Removal of Confederate statues and flags?

Recusant

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Sep 2009
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I am not sure what you mean by “own interpretation.” In some phrasings that type of language seems to imply interpretation means misinterpretation.
I have not made claims regarding misinterpretation; I respect your right to interpret the Constitution for yourself. If I did believe that you were engaging in misinterpretation I would have said so. I have simply pointed out that your argument rests on your own interpretation of the documents in question. What I can do is weigh your interpretation against the interpretations of such people as John Marshall. You're going to have to make a very convincing case for why anybody should consider your interpretation as superior to or more authoritative than those of people who are recognized authorities on these topics.

Rather, I believe I am merely stating a fact that when New Hampshire became the 9th ratifier, the Constitution went into effect for those 9 States because that is what Article VII says – and that there were 4 States whose last similar act was to ratify the AoC. That's 4 States who could have done what Lincoln did, deemed the other 9 in rebellion.
We have Federalist 43 to explain the use of the supermajority of conventions rather than unanimous ratification:

"The express authority of the people alone could give validity to the Constitution. To have required the unanimous ratification of the thirteen States, would have subjected the essential interests of the whole to the caprice or corruption of a single member. It would have marked a want of foresight in the convention, which our own experience would have rendered inexcusable."​

Certainly if you can cite in either the Constitution or the Articles of Confederation any language which supports the idea that ratification of the Constitution is an act of secession from the union or had the effect of dissolving the union, that may tend support your position.

On the other hand we have southern states firing on Sumter and announcing that letters of marque would be issued to authorize seizure of United States shipping, which was unconstitutional on its face. Lincoln's subsequent proclamation seems appropriate and justified.

IMO, it is less a broken process because the Convention was no authorized by 13 States, but more because the draft Constitution was never present to the national legislature, the United States in Congress, and was never acted upon by that body pursuant to - shall we say - the supreme law of the land.
The Constitution was presented to the Congress in September, 1787, and the question of whether to send it to the ratifying conventions was debated.

"When the Constitution was presented to Congress (on September 20), opponents, led by Richard Henry Lee, objected that it far exceeded the Convention's original mandate. They urged Congress to rewrite it. Supporters, led by James Madison, successfully resisted these motions, and proposed the draft be sent to the states with a favorable recommendation from Congress. After three days of heated debate, a compromise was worked out: Congress sent the Constitution on to the state legislatures, without favorable comment and 'recommended that the states hold elections for ratifying conventions as provided for by the Convention's resolutions'."​

How could the Articles of Confederation be considered the supreme law of the land if it was the states that exercised sovereignty under it and not the United States government?

As you know, I don't dispute that there were irregularities in the way that the Constitution came into existence. "Broken process" or not, I consider it a legitimate document. I take it that I can infer that you agree.

I have stated clearly, I am willing to entertain any hypothesis explaining this mess you have to offer. It seems clear fact to me that at some point, there are two unions, each with its own member states, organic law, national legislature, and president. That's what the documents indicate, and they indicate nothing else.
Where do they indicate it? Cite the language that would lead you to believe that the union was dissolved. Ratification by a supermajority of states as opposed to a unanimous ratification is nothing but a change in procedure, not a repudiation or dissolution of the union. Only by inference can one draw the conclusion you have from that provision. If you can infer a constitutional point, why do you deny that same capacity to the Supreme Court of the United States? What seems "clear fact" to you is not so readily apparent to other participants in this thread and constitutional scholars in general.

Are you able to cite a legitimate authority outside the Confederacy that agrees with your "clear fact"? Even a Confederate constitutional scholar's opinion on this question would be worthwhile and interesting for that matter.

If the Confederacy had been willing to go through established channels perhaps the issue could have been settled through recourse to the Constitution, but that certainly isn't what happened. Just as with the colonies, they decided to take up arms instead. I think that's what Dana was referring to when he cited "those events which are definitive in the affairs of men.
 

Recusant

Ad Honorem
Sep 2009
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The exact difference this and 1861 is your burden to explain to the jury, because there is no possible version of the story I can imagine that impedes my argument about 1861, what the Constitution states and the lack of law forbidding so-called "secession."
An important difference is that there was never any intention to dissolve the union in either the Constitutional Convention or the ratifying conventions.

The Declaration of Independence cites the violation of fundamental rights as justification for separating from the Crown. The lack of representation in Parliament--the inability of the colonies to advocate for themselves in the government to which they owed allegiance--was one of the primary issues. The Confederacy had no such complaint, and no fundamental rights of its citizens were being denied by the federal government.

