Boyd v. State of Nebraska
U.S. Supreme Court
143 U.S. 159, 182, 36 L.Ed. 103, 12 S.Ct. 381 (1892)
[143 U.S. 159, 159] 4. In the admission of a State a collective naturalization may be effected in accordance with the intention of Congress and the people applying for admission.
5. Admission of a State on an equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatever, involves the adoption as citizens of the United States of those whom Congress makes members of the political community, and who are recognized as such in the formation of the new State with the consent of Congress.
6. By the Organic Law under which the Territory of Nebraska was organized, approved May 30, 1854, those who had declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, and taken the oath therein mentioned, had the right to hold office.
7. Upon the admission of Nebraska into the Union "upon an equal footing with the original states in all respects whatsoever," the citizens of what had been the Territory became, by the Act of Congress, citizens of the United States and of the State.
[143 U.S. 159, 182] "I agree that the states of the American Union are not in all respects independent political communities; I agree that they do not possess that supreme political authority which would entitle them to be called sovereign states, in the full sense of those terms, as they are often designated. They are qualified sovereignties, possessing only the powers of an independent political organization which are not ceded to the general government or prohibited to them by the Constitution. But except as such powers are ceded to the general government or prohibited to them, the states are independent political communities. This is not a matter or argument or inference, but is the express declaration of the 10th amendment." Mr. Justice Field in a dissenting opinion.