« AnteriorContinuar »
2. The Federal government is not dependent upon the will, either of the citizens or of the State, to carry that power into effect; and, more specifically still,
3. The power to call out the militia, itself a compulsory service, does not limit the power to raise and support armies, nor is the latter power subordinate to the power conferred over the militia.
The Supreme Court of the United States in Tarble's Case: said:
"Among the powers assigned to the National government is the power 'to raise and support armies' and the power 'to provide for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.' The execution of these powers falls within the line of its duties; and its control over the subject is plenary and exclusive. It can determine without question from any State authority how the armies shall be raised, whether by voluntary enlistment or forced drafts, the age at which the soldier shall be received, and the period for which he shall be taken, the compensation he shall be allowed, and the service to which he shall be assigned. And it can provide the rules for the government and regulation of the forces after they are raised, define what constitutes military offenses, and prescribe their punishment." And, continuing
“No interference with the execution of this power of the National government in the formation, organization and government of its armies by any State officials could be permitted without greatly impairing the efficiency, if it did not utterly destroy, this branch of the public service.”
The rights of the citizen do not countervail the right of the Nation in the realm of national defense. As was said in In re Grimley, 4 –
“The government has the right to the military services of all its able-bodied citizens; and may, when emergency arises, justly exact that service from all." And, as was adverted to by Mr. Justice Harlan delivering the opinion of the court in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, –
“... he (the citizen) may be compelled, by force if need be, against his will and without regard to his personal wishes or his pecuniary interests, or even his religious or political convictions, to take his place in the ranks of the army of his country and risk the chance of being shot down in its defense.”
13 Wall. 397, 408.
U. S. 11, 29 (1904).
A volume of judicial pronouncement recognizes, without a discordant note, the unlimited character of this Federal power.
The Federal draft acts were tested in the courts and sustained in McCall's Case? and Kneedler v. Lane, upon the theory of the full and unrestricted character of the constitutional grant. And the constitutionality of the Confederate conscript acts, which was much more vigorously contested, was sustained upon the same ground by the courts of the Confederate States without exception.
Such constitutional canon pronounced by the highest court of the nation repels the contention and closes the door to the argument that the militia status furnishes an exemption from the operation of the vital national power, though the court has had no opportunity to apply the canon to the specific question. But in several instances the highest courts of the Confederacy did have such occasion, and in every instance rejected all such contentions in opinions justly celebrated for their cogency, learning, and completeness of disposition.
In Ex parte Coupland' the Supreme Court of Texas, in disposing of the contention in the course of an admirable opinion, said:
“The fallacy of the position seems to be manifest from the qualifications which they are forced to give it. For, as we have shown, the citizen has no right to exercise volition, with regard to the performance of military duty, so as to impair, or qualify the power of congress to raise armies, and, if the qualification exists by reason of the rights of the State over the arms-bearing citizens as its militia, and to appoint their officers when in the service of the Confederate States, these rights could not surely be affected by the voluntary action of the citizen. Nor can the difficulty be gotten over by saying that it is further to be assumed that the State must be presumed to have consented to his voluntary enlistment; for it is as impotent as the citizen to destroy in this manner a constitutional right conferred upon congress, or thus to confer one not otherwise given. ... The individual is equally an arms-bearing citizen whether
6 See Dynes v. Hoover, 20 How. 65 (1857); Johnson v. Sayre, 158 U. S. 109, 114 (1894); Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. 2, 139 (1866); United States v. Sweeny, 157 U. S. 281, 284 (1894); United States v. Bainbridge, Fed. Cas. 14, 497 (1816); United States v. Blakeney, 3 Gratt. (Va.) 405 (1847); Commonwealth v. Gamble, 11 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 93 (1824); Commonwealth v. Morris, 1 Phila. 381 (1852); Ex parte Brown, 5 Cranch (U. S. C. C.) 554 (1839); and the cases hereinafter discussed. 7 5 Phila.
259, 268 (1863). 45 Pa. St. 238 (1863). • 26 Tex. 386, 396 (1862).
he goes into the service voluntarily, or otherwise. For surely the doctrine is not to be advanced that individuals, companies, or regiments of the 'well-regulated,' arms-bearing citizens 'necessary to the security of a free State,' which has been organized, armed, and disciplined as provided for by congress, and for whom a call is made by the Confederate States, in pursuance with the constitution, cease to be integral parts of the arms-bearing citizens of the State, because they prefer to volunteer their services directly to the Confederate government, and it is willing thus to accept them.