In regard to any constititutional impediment to secession, we can refer back to Patrick Henry during the debates at the Virginia ratification convention. Henry saw "great jeopardy" in the Constitution precisely because it instituted a consolidated government which would prevent Virginia from altering its government. He understood that the Constitution was a document that bound the states together irrevocably.

"Suppose the people of Virginia should wish to alter their government; can a majority of them do it? No; because they are connected with other men, or, in other words, consolidated with other states. When the people of Virginia, at a future day, shall wish to alter their government, though they should be unanimous in this desire, yet they may be prevented therefrom by a minority at the extremity of the United States.

"The founders of your Constitution made your government changeable: but the power of changing it is gone from you. Whither is it gone? It is placed in the same hands that hold the rights of twelve other states; and those who hold those rights have right and power to keep them.

"It is not the particular government of Virginia: one of the leading features of that government is, that a majority can alter it, when necessary for the public good. This government is not a Virginian, but an American government. Is it not, therefore, a consolidated government?"​

Henry opposed the Constitution in part precisely because he understood that the states would no longer have the sovereignty they'd enjoyed under the Articles of Confederation.

It is my opinion that the union created by the Articles of Confederation was never dissolved, and the Articles stated unequivocally that the union was agreed to be perpetual. I know you choose to disparage the preamble to the Constitution, but the fact is that it was ratified along with the rest of the document: "a more perfect Union." Not a union that would, contrary to its previous character, henceforth be dissoluble because, well, the Constitution doesn't say explicitly that secession is contrary to the law.

And as to interpretation of the Constitution, I have let the framers speak through their documents. For example, Article I Section 8 is the list of delegated powers is not my "own interpretation." It is on its face an exhaustive or definitive list and that was affirmed by Madison when he said these powers defined or "definite." The exhaustive and definitive nature of the list, and was also affirmed by Constitution and the States one by one.

The US Constitution (1787)
“Amendment Ten: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution [Article 1, Section 8], nor prohibited by it to the States [Article 1, Section 10], are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
New Hampshire 1788
“That it be Explicitly declared that all Powers not expressly and particularly Delegated by the aforesaid Constitution are reserved to the several States to be, by them Exercised.”
Massachusetts 1788
“That it be explicitly declared that all Powers not expressly delegated by the aforesaid Constitution are reserved to the several States to be by them exercised.”
Rhode Island 1790
“That the rights of the States respectively, to nominate and appoint all State Officers, and every other power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by the said constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States or to the departments of government thereof, remain to the people of the several states, or their respective State Governments to whom they may have granted the same; “
North Carolina 1789
“THAT each state in the union shall, respectively, retain every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this constitution delegated to the Congress of the United States, or to the departments of the Federal Government.”
On its face, Article 1 Section 8 includes no language saying that it is an exhaustive or definitive list. However, it does include the Necessary and Proper Clause.

Note as well that the language was deliberately changed in regard to restricting the powers of the government in the Bill of Rights. Article II of the Articles of Confederation:

"Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled."​

10th Amendment:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."​

There was debate as to whether to include "expressly" in the 10th Amendment, and those who wished to include it were defeated.

All of this (the meaning of the Necessary and Proper Clause, the significance of the choice to omit "expressly") is an old argument; one that was settled long ago, despite the wish of some to keep it alive.

If there is a another delegated power, one by which each “free State,” as they are called in Amd 2 that makes them un-free States, that is what YOU would have to show a jury.
They are free states under the Constitution. The Constitution makes the government of the United States the chief means by which the people of the United States exercise their sovereignty, not the states. The nature of the union was changed from a confederacy to a unified federal state through ratification of the Constitution, whether you choose to believe that or not.

The Constitution plainly prohibits states entering into a confederation in Article 1 Section 10. When such an illegal confederation attacks an installation of the federal government and begins to issue letters of marque (which is also prohibited under Article 1 Section 10), the constitutional mandate to ensure domestic tranquility is sufficient.

IMO, in this post and elsewhere, I have presented a “convincing case.” There were 13 States ca 1787-1790 that were convinced they could secede lawfully,and after that plenty of people who were convinced it could happen again, and at least 11 states in 1861 that were convinced (and maybe Maryland and Kentucky). There were Norther newspaper men that editorialized on the rightfulness of secession. And all these people managed to get convinced without me.

