At what point do our Elected Public Officials, become Federal Administrators?
- Basic Ed
- Historial Time Line
SCA has Moved
Stevens County Assembly has a new website at: www.StevensCountyAssembly.com. Republic Assembly (RepublicAssembly.com) will continue to be an education website; will now focus more on National issues. Whereas, the new Stevens County Assembly website (www.StevensCountyAssembly.com) will be more Stevens County and Washington orientated.
The following write-up appears on the current Secretary of State’s website (click to view orginial)
The Washington State Constitution - 1889
In December of 1888, Congress introduced an act to "enable" Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana to become states. Among other requirements, Congress asked each prospective state to draft and ratify a state constitution.
An election was held to choose 75 delegates to frame a constitution for the State of Washington. The elected delegates assembled on July 4, 1889 in the Territorial Capitol Building in Olympia and labored through the hot summer to draft a constitution which would form the basis for all future Washington laws. On August 23, 1889, the convention concluded its work.
Miles C. Moore, the last governor of Washington Territory, called for an election to be held on October 1, 1889 to ratify the state constitution and elect the officers of the new state government. A vote of 40,152 to 11,879 approved the Washington State Constitution.
A certified copy of the Constitution of the State of Washington was sent by courier to President Harrison whose approval was necessary before Washington was proclaimed a state. Days went by with no word; finally on November 4, 1889 a message was received, stating that Governor Moore forgot to sign the Constitution and President Harrison could not approve it. Overnight a new copy was prepared (in long-hand since there were no copying machines in 1889), and it was sent to the President by courier the next day.
On November 11, 1889 the President issued a proclamation declaring Washington's Constitution approved. The State of Washington was admitted to the Union.
The Washington State Constitution - 1878
In 1877 Orange Jacobs, Washington’s Delegate to Congress requested an enabling act which would allow Washington to become a state as soon as a state constitution was drafted and ratified by the voters. At the same time, an act was passed by the Washington Territorial Legislative Assembly to convene a constitutional convention.
Without waiting for action by Congress, Washington’s voters elected fifteen delegates who met in Walla Walla in the summer of 1878 and drafted a constitution. In November, 1878, the voters overwhelmingly approved the constitution with a vote of 6537 in favor, and 3236 opposed.
Although never approved by Congress, the 1878 Constitution is an important historical document which shows the political thinking of the time. It was used extensively during the drafting of Washington State’s 1889 Constitution, the one and only “official” Constitution of the State of Washington. (Ed: highlighted emphasis added)
---- end of write-up on Secretary of State’s website
Now, is the above statement highlighted in “yellow” accurate?
There are a few self-authenticating documents from highly credible judicial bodies that would prove the above statement to be incorrect.
In October of 1936, The Supreme Court for the State of Washington delivered an opinion in the case of Ryan v. State, 188 Wash. 115, 130, wherein the following statement was made.
“By the enabling act of Congress, passed February 22, 1889, the territory of Washington became the state of Washington. Subject to the limitations and restraints of the Federal constitution, the state, as such, has all the sovereign powers of independent nations over all persons and things within its territorial limits. Sturges v. Crowinshield, 4 Wheat, 122, 4 L. Ed. 529; New York v. Miln, 11 Pet. 102, 9 L. Ed. 648; Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wall 277, 18 L. Ed. 356.”
So, here we have the Supreme Court of the State of Washington, 47 years after 1889, stating that the Constitution for the State of Washington was ratified on February 22, 1889, months before “The elected delegates assembled on July 4, 1889 in the Territorial Capitol Building in Olympia and labored through the hot summer to draft a constitution which would form the basis for all future Washington laws. On August 23, 1889, the convention concluded its work.” as stated on the Secretary of State’s website.
Did the Supreme Court of the State of Washington err?
Previously, actually back in February of 1914, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of UNITED STATES v. PELICAN, 232 US 442, 445, stating:
“The authority of Congress to deal with crimes committed by or against Indians upon the lands within the reservation was not affected by the admission of the State of Washington into the Union (act of February 22, 1889, c. 180, 25 Stat. 676, 677; Draper v. United States, 164 U.S. 240, 242, 247; Donnelly v. United States, 228 U.S. 243, 271, 272);…”
According to the Rules of Evidence, the self-authenticating documentation of the two court cases quoted above, conclusively prove that ratification by Congress was effected on February 22, 1889. The only Constitution having been completed and voted upon and approved by the people was the 1878 Constitution for the State of Washington.
Now, the Secretary of State is correct (although misleading) that the “…1889 Constitution, [is] the one and only “official” Constitution of the State of Washington.” This is a true statement because it is the “only” Constitution “of” the State of Washington.
The original organic 1878 Constitution for the State of Washington states in its Preamble, the following:
“We, the people, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, for a more independent and perfect government, establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Washington.”
One little word changes everything. (bold - above)
However, there is no evidence that the 1878 Constitution for the State of Washington was ever repealed or nullified.
Also, there is no evidence that the 1889 Constitution of the State of Washington was ever “ratified” by Congress.
The Secretary of State is quick to mislead everyone to believe that the 1878 Constitution was “never approved by Congress”, which is in direct conflict with the self-authenticating evidence stated herein. He makes no mention that the 1889 Constitution was approved or ratified by Congress; only making the statement that “On November 11, 1889 the President issued a proclamation declaring Washington's Constitution approved.” Does the President’s proclamation supercede the ratification authority of Congress? If so, then why didn’t the Secretary of State mention that:
Neither of these two factual statements can be found in the Secretary of State’s explanation of the two Constitutions or the reasoning behind the 1889 Constitution of the State of Washington being the one and only “official” Constitution.