Thomas Jefferson, Secession, and States Rights

jgoodguy

Banished Forever
-:- A Mime -:-
is a terrible thing...
Don’t feed the Mime
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
What is your point? He used a phrase that was removed from the Constitution to support his findings. It was illogical and baseless. He should have recused himself because he was part of the reason the South succeeded in the first place and he was knee deep in the politics of it.

It was one of the worst rulings in history that has yet to be overturned. I do not think Chase's ruling is sound footing to stand. But you are free to believe whatever you wish. I am sure there are people who still feel Roger Taney's decision on Dred Scott was wonderful and legally sound. I'm not one to follow Supreme Court justices who try to write laws rather than interpret them like Taney and Chase.
My point?
You are not a supreme court chief justice and no court in the land has ever cited your opinion.
The “substantive due process” part of Dred Scott continues to hold respect, but other cases have eclipsed DSS.

Chase did not write law, just followed a branch of law AKA chose a version of law from several possible.
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
How bout the Supremacy Clause. “The Constitution . . . shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . . any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” You’re probably going to tell me that once a state exercises some unspecified, never before recognized “reserved” power to unilaterally secede, the very specific Supremacy Clause no longer applies. The problem is, the Supremacy Clause denies the states the authority to pass “any Thing” that affects the supremacy of the Constitution. Read this as “The Constitution . . . shall be the supreme law of the Land; any [ordinance of secession in the laws of any state] notwithstanding.” That’s a constitutional catch-22. Can’t get there from here.
But what you have posted is still just an opinion not based secession. There is nothing there with secession in it.
 

jgoodguy

Banished Forever
-:- A Mime -:-
is a terrible thing...
Don’t feed the Mime
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
But what you have posted is still just an opinion not based secession. There is nothing there with secession in it.

Really?

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing [sic] in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Federalist Papers
In Federalist No. 44, James Madison defends the Supremacy Clause as vital to the functioning of the nation. He noted that state legislatures were invested with all powers not specifically defined in the constitution, but also said that having the federal government subservient to various state constitutions would be an inversion of the principles of government, concluding that if supremacy were not established "it would have seen the authority of the whole society everywhere subordinate to the authority of the parts; it would have seen a monster, in which the head was under the direction of the members

Please note the bold text Given that we agree that secession is not in law or the Constitution, secession has no positive power of protection. Therefore should any State exercise secession, it cannot constitutionally change iis laws or constitution to implement it. The courts of the State were bound by oath to follow the Constitution and they violated their oaths. They were oath breakers.
 
Last edited:

jgoodguy

Banished Forever
-:- A Mime -:-
is a terrible thing...
Don’t feed the Mime
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
Everyone tries to bring up post civil war. That just does not float.

I disagree, the consequences of unprotected non-consensual secession was apparent throughout the war. The alleged absence of a law was no protection and the dependence on the so called legal silence theory was disastrous. A moment of passion led to a lifetime of regrets.
 

48th Miss.

First Sergeant
Joined
May 11, 2016
Location
North Carolina
And if they could just jump in, and then jump out anytime they wanted, why do you suppose NC and RI dragged their feet for so long? If there was no real commitment in the act of ratification, there would have been no reason for such hesitation. Every state ratification convention could have ended after just a day or two with the words, ‘well, we can back out whenever we want.’ This is yet another problem with the idea that unilateral secession was considered part of the deal; it leaves NC and RI with no reason for this foot dragging.

The process going in means nothing WRT getting out. What was agreed to going in means everything. As indicated in the letter issued by the Constitutional Convention, made available to all, they agreed to surrender a portion of state sovereignty (“It is obviously impracticable in the foederal government of these States, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each“), because that had proved the fatal flaw in the Confederation; they agreed to form a sovereign nation (in terms of John Locke’s social compact theory, “Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest”), and the Union was thereby consolidated (“In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in our view, that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union“). At that point, the Union was as secure against dissolution as any state; “an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States” — Texas v. White.

Could it be NC and RI drug their feet in order to not give up any sovereignty or they were jot sure how much they were giving up. I will have to pull up their ratification documents to see what the debate was.
 

48th Miss.

First Sergeant
Joined
May 11, 2016
Location
North Carolina
They were not confused. We the People was understood when the Constitution was established, as well as now. It was somewhere in the middle where the confusion set in. Call it a doughnut hole.

Take a look at the original. Could they have stressed the people part any more than that?
Writing it big does not make the meaning clearer any more than speaking loud and slow to a foreigner makes the words more understandable but i am starting to see the points you all are making just not sure what side or the fence i will fall on. Fence is starting to feel comfortable but at least the fence is on the playing field. Thanks for yours and the others input and time. Mich appreciated.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Everyone tries to bring up post civil war. That just does not float.

Well said.

Odd, I thought everyone was bringing up actual, historical fact, that it is not unlawful to put down an attempted, unlawful, rebellion.

Such facts should, and do, float a Battleship.
 
Last edited:

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
How bout the Supremacy Clause. “The Constitution . . . shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . . any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” You’re probably going to tell me that once a state exercises some unspecified, never before recognized “reserved” power to unilaterally secede, the very specific Supremacy Clause no longer applies. The problem is, the Supremacy Clause denies the states the authority to pass “any Thing” that affects the supremacy of the Constitution. Read this as “The Constitution . . . shall be the supreme law of the Land; any [ordinance of secession in the laws of any state] notwithstanding.” That’s a constitutional catch-22. Can’t get there from here.





This, to me, is a very important point, in this particular debate. That, whatever one wants to read into the silence of the Constitution, Still, cannot contradict or override the clearly expressed powers and privileges contained in that Constitution.

