Restricted Was the Corwin Amendment “Ironclad”

Dead Parrott

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
then? it was debated as "ironclad" in both houses of congress. Since we are debating it "now" then there must be some consideration "now".

This is getting...well, let's continue to be nice here. Once again,

1.) there's no provision in the amendment about the expansion of slavery, which the rebelling states clearly noted (in their own words, dressed up as states rights) was their issue; the amendment would not change the ban on slavery in the territories. Southern leadership was headstrong and overconfident, but they COULD count; non-slave territories become non-slave states, and pro-slavery states would never control congress again. The Corwin amendment at best would only protect slavery in the states where it existed, and southern leadership knew (and stated clearly) expansion was necessary for slavery's survival. Corwin did nothing to alleviate this.
2.) there are multiple potential ways around the amendment, as have been detailed here; as the USA (and the entire civilized world) grew more hostile to slavery then and in the near future, the animus to implement those ways would dramatically increase. Southern leadership made some stupid decisions, but they were not stupid men, and they understood and appreciated this growing hostility.
3.) the amendment itself came only after most of the rebelling states had already seceded, days before Lincoln's inauguration and shortly before Sumter. Even those inclined to possibly consider it saw it was too little too late.

I understand how difficult it is to argue the 'not-about-slavery' position, especially with the open, public and formal acknowledgments - and all of antebellum political history - so I don't envy you your task. But dragging on trying to stretch the Corwin amendment is just … well again, let's be nice.

I'm beginning to realize I could make better 'not-about-slavery' arguments than the ones I'm encountering across this site. That's disappointing.

Very little point going on with this. So let me toast, with regret, the horrible sacrifices of Americans killing Americans, the preservation of the Union, the ending of the inhumane dishonor of slavery, and all the work that, a century and a half later, still remains for us to do.

Be well.
 

Patrick Sulley

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
once again, and i will be nice.
1.) there's no provision in the amendment about the expansion of slavery,
when the expansion takes place they become a state. the Amendment will apply. As it says any state..not existing slave states. It's your subjective opinion that an expansion west was needed to preserve slavery.
2.) there are multiple potential ways around the amendment, as have been detailed here
there are no ways around the Amendment. there would need to be either a house and senate vote to pass it to the states and the CA prevents that. the only other way is dead in the water, as only the 15 slave states voting against it would make 3/4 states unattainable. it's simple math
3.) the amendment itself came only after most of the rebelling states had already seceded, days before Lincoln's inauguration and shortly before Sumter. Even those inclined to possibly consider it saw it was too little too late.
the debate is not what actually happened but if it was ratified would it be unamendable. and as described ad nauseum, it would be.
I'm beginning to realize I could make better 'not-about-slavery' arguments than the ones I'm encountering across this site. That's disappointing.
you cant articulate a competent argument against the CA much less arguing "better" for "not-about-slavery" and simple stating you can...doesnt cut it. I can say i can jump to the moon but it would be a lie.
I understand how difficult it is to argue the 'not-about-slavery' position, especially with the open, public and formal acknowledgments - and all of antebellum political history - so I don't envy you your task.
it's actually been relatively easy....with all of antebellum political history showing 42 compromises on tariffs.....and possibly 3 (all in 1861) on slavery (with none actually happening)
 
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NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
1861? So you mean the issues of the day boiled to a head in just one year over the course of only one year? No tension prior to 1861?
We were talking about secession and the compromises, such as the Corwin Amendment which is the topic of this thread, which were proposed to avoid war.

If you want to talk about tension prior to 1861, we could discuss compromises that enabled the constitution (such as the Three-Fifths clause), the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas Nebraska Act as well as the gag rule in the 1830 or the wilmot proviso.

So this statement - " 40 compromises concerning tariffs and one attempt for slavery " -- is nonsensical
 

Patrick Sulley

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Nope. But you keep telling yourself that.

Here's a hint: legislation is subject to presidential veto (and possible override). That's not true of an amendment.
So, legislators passing legislation named a resolution is not actually legislation. Got it. Only a bill requires a president to sign off on. There are two types of legislation..bills and resolutions. One needs the President's action the other does not...both are legislation


Types of Legislation
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Bill or Measure



General legislation is designated by "H.R." in the House of Representatives and "S." in the Senate. Public bills deal with general matters and, if signed, become public laws. Private bills deal with individual matters, such as a person's claim against the government, and become private laws if signed.

