A Bill Comes Due: Will California Pony Up for Reparations?

Below is my column in The Hill on the recommendations for reparations by two appointed bodies in California. After years of declaring this a moral imperative, the bill has come due for leaders like Gov.  Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed. The collective demand is for trillions in California alone with additional trillions demanded from Congress in a national reparations program. California Democrats will now have to render a decision on committing real money on reparations to show that this was not mere virtue signaling. That decision could be coming soon.

Here is the column:

A long-awaited meeting of San Francisco’s board of supervisors was set this week to discuss the recommendation of its African American Reparations Advisory Committee to give $5 million to each eligible Black resident as reparations. The meeting was postponed, but the city and the state soon must make a decision on a bill that has come due for Democratic politicians.

The city council voted unanimously to create the reparations committee in 2020. Even though California was a free state without slavery before the Civil War, the committee’s “particular focus has been the era of urban renewal, perhaps the most significant example of how the City and County of San Francisco as an institution played a role in undermining Black wealth and actively displacing the city’s Black population.” That could be viewed as only a partial payment for race-related injuries.

In the meantime, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) created his own Reparations Task Force, which just reached its own recommendations for $223,000 per person. Others have insisted the figure should be $350,000 for individuals and another $250,000 for Black-owned businesses. One California politician insisted the figure needs to be $800,000 per person, reflecting the average cost of a home in the state.

As these numbers rise, so do the calls for payments in both politics and the media. Even Disney has gotten into the act with a controversial children’s episode in which cartoon children demand reparations.

Notably, California’s law expressly states that this money should not be treated as compensation for federal reparations. That raises the question of whether a resident could receive $5 million from San Francisco, $223,000 from the state, and additional payments from the federal government.

Some congressional Democrats have pushed for similar federal reparations and passed a bill out of the House Judiciary Committee in 2021 that failed to receive a floor vote. BET founder Robert Johnson has called for $14 trillion in federal reparations.

These reparations measures have a remarkable range of focus, from slavery to housing discrimination to wealth inequities. In California, there was a sharp disagreement on the purpose, with many advocates arguing that it was wrong to limit the money to descendants of slaves. Task force member Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D–Los Angeles) insisted that, “at the end of the day, people who are prejudiced against us are prejudiced against all of us.”

Ultimately, advocates like Jones-Sawyer lost a close vote on extending state reparations to all Black Americans. The state task force voted to limit it to descendants of slaves; there are almost 3 million potentially eligible Californians.

The two reparation bodies were tasked with calculating reparation awards — and both the city and the state will now be pressed to make good on their commitments.

The costs of such policies — condemned by critics as virtue-signaling — are being faced by some other jurisdictions as well. For example, New York and numerous other cities have declared themselves to be “sanctuaries” for undocumented immigrants yet, in recent months, have protested increasing transfers of such immigrants to their jurisdiction.

The cost of California’s statewide reparations is estimated to be $569 billion. The state’s annual budget is roughly half that amount, at $268 billion. Making things even more difficult, the state faces a $22.5 billion deficit and is seeking spending cuts to cover the shortfall.

This may not be a bill that can be politically postponed, given past statements by the governor and other Democratic politicians.

That leads to the question of such programs’ constitutionality. Even after the political approval of payments, it is not clear that this money will ever be paid.

Under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, race-based classifications trigger strict scrutiny requiring a showing of both a “compelling state interest” and “narrowly tailored” means. In City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469 (1989), the Supreme Court struck down a set-aside for minority businesses due to a lack of evidence of specific injuries. The court ruled that general past discrimination was not enough and added that “the dream of a Nation of equal citizens in a society where race is irrelevant to personal opportunity and achievement would be lost in a mosaic of shifting preferences based on inherently unmeasurable claims of past wrongs.”

Then-Justice John Paul Stevens added his liberal voice against such programs, noting that Richmond’s law “encompasses persons who have never been in business in Richmond as well as minority contractors who may have been guilty of discriminating against members of other minority groups.”