I also wonder about your assessment of my earlier claim that politicians by their nature lie, cheat, and steal. You raised no objection. I wonder what you think happens to the nature of such people once you dress them in a black robe. IMO, the only thing that changes is the garb. I would certainly never deny the fact that on a date certain a given individual expressed an opinion, but I don't surrender to either Mr. Taney or Mr. Marshall my own judgement that is means is. I do recognize that others are willing to make that surrender all the time, and some do it sometimes due to political ideology. As I am sure you know, among the powers not delegated, is the one that makes the courts a judicial oligarchy. The Supreme Court is only supreme over the inferior courts
I remain unconvinced by the case you've made, and have cited sources which in my opinion sufficiently refute your claims. You apparently would like to impugn the character of John Marshall, but have presented no evidence to support any claim that he engaged in underhanded dealing or dishonesty. Your assertion that ratifying the Constitution was an act of secession is completely unsupported.
 
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Recusant

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Sep 2009
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Frivilous? :)
Which clause of the Constitution prohibits a State from taxing entities doing business within its borders? They retain all power, not expressly prohibited. Right? So,, in which clause is this prohibition expressed?

FWIW, as I understanding semantics, one can argue that 1 +1 = 3 is "drawn from" the rules of arithmetic.
If you want to re-litigate McCulloch v. Maryland, your argument is with Marshall, not me, and you have your work cut out for you.
 

Recusant

Ad Honorem
Sep 2009
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Of course, the ultimate source would be the manual of style referenced by the committee of style at the convention, or any rules of style they made for themselves. I don't have that. And nothing like that is referenced by your "source," which is simply making a naked claim.

I relied on Black's 6
A State [with a capital S] is "single people permanently occupying a fixed territory bound together by common-law habits and custom into one body politic exercising, though the medium of an organized government. [note that "the people" express through their State government] independent sovereignty and control over all persons and things within its boundaries, capable of making war and peace and entering into international relations with other communities.

Later, if defines a state [without a capital S] is "a body politic or society of men."

Also, look at the language of the Lee Resolution, July 2, 1776:
“Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
They will declare themselves States with a capital S equal to the capital-S State of Britain

In any case, whether you agree with my interpretation of the style of the Constitution, the point remains the same. Others are arguing the Constitution created a loss or downgrade of status for the States to more like what the Constitution calls "territory." The capital letter contrast was just another way of expressing the same idea.

Capitalization matters in law. I don't know why anyone would think it doesn't. For example, try to open a bank account in the name of Recusant and they will only open one in the name of RECUSANT. (Remember what your boy Marshall said about "intangible" property existing only in the contemplation of law? I know you are not going to believe that is exactly what the latter is).

We can continue on with the Constitutional status of the States without further reference to capitalization, fascinating though that topic might be.
In contemporary law, the capitalization of "state" does have significance, but it isn't what you've claimed, and you haven't cited anything that unequivocally shows that your claim regarding 18th century meaning of the capitalization is valid. Black's does note the actual meaning of such capitalization in contemporary legal documents.

"1. Law. With a capital ‘S’. The prosecuting body of persons accused of wrong doing in that state. 2. Politics. With a lower case ’s’. The area geographically within defined territorial boundaries with a set of political institutions and rules by a government through conformance laws."​

The same source uses not capitalization, but a fully descriptive term to designate sovereignty.

"SOVEREIGN STATE:

"A state with full sovereignty over all of its affairs, territory and existence."​

Once again from the same source, we have:

"A body politic, or society of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage, by the joint efforts of their combined strength. Cooley, Const. Lim. 1. One of the component commonwealths or states of the United States of America. The people of a state, in their collective capacity, considered as the party wronged by a criminal deed; the public; as in the title of a cause. “The State vs. A. B.” The section of territory occupied by one of the United States."​

Nowhere is there support for the idea that 18th century capitalization changed the meaning of the word.

Another source supporting my previous source. This time a recognized constitutional scholar:

"Throughout most of the eighteenth-century, it was common for drafters to begin every noun with a capital letter, just as Germans do today. This convention was fading by the time the Constitution was drafted (1787), but Gouverneur Morris, who actually penned the final document, elected to follow it. That is why nouns in the original Constitution are capitalized.

"However, Morris made a few mistakes, and some nouns were left without capitals. They include: 'defence' in the Preamble, 'credit' in Article I, Section 8, Clause 2 (the congressional borrowing power); 'duty' in Article I, Section 9, Clause 1; and 'present' in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8.

"Two years later, when (under the guidance of James Madison) the First Congress drafted the Bill of Rights, it elected to drop the capitalization rule. Nevertheless, a few mistakes crept in: Several of the nouns in the Bill of Rights were capitalized.

