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volved. Never permit this Federal Government to I think I speak the sentiments of my own constituents and pass into the traitorous hands of the Black Republican the State of South Carolina, when I say 80. party. It has already declared war against you and your institutions. It every day commits acts of war against
Mr. Crawford, of Georgia, said: you: it has already compelled you to arm for your de- Now, in regard to the election of a Black Republican fense. Listen to “no vain babblings,” to no treacherous President, I have this to say, and I speak the sentiment of jargon about "overt acts;' they have already been com- every Democrat on this floor from the State of Georgia : mitted. Defend yourselves; the enemy is at your door; we will never submit to the inauguration of a Black Rewait not to meet him at the hearthstone--meet him at the publican President. (Applause from the Democratic door-sill, and drive him from the temple of liberty, or pull benches, and hisses from the Republicans.) I repeat it, down its pillars and involve him in a common ruin. sir-and I have authority to say so—that no Democratic Senator Clingman, of North Carolina, in a re- to the inauguration of a Black Republican President.
representative from Georgia on this floor will ever submit cent speech, says that “there are hundreds of (Renewed applause and hisses.) The most condisunionists in the South now, where there was fiding of them all are, sir, for “equality in the Union or not one ten years ago," and that in some of the independence out of it;" having lost all hope in the
former, I am for “ INDEPENDENCE NOW AND INDEPENDENCE States the men who would willingly see the FOREVER!" Union dissolved are in the majority. In con- Mr. Gartrell, of the same State, said : sidering the proper cause for disunion, Mr.
Just so sure as the Republican party succeeds in electClingman continues :
ing a sectional man, upon their sectional, Anti-Slavery
platform, breathing destruction and death to the rights of In my judgment, the election of the Presidential can. my people, just so sure, in my judgment, the time will didate of the Black Republican party will furnish that have come when the South must and will take an unmis.
takable and decided action, and that then, "he who No other “overt act" can so imperatively demand re- dallies is a dastard, and he who doubts is damned.". I sistance on our part as the simple election of their candi. need not tell what I, as a Southern man, will do—I think date Their organization is one of avowed hostility, and I may safely speak for the masses of the people of Georgia they come against us as enemies.
--that when that event happens, they, in my judgment, The objections are not personal merely to this Senator will consider it an overt act, a declaration of war, and (Mr. Seward), but apply equally to any member of the meet immediately in convention, to take into consideraparty elected by it. It has, in fact, been suggested that; tion the mode and measure of redress. That is my posias a matter of prudence, for the first election they should tion; and if that be treason to the Government, make the choose a southern free-soiler. Would the Colonies have most of it. submitted more willingly to Benedict Arnold than to Lord Cornwallis ?
Mr. McRae, formerly Governor of Mississippi, Mr. Curry, of Alabama, a member of the now a member of the House of Representatives,
recently spoke in that body as follows: House of Representatives, in a recent speech,
I said to my constituents, and to the people at the says:
capital of my State, on my way here, that if such an However distasteful it may be to my friend from New event did occur, while it would be their duty to determine York (Mr. Clark), however much it may revolt the public the course which the State would pursue, it would be my sentiment or conscience of this country, I am not ashamed privilege to counsel with them as to what I believed to be or afraid publicly to avow that the election of William H. the proper course; and I said to them, what I say now, Seward or Salmon P. Chase, or any such representative of and will always say in such an event, that my counsel the Republican party, upon a sectional platform, ought to would be to take independence out of the Union in prebe resisted to the disruption of every tie that binds this ference to the loss of constitutional rights, and conseConfederacy together. (Applause on the Democratic quent degradation and dishonor in it. That is my posiside of the House.)
