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The Enforcement Law Again

The Enforcement Law Again image
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Mr. Morton has introdiiced a new Eníorcement law, designed to repair the defecte pointed out by the Supreme court in the statute of May 31, 1870, aud it will pvobably soon come up for actiou in the Senate. Whatever its fate muy be in that brauch of Congress, there is uo probability of its passing the House, and for the present, if not forever, the écheme of the Federal interference with State eleetions is effectually blocked. We bave not vet seen the full text of Mr. Morton's amendment, but from the telegraphie summary of it printed it appears to be ideatieal in spirit with the original statute, and framed merely to avoid - we might perhaps say evade - the particular points which the court has distinetly declared uncoustitntional by its decisión in the Kontucky case. It will be well for Mr. Morton and the school of bloody-shirt statesmen whom he leads, to consider with some caro the parallel judgment of the Snpreme court in tho Grant parish case before thoy try te tinker this law any further. As the decisión in that case 'was given upon latal defects in the indictrnent it wís not necessary for the judgos to pass upon the constitutionality of the statuto, but they laid down princvples which must destroy a great deal of what remains of it it whenever it is brought to the test. The Constitutional arnendnients, according to tlie court, have not conferred upon any one the right of suffrage; they have only forbidden the States to abridge it by difcriminations on account of color. Congi'oss hasauthority, therefore, to inhibit State legislation contrary to these amendments, but when it comes to the proteetion of one citizen against the wrongful acts of another it is the State and not the Unitod States which most act. "The équality of the rights of citizsns," says the court, "is a principie of republicanism. Every republican government is in duty boiind to protect all its citizens iu the enjoyment of this principie if within its power. That duty was oiiginally aasumed by the States, and it still remains there. The only obligation rosting upon the United States is to see that the States do not deny the right. This the araendment guarantees, but no more. The power of the National Government is limiten to the enforcemeut of this guarantee." Everybody knowd how much mischief has b(e'n done by diverting the federal Government from its proper functions, giving it ordinai'y pólice supervisión over local eleetions, and even putting upon it the task of keeping tho peace. Mr. Morton may as well drop his attempt to continue the abuse. The Snpreme court has servod notice upon him to quit.-


Old News
Michigan Argus