Research The Confederate Supreme Court

Lubliner

1st Lieutenant
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Nov 27, 2018
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Chattanooga, Tennessee
I would think a Supreme Court would have balanced the Legislative Branch for States' Rights with the Executive Office, thus limiting the amount of persuasion and interpretation of the laws given by Jefferson Davis. It should have had an impact on Governorship allowing more State representation due to the constant debacle between Southern States' Governors concerning the laws, to the President. Wouldn't this have allowed a branch of arbitration to give better process of due law and mediation?
Lubliner.
 

A. Roy

First Sergeant
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Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
I've been studying the wartime governorship of Zebulon B. Vance here in North Carolina, and recently I ran across something interesting that might be relevant to the question about a need for a Confederate Supreme Court.

The Confederate conscription laws were unpopular in North Carolina, and the State Supreme Court, according to some critics, had been leaning toward leniency in cases of desertion and resistance. CSA Sec of War James Seddon wrote to Vance on 23 May 1863, suggesting that Vance exercise his "full official influence ... to restrain the too ready interposition of the judicial authority in these questions of military obligation."

Among other arguments, in his reply of 25 May 1863, Vance pointed to this issue of the lack of a national Supreme Court:

"Whilst therefore it is my intention to make every possible effort to sustain the common cause, it is my firm determination to sustain the Judicial Authority of the land, the rights and privileges of the citizens, to the utmost of my power. By the action of the Congress, no appeal lies from the Supreme Court of a State to that of the Confederate states and the decision of the Supreme Court of N. Ca. when formerly rendered will be binding upon all parties."

(Joe A. Mobley, ed. The Papers of Zebulon Baird Vance, Vol 2, 1863. Raleigh: Div of Archives and History, 1995. Pages 170-174.)

Roy B.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
A Federal Court would be a branch of the Federal govt. States Right could not stand against the power of the Federal govt to interpret its own laws.

From the view of strict states right theory, the history of the United States was seen as instructive.

The right of the Supreme Court to review the Constitutionality of the laws of, and by the peoples of the United States, is not in the Organic Law of the United States, nor its laws but, was instead the result of a deal negotiated between two separate branches of the same govt to suit its own interests., from which there was not appeal from states govts or courts.
 

Captain Davis

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Jan 16, 2017
Location
Millbrook/Montgomery, Alabama
The Confederacy never organized a Supreme Court because its founders generally interpreted the U. S. Constitution strictly. Although authorized to form one, they were never satisfied that they had developed a method that would prevent the Court from exceeding its authority. Previously, they had observed that the U. S. Supreme Court tended to make rulings, and assume jurisdictions, that strengthened the Federal Government. Along with some of the best-informed founders of the 1789 Federal Union, they believed that the Supreme Court was only intended to be the final authority on matters pertaining to the powers specifically enumerated in the U. S. Constitution. None of the three Federal branches - President, Congress, or Judiciary, were intended to have final authority over the rights reserved for the states.

taken from Phil Leigh’s book, The Civil War
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
It took nearly a full year after the first meeting of Congress before the U. S. Supreme Court met, and the United States were not being assailed by a foreign power. So there is that to consider. But beyond that, the Confederate Supreme Court would simply would have decided cases according to law. It would have had no authority to negate an act of Congress, nor to nullify an executive act, nor to reverse a State Court decision. Just decide cases according to law.
 

Captain Davis

Private
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Jan 16, 2017
Location
Millbrook/Montgomery, Alabama
Maybe no supreme court was given priority in the Confederacy for the fear it would do as the previous US Supreme Court had done.

Overrule slaveholding agendas.
The Confederates did not want a “Supreme” Court because they did not believe that central courts should be the final arbitrator on state issues.

they believed in the Constitution, end of story.

Supreme Court justices have biases and agendas just as politicians and they are bought by politicians.

John Mashall was a perfect example of a justice with an agenda. He was a big government supporter and ruled to facilitate Hamiltonian principles.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
The Confederates did not want a “Supreme” Court because they did not believe that central courts should be the final arbitrator on state issues.

they believed in the Constitution, end of story.

Supreme Court justices have biases and agendas just as politicians and they are bought by politicians.

John Mashall was a perfect example of a justice with an agenda. He was a big government supporter and ruled to facilitate Hamiltonian principles.

@Captain Davis ,

I agree with your first statement on why Confederates did not want a Supreme Court.

I have some doubts of an attempted rebellion having any serious belief in a Constitution.

I agree with your third statement to a point, but I believe even the most rabid justice tends to have his political views mollified when sitting on the nation's highest court.

As for John Marshall, I believe he did have an agenda. It was called the United States of America.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Viper21

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Jul 4, 2016
Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
I agree with your third statement to a point, but I believe even the most rabid justice tends to have his political views mollified when sitting on the nation's highest court.
If that was the case, all decisions would be unanimous. If Supreme Court Justices were apolitical, & their only duty was to protect, & uphold the Constitution, there'd never be anything but unanimous, or close to unanimous decisions, & we'd never have fights over who gets appointed to the court.

Politics, & political views, influence EVERYTHING, in every branch, & level of government. I would dare say, the higher one goes, the more prevalent. This is the case, going back to inception, not just during the War, & beyond.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
If that was the case, all decisions would be unanimous. If Supreme Court Justices were apolitical, & their only duty was to protect, & uphold the Constitution, there'd never be anything but unanimous, or close to unanimous decisions, & we'd never have fights over who gets appointed to the court.

Politics, & political views, influence EVERYTHING, in every branch, & level of government. I would dare say, the higher one goes, the more prevalent. This is the case, going back to inception, not just during the War, & beyond.

I can say no more but would be willing to PM if so desired.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
The Confederates did not want a “Supreme” Court because they did not believe that central courts should be the final arbitrator on state issues.

they believed in the Constitution, end of story.

Supreme Court justices have biases and agendas just as politicians and they are bought by politicians.

John Mashall was a perfect example of a justice with an agenda. He was a big government supporter and ruled to facilitate Hamiltonian principles.
The whole issue of the war ,besides slavery, was state sovereignty/rights. Logically there would be no need for a SC if states are sovran , Correct me if I am in error, but did not Jefferson fear the decisions of the Court. That they may exert their authority over the states and Congress? His cousin proved him correct in certain decisions. Now if they did establish one ,it possibly would have been one with same conservative legal philosophy as those who led the secession movement ,which would remove the need for one.
 
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