tion, and it is the position which I know the Democratic Mr. Pugh, of the same State, made a speech party of the State of Mississippi will maintain. in the House, in which he said:
Mr. De Jarnette, a member of the House
from Virginia, says: If, with the character of the Government well defined, and the rights and privileges of the parties to the compact
Thus William H. Seward stands before the country a clearly asserted by the Democratic party, the Black Re- perjured traitor ; and yet that man, with hands stained publicans get possession of the Government, then the with the blood of our citizens, we are asked to elect Prequestion is fully presented, whether the Southern States sident of the United States. You may elect him President will remain in the Union, as subject and degraded colo- of the North, but of the South never. Whatever the nies, or will they withdraw and establish a Southern Con. event may be, others may differ ; but Virginia, in view federacy of coëqual homogeneous sovereigns ?
of her ancient renown, in view of her illustrious dead, In my judgment, the latter is the only course compati- and in view of her sic semper tyrannis, will resist his ble with the honor, equality, and safety of the South; and authority. I have done. the sooner it is known and acted upon the better for all
Mr. Leake, also of Virginia, declares : parties to the compact. The truest conservatism and wisest statesmanship de
Virginia has the right, when she pleases, to withdraw mand a speedy termination of all association with such from the Confederacy. (Applause from the Democratic confederates, and the formation of another Union of benches.)
That is her doctrine. We will not States, homogeneous in population, institutions, interests, fight in the Union, but quit it the instant we think proper and pursuits.
to do so. Mr. Moore, of the same State, said:
Mr. Singleton, of Mississippi, says: I do not concur with the declaration made yesterday when will the South be united ? It will be when you
You ask me when will the time (for disunion) come; by the gentleman from Tennessee, that the election of a Black Republican to the Presidency was not cause for a elect a Black Republican-Hale, Seward, or Chase-Predissolution of the Union. Whenever a President is elected sident of the United States. Whenever you undertake by a fanatical majority at the North, those whom I repre- to place such a man to preside over the destinies of the sent, as I believe, and the gallant Štate which I in part South, you may expect to see us undivided and indivisirepresent, are ready, let the consequences be what they ble friends, and to see all parties of the South arrayed to may, to fall back on their reserved rights, and say, “ As resist his inauguration. to this Union, we have no longer any lot or part in it." We can never quietly stand by and permit the control
of the army and navy to go into the hands of a Black Mr. Bonham, a member of the House from Republican President. South Carolina, said:
Gov. Letcher, of Virginia, in his recent mesAs to disunion, upon the election of a Black Republi- sage to the Legislature of his State, avows the can, I can speak for no one but myself and those I have rankest disunion and revolutionary sentiments. here the honor to represent; and I say, without hesitation, In this document, he declares that if a Repubthat, upon the election of Mr. Seward, or any other man lican President is elected in 1860, who indorses and proclaims the doctrines held by him and his party-call him by what name you please-I am in. It is useless to attempt to conceal the fact that, in the favor of an immediate dissolution of the Union. And, sir, present temper vf the Southeru people, it cannot be and
will not be submitted to. The “ irrepressible conflict " The bargain between Freedom and Slavery contained in doctrine, announced and advocated by the ablest and the Constitution of the United States, is morally and pomost distinguished leader of the Republican party, is an litically vicious, inconsistent with the principles on which open declaration of war against the instįlution of African alone our Revolution can be justified; cruel and oppresSlavery, wherever it exists; and I would be disloyal to sive, by riveting the chains of Slavery; and grossly uneVirginia and the South if I did not declare that the qual and impolitic, by admitting that Slaves are at once clection of such a man, entertaining such sentiments, enemies to be kept in subjection, property to be secured au advocating such doctrines, ought to be r-sisted by and returned to their owners, and persons not to be repre. the slaveholding States. The idea of permitting such a sented themselves, but for whom their masters are priviman to have the control and direction of the arnıy and leged with nearly a double share of representation;' navy of the United States, and the appointinent higli Whereas (to quote the language of Wm. Ellery Chanjudicial and executive officers, postmasters included, ning) “We in the Free States cannot fly from the shame cunnot be entertained by the South for a moment. or guilt of the Institution of Slavery, while there are proThe Hon. William L. Yancy, a leading and On this subject our fathers, in framing the Constitution,
visions of the Constitution binding us to give it support. prominent Democratic politician of Alabama, swerved from the right. We, their children, see the path and formerly viember of Congress from that of duty more clearly than they, and must walk in it. No State, wrote the following letter in 1858, which blessings of the Union can be a compensation for taking
part in the enslaving of our fellow-creatures ;" and the Washington States, à Democratic Journal, Whereas (to quote the language of Josiah Quincy, Sen.), recently published under the title of the “Scar: "The arm of the Union is the very sinew of the subjection let Letter :"
of the Slaves; it is the Slaveholder's main strength; its
continuance is his forlorn hope;" and MONTGOMERY, June 15, 1858. Whereas (to quote the language of Mr. Underwood, of DEAR SIR: Your kind favor of the 15th is re- Kentucky, as uttered on the floor of Congress), “The Dis. ceived.
