court.

The first question necessarily is that of jurisdiction, for if the act of March, 1868, takes away the jurisdiction defined by the act of February, 1867, it is useless, if not improper, to enter into any discussion of other questions.

It is quite true, as was argued by the counsel for the petitioner, that the appellate jurisdiction of this court is not derived from acts of Congress. It is, strictly speaking, conferred [p513] by the Constitution. But it is conferred "with such exceptions and under such regulations as Congress shall make."

It is unnecessary to consider whether, if Congress had made no exceptions and no regulations, this court might not have exercised general appellate jurisdiction under rules prescribed by itself. For among the earliest acts of the first Congress, at its first session, was the act of September 24th, 1789, to establish the judicial courts of the United States. That act provided for the organization of this court, and prescribed regulations for the exercise of its jurisdiction.

The source of that jurisdiction, and the limitations of it by the Constitution and by statute, have been on several occasions subjects of consideration here. In the case of Durousseau v. The United States [n3] particularly, the whole matter was carefully examined, and the court held that, while "the appellate powers of this court are not given by the judicial act, but are given by the Constitution," they are, nevertheless, "limited and regulated by that act, and by such other acts as have been passed on the subject." The court said further that the judicial act was an exercise of the power given by the Constitution to Congress "of making exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court." "They have described affirmatively," said the court,

its jurisdiction, and this affirmative description has been understood to imply a negation of the exercise of such appellate power as is not comprehended within it.

The principle that the affirmation of appellate jurisdiction implies the negation of all such jurisdiction not affirmed having been thus established, it was an almost necessary consequence that acts of Congress, providing for the exercise of jurisdiction, should come to be spoken of as acts granting jurisdiction, and not as acts making exceptions to the constitutional grant of it.

The exception to appellate jurisdiction in the case before us, however, is not an inference from the affirmation of other [p514] appellate jurisdiction. It is made in terms. The provision of the act of 1867 affirming the appellate jurisdiction of this court in cases of habeas corpus is expressly repealed. It is hardly possible to imagine a plainer instance of positive exception.

We are not at liberty to inquire into the motives of the legislature. We can only examine into its power under the Constitution, and the power to make exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction of this court is given by express words.

What, then, is the effect of the repealing act upon the case before us? We cannot doubt as to this. Without jurisdiction, the court cannot proceed at all in any cause. Jurisdiction is power to declare the law, and, when it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of announcing the fact and dismissing the cause. And this is not less clear upon authority than upon principle.

Several cases were cited by the counsel for the petitioner in support of the position that jurisdiction of this case is not affected by the repealing act. But none of them, in our judgment, affords any support to it. They are all cases of the exercise of judicial power by the legislature, or of legislative interference with courts in the exercising of continuing jurisdiction. [n4]

On the other hand, the general rule, supported by the best elementary writers, [n5] is that, "when an act of the legislature is repealed, it must be considered, except as to transactions past and closed, as if it never existed." And the effect of repealing acts upon suits under acts repealed has been determined by the adjudications of this court. The subject was fully considered in Norris v. Crecker, [n6] and more recently in Insurance Company v. Ritchie. [n7] In both of these cases, it was held that no judgment could be rendered in a suit after the repeal of the act under which it was brought and prosecuted. [p515]

It is quite clear, therefore, that this court cannot proceed to pronounce judgment in this case, for it has no longer jurisdiction of the appeal, and judicial duty is not less fitly performed by declining ungranted jurisdiction than in exercising firmly that which the Constitution and the laws confer.

Counsel seem to have supposed, if effect be given to the repealing act in question, that the whole appellate power of the court, in cases of habeas corpus, is denied. But this is an error. The act of 1868 does not except from that jurisdiction any cases but appeals from Circuit Courts under the act of 1867. It does not affect the jurisdiction which was previously exercised
This source also says he lost.

"Without jurisdiction, the court cannot proceed at all in any cause. Jurisdiction is power to declare the law, and, when it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of announcing the fact and dismissing the cause. And this is not less clear upon authority than upon principle. Several cases were cited by the counsel for the petitioner in support of the position that jurisdiction of this case is not affected by the repealing act. But none of them, in our judgment, affords any support to it. They are all cases of the exercise of judicial power by the legislature, or of legislative interference with courts in the exercising of continuing jurisdiction."
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Not at all. I know what was inflicted on the South during reconstruction as my GGG Grandfather Col W H McCardle was arrested in Vicksburg my Gen Ord for his editorial in the newspaper he owned. It went all the way to the Supreme Court and he won.

First, who is the post directed? Which forum member were you replying to?

Second, sounds like he still had recourse in spite of his trouble with Gen. Ord.

Was there more to his hardship?

In your own view, please.

Unionblue
 

unionblue

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The Republicans took it all away with a Supreme Court decision in 1883. Declared that the 1875 Civil Rights Law was unconstitutional.

Which Supreme Court decision was that?

During this time period Western Native Americans were murdered at will by the Federal Government.

And the Southern protests over this slaughter are listed where exactly? And were they caused by Reconstruction?