The Constitution, is Organic Law, which means there is no higher man-made law.

( if one wants to claim a higher law, then one is talking of rebellion, if not treason)
 

Old_Glory

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Location
NC
But, your disagreement does not have the force of law.

The ruling was Post Civil War, so it is irrelevant in regards to the Confederates. Add that to the fact that Chase was one of their most ardent political enemies making the ruling even less meaningful when used against the Confederates.

I used it as an example of the best argument for the illegality of succession prior to the War. Chase's argument was dreadful, but it is the best their is for that viewpoint, or at least the best I have seen. It may be current law, but that speaks more of how no one wants to touch the subject with a ten foot pole rather than it actually being sound.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
The ruling was Post Civil War, so it is irrelevant in regards to the Confederates. Add that to the fact that Chase was one of their most ardent political enemies making the ruling even less meaningful when used against the Confederates.

I used it as an example of the best argument for the illegality of succession prior to the War. Chase's argument was dreadful, but it is the best their is for that viewpoint, or at least the best I have seen. It may be current law, but that speaks more of how no one wants to touch the subject with a ten foot pole rather than it actually being sound.



But, it proved to those confederates that were still alive at the time, were wrong. That they suffered and died in vain.
 

Old_Glory

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Location
NC
Odd, I thought everyone was bringing up actual, historical fact, that it is not unlawful to put down an attempted, unlawful, rebellion.

Such facts should, and do, float a Battleship.

It wasn't unlawful, who said it was? You are making a huge leap with that statement. Chase's ruling was after the War, so what basis of illegality are you using? The thread is about a secession, not a rebellion.

The abolitionists broke more laws the Confederates who led the secession movement did prior to the War and used violence and the threat of war and bloodshed? Did opposing slavery make it acceptable to break laws and provoke war? If so, then where do you draw the line?
 
Last edited:

Old_Glory

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Location
NC
But, it proved to those confederates that were still alive at the time, were wrong. That they suffered and died in vain.

Any Confederate alive at the time would know that a ruling from Chase meant nothing about what they did or fought for. It just meant they lost so the radicals on the other side were able to mock them.

Chase was a political hack who helped found a political party. Lincoln only appointed him to make the radicals happy. Chase was one of the last people on earth who should be wearing an impartial judicial robe.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
Lots of ill-informed sour grapes on this thread.

"The national Constitution was, as its preamble recites, ordained and established by the people of the United States. It created not a confederacy of states, but a government of individuals. It assumed that the government and the Union which it created, and the states which were incorporated into the Union, would be indestructible and perpetual, and as far as human means could accomplish such a work, it intended to make them so. The government of the nation and the government of the states are each alike absolute and independent of each other in their respective spheres of action, but the former is as much a part of the government of the people of each state, and as much entitled to their allegiance and obedience as their own local state governments -- "the Constitution of the United States and the laws made in pursuance thereof," being in all cases where they apply, the supreme law of the land. For all the purposes of the national government, the people of the United States are an integral, and not a composite mass, and their unity and identity, in this view of the subject, are not affected by their segregation by state lines for the purposes of state government and local administration. Considered in this connection, the states are organisms for the performance of their appropriate functions in the vital system of the larger polity, of which, in this aspect of the subject, they form a part, and which would perish if they were all stricken from existence or ceased to perform their allotted work. The doctrine of secession is a doctrine of treason, and practical secession is practical treason, seeking to give itself triumph by revolutionary violence. The late rebellion was without any element of right or sanction of law. The duration and magnitude of the war did not change its character. In some respects it was not unlike the insurrection of a county or other municipal subdivision of territory against the state to which it belongs. In such cases, the state has inherently the right to use all the means necessary to put down the resistance to its authority and restore peace, order and obedience to law. If need be, it has the right also to call on the government of the Union for the requisite aid to that end. Whatever precautionary or penal measures the state may take when the insurrection is suppressed, the proposition would be a strange one to maintain that while it lasted, the county was not a part of the state, and hence was absolved from the duties, liabilities, and restrictions which would have been incumbent upon it if it had remained in its normal condition and relations. The power exercised in putting down the late rebellion is given expressly by the Constitution to Congress. That body made the laws, and the President executed them. The granted power carried with it not only the right to use the requisite means, but it reached further and carried with it also authority to guard against the renewal of the conflict and to remedy the evils arising from it insofar as that could be effected by appropriate legislation. At no time were the rebellious states out of the pale of the Union. Their rights under the Constitution were suspended, but not destroyed. Their constitutional duties and obligations were unaffected, and remained the same. A citizen is still a citizen, though guilty of crime and visited with punishment. His political rights may be put in abeyance or forfeited. The result depends upon the rule, as defined in the law, of the sovereign against whom he has offended. If he lose his rights, he escapes none of his disabilities and liabilities which before subsisted. Certainly he can have no new rights or immunities arising from his crime. These analogies of the county and the citizen are not inapplicable, by way of illustration, to the condition of the rebel states during their rebellion. The legislation of Congress shows that these were the views entertained by that department of the government." [80 US 650-651]
 

CW Buff

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
But what you have posted is still just an opinion not based secession. There is nothing there with secession in it.

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing [sic] in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

When a state passes an ordinance of secession, it 1) becomes SOMETHING in the laws of that state, and 2) denies the supremacy this clause establishes and maintains. That’s not opinion, that’s a simple fact.

Now, if I said the clause does not apply to unilateral secession because it does specifically mention secession, THAT would be opinion.
 
Top