Joint Resolution
This is a resolution of both Chambers, generally used for limited matters, such as commemorative holidays. Designated as H.J.Res. in the House and S.J.Res. in the Senate, joint resolutions are signed by the President and have the force of law.

Joint resolutions also are used to propose an amendment to the Constitution. In this case, they must be agreed to by a two-thirds majority in each Chamber and by three-fourths of the states. The President does NOT sign this type of joint resolution.

Concurrent Resolution
This is a resolution dealing with internal matters of both Chambers, designated as H.Con.Res. in the House and S.Con.Res. in the Senate. A concurrent resolution must be passed by both Chambers, but is NOT signed into law by the President and does not have the force of law. The congressional budget resolution is an example of a concurrent resolution.

Resolution
Also known as a "simple resolution", this housekeeping measure is considered by and affects only one Chamber. Designated as H.Res. in the House and S.Res. in the Senate, simple resolutions are not signed by the President and do not become law. A rule for debate of a bill in the House is a simple resolution that must be approved by the House before debate can begin on the bill itself.

glad i could help educate you
 
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Patrick Sulley

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
We were talking about secession and the compromises,
Yes and they didn't get to secession based on events solely in 1861. What's nonsense is you coming here and saying the entire secession event revolved around an event in 1861
compromises, such as the Corwin Amendment which is the topic of this thread, which were proposed to avoid war.
The topic of the tread has nothing to do with this. The thread is solely if the amendment would be ironclad if passed.
 

Patrick Sulley

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
The answer is no.
OK...how could it be repealed? The amendment prevents legislation to repeal it. The states can not repeal it as 15 states were slave states and even today with 50 states there would not be enough to reach 3/4 th states to repeal it...so tell me what other avenues are available to repeal it?
 

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
It's your subjective opinion that an expansion west was needed to preserve slavery.

Anyone who has honestly studied the war knows this is false.

"...The country has expanded to meet this growing want, and Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, have received this increasing tide of African labor; before the end of this century, at precisely the same rate of increase, the Africans among us in a subordinate condition will amount to eleven millions of persons. What shall be done with them?

We must expand or perish.


We are constrained by an inexorable necessity to accept expansion or extermination...the North understand it better - they have told us for twenty years that their object was to pen up slavery within its present limits - surround it with a border of free States, and like the scorpion surrounded with fire, they will make it sting itself to death..." (emphasis mine)

Robert Toombs's Speech to the Georgia Legislature
Nov. 13, 1860

It seems like some members prefer their colorful imagination over actual history. It is good and all, but other members including myself came here to learn more about the Civil War, not to hear someone's baseless theories and unfounded hypothesis.

Patrick, this is not the only way for an amendment to get started. If 2/3 of state legislatures call for a convention, then a convention ensues. In the convention the state representatives can pass a constitutional amendment with 3/4 of the states voting for it. The amendment is then adopted and congress has nothing to do with it.

In my opinion, this thread should have ended there. It doesn't matter whether there is a precedent or not. One member correctly stated that an amendment could be initiated without the congress and it means the Corwin amendment wasn't 'ironclad'.

No need to beat a dead horse.

Agreed.
 
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Patrick Sulley

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Anyone who has honestly studied the war knows this is false
This is your subjective notion...the rest of the people you quote gave their subjective notions. And I studied history....so your blanket statement of "anyone who studied history" is wrong. This is an argument that is designed to appeal to modern sentiments (and ignorance), but depends on the complete denial of historic fact
In my opinion, this thread should have ended there. It doesn't matter whether there is a precedent or not. One member correctly stated that an amendment could be initiated without with the congress and it means the Corwin amendment wasn't 'ironclad'.
Explain how you can amend it when it takes 3/4th of states to repeal it....when 15 slave states would make it mathematically impossible. Now this ends it. It's ironclad until such time as slavery died naturally. Take your time...the math is not on your side...making the amendment ironclad
 
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OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Which is why there were over 40 compromises concerning tariffs and one attempt for slavery




Politics is the art of 'the possible', (i.e., compromise), that is how most laws are written.. Your example only proves Tariffs were pssible(comprromisable), but Not the protection of Slavery.
 