1883 Chinese Exclusion Act. Banned an entire Race from Immigration. Few exceptions.

And Reconstruction had what to do with this Chinese Exclusion Act and how many Southern Representatives and Senators voted against this act?


1870 the Federal Government confirmed White in our Immigration Laws.

Again, Reconstruction had what to do with this and how many Southerners were against such confirmation?

Can’t blame it all on the South.
Can't excuse them totally either.
 

leftyhunter

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The Republicans took it all away with a Supreme Court decision in 1883. Declared that the 1875 Civil Rights Law was unconstitutional.

During this time period Western Native Americans were murdered at will by the Federal Government.

1883 Chinese Exclusion Act. Banned an entire Race from Immigration. Few exceptions.

1870 the Federal Government confirmed White in our Immigration Laws.

Can’t blame it all on the South.
Name one Southern politician who voted against the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Name one Southern politician that had a problem with killing Indians.
I never said the Republican Party was not to blame for the collapse of Reconstruction.
Yes we can blame Southern whites for violently suppressing the right of African Americans for 100 years.
No one from the North forced Southern whites to enact racially oppressive laws and kill black people who merely wanted to exercise their Civil Rights.
Leftyhunter
 

Pastor Steve

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I just read the Grant biography, Grant by Ron Chernow. Great book and deals with a lot of the post war turmoil with Grant as a general post war and then president, having to deal with the difficult task of trying to establish the freedom that had been fought for and legislated by means of a terrible war. There is much documentation and resourcing of the political, social and racial unrest that plagued the south and the Andrew Johnson and Grant administrations. I'm unconvinced that had Lincoln lived that the south would have been any more receptive of the changes being forced upon them. And with Lincoln out of the way, there were many in the North who wanted to take their pound of flesh from the South by causing them to knuckle under. Another book regarding the terror after the Civil War is by Stephen budiansky called "The Bloody Shirt". The forward of the book begins "the terror began almost as soon as the Civil War ended in 1865; it lasted until 1876, when the last of the governments of the southern states freely elected through universal manhood suffrage was toppled in a well-orchestrated campaign of violence, fraud, and intimidation- thereby putting an end to Reconstruction, erasing the freedmen's newly won political rights, and securing white conservative home rule to the South for a hundred year to come." Another book that I found facinating was "Tumult and Silence at Second Creek" an inquiry into a Civil War slave conspiracy by Wintrop Jordan. I think that you'll find no matter what you read or how much documentation there exists, that there was still much hate, distrust and ill will by both sides and that everyone can justify their actions based on their ideologies and beliefs. And if we can't agree on what we see on what live cameras pick up on controversial incidents today, how will we ever know with certainty what really happened in 150 or more years ago, testified to by fervent followers of very divided loyalties.
 

lelliott19

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Earlier today I said I would post a question on reconstruction....The jest of the question is that all too often pro-confederate folk always claim (in the most vague, and general of terms) that reconstruction was SO bad for the South.....The problem is that nearly all the time when these claims are posted, NO DETAILS OF WHY IT WAS SO BAD, are posted....I'm giving folk a chance to show us if these claims are true.
Kevin,
Thanks for starting this thread. I do not claim to be one of your "pro-confederate folk" however, having been born and raised in the South, perhaps I qualify under your definition? Assuming that is the case, I will provide what I perceive as the worst example of why Reconstruction was bad for the south.

The Freedmen's Bureau was a dismal failure....at least in Alabama. Admittedly, I have only studied in depth the records for Alabama, Freedmen's Bureau, Field Office Records, 1865-1872, Roll 34, Fair copies of contracts, Tuscumbia, AL. The document contains copies of agreements between freedmen and the whites who wished to employ them that were approved by the Freedmen's Bureau as "fair" to the freedmen who were being employed. <It does not include copies of contracts submitted that were deemed unfair.> For those who have not read any of these supposedly "fair" contracts, I believe you would be as shocked as I.

Many of the agreements, approved by the Freedmen's bureau, specify that the employer will provide "substantial and healthy rations" ---which turns out to mean 3.5 pounds of bacon and a "peck" of corn meal per worker per week. Clothing is sometimes specified - 2 pair of pants, a shirt, a pair of socks, and, sometimes, a coat per year. One contract was approved by the Freedmen's bureau which required a freedwoman to work as a house servant for a year beginning in January 1866, in exchange for room, board, and one calico dress, to be received "in the Fall."

Unfortunately, there were requirements included in many of the "fair" agreements that I found even more troubling than those specified above. In a number of the contracts, approved by the Freedmen's bureau, was a clause specifying that the freedmen and freedwomen had to "obey the orders of the employer and his family" and were not allowed to leave the employers premises without permission. (!) Many of the contracts specified that freedmen and women were to "labor from sunup to sunset every day," Sundays usually excepted, with an hour for dinner.

Many of these agreements required the freedmen and women to reimburse the employer for clothing, but some required them to reimburse for rations, medical bills, and clothing. And still more required the freedmen to reimburse the employer for any damage or loss of farm implements. Most specified that the mules and horses provided by the employer for the crop, could not be used for anything other than the crop.

