Discussion The Supreme Court of the Confederate States of America

USS ALASKA

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Sirs / Ma'ams - never saw this aspect of the ACW covered before. Thought it might be of interest...

University of Richmond
UR Scholarship Repository
Honors Theses Student Research
Spring 1934

The Supreme Court of the Confederate States of America
by Robert W. Ferrell

This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Student Research at UR Scholarship Repository. It has been accepted for inclusion in Honors Theses by an authorized administrator of UR Scholarship Repository. For more information, please contact scholarshiprepository@richmond.edu.

Much has been written about the military history of the Confederate States of America, but comparatively little has been recorded regarding the civil status of the form of government behind the armed forces. This fact might be explained in many ways, upon which however we will not endeavor to expatiate, our purpose being to investigate only one phase of the civil government which has received very little attention from historians, namely, the judicial system of the Confederate States culminating in its Supreme Court.


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University of Richmond Law Review
Volume 2 | Issue 2 Article 6
1964

A Nation Without a Supreme Court
by Jose M. Cabanillas

University of Richmond
Part of the Supreme Court of the United States Commons
This Article is brought to you for free and open access by UR Scholarship Repository. It has been accepted for inclusion in University of Richmond Law Review by an authorized administrator of UR Scholarship Repository. For more information, please contact scholarshiprepository@richmond.edu.

The Constitution of the Confederate States of America, unanimously adopted on March 11, 1861, by the assembled delegates of the original seceding states and on June 19, 1861, by the state of Virginia, was for all practical purposes a copy of the Constitution of the United States. Its judicial provisions begin in Article III with the familiar-sounding phrase "The judicial powers of the Confederate States shall be vested in one supreme court and. . . ." There is no reason to believe that this phraseology was a blind copy of the older document, and that it was not the intention of the framers of the Confederate -Constitution to include the provisions for supreme judicial review in the chart that was to guide the newborn nation. Nearly sixty years had passed since John Marshall had brilliantly expounded the necessity for supreme judicial authority over the acts of the various legislative and executive bodies that comprised the nation and the years had only confirmed the wisdom of his decision. Surely the forty-four delegates who signed the Constitution of the Confederate States were aware of this necessity when they retained a provision for a supreme court within the confederation. Otherwise it would have been a simple matter to expunge such a requirement from the instrument that they were drafting.

44

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