I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY. ALL THAT FOLLOWS IS A MERELAYMAN'S/CITIZEN'S OPINION. IT IS OFFERED HERE AS FOOD FOR THOUGHT AND NOTHING MORE.
During the Great depression President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to impose a prohibition against United States citizens owning gold in any form other than ornamental.This prohibition was granted him by Congress and subsequently upheld in a five to four vote by the United States Supreme Court. The decision of the Court upholding the prohibition was one of four, so called, "Gold Cases" issued in 1935. The total effect of these cases was to clarify how the prohibition would work and the limitations thereof.One of the subsequent Gold Cases was
Perry v United States
U.S. 330. In Perry the Courtwas asked whether the government had to pay the holders of a specific government bondin "United States gold coin of the present standard of value." The bond specifically saidthis would be the case.After Congress passed Roosevelt's prohibition making such gold coinage illegal for such purposes, the Treasury attempted to substitute paper money for the gold coin promised.The investors realizing paper money was not worth the same as the promised gold coin protested.Citing the fourth paragraph of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United StatesConstitution that says in its first sentence, "
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensionsand bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not bequestioned,
" the Court decided Congress had exceeded it authority in so far as it pertained to an obligation of the United States made prior to the installation of the gold prohibition. (The second sentence had to do with the nullification of any obligation of anyone to compensate for lost property in the South due to the insurrection of those statesagainst the Union during the Civil War or to repay money loaned for the purposes of