The reparations given in 1988 to Japanese Americans who survived World War II internment camps posed an easier issue, since the recipients were directly injured by the government and the money was meant to compensate them for their injuries.

The decision to narrow programs like focusing on the descendants of slaves or on housing deprivations will certainly be better for constitutional review than a general reparations measure. However, even liberal scholars like Erwin Chemerinsky seem to concede that these reparation measures would face series legal headwinds in the courts. The likely legal challenges are not often considered in discussions of reparations — but they could create a highly combustible situation, if large reparations guarantees were suddenly negated.

That legal fight, however, must await a moment of truth for California legislators.

Democratic politicians have insisted for years that reparations are essential to address systemic racism. But politicians like Gov. Newsom now face demands to put their money where their mouths have been. The years of calls for reparations have created a greater expectation, even an urgency. One well-known California activist declared: “It’s a debt that’s owed, we worked for free. We’re not asking; we’re telling you.”

That expectation is reflected in recent polling, showing a massive shift in the Black community on the question: 77 percent of Black Americans now support reparations — but, overall, nearly seven-in-ten (68 percent) of all respondents oppose such payments.

Thus, after defining reparations as a moral obligation, politicians may find it difficult to say this is an inopportune moment.

For Newsom and for San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, the bill is now due.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

252 thoughts on “A Bill Comes Due: Will California Pony Up for Reparations?”

  1. Just deliberately incendiary, to cause a Supreme Court review, and an excuse for conflagration when they fail to allow it.

  2. This is so crazy. Newsom exists because of an incompetent and corrupt media. They most eloquent way I can describe the publics reaction to Newsom’s new gathering ideas is , “Say what?”, “Are you crazy”, and “Who elected you, again?”
    He just got done blowing through 20 billion, putting the state back into deficit.
    The internet has cut people off from information their state and local governments, and they are running with it!

    1. Will they subtract generational welfare, subsidized housing,etc? Once they get the latest hand out will that end their welfare, food stamps, free housing,etc? Surely there has to be an end to hand outs at some point.

    2. If this one time payment stopped the annual blood-letting of trillions spent for welfare, affirmative action, endless racial bureaucracies with policies hamstringing businesses and non-profits, and massive extra educational expenditures it would almost be worth paying it. The reality is that many Asians have come to America with nothing, and within a generation risen to the upper half of the income spectrum. There are three things that determine how a given group does in America and NONE of the three have anything to do with Race:
      1. Do you marry the women you have children with and stick around to raise the children in an intact home?
      2. Do you take whatever job is available, work hard, improve your skills, and develop the abilities and save your money by living frugally to enable you to move up the work food chain to management or to starting your own business?
      3. Do you get as much education as you can get and push your children to achieve academically as much as they can?
      Do all three – be at the top quarter of the income spectrum in a generation
      Do two of the three – be in the middle of the income spectrum in a generation
      Do one or none of the three – stay in the underclass until your behavior on the three improves.
      REALITY 101.

      Blacks, Hispanics, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Native Americans, people from an impoverished background and whites can succeed or they can fail – and it depends on their behaviors and the cultural values transmitted to them when they were raised.

      I know many people who are wealthy (e.g. >$10M). A small percent inherited it. The vast majority – 70% – grew up in poor to lower middle class circumstances and earned their wealth by work, savings, skills. Some grew up in middle class environments, still had the urge to improve, and created their own wealth. It is all about behaviors and drive.

      1. Oswald – very good comment. But look at #3 on your list: “Do you get as much education as you can get and push your children to achieve academically as much as they can?” If public shcools are willing to pass students who are not proficient in math or English, is there realitically any hope for the hypothetical black student you are considering? The gifted or dedicated student will be dragged down by the low standards of the school.

  3. Because secession was and is constitutional:

    Everything Lincoln and his successors did was illicit, illegal and unconstitutional.

