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and an infraction of rights secured to the States. You will mark, if you please, the double aspect of this proposition, in asserting not only an assumption of power by Congress, but an infraction of State rights. And this proposition, I venture to say,

defies answer or cavil.

“ And yet, sir, in zeal to support this enormity, senators have not hesitated to avow a purpose to break down the legislation of States, calculated to shield the liberty of their citizens. It is difficult, says Burke, “to frame an indictment against a whole people. But here in the Senate, where are convened the jealous representatives of the States, we have heard whole States arraigned, as if guilty of crime. The senator from Louisiana has set forth, in plaintive tones, the ground of proceeding, and more than one sovereign State has been summoned to judgment.

“And now, almost while I speak, comes the solemn judgment of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, a sovereign State of this Union, declaring this act to be a violation of the Constitution."

Verily the author of “Our Domestic Relations” should have prefixed to his ingenious essay a quotation from a poetic collaborateur

"Weep not that the world changes-did it keep
A stable, changeless course, 'twere cause to weep."


The Constitutional Power of the General Government to suppress a

Rebellion—That Power not affected by the unwarrantable sanction of a Rebellion by a State—The impossibility of a Consti-tutional Collision between the State and National Sovereignties The course of the General Government in the Nullification Con. troversy—A similar course in this controversy will not expose us to the charge of coercing Sovereign States—Consideration of the Doctrines of Forfeiture of State Rights by State Treason, of State Suicide, and of the Abdication by a State of its Place in the Union,

LET us now proceed to inquire what effect the doctrine of State sovereignty has upon the constitutional right of the general Government to use its military power for the purpose of reducing to obedience rebels against its authority, who plead the mandates of their own States in justification of their rebellion, and what objects the general Government can lawfully propose to accomplish by the use of force in such a case.

And first, has the general Government power to employ its military arm against rebels in any case whatever ? I do not understand that there is any conflict of opinion among us upon this point. It is true that there is no express grant of any


power in the Constitution—the provision authorizing Congress to provide for calling out the militia “to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions,” being generally regarded as limiting the power of the Federal Government over the militia to those three cases, rather than as an affirmative grant of authority to do the several acts specified. Still those words lead irresistibly to the conclusion that the power to suppress insurrections" is in fact lodged in the central Government; and their connection with the rest of the sentence, and the ample powers which the States enjoy over their own militia, indicate very conclusively that the insurrections referred to, are those against the authority of the Union, and not of the several States. In truth, it is not necessary to resort to this clause, to justify the use of force to suppress a rebellion. Such a right results, by necessary implication, from the establishment of a government empowered to require the obedience of all its citizens, to the extent of the authority conferred upon it, and consequently entitled to their allegiance to that extent. Any such government, possessing a military arm, has the unquestionable right to use that arm to compel its subjects to obey its laws and respect its rightful authority, whenever the civil power proves to be insufficient for tha purpose. We find accordingly in that part of the Constitution which treats of the powers of Congress,

a provision that the writ of habeas corpus shall be suspended only when “in cases of rebellion or inva

ion the public safety may require it.” And our history shows that such a power was exercised in the earliest days of the republic, and while the Government was administered by the framers of the Constitution, and their immediate contemporaries, with Washington at their head.

Nor will the right to exercise such a power be affected by the circumstance that the rebellion purports to be justified by a State, when the insurgents are resisting the lawful and constitutional authority of the Federal Government.

The doctrine of State sovereignty, does not legitimately lead to any such conclusion, because it does not require its advocates to deny the sovereignty of the national Government. As stated in the preceding chapter, the Constitution divides the sovereign power, and allots distinct and different portions of it to the Federal Government and to the States respectively. It was evidently the design of the framers of that instrument to render a conflict of jurisdiction between the two impossible, by drawing a clear line of demarkation, which should restrain each within certain distinctly defined limits. Every citizen of the nation was to owe a double allegiance, that is, an allegiance to two separate sovereigns—but this double allegiance was never to require from him inconsistent duties and obliga

tions. A clash of rightful jurisdiction between the States and the nation was rendered impossible by the enumeration of specific powers granted to the latter, and the provision that “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 the people.” And as it is entirely clear that no case of the exercise of authority can be suggested, which will not fall within one of the two classes, that is, powers delegated, or powers not delegated, it is apparent that the two governments can never rightfully require from the citizen obedience at the same time to two contradictory mandates. Whenever such a conflict apparently occurs, one of the two must necessarily be a usurper.

The fact that cases have continually arisen where each government claimed that the Constitution authorized it to exercise jurisdiction, does not militate against the soundness or the application of this principle. Such conflicts of authority have resulted, not from any actual omission in the Constitution to provide for every possible case, for, as we have seen, every possible case is provided for; but merely from the imperfection of human language, which has frequently rendered it impossible to ascertain immediately, by reference to the words used in the Constitution, whether in a particular case jurisdiction was granted to the Federal Government or re

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