“It is said, however, that ... the control of the State over its militia may be entirely destroyed; but would not the result be the same if an equal number of its militia were to volunteer into the service of the Confederate States? The truth of the matter is, that when the citizen goes into the army raised by Congress, either voluntarily or in obedience to the law requiring him to do so, he does this as a citizen, and not as a militiaman. Congress has not the right to raise armies in either mode, beyond the necessities of the Confederate government for carrying into effect its granted powers. But in either case the citizen, when placed in its service, is temporarily withdrawn from the control of the State as a militiaman. For the time being the right of the State, or, more properly speaking, the right of the State government over him, must yield to the more pressing and important demand for his services by the Confederate government to enable it to discharge the duties for which it has been authorized to raise and support armies." And further on the court said:
“The origin of this grant of power to raise armies shows most conclusively that it was not intended to leave the Government dependent upon the will either of the citizen or the State to carry it into effect. It is given in our constitution, as it was originally in the constitution of the United States, and was placed in that for the purpose of correcting one of the leading defects in the articles of confederation, experience having proved it absolutely essential, not only to the safety, but to the very existence of the Confederacy.” 10 Then, inquiring as to what disposition the sovereignty of the people had made of its right to military service from all its citizens between the two agencies by which they proposed to administer their government, the court further said:
“We find that it has given to its Confederate agency, so to call it, the sole power to determine upon the questions of war and peace, and that it
10 Page 399.
has consequently made it the duty of that agent to protect the State
"It is true that the constitution does recognize the militia, and provides for using it, as well as regular armies, in the military service of the country. Well-regulated militia has (as is stated in one of the amendments) always been regarded as necessary to the security of a free state. It was therefore proper that provision should be made in the constitution for its organization, and for that authority to be exercised over it by the State governments, and Congress respectively. It was not probable that in the exercise of the power to raise armies, Congress would, under ordinary circumstances, materially diminish the number of the militia. But it cannot be true that, with a view to preserving the militia entire, it was intended to deny to Congress the right to take individuals belonging to it into the regular army. This construction would prevent Congress from obtaining from its ranks not only conscripts but volunteers also;
but as the militia embraces the whole armsbearing population, it would render it necessary that the army should contain none but foreigners hired for the purpose, and having no interest in common with the people of the country. No one can imagine that such was the intention of the framers of the constitution.
“The true interpretation of the constitution in reference to this matter would seem to be that the power to use the whole military force of the country was conferred upon Congress, and it was left to their discretion to fix, as the varying necessities of the country might require, the relative proportion of regular troops and militia to be employed in the service. If it should appear at any time to be appropriate to increase the army, it might be done by taking men from the militia either as volunteers or conscripts — the action in either case being upon the individual citizen, and not upon the militia as an organized body. As it was impossible to foresee how large an army the exigencies of the country might demand, the number of militiamen to be thus transferred to its ranks was wisely left to the discretion of Congress.” In Ex parte Tate 13 the Supreme Court of Alabama said:
"Until he (the militiaman] ceases to be a citizen, with the rights and duties which appertain to citizenship, he cannot exonerate himself, nor be exonerated by the legislative power, from the obligations which inherently attach to that relation. Protection is his right, and allegiance his duty, so long as he remains a citizen; and the highest duty of allegiance is to respond to the call of his country for soldiers, when her liberty, including his own, is threatened, and her existence endangered by an invading enemy." In Fitzgerald v. Harris 14 the Supreme Court of Georgia, after holding that Congress could not grant irrepealable exemption from draft, used the following significant language:
“Even in war, when it becomes necessary to send into the field a larger portion of the population, it is greatly desirable that another portion be left at home. There are always men who can be more useful at home than others and more useful there than in the field. As in the raising of armies, the Congress is not bound to take the whole population, nor even the whole of a class (where resort is had to classification), in the exercise of a sound discretion, exemption may be granted as incidental to the general power, but they must be always revocable at the will of the Congress. No man or set of men can be placed without the pale of legislative control in this matter for a single day.”
Ala. 254, 268 (1864).