"The capitalization or non-capitalization of a word has no substantive effect, although when used to introduce a phrase it can serve as a clue to meaning."​

Of course you can say that the constitutional scholar is making a "naked claim," but I'm willing to take his word for it over yours.
 
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Code Blue

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Feb 2015
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In contemporary law, the capitalization of "state" does have significance, but it isn't what you've claimed, and you haven't cited anything that unequivocally shows that your claim regarding 18th century meaning of the capitalization is valid. Black's does note the actual meaning of such capitalization in contemporary legal documents.
In contemporary law? The Constitution is not a product of our contemporaries.

Just to be precise, you have not unequivocally shown anything. You link to some paper with no footnotes, call it a "source" and say it disagrees with me. OK. But why don't you email that guy, tell him there is a "source" that disagrees with him, and cite my post? In attempting to refute the point, your so-called scholar says, "The capitalization or non-capitalization of a word has no substantive effect, although when used to introduce a phrase it can serve as a clue to meaning. " What is the difference between those two things? To argue that the "meaning" of the words in a legal document are separate from "substance" is absurd on its face.

And I did give an example. Every bank and credit card, every government ID you have says RECUSANT and not Recusant. If it makes no difference, then why can't you open a bank account or get a social security card in your real name? Also, I put "legal style and capitalization" into a search engine and it returned many hits explaining what and how to capitalize - though I will grant, it will be difficult to impossible to find anyone who can or will explain why.

FWIW, that the Lee Resolution says they want to be "States" like the "State" of Britain and the Constitution describes each member of the union as a "free State." If you wish to argue such legal Style doesn't matter, I think you need more than just repeating the claim that it doesn't, whether you say so in your words or someone else's. And I am not saying the 18th century Style changed the meaning of the word, but rather the practice of not capitalizing it accompanies the subsequent and future connotations that a "state" is something less than a "sovereign" entity, more like "territory," as I said.

However, the real issue is not the capitalization, but that no document anywhere that shows an agreement on the part of the framers and ratifiers that the "free State" status referred to the by the US Constitution is anything less than the "States" referred to the Lee Resolution as being equal to Britain, or in the Declaration of Independence as having "separate and equal station" like all the other nations of the world. And in fact, to the contrary, several States pointed out that their delegation of powers was conditional and revocable. And as far as I can tell, I am the only poster in the thread who will 'admit' so-to-speak these facts. :)I am not trying to "imply" or "interpret" these facts out of existence.

From the AoC, Article I: "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be"The United States of America"." Do you notice that it doesn't say the Confederacy IS the United States? Still think "Style" doesn't matter?
 
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Code Blue

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Feb 2015
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Certainly if you can cite in either the Constitution or the Articles of Confederation any language which supports the idea that ratification of the Constitution is an act of secession from the union or had the effect of dissolving the union, that may tend support your position.
I have cited language. And you should know that. And keep in mind, the party prosecuting Davis has to prove how it was legal for the States to just leave a union in 1787, but not legal in 1861.

How could the Articles of Confederation be considered the supreme law of the land if it was the states that exercised sovereignty under it and not the United States government?
The Articles were the supreme law of the land starting in 1781 the same way the Constitution was starting ca 1788.

Where do they indicate it? Cite the language that would lead you to believe that the union was dissolved.
I have stated before, I am not married to any particular term, like "dissolved." One day there were 13 States in a union made by the Articles, and eventually there were 13 States in a union made by the Constitution.

Where the old union went, would not be the problem of Jefferson Davis's attorney to explain. I can't emphasize strongly enough, it is incumbent on the prosecution of Jefferson Davis to explain this. Merely attacking his alibi - that states retained their right to resume all powers of a "State" - is not the same as proving treason.

Ratification by a supermajority of states as opposed to a unanimous ratification is nothing but a change in procedure, not a repudiation or dissolution of the union. Only by inference can one draw the conclusion you have from that provision. If you can infer a constitutional point, why do you deny that same capacity to the Supreme Court of the United States? What seems "clear fact" to you is not so readily apparent to other participants in this thread and constitutional scholars in general.
Keep in mind, if this were a mock trial, this rhetoric would simply be substantiating my opinion claim that you have no law or founding documents to cite - only the OPINIONS of individuals speaking post 1790. No matter how many adjectives you use to create the impression of infallibility of those who agree with you. IMO, argument by adjective is easy to overcome.

I am not denying anyone the capacity to draw an inference - but do pay close attention to what the inference was drawn from. That is what goes to the validity of the inference regardless of who is making it.

