The Chase Court (1864–73)


In what decision did the Chase Court rule that Texas could recover securities sold by its confederate government when it seceded from the union?

The Chase Court ruled in Texas v. White (1869) that the state of Texas could sue in federal court to recover bonds that it had been issued in 1851, a decade before it had seceded from the Union. After readmission into the Union, the state sued to recover state-owned securities sold by its Confederate government. Chief Justice Chase ruled in favor of the state, reasoning that Texas never really left the Union, and that the acts of the Confederate government were unlawful. “The legislature of Texas, at the time of the repeal, constituted one of the departments of a State government, established in hostility to the Constitution of the United States,” Chase explained. “It cannot be regarded, therefore, in the courts of the United States, as a lawful legislature, or its acts as lawful acts.” Thus, Texas was entitled to recover its securities.


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