Patrick Sulley

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Politics is the art of 'the possible', (i.e., compromise), that is how most laws are written.. Your example only proves Tariffs were pssible(comprromisable), but Not the protection of Slavery.
that's a stretch. If most efforts were on one issue that issue would be THE issue....by all metrics.
 

Mike Griffith

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 22, 2014
No it did not


Even if it was unamendable (which it wasnt), an unratified amendment has no force of law, so its irrelevant and not ironclad.
But say it was ratified, was it that powerful? I doubt it. It didnt constrain the powers of the president or any existing powers of congress or the judicial system or of other states. It resolved nothing about fugitive slaves or abolitionist mail, etc that had been trigger points prior to the war.


Nothing in it says its unamendable

To override the 13th, there would have to some supreme court determinations that (1) it could apply to prior amendments (if ratified now it would come after the 13th and doesnt "shall me made" imply future amendments?) and (2) that the 13th didnt abolish slavery itself (not covered by the Corwin amendment) but rather authorized or gave Congress the power to abolish slavery (the only criteria covered by the amendment)

Wrong on several counts. For starters, the Supreme Court cannot overturn a constitutional amendment. One of the reasons you do a constitutional amendment is to put it beyond the reach of the judicial system.

The Corwin amendment most certainly was unamendable in that it would have, if ratified, forbade the federal government from ever abolishing slavery, even via another constitutional amendment:

"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”

And, again, the Supreme Court could not have ruled that the 13th Amendment of the Constitution was unconstitutional, if the Corwin amendment had been ratified and had become the 13th Amendment. That's why the 18th Amendment had to be repealed by the 21st Amendment. It did not occur to anybody that the Supreme Court could void the 18th Amendment.
 

Dead Parrott

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Wrong on several counts. For starters, the Supreme Court cannot overturn a constitutional amendment. One of the reasons you do a constitutional amendment is to put it beyond the reach of the judicial system.

The Corwin amendment most certainly was unamendable in that it would have, if ratified, forbade the federal government from ever abolishing slavery, even via another constitutional amendment:

"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”

And, again, the Supreme Court could not have ruled that the 13th Amendment of the Constitution was unconstitutional, if the Corwin amendment had been ratified and had become the 13th Amendment. That's why the 18th Amendment had to be repealed by the 21st Amendment. It did not occur to anybody that the Supreme Court could void the 18th Amendment.

Careful with this one...

The SCOTUS cannot per se declare an amendment unconstitutional. But the manner in which SCOTUS interprets that amendment can limit, edge, or fundamentally transform the application of that amendment. They need not follow the 'intent' (whatever that is determined to be by partisans on either side) of an amendment; they may expand the scope of how the amendement applies; they may limit the application; they may parse the words of the amendment in such a way to achieve a desired result. And this is not a 'right or wrong' argument about judicial practice - it is an INEVITABLE byproduct of the interpretive role of the SCOTUS, and the reality of applying text to the real world.

I won't sideline this discussion into examples from our present day, but they abound (too many potential OT rabbit-holes, in fact).

Southern leaders knew the proposed amendment wasn't anything close to ironclad; that it did nothing to address the pro-slavery grievances they actually copiously documented in their declarations; and that the continued exemption of slavery from the territories would lead to more non-slave states, ensuring that pro-slavery states would never again control congress or the government.

Southern leaders were headstrong men, and chose poorly, but they were not stupid. They could count.
 

NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
Wrong on several counts. For starters, the Supreme Court cannot overturn a constitutional amendment. One of the reasons you do a constitutional amendment is to put it beyond the reach of the judicial system.
You are misreading what I wrote. I never said the Court would overturn a constitutional amendment.
The original posted had asked "What would happen if 3/4 states in the future decide to ratify it? would it override the 13th?"

SO the order of Amendments matters to understanding what is being said.


The Corwin amendment most certainly was unamendable in that it would have, if ratified, forbade the federal government from ever abolishing slavery, even via another constitutional amendment:
But it doesnt forbide the Corwin Amendment from being amended.
 
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