Join Date: Apr 2005
As for Fort Sumter... There was nothing ever proven illegal about SC seceding and taking the Fort.
Fort Sumter was the legal property of the Union. It was obtained from SC legally and the SC legislature gave up all claim to the property.
So in short you are trying to claim there is nothing illegal in seizing someone else's property by force.
Committee on Federal Relations
In the House of Representatives, December 31st, 1836
"The Committee on Federal relations, to which was referred the Governor's message, relating to the site of Fort Sumter, in the harbour of Charleston, and the report of the Committee on Federal Relations from the Senate on the same subject, beg leave to Report by Resolution:
"Resolved, That this state do cede to the United States, all the right, title and claim of South Carolina to the site of Fort Sumter and the requisite quantity of adjacent territory, Provided, That all processes, civil and criminal issued under the authority of this State, or any officer thereof, shall and may be served and executed upon the same, and any person there being who may be implicated by law; and that the said land, site and structures enumerated, shall be forever exempt from liability to pay any tax to this state.
"Also resolved: That the State shall extinguish the claim, if any valid claim there be, of any individuals under the authority of this State, to the land hereby ceded.
"Also resolved, That the Attorney-General be instructed to investigate the claims of Wm. Laval and others to the site of Fort Sumter, and adjacent land contiguous thereto; and if he shall be of the opinion that these parties have a legal title to the said land, that Generals Hamilton and Hayne and James L. Pringle, Thomas Bennett and Ker. Boyce, Esquires, be appointed Commissioners on behalf of the State, to appraise the value thereof. If the Attorney-General should be of the opinion that the said title is not legal and valid, that he proceed by seire facius of other proper legal proceedings to have the same avoided; and that the Attorney-General and the said Commissioners report to the Legislature at its next session.
"Resolved, That this House to agree. Ordered that it be sent to the Senate for concurrence. By order of the House:
"T. W. Glover, C. H. R."
"In Senate, December 21st, 1836
"Resolved, that the Senate do concur. Ordered that it be returned to the House of Representatives, By order:
Jacob Warly, C. S.
Even Robert E. Lee knew secession was not legal.
"Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It was intended for “perpetual union,” so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government, not a compact, which can only be dissolved by revolution or the consent of all the people in convention assembled. It is idle to talk of secession." - Robert E. Lee, January 23, 1861
And since you are so fond of SCOTUS rulings ( at least the Dred Scott one) here are some SCOTUS rulings for you on secession.
White v. Hart
"The doctrine of secession is a doctrine of treason, and practical secession is practical treason, seeking to give itself triumph by revolutionary violence. The late rebellion was without any element of right or sanction of law. The duration and magnitude of the war did not change its character. In some respects it was not unlike the insurrection of a county or other municipal subdivision of territory against the State to which it belongs. In such cases the State has inherently the right to use all the means necessary to put down the resistance to its authority, and restore peace, order, and obedience to law. If need be, it has the right also to call on the government of the Union for the requisite aid to that end. Whatever precautionary or penal measures the State may take when the insurrection is suppressed, the proposition would be a strange one to maintain, that while it lasted the county was not a part of the State, and hence was absolved from the duties, liabilities, and restrictions which would have been incumbent upon it if it had remained in its normal condition and relations. The power exercised in putting down the late rebellion is given expressly by the Constitution to Congress. That body made the laws and the President executed them. The granted power carried with it not only the right to use the requisite means, but it reached further and carried with it also the authority to guard against the renewal of the conflict, and to remedy the evils arising from it in so far as that could be effected by appropriate legislation. At no time were the rebellious States out of the pale of the Union. Their rights under the Constitution were suspended, but not destroyed. Their constitutional duties and obligations were unaffected and remained the same." [80 US 646, 650-651]
Thorington v. Smith
"It cannot be questioned that the Confederate notes were issued in furtherance of an unlawful attempt to overthrow the government of the United States, by insurrectionary force." [75 US 1, 7]
Hickman v. Jones
"The rebellion out of which the war grew was without any legal sanction. In the eye of the law, it had the same properties as if it had been the insurrection of a county or smaller municipal territory against the State to which it belonged. ... The union of the States, for all the purposes of the Constitution, is as perfect and indissoluble as the union of the integral parts of the States themselves; and nothing but revolutionary violence can, in either case, destroy the ties which hold the parts together. ... The rebellion was simply an armed resistance to the rightful authority of the sovereign." [76 US 197, 200]
Williams v. Bruffy
"The pleas aver that a confederation was formed by Virginia and other States, called the Confederate States of America, and that under a law of this confederation, enforced in Virginia, the debt due to the plaintiffs was sequestrated. Now, the Constitution of the United States prohibits any treaty, alliance, or confederation by one State with another. The organization whose enactment is pleaded cannot, therefore, be regarded in this court as having any legal existence." [96 US 176, 182]
Lamar v. Micou
"The so-called Confederate government was in no sense a lawful government, but was a mere government of force, having its origin and foundation in rebellion against the United States." [112 US 452. 476]
“Right is still right, even if nobody is doing it. And wrong is still wrong, even if everybody is doing it.”—Texas Ranger saying.