- Sep 2009
- Sector N after curfew
I am not sure what you mean by “own interpretation.” In some phrasings that type of language seems to imply interpretation means misinterpretation.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.