    Everything Lincoln and his successors did was invalid and illegitimate.

    Everything Lincoln and his successors did remains illicit, illegal, unconstitutional, invalid and illegitimate to this day.

    1. The Supreme Court recently acted retroactively by 50 years to strike down irrefutably unconstitutional abortion.

      The Supreme Court must now act retroactively by 150 years to strike down Lincoln’s unconstitutional denial of secession and all of the unconstitutional consequences of that unconstitutional act.

    2. Some issues are solved politically by argument or legally by the courts. Some issues are decided by war. The issue of succession had a very arguable case that succession was legitimate – but not a perfect case since the process is not described. So it was decided by war. Succession lost. Done. Over. It is, in retrospect, probably best historically that it worked out that way lest our continental presence would have been split and our ability to shape a world dominated by America would not have happened. But whether that is right or not it is done. The reality is that slavery was an inefficient system economically because it could not incentivize the kinds of behavior including learning and high skills development that made industrialization feasible. No slavery based nation ever industrialized. Even Rome. But the reality is that in the modern world, societies who could not industrialized were ground to dust under the feet of nations that did industrialize.

    3. “Because secession was and is constitutional:”

      We know you believe that, George. You continuously say it, but saying something repeatedly, doesn’t make it so. Some people believe secession is Constitutional. I don’t, and I don’t think secession should be the word used when both parties don’t agree. If your state can secede from the union, then can’t your town secede from its state? If a town can secede, how about the street you live on?


        James Madison rejected a proposal which was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention to grant the new federal government the specific power to suppress a seceding state.

        “A Union of states containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a state would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.”

        – James Madison

        “Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”

        – Thomas Jefferson

        “Where powers are assumed [by Lincoln] which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act [of Lincoln’s assumption] is the rightful remedy.”

        – Thomas Jefferson


          You can capitalize it and repeat the statement but it seems you can’t respond to my comments. That means you are stuck and unable to defend your position. By the way, I told you some other things Madison said, but there too, you are unable to defend your position.

          That happened when you quoted Abraham Lincoln and I provided the full quote to prove the opposite of what you said. Since then your comments have gone downhill and you have been unable to converse intelligently.

  4. When the slaves were emancipated, about 50% adapted well to freedom, reuniting families, building schools and churches, teaching and learning literacy, starting businesses, and cultivating leadership elected to Congress. These were ancestors of the black middle class and upper class we have today. The other 50% did not adapt well, and failed to take up responsibility and self-respect — these folks passed along decadent lifestyles of dependency, exploitation, crime, prostitution, drunkenness and drug addiction.

    So, there simply isn’t an argument that poverty and crime are a function of past racism. It won’t be cured by handing out $. That would only intensify the classism defining the two black Americas.

    A better approach is to dismiss lame excuses being made by progressives on behalf of the black underclass — and focus post-racially on success factors and virtues that elevate folks from poverty into the middle class….things like putting off childbearing, taking education seriously as life-shaping, saving $, building character and trustworthiness into children, while looking after their health, safety and proper social development.

    This could be done with skilled social entrepreneurs leading human development orgs that benefit from expanded tax-free philanthropy rules. It can be done irrespective of race (a 14th Amendment requirement). It begins with candor about how people actually escape poverty (success models) rather than lemming-like-ideology for which there is no evidence of it ever working as advertised.

    1. “It won’t be cured by handing out $.”

      Correct. I think we have enough proof of that given the countless welfare programs and foundations that have done nothing to change the status quo. Jason Riley’s book “Please Stop Helping Us” makes that and other points regarding the situation in black communities. The country’s going into the toilet anyway, so there won’t be much money to pay for the programs already on the books.

    2. The reason that does not happen is that the Democrats require minorities to fail so that they can then be controlled by the Democrats who will promise to help them but will just use their votes to enrich themselves.

