Good cite, flawed interpretation

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Supreme Law Firm Discussion Forum ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Not convinced on August 04, 1998 at 17:24:42:

In Reply to: Re: Yeah Really!!! posted by T. Mann on July 29, 1998 at 08:40:52:

: : : You never responded re: US Notes are not FRNs!?!

It doesn't appear to matter based on what I read in Knox v. Lee.

: : : 3) The first round of legal tender cases were struck down by the Supreme(s) until it was pointed out that the military necessity of enforcing these notes as legal tender. Military necessity, in the minds of the Supreme(s) over rules the Constitution. The only reason FRNs are enforceable today is due to the ongoing state of emergency declared and reaffirmed periodically.

Thanks for the cite, I enjoyed reading through it. I'm afraid it hasn't changed my mind any, however.

It looks to me like the overturning of the unconstitutionality of legal tender was more of a ahift in the political winds than a diabolical plot to enslave the country. The Hepburn v. Griswold case mentioned in Knox v. Lee apparently (I haven't had time to read Hepburn v. Griswold yet, but I gather this from the comments in the Knox v. Lee case) resulted in an opinion that the legal tender laws were unconstitutional. However, as noted in Knox v. Lee, a Justice retired from the Supreme Court, and then the court was expanded to nine Justices. The 'new' (added and replacement) Justices resulted in a change in the majority to favor those who believed that the legal tender acts were constitutional. The Knox v. Lee case was the first heard on the topic of 'money' after the change in the court's makeup. The 'new' court reversed the prior decision based on the new majority's viewing of the topic. Maybe not the way we'd like to think it should be, but valid none-the-less.

The claim that the reversal was based on military necessity is misleading, if not wrong. The fact that the government might need to print money to support itself in times of war was one reason reviewed in overruling Hepburn v. Griswold. It was NOT the reason for overturning the Hepburn v. Griswold opinion. There were several other lines of reasoning put forth by the new majority in support of Congress' power to regulate the currency and emit bills on the credit of the United States as well, each of which was judged sufficient to support the court's final opinion.

The upshot of all this is that, like it or not, legal tender, in any form, is nice and legal, whether you're talking about US Notes or FRNs. If Congress wanted they could pass a law making Monopoly (tm) money legal tender, and we'd all live happily ever after. See the comments in the Knox v. Lee case about the early (and privately owned) United States Bank.

"Under the same power and other powers over the revenue and the currency of the country, for the convenience of the treasury and internal commerce, a corporation known as the United States Bank was early created. ... But the corporation was a private one, doing business for its own profit. Its incorporation was a constitutional exercise of congressional power for no other reason than that it was deemed to be a convenient instrument or means for accomplishing one or more of the ends for which the government was established."
Knox v. Lee, 79 US 457, at 537

The hidden 'good news' in this is that anything Congress has the power to do, it has the power to undo. Channel your frustration into an effort to get Congress to change the system. Someone important once said "The pen is mightier than the sword". You might also consider running for Congress yourself or persuading someone else with views similar to yours into running.

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Supreme Law Firm Discussion Forum ] [ FAQ ]