solution of the Union, making the Ohio River and Mason I hardly agree with you that a general movement and Dixon's line the boundary line, is the Dissolution of can be made that will clear out the Augean stable. If Slavery. It had been the common practice for Southern the Democracy were overthrown, it would result in giv- men to get up on this floor and say, Touch this subject ing place to a greater and hungrier swarm of flies. and we will Dissolve the Union as a remedy.' Their re
The remedy of the South is not in such a process. It medy was the destruction of the thing which they wished is in a diligent organization of her true men for prompt to save, and any sensible man could see it;" and resistance to the next aggression. It must come in the Whereas (to quote the language of Mr. Arnold, of Tennature of things. No national party can save us ; no nessee, on the same occasion), “The South has nothing to sectional party can ever do it. But if we could do as rely on, if the Union be Dissolved; for, supposing that our fathers did-organize committees of safety all over Dissolution to be effected, a million of Slaves are ready to the Cotton States (and it is only in them that we can rise and strike for Freedom at the first tap of the drum :" hope for any effective movement)-we shall fire the therefore, Southern heart, instruct the Southern mind, give cou- 1. Resolved, That in advocating the Dissolution of the rage to each other, and at the PROPER MOMENT, by one Union, the Abolitionists are justified by every precept of organized concerted action, we can precipitate the the Gospel, by every principle of morality, by every claim Cotton Stutes into a revolution.
of humanity; that such a Union is a Covenant with The idea has been shadowed forth in the South by Death,” which ought to be annulled, and" an agreement Mr. Ruffin; has been taken up and recommended in with Hell,” which a just God cannot permit to stand; and The Advertiser (Published at Montgomery. Alabama), that it is the imperative and paramount duty of all who under the name of " League of United Southerners," who, would keep their souls from blood-guiltiness, to deliver the keeping up their old party relations on all other ques. oppressed out of the hand of the spoiler, and usher in the tions, will hold the Southern issue paramount, and will day of Jubilee; to seek its immediate overthrow by all influence parties, legislatures, and statesmen. I have no righteous instrumentalities. time to enlarge, but to suggest merely.
2. Resolved, That (to quote the language of William H. In haste, yours, etc.,
W. L. YANCEY, Seward) “they who think this agitation is accidental, unTo JAMES S. SLAUGHTER, Esq.
necessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, The Montgomery (Ala.) Confederation thus and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether : it
is an Irrepressible Conflict between opposing and enduring gives the record of the leading secession dele- forces ; and it means that the United States must and will, gates from the Charleston Convention from sooner or later, become either entirely a Slaveholding that State. It says:
Nation or entirely a Free Labor Nation. It is the failure No one can be deceived as to what are the objects to apprehend this great truth that induces so many unof the Charleston Convention. Listen to what their men and Slave States; and it is the existence of this great fact
successful attempts at final Compromise between the Free say:
made, “I want the Cotton States precipitated into a revolu- that renders all such pretended Compromises, wh tion.”— Wm. L. Yancey.
vain and ephemeral.” Therefore, “ If I had the power, I would dissolve this Govern
3. Resolved, That no matter how sincerely or zealously ment in two minutes."-J. T. Morgan.
any Political Party may be struggling with side issues, in " Let us break up this rotten, stinking, and oppressive cripple its power, while standing within the Union and
relation to Slavery, to prevent its extension, or otherwise Government."- George Gayle.
