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Lecture 14

Complete Lecture 14 Notes

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Boston College
Political Science
POLI 2327

10/17/13 Lecture 14 Review Session: Tuesday Campion 235 at 7:15 pm Look at main themes of the course on front of syllabus • Texas v. White involves man named Whit in Texas who decides he wants to buy Confederate war bonds o Seeks to redeem the bonds from Texas state government after they lost in the Civil War  Texas refuses to pay because the bonds are from a previous, seceded government • Texas sues o The new Chief Justice, Salmon Chase, appointed by Lincoln – court is under control of the Union/Republicans  What to do with a case like this? Hmmm… • If he says yes, he’s helping people to finance treason • If he says no, he doesn’t want to invalidate everything else that people were buying and selling while Texas was seceded (marriage contracts, buying a house, etc.) o Comes up with resolution: There WAS a government in Texas during the war because the Union was perpetual. The Union never disappeared and, in fact there was a government in Texas during the war and they were doing things that were legitimate. Everything that was normal and legitimate will be accepted as normal and anything treasonous will not be accepted. Setting up a treasonous bond market is illegal and will not be accepted. • Set of Implied Powers cases o To finance the war, the national government started creating paper money for the first time o Heburn v Griswald  Promissory note in a contract where someone says that by a certain date they will borrow and at another certain date they will be paid back (using gold and silver coins) • Now, people are trying to pay people back in inflated paper money o People are getting pissed off because not getting money he expected to get back  Alleged that Congress had no power to get paper back  Court strikes it down by saying that it is not necessary and proper as an implied power • Alters contracts and deprives a person of property without due process of law o Decision is overturned 1 year later in which the court says that the government NEEDED to print the money because it was helpful for the war effort  When you have an end that’s legitimate, it’s up to the congress to reasonably calculate how to achieve that end, court can’t stand in the way of that  Takings Clause (related to this court case) • Out of the 5 amendment – private property may not be taken for public use without just compensation o Federal government CANNOT lower the value of private agreements without compensating • Justice Scolleah sides with the plaintiff who lost money to paper currency o Said that takings don’t have to tangible to be compensated for it  Applies to money • Examples today: environmental regulations, rent control  The government is acting for the public benefit but it’s putting the price of that public benefit on one person’s head • Should limit takings to physical takings • Stare Decisis (in regards to this court case) o One of the principles of Constitutional interpretation is that precedent should not be overturned o Justice Scolleah said that according to the founders, it’s unconstitutional  Government has been based on certain issues for 80 years and the government has been structured around it • Sticking to the precedents! • If they kept changing their rulings constantly, them following the law would be completely undermined o General rule is do not change things unless you really have to • Johnson is now president o Congress does not like Johnson and don’t defer to him in any way o Congress is in the driver’s seat and are very aggressive  Considered getting rid of the Supreme Court because the Supreme Court, up until the Civil War was dominated by the south  saw it as a hostile institution
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