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Federal Courts/Supreme Court

With todays hubbub about the Supreme Court I thought I would post this Civil War ruling and ideas from men who would be in charge of that great institution.

"An objection to the prize decisions of the District Courts has arisen from an apprehension of radical consequences. It has been supposed that if the Government have the rights of a belligerent, then, after the rebellion is suppressed, it will have the rights of conquest; that a State and its inhabitants may be permanently divested of all political privileges, and treated as foreign territory, acquired by arms. This is an error a grave and dangerous error. Conquest of a foreign country gives absolute and unlimited sovereign rights. But no nation ever makes such a conquest of its own territory. If a hostile power, either from without or within a nation, takes possession and holds absolute dominion over any portion of its territory, and the nation, by force of arms, expels or overthrows fhe enemy, and suppresses hostilities, it acquires no new title, but merely regains possession, of which it bad been temporarily deprived. The nation acquires no new sovereignty, but merely maintains its previous rights."

Judge Sprague, United States District Court, Massachusetts, April 1861. Case of Amy Warwick and Cargo.

"If these infernal fanatics and abolitionists ever get power in their hands, they will override the Constitution, set Supreme Court at defiance, change and make laws to suit themselves, lay violent hands on those who differ with them in their opinion, or dare question their infallibility; and, finally, bankrupt the country, and deluge it with blood!"

Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, Senator from Massachusetts, Member of the House.

"Resolved that we hereby give it to be distinctly understood, by this nation and the world, tha as abolitionists, considering that the strength of our cause lies in its righteousness, and our hopes for it in our conformity to the laws of GOD, we owe to the SOVEREIGN RULER OF THE UNIVERSE, as a proof of our allegiance to HIM in all our civil relations and offices, whether as citizens or as public functionariers, sworn to support the Constitution of the United States, to regard and treat the third clause of that instrument, whenever applied in the case of a fugitive slave, as utterly NULL and VOID, and consequently as forming no part of the Constitution of the United States."

Salmon P. Chase, President of the Buffalo Abolitionist Convention, 1843. Senator from Ohio, Governor of Ohio, U.S. Treasury Secretary, and CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES.

David Upton

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