“ Resistance ! Resistance to death against the Gov. sanctioning its Pro-Slavery Compromises, and refusing to ernment is what we want now."-David Hubbard.
attack the Institution itself, its position is morally inde
fensible; it rests upon a sandy foundation; its testimonies AN ANTI-SLAVERY VIEW OF DISUNION.
are powerless, and its example fatal to the cause of lib
erty: hence we cannot give it any support. The following Resolutions, prepared by Wm. 4. Resolved, That “better a thousand times that all Lloyd Garrison, were adopted at a Convention North America should be obliterated by a concurrence of
the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as a dead, revenging sea of the non-voting Abolitionists (better known over buried Cities, than that we, after all our light and as; Garrisonians), at Albany, New-York, on the Liberty, should live only by removing the truth that gave 2d of February, 1859 :
us being, or should set the example to a terrified and
struggling world of a Nation claiming and daring to exist Whereas (to quote the language of John Quincy Adams), only by sustained and sanctified oppression.”
THE POWER OF THE SUPREME COURT.
In view of the Dred Scott dicta and other en- Under date of Montecello, Dec. 25, 1820, he croachments upon the Liberties of the People writes to Thomas Ritchie as follows: and the rights of the States, that may well be
The Judiciary of the United States is the apprehended from future decisions of a Federal' subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working partisan Judiciary, the opinions of the leaders of under-ground to undermine the foundations of our conthe old Jeffersonian Republican party on the federated fabric. They are construing our Constitution powers and duties of the Supreme Court become to a general and supreme one alone.
from a coördination of a general and special government matter of public interest.
On the 18th of August, 1821, Mr. Jefferson OPINIONS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON,
writes to Mr. C. Hammond, as follows: In a letter to John Adams, dated Sept. 11, never shrunk from its expression, that the germ of disso
It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have 1804, Mr. Jefferson says:
lution of our Federal Government is in the constitution You seemed to think that it devolved on the Judges to
of the Federal Judiciary-an irresponsible body, workdecide on the validity of the Sedition Law. But nothing in ing like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little tothe Constitution has given them a right to decide for the day and a little to-morrow, and advancing its noiseless Executive, more than the Executive to decide for them. step, like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all Both magistrates are equally independent in the sphere of shall be usurped from the States, and the Government of
all be consolidated into one. action assigned to them, The Judges, believing the law
To this I am opposed ; beconstitutional, had a right to pass a sentence oi fine and cause, when all government, domestic and foreign, in imprisonment, because the power was placed in their little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as hands by the Constitution. But the Executive, believing the centre of all power, it will render powerless the the law to be unconstitutional, were bound to 'remit the checks provided of one Government on another, and will execution of it, because that power had been confided to become as venal and oppressive as the Government from
which we separated. It will be as in Europe, where them by the Constitution."
every man must be either pike or gudgeon, hammer or Again, in a letter to Judge Roane, dated anvii. Our functionaries and theirs are wares from the Poplar Forest, Sept. 6, 1819, Mr. Jefferson re- same w kshop, made of the same materials, and by the marks:
same hand. If the States look with apathy on this silent
descent of their Government into the gulf which is to In denying the right they usurp in exclusively ex- swallow all, we have only to weep over the human charplaining the Constitution, I go further than you do, if I acter, formed uncontrollable but by a rod of iron, and understand rightly your quotation from the Federalist, the blasphemers of man as incapable of self-governinent, of an opinion that “The Judiciary is the last resort in re- become his true historians. lation to the other departments of the Government, but In a letterto Judge Johnson, dated Monticello, not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the Judiciary is derived." If this opinion be March 4, 1820, he says, sound, then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de I cannot lay down my pen without recurring to one of
For intending to establish three departments, coördi- the subjects of my former letter, for, in truth, there is no nate and independent, that they might check and balance danger I apprehend so much as the consolidation of our one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one Government by the noiseiess, and therefore unalarming, of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the govern- instrumentality of the Supreme Court. This is the form ment of the others, and to that one, too, which is unelected in which Federalism now arrays itself. by and independent of the nation.