  5. Make reparation payments contingent on the recipient forfeiting their U.S. citizenship status. They can legally remain in the United States, but as a permanent resident alien. Additionally, none of the money may be used to contribute to political campaigns, political parties or any other entity directly or indirectly supporting political campaigns or political parties.

  6. I doubt if many Latinos who are not professionally involved in the Dem Party favor this. This may be a way for the Demo Party to commit suicide in California, and !likely in other states.

    1. Lysias says: “This may be a way for the Demo Party to commit suicide in California, and !likely in other states”

      Fingers crossed!!

  7. We are already aware that most of the machinations by the prog/left are aimed at bringing down the existing society and culture and what a better way to help that along than with fiscal suicide. It’s their end game so they will pursue it with a vengence.

  8. “I’m not saying they are white supremacists . . .”

    You gotta love the Left. If you’re against tribalism and ethnic war, you’re a “white supremacist” and a “bigot.”

    P.S. If you want to absolve your “white guilt” by paying “reparations,” nobody will stop you.

  9. My ancestors were peasants (like most of us) who were going hungry in Eastern Europe and Northern Europe where the crop yields were dismal as they did not have modern fertilizers and the soil conditions were poor. Life was tough. They were subjects to a king or lord. They were not free. They immigrated just after the civil war. My grandfather still farmed with mules until his passing and neither of my parents had electricity in their youths. No slaves or servants. Just lots of hard work. For my dad, it was in the fields working cotton with a hoe or a mule team. They made sure we remembered.

    Is slavery atrocious? Absolutely! It is wrong.

    How many hundreds of thousands of young men died in the civil war for this cause?

    Thankfully, advances in farming methods and machinery is what took this burden off most people’s shoulders.

    This country is not perfect and it has taken time to change attitudes and laws. At least, in our form of government these changes were possible and it is the best place for changes to occur. Human trafficking (trade) is alive and well in the 21st century, unfortunately.

    Reparations for something that took place in certain places and among a smaller subset of Americans 165 years or even centuries ago is unrealistic. The descendants of such people are so mixed by now, most people cannot keep track of only a couple of generations.

    1. Clearly, those who have advocated for reparation payments should lead the way, and dedicate 9/10ths of their property and savings to the cause. Their good example should be the basis of shaming the rest of the white privileged class to pony up.

  10. When do we get reparations for all the Trillions already wasted on programs for African Americans & for all the rapes, robberies & murders these same fine people have committed in just the last 50 – 60 years ????

  11. My ancestors arrived -after- slavery was abolished, so I owe blacks NOTHING.

    They owe me for ‘cultural appropriation’… blacks have appropriated most of -my- culture, including medicine, engineering, energy, chemistry, electronics, transportation, agriculture, and a host of others… in addition to an actual alphabet with a written language.

  12. Can it be argued that if tax money is used to pay reparations then the people who paid the the taxes are indentured servants being penalized for the alleged acts/crimes of their for fathers? Wouldn’t reparations then be illegal, because the tax payer did not agree to these terms?

  13. “Congress Votes Funds for Resettlement”

    In 1860, the 3,185 slaves in the District of Columbia were owned by just two percent of the District’s residents. In April 1862, Lincoln arranged to have a bill introduced in Congress that would compensate District slave-holders an average of $300 for each slave. An additional $100,000 was appropriated 55

    to be expended under the direction of the President of the United States, to aid in the colonization and settlement of such free persons of African descent now residing in said District, including those to be liberated by this act, as may desire to emigrate to the Republic of Haiti or Liberia, or such other country beyond the limits of the United States as the President may determine.

    When he signed the bill into law on April 16, Lincoln stated: “I am gratified that the two principles of compensation, and colonization, are both recognized, and practically applied in the act.”56

    Two months later, as part of the (second) Confiscation Act of July 1862, Congress appropriated an additional half-million dollars for the President’s use in resettling blacks who came under Union military control. Rejecting criticism from prominent “radicals” such as Senator Charles Sumner, most Senators and Representatives expressed support for the bold project in a joint resolution declaring57

    that the President is hereby authorized to make provision for the transportation, colonization and settlement in some tropical country beyond the limits of the United States, of such persons of African race, made free by the provisions of this act, as may be willing to emigrate …

    Lincoln now had Congressional authority and $600,000 in authorized funds to proceed with his plan for resettlement.

