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Government By Injunction

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Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

.Tudge Jackson, of the United States court at Parkerburg, West Virginia, has unrïoubtedly carried the matter of "governnient by injunction" farther than any other judge. In finding certain defendants guilty of contempt of fourt for, as he aileges, disobeying bis very sweeping injunction, the judge s.iys: "It is a mistaken idea to suppose that the courts of this country abuse tbis writ. In my long experience on the bench I cannot recall a single occasion when any court, either federal or state, ever abused it in what is known as strike questions. It is true that our courts have been criticised severely by persons who are ininiica! to the use of it and have denounced the courts for government 'by ihjuncti-on. But this criterion is so obviously unjust to the courts that it is unnecessary to enter into a defense of them." This is a pretty near approach to the idea alwaya held by 'believers in absolute power. ïhe iierson exercising it seldom ever beliéves he is exercising it in any wrongful way. But the world knows different. It has been learned by long and painful experience that such authority in the hands of anv0 person is a dangerous thing. It bas been elaimed in this country that a man charged with crime shall have the right to trial by jury. But the writ of injunction, as used by Judge Jackson, deprives citizens of this right and compels the submission of the case to the arbitrary decisión of a judge who is the agrieved party because his wrlt of injunction has been disobeyed. In nis person is, practicadly, cornbined the complainant, the jury and the judge. Certainly thls is a dangerous proceeding. Within certain limits the injunction is undoubtedly a yery proper and very effective means of aecomplishmg right and just things and that right quickly, but there should be limitations upon its use by the courts. For even though a man be invested with judicial power, it does not follow that he can safely be trnsted with unliinited power in any instance, inuch less in matten in wuich he may assume his dignity to have suffered an affront. Aun Arbor attorneys continue to make light of City Attorney Sawyer'g opinión relatlve lo thc use of tlie bridge, culvert and crosewalk íuiul Ilis opinión and statement that th streets in the flood district sliould t( boarded up are pronounced chiidisli bj otlior attorneys.