The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax, in the
In a letter dated June 12, same year, he says, hands of the Judiciary, which they may twist and shape into The practice of Judge Marshall, of traveling out of his any form they please. It should be remembered, as an eter- case to prescribe what the law would be in a moot case nal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government not before the court is very irregular and very cenis independent, is absolute also; in theory only at first, while surable. the spirit of the people is up, but in practice as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with
In writing to Mr. W. H. Torrance, June 11, the people in mass. They are inherently independent of 1815, Mr. Jefferson says: all but moral law. My construction of the Constitution is very different from that you quote. It is that each de- with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality
The second question, whether the judges are invested partment is truly independent of the others, and has an equal right to decide for itself what is the meaning of the with me in the exercise of official duties. Certainly
of a law, has been heretofore a subject of consideration Constitution in the cases submitted to its action, and espe- there is not a word in the Constitution which has given cially where it is to act ultimately and without appeal.
that power to them more than to the Executive or LegisIn a letter to Mr. Jarvis, dated Monticello, lative branches.. Questions of property, of character, Sept. 28, 1820, Mr. Jefferson says:
and of crime, being ascribed to the judges througil a
definite course of legal proceeding, laws involving such You seem, in pages 84 and 148, to consider questions, belong, of course, to them; and as they decido the Judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional on them ultimately, and without appeal, they, of course, questions-a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one decide for themselvi 8. The constitutional validity of the which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. law or laws again prescribing executive action, and to Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. be administered by that branch ultimately, and without They have, with others, the same passions for party, for appeal, the Executive must decide for themselves, also, power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is, whether, under the Constitution, they are valid or pot. is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem," and their so also, as to laws governing the proceedings of the Legpower the more dangerous as they are in office or life, islature, that body must judge for itself the constitutionand not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the ality of the law, and equally without appeal or control elective control. The Constitution has erected no such from its coördinate branches. And, in general, the single tribunal, knowing that, to whatever hands confided, branch which is to act ultimately, and without appeal on with the corruptions of time and party, its members would any law, is the rightful expositor of the validity of the become despots. It has more wisely made all the depart- law, uncontrolled by the opinions of the other coördiments co-equal and co-sove: eign within themselves. nate authorities.
John Taylor, of Caroline, Va., who used in for that I think I have shown to be impossible, with the his day to speak and write “ as one having Lise, and because the people have retained in their own authority” in the old Jeffersonian Republican hands the power of controlling and directing the Legisparty, in an essay entitled “New Views of the lature, by their immediate and mediate elections of Constitution,” says:
President, Senate, and House of Representatives. See
ib., page 78. The perseverance of the gentleman in favor of a National Government proves that the subject was tho
Mr. Cocke, of Tennessee, on the same subroughly considered; and the solemn preference of the ject, said: Federal form demonstrates that no construction by We have been told that the nation is to look up to which the preference will be frustrated can be just. these immaculate judges to protect their liberties; to Its basis was State sovereignty, compatible with a fede protect the people against themseives.-16., page 75. ral limited Government, but incompatible with a supreme National Government. Hence State Sovereignty
In the House, Robert Williams, of North was denied by the gentlemen who proposed a National Carolina, said: Governinent. This sovereignty is the foundation of all the powers reserved to the States.
