網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

citizen, in violation of the allegiance which binds him to the state. Other crimes assail the property or person of an individual, or a single public interest; but treason assails the state itself, and seeks to overthrow the government. The Constitution defines treason as consisting only in levying war against the United States, or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. For the conviction of a person accused of treason there is required the testimony of at least two witnesses to the same overt act, or a confession in open court (R 1). Congress has the power to make laws determining the punishment to be imposed for the crime of treason (R2). But the person who commits the treason must alone be punished; the relatives suffer no punishment, nor can their property be taken from them. The English common law made the sentence of death for treason affect the blood of the traitor. He could not transmit property to his heirs, and his estate was forfeited. Congress has passed a law that no conviction or judgment shall work corruption of blood, or any forfeiture of estate. There is therefore no forfeiture, even during the life of the person attainted.

The Commerce Court.-See page 402.

QUESTIONS

Give a sketch of the organization of the Federal judiciary. Wherein is the Supreme Court the most original American institution?

How is the independence of the Federal Judiciary secured? Why is such independence important?

Explain the Judiciary system. Name the four grades of Federal Courts, and tell what judges sit in these courts.

Enumerate the kinds of cases which are tried in Federal Courts.
How are disputes between the State and Federal governments settled ?
What is meant by the term jurisdiction? By original jurisdiction?

By concurrent jurisdiction? How is the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts determined?

When and where does the Supreme Court of the United States meet? Where does the Supreme Court of the State meet?

What is the tenure of office of judges of the United States Courts?

What other officers besides the judges are connected with the United States Courts? What are their duties? How are they chosen?

In what cases has the District Court jurisdiction?. The Circuit Court of Appeals? The Supreme Court?

In what relation does the Supreme Court stand to the people?

In which of the Federal circuits do you reside? Where does the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for this State meet?

What is the function of the Court of Customs Appeals? What is the nature of its jurisdiction. How many judges constitute this court?

Describe the function and jurisdiction of the Federal District Courts. How many districts in this State? How many districts in the United States?

How many judges are there in the Federal District Courts of the United States? Where are the sessions of these courts held in Pennsylvania? What is the nature of their jurisdiction?

Discuss the courts of the District of Columbia, and the Territorial courts.

What is the function of the Court of Claims? Of the Commerce Court?

What are consular courts? What jurisdiction do such courts have? What are courts-martial? What is the jurisdiction of such courts?

What does the Constitution of the United States provide in regard to jury trial?

Define treason. What is the meaning of the term corruption of blood? What questions arose during the trial of Aaron Burr for treason? Was Jefferson Davis ever tried for treason?

If a person should rob the mail, in what court would he be tried? If a sailor should steal from a passenger, when out on the ocean, in what court would he be tried?

Have you any knowledge of any case in which one State sued another?

Discuss the question: “Resolved, that all judicial officers should be appointed, and for life.”

CHAPTER XXXI

RELATIONS OF THE STATES

State Records.—The acts, records, and judicial proceedings of any State are respected in every other State so far as they can have application (S). Without this provision, a person against whom a judgment had been obtained might remove his property into another State, where the same could not be taken on execution without a new trial and judgment. A marriage or divorce in one State is a marriage or divorce in every other State, although neither marriage laws nor divorce laws are uniform.

Privileges of Citizens.—The citizens of each State are entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States. No State can make any law that shall grant a certain right to some citizens and deny the same right to others under the same conditions. A State may, however, prescribe a certain term of residence therein as a condition for voting at elections (T 1).

Fugitives from Justice: Extradition.—A person charged with crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, can be brought back for trial by means of a requisition. This is a written demand made by the Governor of the State from which the person has fled to the Governor of the State in which he is found, requiring the delivery of the prisoner to the proper officers, in order that he may be brought back for trial. The Constitution makes extradition between

Am. Cit.—21

[ocr errors]

the individual States a duty (T2). The Supreme Court of the United States has held that when the demand is made in due form, it is the duty of the Governor on whom the demand is made, to respond to it, and he has no moral right to refuse. Nevertheless, the Governors of States have often refused compliance, when substantial justice did not seem to require it. No power has been conferred upon United States Courts to compel compliance.

The power to surrender persons who have committed offenses in a foreign country, and have fled to one of the States, belongs exclusively to the United States. In general the request for extradition, and the surrender of the person, are acts of high authority, and are made in a formal diplomatic way. Treaties have been made with all the important countries of the world, governing the question of extradition; but generally only the more serious crimes, amounting to felony at common law, are extraditable. Most countries refuse to surrender persons charged with political crimes. In general the surrender of a criminal is made only with the understanding that he is to be tried for the crime mentioned in the extradition papers, and for no other.

The class of persons to whom the third clause of the second section of Article IV applies (T3) no longer exists, and it has become inoperative. The clause was really intended for the benefit of the slave-holding States. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was passed under the authority of this clause. The operation of this law caused great indignation in the Northern States where freedom was believed to be the natural right of all men. Since any citizen was required by law to assist in catching and returning runaway slaves, if called upon to do so, the spectacle of a hunted fugitive sent back to lifelong captivity for no crime except that of being a black slave, brought home to the people the actual conditions of slavery. Under the fugitive slave laws of 1793 and 1850, a free negro who was suspected of being a fugitive could be arrested and his case decided without any chance for the cross-examination of witnesses. In several instances free men, on false testimony, were thus delivered to claimants and sent into slavery. Such acts, in a time of storm and stress, brought on the Civil War.

Territories: New States.—As the National domain was gradually settled, it was divided into portions of various sizes, called Territories, and governed under laws enacted by Congress. First, they were given governors and judges by the President; then, as the population increased, they were given legislatures, chosen by their own people, with the power to make laws subject to the approval of Congress. Finally, when the population warranted the act, most of them have been admitted to the Union upon complete equality with the original thirteen States. The great National domain has thus been a seed bed for the growth and development of new States. Congress has power to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory and other property of the United States (U2). In the erection of commonwealths, mistakes have been made by Congress. These should not be repeated. Extreme care should be exercised in the irrevocable step of State-making, nor would it be improper to establish a progressively higher standard of admission.

The Constitution provides that no new State shall be formed by the division of any State, nor by the junction of two or more States or parts of States, without the consent of Congress and the legislatures of the States concerned (U 1). The State of West Virginia was admitted during the Civil

« 上一頁繼續 »