Are you able to cite a legitimate authority outside the Confederacy that agrees with your "clear fact"? Even a Confederate constitutional scholar's opinion on this question would be worthwhile and interesting for that matter..
Legitimate? I covered this. The Constitution and the founding documents do not lack legitimacy versus the post-ratification "opinions" of individuals. However, if you are interested in such things, there is a book called Northern Editorials on Secession, and it contains plenty of opinions supporting the lawfulness of secession. It might be an interesting exercise to match up how of these editors ended up in jail, a subject touched on in a book called American Bastille.

If the Confederacy had been willing to go through established channels perhaps the issue could have been settled through recourse to the Constitution, but that certainly isn't what happened. Just as with the colonies, they decided to take up arms instead. I think that's what Dana was referring to when he cited "those events which are definitive in the affairs of men.
That would be for the prosecution of Davis to prove that resumption of delegated powers is not "established channels."

As you know, I don't dispute that there were irregularities in the way that the Constitution came into existence. "Broken process" or not, I consider it a legitimate document. I take it that I can infer that you agree.
It is important to note that lack of getting 13 state approval for the Convention and lack of returning the draft to the Confederated Congress seems like a broken process to me, Madison argues in Fed 43 that there is a due process, that the States walked out of the union, because they can.

Also, I don't see where this "supermajority" matters. The question is whether the states retain their right to resume as free States. If they can, they can make whatever rules they want in the sovereign capacity.

FWIW, I will likely be suspending posting, at least for the holidays. So, if you answer these posts, it might be some time before I can read your responses. In any case, I'd like to thank you for your efforts and approach to this discussion. By challenging, you have help me refine my understanding of these issues.
 

Recusant

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Sep 2009
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In contemporary law? The Constitution is not a product of our contemporaries.

Just to be precise, you have not unequivocally shown anything. You link to some paper with no footnotes, call it a "source" and say it disagrees with me. OK. But why don't you email that guy, tell him there is a "source" that disagrees with him, and cite my post? In attempting to refute the point, your so-called scholar says, "The capitalization or non-capitalization of a word has no substantive effect, although when used to introduce a phrase it can serve as a clue to meaning. " What is the difference between those two things? To argue that the "meaning" of the words in a legal document are separate from "substance" is absurd on its face.
I have not claimed to "unequivocally shown anything." What I have done is present two sources that say that the capitalization found in the Constitution should not be construed to change the definitions of the capitalized words. Your attempt to disparage my sources is in no way a substantive rebuttal of what they say. "That guy" is a well recognized constitutional scholar, as I said. Against that we have your assertion, unsupported by any source whatever.

Professor Robert G. Natelson, who contracts with [Independence Institute], heads the Institute’s Constitutional Studies Center and its Article V Information Center. He is a nationally known constitutional scholar and author whose research into the history and legal meaning of the Constitution has been cited repeatedly at the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appeals courts, and state supreme courts—both by parties and by U.S. and state Supreme Court justices and by federal appellate judges. He is widely acknowledged to be the country’s leading active scholar on the Constitution’s amendment procedure and among the leaders on several other topics. In September, 2018 he was named a Senior Adviser to the Convention of States Project.

He was a law professor for 25 years, serving at three different universities, where among other subjects he taught Constitutional Law, Constitutional History, Advanced Constitutional Law, and First Amendment. Professor Natelson is especially known for his studies of the Constitution’s original meaning. His research on that subject has carried him to libraries throughout the United States and in Britain, including four months at Oxford. His books and articles span many different parts of the Constitution, including groundbreaking studies of the Necessary and Proper Clause, federalism, Founding-Era interpretation, regulation of elections, and the amendment process of Article V.

U.S. Supreme Court justices have relied explicitly on Professor Natelson’s research in six cases . . .

[source]
And I did give an example. Every bank and credit card, every government ID you have says RECUSANT and not Recusant. If it makes no difference, then why can't you open a bank account or get a social security card in your real name? Also, I put "legal style and capitalization" into a search engine and it returned many hits explaining what and how to capitalize - though I will grant, it will be difficult to impossible to find anyone who can or will explain why.
Cite any of those "many hits" that agree with your assertion. The ones that I've found are from lunatic fringe "sovereign citizen" enthusiasts. If you had an actual reputable source, I think you'd have cited it by now.