    – Robert Morgan, The Journal of Historical Review

    1. “Lincoln Proposes a Constitutional Amendment”

      In spite of such obstacles, Lincoln re-affirmed his strong support for gradual emancipation coupled with resettlement in his second annual message to Congress of December 1, 1862. On this occasion he used the word deportation. So serious was he about his plan that he proposed a draft Constitutional Amendment to give it the greatest legal sanction possible. Lincoln told Congress:99

      I cannot make it better known than it already is, that I strongly favor colonization.

      In this view, I recommend the adoption of the following resolution and articles amendatory to the Constitution of the United States … “Congress may appropriate money, and otherwise provide, for colonizing free colored persons, with their consent, at any place or places without the United States.”

      Applications have been made to me by many free Americans of African descent to favor their emigration, with a view to such colonization as was contemplated in recent acts of Congress … Several of the Spanish American republics have protested against the sending of such colonies [settlers] to their respective territories … Liberia and Haiti are, as yet, the only countries to which colonists of African descent from here could go with certainty of being received and adopted as citizens …

      Their old masters will gladly give them wages at least until new laborers can be procured; and the freedmen, in turn, will gladly give their labor for the wages, till new homes can be found for them, in congenial climes, and with people of their own blood and race.

      Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves …

      The President’s December 1862 proposal had five basic elements:100

      1. Because slavery was a “domestic institution,” and thus the concern of the states alone, they — and not the federal government — were to voluntarily emancipate the slaves.
      2. Slave-holders would be fully compensated for their loss.
      3. The federal government would assist the states, with bonds as grants in aid, in meeting the financial burden of compensation.
      4. Emancipation would be carried out gradually: the states would have until the year 1900 to free their slaves.
      5. The freed blacks would be resettled outside the United States.

      – Robert Morgan, The Journal of Historical Review

  14. Jonathan: Judging from some of the comments on this blog some of your loyal followers are opposed to reparations for the descendants of slavery. I’m not saying they are white supremacists but judge for yourself from the following sampling:

    “If you worked for free, you are not owed anything”

    “How about the civilians [white] that lost everything in the swath of Sherman’s march to the sea…If the Fed pays reparations it will be the beginning of the largest tax revolt America would ever see”.

    “If Leftists are trying to stoke a racial civil war, they are right on schedule”.

    “Blacks are lucky to be here and owe a debt to America”.

    “Now it’s reparations, it’ll soon by (sic) confiscation of land owned by whites for redistribution to blacks”.

    See what I mean. Black people who were brought here in chains worked for “free” so they are owed nothing. These racist comments dovetail into a serious discussion of race, slavery and how racism still pervades the public dialogue. We are in the middle of Black History Month so the discussion is essential if we are to overcome bigotry.

    In many columns you have tried to make the case that white conservatives at universities around the country are under siege–censored and resort to self-censorship to avoid criticism. What you don’t want to discuss are the real attacks on “free speech” surrounding the discussion of race and racism in classrooms around the country.

    At least 42 states, including the epicenter in Florida, laws have been passed making it harder for teachers and professors to talk about racism and other elements of the racial history of the country in the classroom. These laws have been passed to placate white conservatives who want to gloss over the painful history of our nation. In Florida we see this played out. Just as Black History Month was about to start, the state’s Dept. of Ed. rejected an AP high school course in African-American studies–claiming it “lacks educational value”. Teachers and professors are afraid to do a lesson on Black History Month because it might violate the law. So they are are self-censoring part of their lessons plan. As the ACLU in Florida, that is representing 6 professors challenging the provisions of the state’s “Stop WOKE Act”, says: “They’re in a bind where they either can teach to the standards of their academic discipline, or risk violating the law, or censor themselves”.

