TEXAS v. WHITE
In 1851, Congress authorized the transfer of $10 million worth of United States bonds to the state of Texas. The bonds were payable to the state or bearer and were to be redeemable in 1864. In 1862, during the war of rebellion, an insurgent Texas legislature authorized the use of the bonds to purchase war supplies. Four years later, the reconstruction government tried to reclaim the bonds.
Was Texas a state in the union eligible to seek redress in the Supreme Court? Could Texas constitutionally reclaim the bonds?
In a 5-to-3 decision, the Court held that Texas did indeed have the right to bring suit and that individuals such as White had no claim to the bonds in question. The Court held that individual states could not unilaterally secede from the Union and that the acts of the insurgent Texas legislature--even if ratified by a majority of Texans--were "absolutely null." Even during the period of rebellion, however, the Court found that Texas continued to be a state.