FWIW, that the Lee Resolution says they want to be "States" like the "State" of Britain and the Constitution describes each member of the union as a "free State." If you wish to argue such legal Style doesn't matter, I think you need more than just repeating the claim that it doesn't, whether you say so in your words or someone else's. And I am not saying the 18th century Style changed the meaning of the word, but rather the practice of not capitalizing it accompanies the subsequent and future connotations that a "state" is something less than a "sovereign" entity, more like "territory," as I said.
Full text of Lee's Resolutions:

"Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

"That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

"That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation."​

If as you claim, there is a difference between "State" and "state" such that a "State" is what the legal dictionary calls a "sovereign state" and a "state" is not, then there definitely is a change in meaning, based entirely on whether the word is capitalized or not. In which case it should be simple enough for you to cite a reputable source that supports your claim. You have yet to do so.

Are you claiming as well that "Colonies" are sovereign in some way that "colonies" are not? I would assume that you are, because if not, it would appear fatal to your assertion. So please describe how you understand the difference between "Colonies" and "colonies."

Note that the document is an unequivocal declaration of intent to dissolve political connections between the colonies and Britain. Despite your attempts to assert that the Articles of Confederation and/or the Constitution convey the same intent, neither contains any such language.

However, the real issue is not the capitalization, but that no document anywhere that shows an agreement on the part of the framers and ratifiers that the "free State" status referred to the by the US Constitution is anything less than the "States" referred to the Lee Resolution as being equal to Britain, or in the Declaration of Independence as having "separate and equal station" like all the other nations of the world. And in fact, to the contrary, several States pointed out that their delegation of powers was conditional and revocable. And as far as I can tell, I am the only poster in the thread who will 'admit' so-to-speak these facts. :)I am not trying to "imply" or "interpret" these facts out of existence.
Why then did Patrick Henry say, "This government is not a Virginian, but an American government"? It was well understood that under the Constitution, the status of the states would change from that which had pertained under the Articles of Confederation. States may have asserted that their delegation of powers was conditional and revocable, but those assertions are not the law; they don't appear in the Constitution. It was the Constitution that the conventions of the people ratified, regardless of any assertions made in ratifying statements.

From the AoC, Article I: "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be"The United States of America"." Do you notice that it doesn't say the Confederacy IS the United States? Still think "Style" doesn't matter?
It appears that you're equivocating regarding the meaning of the word. In this instance, "Stile" means "name" or "title."

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

"A legal, official, or honorific title; the proper name or recognized appellation of a person, family, trading firm, etc.; the ceremonial designation of a sovereign, including his various titles and the enumeration of his dominions."​

Online reference:

"An official or legal title."​

Article I is saying that the confederacy will be called by the name "United States of America." I'm not clear on what significance you're attempting to attach to this, but the name remained the same under the Constitution. One would think that if the union created under the Articles were being dissolved, the name would have changed to reflect that.

There is yet another source that supports my previous two sources. Given the ease with which you dismiss my sources, I don't expect it to have any effect on your opinion, Code Blue. However, for any who've bothered to follow this discussion and who are interested in the practice of capitalizing nouns in 17th and 18th century English texts, I recommend this Stack Exchange thread, which cites and quotes an authoritative source (The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language).

"The fashion [of capitalizing important nouns] was at its height in the later 17th century, and continued into the 18th. The manuscripts of Butler, Traherne, Swift, and Pope are full of initial capitals. However, the later 18th-century grammarians were not amused by this apparent lack of discipline in the written language. In their view, the proliferation of capitals was unnecessary, and causing the loss of a useful potential distinction. Their rules brought a dramatic reduction in the types of noun permitted to take a capital letter."​
 
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Recusant

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Sep 2009
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Sector N after curfew
I have cited language. And you should know that. And keep in mind, the party prosecuting Davis has to prove how it was legal for the States to just leave a union in 1787, but not legal in 1861.
There is no language in either the Constitution or Articles of Confederacy which clearly states that ratification of the Constitution was secession from the union. That is purely your inference, despite your aversion to the inferences of others such as John Marshall. Here, you're relying entirely on your assertion that states ratifying the Constitution were dissolving the union created under the Articles of Confederation. Not a proven fact by any means.

The Articles were the supreme law of the land starting in 1781 the same way the Constitution was starting ca 1788.
The Constitution states in straight-forward language that it is the supreme law of the land. The Articles of Confederation do not contain that language.

In Article 4 of the Constitution, we find "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, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

The nearest the Articles of the Confederation come is in Article XIII: "And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State . . ." If we eschew inference, there is no basis for the claim that the Articles were the supreme law of the land. Certainly the states must observe the Articles, but they were able to make laws beyond the control of the Congress or any other national entity.

