« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
strenuous age. The chief characteristic of the century just past is change. It has left to us this legacy: “With smoking axle hot with speed, with steeds of fire and steam, Wide waked To-day leaves Yesterday behind him like a dream. Still from the hurrying train of life fly backward far and fast The milestones of the fathers, the landmarks of the past."
Our profession has caught the impetus, and we, too, are hastening away from the landmarks of the past.
It is well, in the multitude of improvements suggested to us, that we should cultivate the conservatism of which Marshall was so conspicuous an example.
STATE OF GEORGIA.
In commemoration of the accession of Chief Justice Marshall to the United States Supreme Court bench, a meeting was held in Georgia, in the Capitol at Atlanta, on February 4, 1901. A large number of members of the Bar from different portions of the State gathered in the Supreme Court room at eleven o'clock, where, headed by the judges of the Supreme Court and the officers of the Georgia Bar Association, they proceeded to the Hall of the House of Representatives. There were present Chief Justice Simmons, Presiding Justice Lumpkin, Justices Little, Cobb, Fish and Lewis, Judge W. T. Newman of the United States District Court, the judges of the Superior and City Courts of Atlanta, and a large number of men, women and students in the schools of the city. Chief Justice Simmons called the assemblage to order, after which Attorney-General Terrell stated the occasion and purpose of the gathering and announced the programme of the exercises.
Hon. H. Warner Hill, President of the Georgia Bar Association, addressed the court as follows:
Address of H. Warner Hill. Of the three great departments perhaps the most important of our government is the Judicial. It stands as
? The proceedings in this State were published in pamphlet form, with the following title: “ Addresses before the Supreme Court of Georgia in honor of the centennial of the accession of John Marshall to the Bench as Chief Justice of the United States Under the auspices of the Georgia Bar Association. Atlanta, Ga.: The Franklin Printing and Publishing Co., 1901.”
a great bulwark of the rights and liberties of the people against invasion of those rights and attack from any source. Congress can pass and the President approve a proposed law, but it is for the highest court in the land to say whether it is of living force. No provision of the Constitution of the United States is so potent in preserving the liberties of the people as the one creating the Supreme Court. Composed originally of six, now nine, members, this august tribunal has, as a rule, had for its judges men of great legal learning and character. From John Jay, its first Chief Justice, who was appointed by Washington in 1789, to the present time, it has always been a great court and composed of great jurists. Mr. Garland, the Attorney-General under Mr. Cleveland, in his book of reminiscences says: “It is the anchorand, not to mix metaphors too freely — the safety-valve of our government.” He places the general estimate upon it when he says: “It is a great court, great in its conception, in its make-up and in its jurisdiction.”
By common consent the greatest genius who ever presided over this august tribunal, and made it largely what it was and is, was the immortal Chief Justice whose memory we to-day meet to commemorate. John Marshall is perhaps the most illustrious of all the great judges connected with American jurisprudence. His career was a most remarkable one. Born, as every lawyer knows, at Germantown, Fauquier county, Virginia, September 24, 1755, he died in Philadelphia on the 6th day of July, 1835. Beginning life as an officer in the army,
he served first as lieutenant, then as captain, in the American Revolution, and saw active service at Brandy wine, Monmouth, Stony Point and Germantown, and was with Washington at Valley Forge. But he was destined for
a lawyer and not a soldier; and being admitted to the bar in 1781, after attending lectures under George Wythe, afterwards Chancellor Wythe, at William and Mary College, was soon thereafter chosen to a seat in the legislature of Virginia in 1782, where he remained as an active and leading spirit for some time. Resigning his seat, he resumed the practice of his chosen profession at Richmond, with marked success and ability.
Being tendered the positions of Attorney-General and Minister to France by Washington, he declined both, but afterwards served as special envoy to France in 1798. In 1799 he was elected to Congress, and later served as Secretary of War and of State. His chief glory was achieved while on the Bench as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, to which position he was appointed by President Adams just as the nineteenth century was being ushered in, on the 31st day of January, 1801, and qualified on the 4th day of February one hundred years ago to-day, and for thirty-four years this great man, soldier, lawyer, legislator, minister, diplomat, historian and delegate in the convention of Virginia, met every obligation which devolved upon him to the eminent satisfaction of his friends and the admiration of the entire country. Appointed to the position of Chief Justice in the infancy of our judicial system, when only forty-six years of age, it was his pride and glory to develop it, until it took rank with the first courts of earth. His career as Chief Justice is distinguished for the length of his service and the impartiality and ability with which he presided. His decisions in such cases as Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch, 137; Sturges v. Crowninshield, 4 Wheat. 122; McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316; Dartmouth College v. Wood
ward, 4 Wheat. 518, and Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1240, will forever remain imperishable monuments of his legal wisdom and learning and interpretation of constitutional law. If time permitted it would be interesting to review these celebrated cases, but one extract will suffice to show his reverence for the law and the Constitution.
In the case of Marbury v. Madison, where the President of the United States had issued a commission to a justice of the peace in the District of Columbia, but which was withheld from him, although it had been signed and the great seal of the United States attached, Marshall said: "The very essence of civil liberty certainly consists in the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws whenever he receives an injury. One of the first duties of government is to afford that protection. In Great Britain the king himself is sued in the respectful form of a petition, and he never fails to comply with the judgment of the court. The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws and not of men. It will certainly cease to deserve that appellation if the laws furnish no remedy for the violation of a vested legal right. It is not entirely unworthy of observation, that, in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land, the Constitution itself is first mentioned; and not the laws of the United States generally, but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the Constitution have that rank.”
Naturally of a judicial temperament, he never became a partisan, but adhered strictly to the law as applicable to the case at bar without respect to who the parties or counsel were.