    So censorship and self-censorship is going on around the country when it comes to the discussion of race. And you are apparently not interested in discussing this threat to “free speech”. That’s sad. Judging from the comments on your blog we have a long way to go to overcome bigotry. Your silence on this issue is making it more difficult.

    1. 200-400 years ago, Africans were brought to the U.S. and worked without compensation. If any of them were still alive, they would be owed unpaid wages. The question isn’t about the slaves, who are long dead, but distant descendants. American blacks are the best educated and wealthiest persons of African descent in the world. Sub-Saharan African IQs range from 50-80. The average Af-Am IQ is 85. So they have unquestionably benefited from being here. Would any of them be willing to take $1 million to renounce their U.S. citizenship and move to Africa? The answer to that question would place an actual value on the advantages or disadvantages of being a black American.

    2. If blacks act like Asians for a decade, study, go to school, study some more, work hard, two parent families, and there still ‘racism’, then we can talk. Regarding censorship: Teaching whites that they are inherently racist belongs nowhere. The term censorship does not apply to lies. Furthermore, the constitution gives each state the right to regulate itself. And yes you are crying, ” White Supremacist”. Stop calling for the legislation of thought. Instead, outcompete ‘whites’ somewhere other than in sports.

    3. Dennis – You have changed the subject from reparations to censorship. Nevertheless. “Free speech” does not mean that public school teachers can teach whatever aligns with their own viewpoints or, more realistically with the viewpoint of their uniions and (behind them) the deeply corrupt, openly racist Democratic Party. Parents have the natural authority to decide what their children are taught. The family is the ultimate institution in our society. Public schools are the agents of the parents. Obviously, this kind of decision cannot be done on a per-parent basis, so the parents must accept the decision of the majority of parents in the school district as made by school boards. If unhappy with the decision of school boards, parents have the right to confront school boards and attempt to change their minds. This is not “terrorism.” If the minority cannot change the mind of the majority, the parents should be able to “carry” their share of school tax revenue with them into other schools. This is both freedom and democracy in action. Democrats don’t like it. It recognizes the “natural authority” of parents. It is not “censorship”. “Censorship” occurs when a person’s public opinions, whether written or oral, or even merely thought, are suprressed or discouraged by governmental authorities or even non-government authorities in league with, or tolerated by, governmental authorities. That is the current overriding issue in our country.

  15. California is a sink of foreign dependents and parasites who are gifted taxpayer-funded American protection, mortgage assistance, language interpretation, affirmative action, welfare, quotas, etc., and who have no relationship whatever to America or to slavery – which was created by African tribal leaders who were responsible for the abduction and sale of slaves.

    Reparations funded by taxpayers in non-slavery California will be the oxiest of oxymorons and the most contradictory of contradictions in terms to the freeloading foreigners in that increasingly foreign state.

    Visualize Haitians, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, Panamanians, Singaporeans, Afghans, Chinese, Mexicans, Salvadorans, Iraqis, Nicaraguans, East Timorese, Guamanians, Koreans, etc., all paying for “Africans” who were never actually slaves but who have been the core recipients of $30+ trillion of welfare-state loot, plunder, pillage, booty, spoil, swag, dirty money, etc., since 1965.

    That will likely not be well received, without some amount of compensatory “$justice.”

    1. Not to mention the inevitable permanent divide between black and white as ANYONE with an “historical” grievance will then be demanding a “reparation”. This is a very dark hole that thinking people know this country must NEVER go down!!

  16. “Crazy Abe” Lincoln issued the wholly unconstitutional federal emancipation proclamation, making slavery entirely a federal issue.

    California has no authority to resolve a federal issue.

    The singular critical issue related to slavery in the U.S. is that of the initiating abduction and sale of africans by african tribal leaders which requires reparations, if any, be paid by african nations.