If this doctrine is to extend to the length gentlemen
Unless they are sus contend, then is the sovereignty of the Government to be jained by it, they are baseless. ecutive, and judicial powers, must all or none flow from swallowed up in the vortex of the Judiciary. Whatever this source. All are necessary to sustain the State Re- the other departments of the Government may do, they publican Governments. Subject either to a master, Will not the people be astonished to hear that their laws
can undo. You may pass a law, but they can annulait. and the others become subject to the same master. If the State judicial power, as flowing from. State sov. independent of all law ?-16., puges 531, 532.
depend upon the will of the judges, who are themselves Jeignty, is not independent, State legislative and executive power cannot be independent, because all rest upon the same foundation; and because if a supreme federal Judiciary can control State Courts, it can also
John Randolph, of Roanoke, said: control State Legislatures and Executives. Thus a But, sir, if you pass the law, the judges are to put their federal form of Government would be rejected, though veto upon it by declaring it unconstitutional. Here is a it was established, and a National Government would be new power, of a dangerous and uncontrollable nature, established, though it was rejected.
contended for. The decision of a constitutional question The legal features of the Constitution, in relation to must rest somewhere. Shall it be confided to men imjudges, is expressed in the sixth article: "The Con- mediately responsible to the people, or to those who are stitution is the supreme law of the land, and the irresponsible ? for the responsibility by impeachment is judges in every State are to be bound thereby." little less than a name. From whom is a corrupt decision Can the judgments of the Federal court be a su- most to be feared ? To me it appears that the power preme law over this supreme law ? Is there no dif- which has the right of passing, without appeal, on the ference between the supremacy of a Federal court validity of your laws, is your sovereign. But, over inferior Federal courts, and the supremacy of the sir, are we not as deeply interested in the true exposition Constitution over all courts? The supremacy of the of the Constitution as the judges can be ? With all due Constitution is a guaranty of the independent powers, deference to their talents, is not Congress as capable of within their respective spheres, allowed by the Federal forming a correct opinion as they are ? Are not its ist to the State and Federal Governments. A supre- members acting under a responsibility to public opinion, macy in the court might abridge or alter these spheres. which can and will check their aberrations from duty ? The State judges are bound by the Constitution and by Let a case, not an imaginary one, be stated : Congress an oath to obey the supremacy of the Constitution, and violates the Constitution by fettering the press; the judinot even required to obey the supremacy of the Federal cial corrective is applied to ; far from protecting the court. Why are all the departments of the State and liberty of the citizen, or the letter of the Constitution, Federal Governments equally bound to obey the supre- you find them outdoing the legislature in zeal; pressing macy of the Constitution ?
Because the State and fe- the common law of England to their service where the deral Governments were considered as checking or sedition law did not apply. Suppose your reliance had balancing departments. Had either been considered as been altogether on this broken staff, and not on the elecsubordinate to a supremacy in the other, it would have tive principle? Your press night have been enchained been tyrannical to require it by an oath to support the till doomsday, your citizens incarcerated for life, and supremacy of the Constitution, and also to break that where is your remedy? But if the construction of the oath by yielding to the usurped supremacy of the other. Constitution is left with us, there are no longer limits to
our power; and this would be true, if an appeal did not During the administration of John Adams, lie through the elections, from us to the nation, to whom the Judiciary system was remodeled in such alone, and not a few privileged individuals, it belongs to way as to create a large number of Circuit In their inquisitorial capacity, the Supreme Court, re Judgeships, and to make the Supreme Court lieved from the tedious labor of investigating judicial simply a Court of Appeal from the inferior points by the law of the last session, may easily direct the jurisdictions. After the election of Mr. Jeffer. Executive, by mandamus, in what mode it is their
pleasure that we should execute his functions. They will son, with a Republican (Democratic) majority also have more leisure to attend to the legislature, and in Congress the act was repealed.
