The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 29
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Texas v. White
the bonds transferred. The court held that the repealing act was
inoperative and void, since it was adopted at a time when the
State government was in armed hostility to the government of the
United States. The contract, also, between the Military Board
and White and Chiles was without standing in law, since it was
made in deliberate furtherance of the Confederate cause.
The court admitted the argument that the State government
of Texas was, at least for some purposes, a de facto government
which could transact legal business and pass valid laws. As the
only government in the State, it had performed the ordinary func-
tions of administration, and its acts were, to a certain extent,
States republican forms of government is reposed in the political power.
In Minor v. Happersett, however, the idea is presented that the States
must provide the government which it desires the United States to guar-
antee. In the last case mentioned, In re Duncan, the court states that
representative governments have been considered republican in form. This
idea was reiterated with enthusiasm, in 1900, wheri the matter came up.
in the case of Taylor and Marshall v. Beckham (178 U. S., 548). The
entire question of republican form of government came up for review in
the unique cases of the Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company
v. Oregon and of Kiernan v. The City of Portland (223 U. S., 118, and
Ibid., 151). The legal points involved in these cases were precisely the
same to the extent that the judgment rendered in one sufficed for the
other. It was claimed by the plaintiffs that the adoption of the initiative
and referendum amendment to the State Constitution of Oregon had ren-
dered the government of that State unrepublican in form since it had con-
verted it from a representative government to a pure democracy. In a
masterly opinion, Chief Justice White adopted practically in toto the
reasoning of the court in Luther v. Borden, and declared that the en-
forcement of the guaranty clause resided in the political department of the
government. He asserted that an attempt on the part of the judiciary to
decide whether changes made in a State government were republican or
not would result in anarchy. If the political power recognized the change
as republican, the decision was binding on the courts. As regarding the
idea of the court assuming jurisdiction, he said, "The suggestion but re-
sults from failing to distinguish between things which are widely different,
that is, the legislative duty to determine the political questions involved,
in deciding whether a State government republican in form exists, and the
judicial power and ever-present duty whenever it becomes necessary in a
controversy properly submitted to enforce and uphold the applicable pro-
visions of the Constitution as to each and every exercise of government
power." The power of Congress, as granted by the Constitution, was care-
fully recognized and respected. Unquestionably the legislative department
has the ultimate and the real power of enforcing the guaranty clause. A
State may change its government or that government may be changed from
whatever cause and in whatever manner, and the change per se will be
valid if Congress so decides. But the acts of the changed government and
of Congress must conform to. the provisions and restrictions of the Con-
stitution. If unconstitutional acts are committed by virtue or result of
the change, or by Congress in enforcing the guarantee of republican gov-
ernment, the court can and, according to the Chief Justice, will, rectify
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/37/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.