      1. You are obtuse with a full measure of psychosis, and not worth a keystroke.

        Go hide somewhere.

        Secession is absolutely, irrefutably and fully constitutional as delineated below.

        Ooo, that must really sting, huh?

        James Madison rejected a proposal which was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention to grant the new federal government the specific power to suppress a seceding state.

        “A Union of states containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a state would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.”

        – James Madison

        “Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”

        – Thomas Jefferson


        “Where powers are assumed [by Lincoln] which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act [by Lincoln] is the rightful remedy.”

        – Thomas Jefferson

        1. As I told you earlier, Madison realized some basic facts that can’t seem to enter your incredibly thin skin. Later, reflecting on the problems, he changed his mind. James Madison’s papers are online. I will provide a few quotes. But, James Madison had many opinions written before drawing what I believe to be his final opinion. He was looking for a way not to use force.

          Madison, in 1781 drafted a proposed amendment to the Articles of Confederation. It authorized the use of force for states “to fulfill their federal engagements” It wasn’t adopted but it shows you what was on his mind.

          The coercive-power clause was “suggested by the inefficiency of the Confederate system, from the want of such a sanction; none such being expressed in its Articles”.

          Madison wanted to increase federal power against the states as seen in a letter to Jefferson in 1787. The following quote summarizes part of what the letter says, The letter follows the explanation. Though it does not use the word secession (neither does anything you present), it helps define Madison’s mindset.

          A lot of brilliant thought, from brilliant people, was put into our Constitution.

          “JM doubted the workability of the plan agreed upon at Philadelphia because it lacked the one ingredient that in his view was essential for establishing the supremacy of the central government and for protecting the private rights of individuals: a power vested in the national legislature to negative, or veto, state laws.”



            You are completely ridiculous.

            The Constitution was ratified by all States.

            The Constitution prohibits no secession.

            Please cite the Constitution for a basis for your untenable argument.

            You will not. You cannot. There is no prohibition of secession in the Constitution.

            James Madison rejected a proposal which was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention to grant the new federal government the specific power to suppress a seceding state.

            “A Union of states containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a state would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.”

            – James Madison

            “Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”

            – Thomas Jefferson


            “Where powers are assumed [by Lincoln] which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act [by Lincoln] is the rightful remedy.”

            – Thomas Jefferson

            1. “The Constitution prohibits no secession.”

              The Constitution doesn’t prohibit the President from sending in troops to quell insurrections (what you call secession)

          2. Also, Congress has no power to void constitutional State laws, and powers that are not delegated to the U.S. and not prohibited to the States by the Constitution, are reserved to the people, or to the States.

            Secession is not delegated to the U.S., and secession is not prohibited to the States, ergo, it is reserved to the People or to the States.

            The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited [such as secession] by it to the States, are reserved [such as secession] to the States respectively, or to the people.

            10th Amendment

            The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

            1. “Secession is not delegated to the U.S., and secession is not prohibited to the States, ergo, it is reserved to the People or to the States.”

              That logic is incredibly …. Genocide is not delegated to the U.S. so you believe it is reserved for the people.

      2. Uh, huh.

        That’s precisely why it is titled “Emancipation Proclamation” because it is not a proclamation.

        You need to get your head examined.

        You’re like a baby who simply wants what he wants, for reasons unknown, and relentlessly repeats his hysterical demands.

        Oh, by the way, there is no prohibition of secession in the Constitution and secession is not only valid, legitimate, licit and legal, it is globally ubiquitous.

        1. “You need to get your head examined. You’re like a baby who simply wants what he wants, for reasons unknown, and relentlessly repeats his hysterical demands.”

          George, many people consider you a racist and a bit crazy. I have never treated you that way, but your remarks toward me make me think those people might be right.