forestall, by inflammatory pamphlets, their decisions on During the debate in the Senate, which was public, we shall retain the right of debating, but not of
all important questions; whilst, for the amusement of the protracted, on this repeal bill, Mr. Jackson voting: -10., pages 661, 662. of Georgia, said:
We have been asked if we are afraid of having an army of judges ? For myself, I am more afraid of an
Nathaniel Macon, wf North Carolina, said : army of judges under the patronage of the President, We have heard much about the judges, and the neces. than of an army of soldiers. The former can do us sity of their independence. I will state one fact, to show more harm. They may deprive us of our liberties, if that they have power as well as independence. Soon attached to the Executive, from their decisions; and after the establishment of the Federal Courts, they issued from the tenure of office contended for, we cannot re- a writ-not being a professional man, I shall not under. move them; while the soldier, however he may act, is take to give its name—to the Supreme Court of North enlisted, or if not enlisted, only subsisted for two years ; Carolina, directing a case then depending in the State whilst the judge is enlisted for life, for his salary cannot Court to be brought into the Federal Court. The State be taken from him.-See Annals of Congress, 1801-2, judges refused to obey the summons, and laid the whole
proceedings before the legislature, who approved their During the same discussion, Mr. Mason, of and this in that day was not called disorganizing.–ib.
conduct, and, as well as I remember, unanimously ; Virginia, said:
The objects of courts of law, as I understand them, are to settle questions of right between suitors, to enforce obedience to the laws, and to protect the citizens
John Bacon, of Massachusetts, said: against the oppressive use of power in the Executive The Judiciary have no more right to prescribe, direct, offices. Not to protect them against the Legislature, or control the acts of the other departments of the Gové
ernment, than the other departments of the Govern-preme Court of the United States annulled the ment have to prescribe or direct those of the Judiciary.- judgment in the State court, and issued a manIb., page 983.
date to the Superior Court of Georgia, to carry THE SEDITION LAW.
its judgment of reversal into execution. Judge When the case of Matthew Lyon was before Benning proceeds: the United States Senate in 1818, on petition
Now, what did Georgia do on receipt of this special asking indemnity for a fine imposed upon him mandate? Through every department of her government under the Sedition Law, John J. Crittenden, of she treated the mandate and the writ of error with conKentucky, said:
tempt the most profound. She did not even protest
against jurisdiction, as she had done the case of Chis. The judiciary is a valuable part of the Government, and holm's executors; but she kept Worcester and Butler in ought to be highly respected, but is not infallible. The the penitentiary, and she executed, in the Creek nation, Constitution is our guide-our supreme law. Blind homage the laws, for violating which they had been put in the can never be rendered by freemen to any power. In all penitentiary. cases of alleged violations of the Constitution, it was for Congress to make a just discrimination. Benton's
Judge Benning, in delivering his opinion, says Abridgment, vol. 6, page 184.
further: Nathaniel Macon, of North Carolina, on the It was not only in this case that Georgia occupied this same day said :
position; she did it in two other cases, and those, cases of
life and death: the case of Tassels, and that of Graves. According to some gentlemen, we were to regard the One of these happened before those of Worcester and Judiciary more than the law, and both more than the Con- Butler, namely, in 1830; the other afterward, in 1834. stitution. It was a misfortune the judges were not equal The Supreme Court had issued writs of error in each of in infallibility to the God who made them. The truth these cases, on the application of the defendants to the was, if the judge was a party-man out of power, he would State of Georgia ; but, as the cases are not reported, it is be a party-man in. The office would not change human to be presumed that these writs never got back to the nature. He had no doubt that the Sedition Law, and the Supreme Court; or that, if they ever did, it was too late. proceedings under it, had more effect in revolutionizing It is certain that Georgia hung the applicants for the writ. the Government than all its other acts. He well remembered the language of the times—pay your taxes, but In the Tassels case, the legislature passed don't speak against government.-Ibid., page 187.
