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The Supreme Court Commenced A

The Supreme Court Commenced A image
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regular term on Tuesday last with 9.J cases on the Calendar. Ex-Pkesident Gbant, wife, and son paid their respecte to Pope Leo XIII on the JOth uit., being presented by Cardinal McCloskey, of New York. The attention of Supervisors is invited to Act No. 198 of the session laws of 1877 imposing a tax on dogs : $1 for ii male dog and f i for a female dog. The aasessment is to be made on or bofore the lóth day of May. ■--. -■- .- - THOSE Republican journalists who are bowling o doletully about the partisauship of the House in determining contested seats should refer back to the vote of Seniite in giving a seat to Kellogg, of Louisiana, and forever after hold their peace. We DON't believe that tho Demociats of the House won lasting credit by admitting - with tho aid of Ben Butler's vote - Dean 10 the seat held by Field Mere tecbnicalities ought not to weigh against votes, and in the long run sucb partisanship will fail of acoomplishing nuy gooit purpose. Tut: Republicana are jubilant because Judge Blatchford has decided the preliiniiiiiry qucstions in the suit against Field in fnvor of the government : that is that the action of the assessor in levying tax and penalty in the absence of return, nnd the payiuent of suoh assessment and penalty, by Tilden, does not bar suit. The mam issue is to be tried by jury: the sufficiency of the tax, or the real amount of oontested iucouie. Detroit has a total registered vote of over 20,000, yet that city polled less that '2,000 votes on Monday last on the consjjitutional auienduients. This was done at an expense of several thousand dollars: and just to gratify a few leginlative constitution tinkers. Had the amendments been of any special importance the farce would have been of a more serious nature, but none the less a burlesque upon the reserved rights of the people to auiend their organic law. We have a hope - a faint one - that no future Legislature will so stultify itsely as to subiuit a coustitutional amenduient at an off spring election. A GrOVEKNMENT like an individual does a good thing in paying ita debts. But does an individual really, ur in auy sense, pay bis debts when he gives his note t And can the Government at Washington yay itx debts, whethor bondud or iloating, by the issue of a new batch of greenbacks, - mere pro mises to pay. The tact that the greenback note does not fix a tiinu of payment really malcus the debt paet due but unprovided tor instead of paid aud canceled as an honest debt should be. And such is modern greenback fiuanciering. The Constitution of the United Sates impowers Congress " to coix nioney, regúlate the value thereof, and of foreign coin." This in no way authorizes Congress to print treasury notes or prouii8es to pay and make thetn inoney or a legal tender. Congress may also " borrow nioney on the credit of the United States," and by whttt rule of constitutional law, logic, or common sense, can it make the notes it gives for money borro wed a legal tender? And yet the greenback is an evidence of debt - nothing more. Did the world over hear of such a financial fraud as the green-backers propose to perpétrate V Even Chief-Justice Chase, the father of gieonbacks, was compelled to decide ugainst the legitinmey of bis progeny, and it took a packed Supreme Court to stretch the war power so as to cover their issue. There is no war now to give a now issue even the pretenso of legality. The cojístitutionality or unconstitutionality of a new issuo of greenbaeks, or in other words the legality of a new batch of legal-tender notes, is the main point to be decided before Congress can piaster all the dead walls in the country with treasury notes or " prouiises to pay " - prornises worthless in pro portion to their voluuie. With a view to give our readers the uieans of judging as to the legality of a new legal-tender act we quote the following paragraph from a letter to the North American Ileview. The writer, Judge Foot, is one of the most eminent lawyers of Western New York, and his views are certaiuly worth cundid consideration. Ruferring to n article in the Review, Judge Foot saja: " 1 1 t v 1 1 1 ■_■ beon oue ot the counsel employed by tho Seeretury of the Truiisury in June 1803 to sustituí the constitutionality of this ttct ot Congross before our Court of appeuls, in a cuse then pending in thtit Court iuvolviug its constitutionality, the subsequeut decisions of the Supreuie Court of the Ü. S os that subject receiveii special atteutiun trom me. 11 Without pom into a detitiled exumination of those decisions, I venture to state without tear of coutnulictiuu, that the Court decided - " First. Tliat in tune of peace Confiesa has no power to créate auy currency which does not conaist of coin. " Stcomi. That the act fttithorizing the issuo of Liíjíril Tender Notes was valid hb a war mensure, and ouly as such, and if it had been puased ia time of peace would have been uncoustitutional. " These two propoaitions are so clearly held by tho majority of the Court, that there is no room to doubt concerning them or the true meaning of tlie lauguage in which they are uxpresaed. "Guncva, N. Y. March 22, 1878. Sam'l A. Foot. " P. S. It is a senous question whether Cougress can authorize the issue of these Trensury Notos, and thus make them cut roncy in time ot pasee. The better opinión would scom to bo that it caunot. S. A. F." The views expressed by Judge Foot are those which have long and unifornily been expressed by the ablest constitutional lawyers and Democratie statesinen, and by Democratie National and State Couvrnitions without number. Are they now to be rejected that the party m;ty follow the lead of such demagogues and blatherskite aa Brick Poiueroy, Blunton Duncan.Toni Ewing, or othi-r leaders of the soft-tnoney ernze 'i It will be in evil day for the Democratie party when it shall break loose from its coustitutional moorings and make a paper god as its idol.


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Michigan Argus