        2. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, ordered that enslaved people living in rebellious territories be released from the bonds of ownership and made free people—their own masters. Though the proclamation’s initial impact was limited, the order was true to the etymology of emancipation, which comes from a Latin word combining the prefix e-, meaning “away,” and mancipare, meaning “to transfer ownership of.”

          proclamation: a statement made publicly

  17. Just goes to show that Democrats never really intended freeing black slaves. They moved them off of plantations and are now slaves to concrete housing projects

    “I’ll have them n****** voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.”

    ― Lyndon B. Johnson

    1. Like it or not – here are the economics and numbers – facts are inconvenient truths – what we do about them is subject to interpretation and legal scrutiny.

      Prior to the Revolution and Constitution, the wealth of the United States was wrapped up in rice (and latter cotton) plantations in which the “economic capital” was the value of the slaves – ranging from 2,000 to 20,000 dollars per slave. There was no CAPEX per se or equipment value. Value and wealth was wrapped up in human capital. South Carolina was very wealthy and Massachusetts was relatively poor. The deal was struck – permit slavery (till Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation) in order to keep the Carolinas in the Union and break away from England. The “original sin” of the US was slavery. That is just the way it was. The industrial revolution (power of factories in the North) was not till the turn of the 19th century … The wealth of the US was in the slave value – and it was a three way circle …. Slaves were transported (captured and held and sold) from West Africa to the Caribbean and the Carolinas, Rice and cotton were harvested and traded with Britain for tea and spices etc., and Britain traded currency and goods with West African slave traders … the cycle continued.

      If one considers anywhere from 2 – 100 slaves per slaveowner (plantation owner or not) then many South Carolina slave owners were multi millionaires in today’s parlance) then it is pretty easy to see that the formation of the US and the linkage of the 13 colonies was wrapped up in the economic capital in slavery. So why would reparations not be a key subject to discuss and debate. I am certain the early shareholders in SpaceX want their pay out. So why if slave descendants understood how they were much of the nucleus of the USs original wealth – would they not want some of their “inheritance”.

      Do Native Americans have claims as well … certainly.

      I think it is important to understand the economics of the founding of our country.

      This is very different from legal review, and how much, and who decides etc. Just pointing out the historical facts of the original economic power of the 13 colonies.

      1. At one time much of the wealth in the Netherlands was wrapped up in Tulips. How did that work out?

        Value is frequently a misunderstood metric.

      2. “[T]he formation of the US and the linkage of the 13 colonies was wrapped up in the economic capital in slavery.”

        You’re not even close.

        There was massive wealth creation in the North via, for example, countless mills of various types, lumber, shipbuilding.

        You’re using economics selectively (i.e., lying) in order to rationalize the horror of tribalistic “reparations.”

      3. Please get a CLUE – this is Fax history. It is NOT supported by the actual facts.
        If the nonsense you are claiming was actually true the South would have easily won the Civil War.

        The north was not poor, and the south was not rich. A FEW people in the south were wealthy, but as a whole the south had a very low standard of living and the GDP of the south was a fraction of that of the north.
        Mild deflation was the norm from Jamestown through the Creation of the Federal Reserve in the 20th century.

        The top dollar price for a Slave through most of that period was $500 – abotu the same as 3 years of wages or the cost of an average house.
        There was an increase to a max of 2000 when congress shutdown the importation of slaves.

        With rare if any exceptions northern banks did not finance slavery. They did however – after the Civil war by up failing southern banks that had financed slavery.

        Further the claim is ludicrouslyu stupid. The north can not be concurrently poorer than the south and simultaneously have so much excess capital that it can finace slavery – while wealthy southern plantation owners could not.

        But logic and rationality is not an attribute found among left wing nuts
        Naratives are true because they Fell right – facts be damned.

        Finally my ancestors all came over from Ireland just before the Cvil War – They fought to free the slaves.
        Aren’t I owed reparations from blacks because some of my relatives lost their lives gaining freedom for blacks ?

        Do the ancestors of Cain owe reparations to the ancestors of Able ?

        Do blacks in Africa owe reparations to Blacks in the America’s for enslaving them ?

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