these, ainong other resolutions : Hon. James Barbour, of Virginia, made a re- Resowed, That the State of Georgia will never so far port on the subject of the petition, of which the compromit her sovereignty, as an independent State, as to following is an extract:
become a party to the case sought to be made before the The first question that naturally presents itself in the Supreme Court of the United States by the writ in ques. investigation is, was the law constitutional ? The com- Resolved, That his excellency the Governor be, and he mittee have no hesitation in pronouncing, in their opin- and every other officer of this state is hereby, requested ions, it was not.
and enjoined to disregard any and every mandate and The committee are aware that, in opposition to this process that has been or shall be served on him or them, view of the subject, the decision of some of the judges of purporting to proceed from the Chief Justice or any Assothe Supreme Court, sustaining the constitution of the ciate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, law, has been frequently referred to, as sovereign and for the purpose of arresting the execution of any of the conclusive of the question.
criminal laws of this State. The committee entertain a high respect for the purity and intelligence of the Judiciary. But it is a rational re
Similar resolutions were passed, as to the spect, limited by a knowledge of the frailty of human na- case of Graves, by the legislature of 1834. ture, and the theory of the Constitution, which declares, not only that Judges may err in opinion, but also may
PENNSYLVANIA. commit crimes, and hence has provided a tribunal for the trial of offenders.
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in the
case of the Commonwealth v. Cobbett, gave a GEORGIA.
unanimous opinion in 1788, from which the folIn the case of Paddleford, Fay, & Conipany lowing is an extract: v. the Mayor and Aldermen of the city of Sa
If a State should differ with the United States about the vannah, Judge Benning, in delivering the opin- construction of them, there is no common umpire but the ion of the court, recited two or three cases in people, who should adjust the affair by making amendwhich the State of Georgia had acted in disre. In such a case, the Constitution of the United States is
ments in the constitutional way, or suffer from the defect. gard of the decisions of the Supreme Court of federal; it is a league or treaty made by the individual the United States. In the case of Chisholm, States as one party, and all the States as another party. executor, against Georgia, the Supreme Court sentence, or word, in a treaty, neither has an exclusive of the United States
right to decide it; they endeavor to adjust the matter by Ordered, that unless the said State shall either in due negotiation; but if it cannot be thus accomplished, each form appear, or show cause to the contrary, in this court, has a right to retain its own interpretation, until a ref
erby the first day of next term, judgment by default shall be ence be had to the mediation of other nations, and ayatbi. entered against the said State.
tration, or the fate of war. There is no provision in the The reporter adds, in a note, that "in February term, Constitution that in such a case the judges of the Supreme 1794, judgment was rendered for the plaintiff
, and a writ Court of the United States shall control and be conclusive; of inquiry awarded. The writ, however, was not sued out neither can the
Congress by a law confer that power and executed; so that this cause, and all of the other suits Respublica v. Cobbett, 3 Dallas's Reports, page 47.25. against States, were swept at once from the records of the
VIRGINIA, court by the amendment of the Federal Constitution."
Georgia treated the court with contempt in respect to The Court of Appeals of Virginia, in 1814, F.in this case. Her position was, that the court had no juris- the case of Hunter v. Martin, devisee of Fair diction of her as a party.—Georgiu Reports, vol. 14, fax, entered the following unanimous opinion, :o
The Judge proceeds to say, that “in this after full argument: position Georgia triumphed," and that the judg- The court is unanimously of opinion that the appellate ment against her “ fell dead.”
power of the Supreme Court of the United States does not The Judge next cites the case of Worcester Constitution of the United States ; that so much of the
extend to this court, under a sound construction of the and Butler, who had settled on the Cherokee twenty-fifth section of the act of Congress to establish the lauds in Georgia, contrary to the laws of the judicial courts of the United States as extends the appelState, and for which offense they were sent to in pursuance of the Constitution of the United States;
late jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to this court is not the penit.ntiary. On a writ of error, the Su-l that the writ of error in this case was improvidently al