Thursday, January 21, 2010

It’s time to rethink a Supreme Court

That the makeup of the Supreme Court can be controlled, and with it decisions rendered is not an issue, it’s a fact. Lincoln and Grant were two of the early presidents who learned how to stack the court with political appointments, lawyers who would hold in favor policies that were important to the administration, yet which were candidly unconstitutional.

The most inglorious example was the Legal Tender cases of Knox V lee 79 U.S. 457 (1870) and Hepburn v. Griswold, 75 U.S. 603 (1870)

Lincoln took office during one of the most tumultuous times in America’s history, the Treasury was out of money, the South was in the midst of succession and refused to pay its share of taxes, a war was inevitable, but how to finance that war?

Lincoln appointed Salmon Portland Chase as the Secretary of the Treasury and gave him a mandate; find a way to finance the war!

Chase was the architect of the United States Note, a forerunner to the Federal Reserve Note, but different. Chase made the US Notes a Legal Tender for the first time in US History, prior to this our legal tender was either Gold coin or Silver coin and the paper was a representative of value.

The new US Notes circulated as a debt of the United States, the government bought the horses and armaments using these notes, and all understood that at some point in time they would be redeemed in specie.

Lincoln was no fool, he was an astute lawyer who understood the US Constitution, and he knew that this law would be challenged.

Lincoln appointed Salmon Portland Chase first as his secretary of the treasury from 1861, to 1864 then elevated him to the Supreme Court as its chief justice in 1864, his intent was for Chase who had been the architect of the Legal Tender currency to uphold its constitutionality.

When the first case came before the Supreme Court in 1870 Hepburn v. Griswold, Chase writing for the court unconditionally stated that although during times of war the nation might do things not otherwise allowed or permitted, the US Government had no authority to make paper a legal tender.

This decision was adverse to the railroads which were heavily in debt, and this decision which would require their bond payments to be made in specie would drive them into bankruptcy.

In 1870 after the Chase ruling Ulysses S. Grant then the US President nominated two lawyers for the railroad interests to the Court, Joseph P. Bradley, and William Strong, changing the makeup and control of the Court

Directly after their seating, a second case was brought before them also engendering the very same issue the question of a paper currency as a Legal Tender, Knox V lee

The makeup of the court now changed favoring a paper currency, Bradley and Strong reversed the Chase holding.

What this lesson and the lesson of today where the Court has ruled 5 to 4 against the Constitution, have brought to our attention, the validity of the Supreme Court itself.

The Supreme Court has been so stacked against the interests of preserving the republic, that rulings are instrumental in reducing our rights and in fact calculated to over through the US Constitution, Our rights are continually being eroded by this august body!