The Freedmen's Bureau approved these kinds of arrangement for 7 years before the bureau was abolished. The implied consent or endorsement by the Freedmen's Bureau reinforced status quo - freedmen and women were still subject to the "rule of the employer."

What I am getting at is this: had the Freedmen's Bureau been conscientious in the exercise of its duty and actually required reasonable agreements, freedmen and women would have been provided an opportunity to earn a sustainable living and a great deal of suffering on the part of freedmen and women could have been avoided.
 
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If the north/south had been less set in their ways and more willing to compromise Civil War may have been avoidable. That being said the same tendencies led to a very difficult period of post-war conflict, mainly on the race line but also against northern occupation ("bayonet rule"). The south, being let off easy to allow for a smoother reconstruction/reintegration process, instead took the leniency as a cue to immediately attempt to seize power and return to some semblance of a pre-war south. Pres. Johnson who destabilized the whole situation with his explosive rhetoric helped create a more polarized and volatile situation. The unwillingness of many southerners to not only refuse to accept the post-war changes (largely civil rights related) but turn violent in the process led to a lot of crimes. Short of violence, widespread intimidation made it impossible for many, especially freedmen, to exercise their rights. In the early days of reconstruction there was still so much distrust that it was feared a widespread military conflict may reignite. The south realizing this option was not realistic settled on trying to regain political power instead, eventually succeeding and effectively neutralizing many of the civil rights advancements adopted during reconstruction.

President Grant when he took on the Klan and other white supremacists, was not dealing with an ordered force operating according to rules of engagement, but powerful widespread terrorist organizations. The organizations were supported by the press and the local politicians in many cases, making the deterrence and prosecution of their heinous crimes more difficult. Much of the violence centered around election season in each state. Grant would lay out the brutal reality of the situation to the Senate stating "a butchery of citizens was committed at Colfax [La.], which in bloodthirstiness and barbarity is hardly surpassed by any acts of savage warfare." After another major incident in New Orleans, Grant dispatched 5000 troops there to prevent the overthrow of the government there, but not before as he put it: "The streets of the city were stained with blood." The hardest fights to win are when your battling a deep-seated ideology as opposed to a military force, especially when you lose the support of the northern public in your methods of handling the situation. With the limited power Grant had, he had the best he could do to prioritize the saving of lives above all else during reconstruction. He knew public sentiment both north and south coupled with politics realistically limited his options. Although some important legislative precedents had been set for civil rights, violence and discrimination continued due to the racism both north and south and it would be many years before they would be truly accepted.

"Thousands of individual citizens, men and women, white and black, had their homes raided and were whipped, raped, or murdered [during Reconstruction]... The political and social consequences of the violence were as lasting as the physical and mental trauma suffered by victims and witnesses. Terrorism worked to end federal involvement in Reconstruction and helped to usher in a new era of racial repression." [Source]

I think this sign says it all...

1549428406681.png
 

Bee

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Earlier today I said I would post a question on reconstruction. I have two books on the subject, Foner's, and Stampp's, I just haven't been able to dig deeply in them. The jest of the question is that all too often pro-confederate folk always claim (in the most vague, and general of terms) that reconstruction was SO bad for the South.

The problem is that nearly all the time when these claims are posted, NO DETAILS OF WHY IT WAS SO BAD, are posted. It's always complaints of "policies" during reconstruction were purposely used to (so to speak) down-trod the southern people, and keep em poor.

I'm giving folk a chance to show us if these claims are true. I'm not caring for vague "my GGrandpappy said", or "GGAunt so-n-so told my Father"...I'd like to see serious documentation and factual references please.

Kevin Dally
In their own words: read what the people who were there said about Reconstruction, Kevin. Interviews, sources, letters are all contained in this single volume. Trying to extract this information from a discussion forum will never give you what you are looking for, but reading the jarring transcripts from those who lived through it will.

IMG_0133.JPG
 

uaskme

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The Republicans thought, with ending Slavery and conversion to free labor, that the Plantation System would return to prosperity quickly. It didn’t happen. The South didn’t have the Capital to rebuild it. So it took 10 years or so for Cotton and Sugar Production to recover. Easterners turned to the West for their investment and the South suffered, Blacks and Whites. This is not an excuse for the Racial Conflicts, but it sure made it worse. One aspect that is never talked about.

It is a complicated subject. Coolies and Cane by Moon-Ho-Jung and Indentured Labor, Caribbean Sugar by Walton Look Lai, about the British West Indies, have helped me. Experimenting with Chinese labor and the Brits Emancipation influenced what happened here. Something that is never discussed here.
 

Tin cup

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In their own words: read what the people who were there said about Reconstruction, Kevin. Interviews, sources, letters are all contained in this single volume. Trying to extract this information from a discussion forum will never give you what you are looking for, but reading the jarring transcripts from those who lived through it will.

View attachment 273523QUOTE]
THIS one slipped under the radar! I'll look into it.

Kevin Dally
 

Tin cup

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"Carpetbaggers", "Carpetbag misrule"...and a whole host of other typical euphemism's abound when pro Confederate folk get into the reconstruction discussions. I'm still wanting accurate details on what was SO bad about reconstruction claims, for us to learn on the subject.

Kevin Dally
 


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