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The Civil Rights Law

The Civil Rights Law image
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The charge of Judge Ernmona, of tho United States Circuit Oourt, fco the grand i jury at Memphia, in relation to Mie Oivi] llights bill, will not fail fco attract the attention of tho country. Judge Kmmons is not n Boutliorn man. He has lived all lus lifc in Michigan; and, in tho selection of eminent lawyers to be Circuit Judges under the act of 1871, he was ; appoiöted because of his high standing i and leamtBgM a lawyer. He has nevor been a Democrat; was originallyaWhig; and has been ii Repuhhcan Binoo tho party wa-s cstab 'ished - moro than Ewonty years ago. Ilis circuit ineludes the States of Miohigan, Ohio, Kentueky, ukI Tennessee. Tlio Civil Righta liill makos it a penal and indictabl offonse for any District Aftorney to fail to prosecute crimipallj any violation of the law, and the grand jury asked the direction of the oourt apon this point. Judge EmmoBs therepon delivered his charge, in which ho declarea that ti donial to thé uogro 4' thefulland cqiinl oujoyment of ie; i modations, advantagos, facilities, and privileges, at theaters umi inna in Tenuessee, is notan offense over wMch Oon gress can give the United States courta jurisdioÜon - that it is a matter within tíio oxelusive control of the State, lío said that, until the three recent amendmontsto the, Constitution, the pnnish ment of murder, arson, assault' and bai I-tv, frauda, injuries to reputation, pb stnictkm td right of attending ehurch, schools, theaters, and forcing tho right of being aooommodated in innfl and by common, carriers within the State, Avere matters not only granted t" tho general government, but in the Constitution il iolf ezpressly reserved to the States. The vast inass of ('ivil and politica] rights rested ontiroly under State proteciaon. To 1 1 1 i m trüisiii there was universal assenl then and is uow. Have the three amendments so rcvolutionized the oharacter of the governmont aa to give to Congress the power of regulating the theatres and j other places of amusement in Memphis and other cities of the Union? The Judge, af ter a oareful examination of tlie three amcndnients, reaches the oonolusion that they havo in no wie changed the previous exclusive authority of the !-íite (.ver ül sucli matters. It will be nèticed that in Lis argument i Judge Emmons iakes substantially the j same legal objections to the law that were urged in the Sonate by Senator Carpenter, of WisconKin. This opinión of the oourt as to the unconstitutionality of the Civil Kights law is conclusivo as to ny criminal prosecntions under that law in Tennosaea. The Judge, howcver, invited all persons feeling themselves aggrieved under tho law to bring their civil actions in the court, so that the question might be carried to theSupreme Court of the United States for review nud


Old News
Michigan Argus