Though the central Government could control the military, postal service, currency, and foreign policy, it was powerless to influence any of the actions of the sovereign 13 states.

[. . .]

By disallowing the central Government to retain any control over any of the individual 13 states, who at the time considered themselves to be sovereign entities, it created a situation in which the existence of any nationalized policy was impossible.

[. . .]

Without an ability to control, oversee, or regulate the actions of each individual State, the central Government could only look on as each of the 13 states both managed and maintained their respective policies. The Articles of Confederation forbid the central Government to exercise any control over the 13 states. As a result, each State was able to establish individual spending policies and trade regulation. In addition, each State was given the right to choose whether or not they wished to uphold certain laws.

[source]
I have stated before, I am not married to any particular term, like "dissolved." One day there were 13 States in a union made by the Articles, and eventually there were 13 States in a union made by the Constitution.
The union did not cease to exist at any time in the late 18th century, nor were there two unions. The same union continued to exist, bound more firmly together by ratification of the Constitution. You have yet to give firm support for any claim to the contrary.

Where the old union went, would not be the problem of Jefferson Davis's attorney to explain. I can't emphasize strongly enough, it is incumbent on the prosecution of Jefferson Davis to explain this. Merely attacking his alibi - that states retained their right to resume all powers of a "State" - is not the same as proving treason.

Keep in mind, if this were a mock trial, this rhetoric would simply be substantiating my opinion claim that you have no law or founding documents to cite - only the OPINIONS of individuals speaking post 1790. No matter how many adjectives you use to create the impression of infallibility of those who agree with you. IMO, argument by adjective is easy to overcome.
Per Dana above, it wasn't a faulty case against Davis which in the end weighed against holding a trial. Your continued reliance on the unproven claim that there was an "old union" from which states seceded when they ratified the Constitution detracts from any strength your "mock trial" defense of Davis might have. There is also the issue of failing to respond to some of the points made against your case.

I am not denying anyone the capacity to draw an inference - but do pay close attention to what the inference was drawn from. That is what goes to the validity of the inference regardless of who is making it.
The source of your inference is somehow more legitimate than the source of Marshall's? Please explain.

Legitimate? I covered this. The Constitution and the founding documents do not lack legitimacy versus the post-ratification "opinions" of individuals. However, if you are interested in such things, there is a book called Northern Editorials on Secession, and it contains plenty of opinions supporting the lawfulness of secession. It might be an interesting exercise to match up how of these editors ended up in jail, a subject touched on in a book called American Bastille.
It isn't the legitimacy of the documents I'm questioning. I do however question whether anybody agrees with your interpretation of those documents. You interpret them as establishing it as "clear fact" that the union was split in two when states ratified the Constitution. I asked for any Constitutional scholar who supported that interpretation, but you have yet to produce one. Handwaving to a book without citing even one instance contained in it will not suffice.

That would be for the prosecution of Davis to prove that resumption of delegated powers is not "established channels."
Firing on Sumter and beginning to issue letters of marque certainly don't qualify as established channels of addressing disagreement with the duly elected government.

It is important to note that lack of getting 13 state approval for the Convention and lack of returning the draft to the Confederated Congress seems like a broken process to me, Madison argues in Fed 43 that there is a due process, that the States walked out of the union, because they can.

Also, I don't see where this "supermajority" matters. The question is whether the states retain their right to resume as free States. If they can, they can make whatever rules they want in the sovereign capacity.
Perhaps you missed it, but it has been pointed out to you twice in this thread that the Constitution was presented to Congress, which debated upon it and thereafter sent it to the ratifying conventions. As noted above, in Federalist 43 Madison explains the rationale for using a supermajority rather than unanimous ratification.

A murderer can kill another human being, that doesn't make his act legitimate or legal. It is clear beyond doubt that under the Constitution, the states do not retain the right to make war. There are no mitigating circumstances given under which they might. Which brings us back to justifications outside the Constitution, which seem lacking to me when compared to justifications cited by the colonies against the Crown.

It appears that you're willing to consider the Constitution a legitimate document when it suits you but when it doesn't, you bring the "broken process" claim. Previously I asked you directly about your opinion on its legitimacy but you declined to answer. Is your opinion so changeable that you are unable to decide?

Since you will not have returned to reply to this thread until after the holidays, I will retroactively wish you the best of the season, and health to you and your family. I appreciate your discussion of the issues here as well, for much the same reasons as you cite.
 
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Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,651
P. T. Beauregard became a civil rights activist after the war, promoting civil equality and the black vote. Why are we advocating taking down the statue of a Civil Rights activist?

