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15 writings of Chief Justice Minal w in o signo
Costitution possess a twofoid rue: nues the opinions of one who has been questi sta minantec - The EXPOUNDER OF THE CONSTITUTION" un 3 mprehending the leading decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States on points of law
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TABLE OF CASES.
I WILLIAM MARBURY V. JAMES MADISON. When a commission has been signed by the president the appointment of the officer commissioned is made; and the commission is complete when the seal of the United States has been affixed to it by the secretary of state. To withhold a commission thus complete is a violation of a vested legal right
The supreme court of the United States has no authority to issue a writ of mandamus, commanding the secretary of state to deliver a paper; original jurisdiction in such cases not having been given by the constitution, and the act of congress, conferring that authority on this court, not being constitutional.
A law repugnant to the constitution is void.
The law which gives the United States a preference over other creditors of a bankrupt is constitutional.
HEPBURN AND DUNDAS v. ELLZEY.
The District of Columbia is not a state, in the sense in which that word is used in the constitution of the United States. Consequently its citizens cannot maintain an action in the circuit court of the United States for the district of Virginia, under the judicial act of 1789, giving to circuit courts jurisdiction in suits between citizens of the state where the suit is brought and citizens of another state.
Er parte BOLLMAN AND SWARTWOUT. The supreme court may grant a writ of habeas corpus in order to examine into the cause of a commitment made by another court having power to commit and to bail.
Definition of Treason, in the sense of the constitution.
UNITED STATES v. AARON BURR.
53 In an indictment for treason, a special overt act of levying war must be laid, and the particular place in which that act was committed must also be laid; and the overt act, laid in the indictment, cannot, on the trial, be proved, without first proving the actual or legal presence of the accused, by two witnesses ; nor can any merely corroborative evidence be admitted, to connect the person accused with the supposed treasonable acts charged in the indictment, until some overt act of treason has been proved by two witnesses.
A person may be concerned in a treasonable conspiracy, and yet be legally, as well as actually, absent, while some one act of the treason is perpetrated.
A man who incites, aids, or procures a treasonable act, is not, merely in consequence of that incitement, aid, or procurement, legally present when that act is committed.
Those only who perform a part, and are leagued in the conspiracy, are traitors. They must " perform a part," which will furnish the overt act, and they must be “leagued in the conspiracy."
THE BANK OF THE UNITED STATES v. DEVEAUX et al. 112
The act of incorporation (passed 1791) conferred on this bank no right to sue in the federal courts. But a corporation aggregate, composed of citizens of one state, may sue a citizen of another state in the circuit courts of the United States.
In a question of jurisdiction, the court will look to the character of the individuals who compose the corporation, when a corporation is a party. The term “citizen" ought to be understood to describe the real persons who come into court under their corporate name.
THE UNITED STATES v. JUDGE PETERS.
The legislature of a state cannot annul the judgments, or determine the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States.
Although the claims of a state may be ultimately affected by the decision of a cause, yet, if the state be not necessarily a defendant, the courts of the United States may exercise jurisdiction.
FLETCHER v. PECK. í
126 The legislature of Georgia passed an act authorizing a patent to issue granting a tract of land lying within the limits of that state. This act was not repugnant to the constitution of Georgia.
After the patent had been granted, the legislature repealed this act. This repeal was repugnant to the constitution of the United States; for it impaired the obligation of the contract implied in the patent.
When a law is, in its nature, a contract, and when absolute rights have vested under that contract, a repeal of that law cannot devest those rights.
The supreme court of the United States will not, in an action between two individuals upon a private contract, enter into an inquiry respecting the corruption of the sovereign power of a state.
THE UNITED STATES v. BEVANS.
142 A murder committed on board a ship of war, lying within the harbor of the city of Boston, is not cognizable in the circuit court for the district of Massachusetts.
3 STURGES v. CROWNINSHIELD.
147 0 A state may pass a bankrupt, or insolvent law, provided such law does not "impair the obligation of contracts.” The power given to congress, by the constitution of the United States, “ to establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies," does not, until congress exercises that power, take from the states the right to pass bankrupt laws.
The insolvent act of New York (passed April 3, 1811) so far as it attempts to discharge a debtor from liabilities incurred prior to its enactment, is contrary to the constitution of the United States.
LMCULLOCH v. THE STATE OF MARYLAND, et al." 160
The constitution of the United States, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, are supreme; they control the constitutions and the laws of the respective states, and cannot be controlled by them.
The act of congress, (passed 1816,) incorporating the Bank of the United States, is a law made in pursuance of the constitution, and is a part of the supreme law of the land.
The states have no power, by taxation, or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control, the operation of the constitutional laws enacted by congress to carry into execution the powers of the general government.
A law passed by the legislature of Maryland, imposing a tax on the Bank of the United States, is unconstitutional and void.
E TRUSTEES OF DARTMOUTH COLLEGE v. WOODWARD. 188 u
The act incorporating the trustees of Dartmouth College, and the acceptance of that act, or charter, by the persons incorporated, constitute a contract, within the meaning of the constitution of the United States.
The acts of the legislature of New Hampshire, increasing the number of the trustees of that college, and taking from them the right of filling vacancies in their own number, impaired the obligation of this contract, and, therefore, were unconstitutional and void.