Longstreet did the same, and General Joseph Wheeler rejoined the U.S. Army and fought for the United States in the Spanish-American War.

We easily praise anti-slavery activists such as John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace. Newton was a notorious slave ship captain before he became an abolitionist, shipping as many as 20,000? slaves from Africa to the Americas.
If any of the statues of Beauregard celebrated his post-war promotion of civil equality and black voting rights, you would have a point, but the monuments to Beauregard ignore this part of his life. They do not celebrate the actions of a civil rights activist, they celebrate the actions of a general in service to the Confederacy, an explicitly white supremacist organization. There are almost no monuments to Longstreet, due in part to his post-war support of black rights. The few that exist celebrate his service to the Confederacy, not his long service to the United States. The monuments to Wheeler sometimes mention his service in the US military, but they depict him in his Confederate uniform.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,600
Caribbean
Cite any of those "many hits" that agree with your assertion. The ones that I've found are from lunatic fringe "sovereign citizen" enthusiasts. If you had an actual reputable source, I think you'd have cited it by now.
I guess it is a sign of improvement of bad arguments that we have evolved from equating people specifically with Nazi's to equating them to some so-called and vague lunatic fringe. I suspect the lunatic fringe also believes that water is wet and fire is hot.

If as you claim, there is a difference between "State" and "state" such that a "State" is what the legal dictionary calls a "sovereign state" and a "state" is not, then there definitely is a change in meaning, based entirely on whether the word is capitalized or not. In which case it should be simple enough for you to cite a reputable source that supports your claim. You have yet to do so.
So, those whose opinions you like are "reputable" and others are the lunatic "fringe." Do we really have to do rhetoric?

There is a certain amount of "fun" in these side issues, - but - to be clear what I claim is that these documents say what they say and mean what they mean. The Lee Resolution starts a chain of legal language that continues with the Declaration and equates the the 13 States to the State of Britain - ie the State of Britain. You are free to ignore the capitalization. I already said it is a minor point of style. The text of the documents is nonetheless clear. That is, the 13 American states as the equivalents of the state of Great Britain work to the same effect.

Note that the document is an unequivocal declaration of intent to dissolve political connections between the colonies and Britain. Despite your attempts to assert that the Articles of Confederation and/or the Constitution convey the same intent, neither contains any such language.
Actually, I have not made that claim, and this is why we have a quote function. Whatever any of these documents "convey," it is not "intent." I don't need to infer intent. I relied directly on plain text. Those who refuse to accept the text need to speculate about intent - and find things "implied by the whole document" (I know that wasn't you) which seems more a reference to the blank spaces than any clause.

It appears that you're equivocating regarding the meaning of the word. In this instance, "Stile" means "name" or "title."
No, I did not. You were doing so well, and now your posts have just descended into straw men.

There is yet another source that supports my previous two sources. Given the ease with which you dismiss my sources, I don't expect it to have any effect on your opinion, Code Blue.
I don't "dismiss" your sources. I stated at the outset, all the opinions about permanently surrendered state sovereignty date from after the Constitution. I made it clear each time you tried to you cited Marshall that you were not rebutting that claim but citing the very same evidence upon which the inference was drawn. That's hardly a dismissal to say that we are looking at the same information.

And as to the opinion of Code Blue, it would surely help were you to identify the exact opinion to which you refer. As I have stated over and over, the conditional of the ratification is a matter of fact. The ratifications were offered on the condition that a Bill of Rights would be appended to the Constitution later. The conditional nature of the ratifications were made official in language of three of the ratification documents.

Now, if you want an opinion of Code Blue, it is that under objective adjudication the explicit reservation of the right to withdraw ratification on the part of several States/states would be dispositive. That is, it ought to dispose of the issue. There is no longer any question as to what the nature of the ratification is, and whether there is a right to resume delegated powers. Such was made explicit - no matter how many people after 1790 opine otherwise or how "reputable" you think they are. To me, they are in denial.

The side issues are fun, though. I did come across a quote about your questioning of whether the US Constitution creates a Confederacy (also as to whether States have the right to reform their government - like when it becomes destructive to the ends of preserving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
"Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness of either part. Those of the western confederacy will be as much our children & descendants as those of the eastern, and I feel myself as much identified with that country, in future time, as with this; and did I now foresee a separation at some future day, yet I should feel the duty & the desire to promote the western interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family which should fall within my power. "
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Joseph Priestly, January 29, 1804

Another advisory - it may be a while before I return to the forum again.
 
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