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March 1, 1797 -“An Act to alter and amend an act, entitled, An Act to ascer tain and fix the military establishment of the United States."
3. Returned to the House of Representatives, by JAMES Madison, February 21, 1811-“ An Act for incorporating the Protestant Episcopal Church in the town of Alexandria, in the District of Columbia."
4. Returned to the House of Representatives, by JAMES Madison, February 28, 1811—“An Act for the relief of Richard Tervin, William Coleman, Edwin Lewis, Samuel Mims, Joseph Wilson, and the Baptist Church at Salem meeting-house, in the Mississippi territory.”
5. Returned to the House of Representatives, by James Madison, April 3, 1812—"An Act providing for the trial of causes pending in the respective District Courts of the United States, in case of the absence or disability of the judges thereof."
6. Bill not approved, nor returned with objections, for want of time; retained, and notice thereof sent to Congress, by JAMES Madison, November 5, 1812 “An Act supplementary to the acts heretofore passed on the subject of a uniform rule of naturalization."
7. Returned to the Senate, by James Madison, January 30, 1815 — "An Act to incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States of America."
8. Returned to the House of Representatives, by JAMES Madison, March 3, 1817 — “An Act to set apart and pledge certain funds for internal improvement."
9. Returned to the House of Representatives, by JAMES Monroe, May 4, 1822 — " An Act for the preservation and repair of the Cumberland road.”
10. Returned to the House of Representatives, by ANDREW JACKSON, May 27, 1830 — " An Act authorizing a subscription of stock in the Maysville, Washiington, Paris, and Lexington Turnpike Road Company."
11. Returned to the Senate, by ANDREW Jackson, May 31, 1830 — “An Act authorizing a subscription of stock in the Washington Turnpike Road Company."
12. Returned to the Senate, by ANDREW JACKSON, July 10, 1832—“An Act to incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States."
13. Returned to the Senate, by ANDREW Jackson, December 6, 1832 “An Act providing for the final settlement of the claims of states for interests on advances to the United States, made during the last war."
14. Returned to the House of Representatives, by ANDREW Jackson, December 6, 1832 — " An Act for the improvement of certain harbors, and the navigation of certain rivers."
15. Bill not approved, nor returned with objections, for want of time; retained, and notice sent to the Senate, by ANDREW JACKSON, December 5, 1833— “An Act to appropriate, for a limited time, the proceeds of the sales of the public lands of the United States, and for granting lands to certain states."
16. Returned to the Senate, by ANDREW Jackson, March 3, 1835 — “An Act to authorize the secretary of the treasury to compromise the claims allowed by the commissioners under the treaty with the king of the Two Sicilies, concluded October 14, 1832."
17. Bill not approved, nor returned with objections, for want of time; retained, and notice thereof sent to Congress, by ANDREW JACKSON, December 2, 1834 — “ An Act to improve the navigation of the Wabash River.”
18. Returned to the Senate, by ANDREW Jackson, June 10, 1836 — " An Act to appoint a day for the annual meeting of Congress."
19. Returned to the Senate, by John TYLER, August 16, 1841 – "An Act to incorporate the subscribers to the Fiscal Bank of the United States."
20. Returned to the House of Representatives, by John TYLER, September 9, 1841 - "An Act to provide for the better collection, safe keeping, and disbursement, of the public revenue, by means of a corporation, to be styled the • Fiscal Corporation of the United States.""
2i. Returned to the House of Representatives, by JOHN TYLER, June 29, 1842_"An Act to extend, for a limited period, the present laws for laying and collecting duties on imports ;” (containing a proviso about distribution of proceeds of lands.) 22. Returned to the House of Representatives, by JOHN TYLER, August 9,
VOL. IV. 79 53
3. It is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution to divest one citizen of his right, and vest it in another, without full compensation; and if the legislature may do so, upon full indemnification, it cannot of itself constitutionally determine upon the amount of the compensation. Ibid.
4. The constitution of England is at the mercy of Parliament. Every act of Parliament is transcendent, and must be obeyed. Ibid. 308.
5. In America, the case is widely different. Every state of the Union has its constitution, reduced to written exactitude. A constitution is the form of gorernment delineated by the mighty band of the people, in which certain first principles of fundamental law are established. The Constitution is certain and fixed; it contains the permanent will of the people, and is the supreme law of the land; it is paramount to the power of the legislature, and can be revoked or altered only by the power that made it. The life-giving principle and the death-dealing stroke must proceed from the same hand. The legislatures are creatures of the Constitution ; they owe their existence to the Constitution; they derive their powers from the Constitution. It is their commission, and
therefore all their acts must be conformable to it, or else they will be void. The Constitution is the work or will of the people themselves, in their original, sovereign, and unlimited capacity. Law is the work or will of the legislature, in their derivative and subordinate capacity. The one is the work of the creator, and the other of the creature. The Constitution fixes limits to the exercise of the legislative authority, and prescribes the orbit in which it must move. Whatever may be the case in other countries, yet in this there can be no doubt that every act of the legislature repugnant to the Constitution is absolutely void. Ibid.
6. The right of trial by jury is a fundamental law, made sacred by the Constitution, and cannot be legislated away. Ibid. 309.
7. Whether the individual states have concurrent authority with the United States to pass vaturalization laws, quære? United States v. Villatto, 2 Dall. 370.
See ante, No. 1.
8. Congress cannot by law assign the judicial department any duties but such as are of a judicial character; e. g., appointing the judges of the Circuit Court to receive and determine upon claims of persons to be placed on the pension list. Hayburn's Case, 2 Dall
. 409. 9. A tax on carriages is not a direct tax, within the meaning of the Constitution ; and the act of Congress of 5th June, 1794, ch. 219, (2 Bior. 414,) laying a tax on carriages, was constitutional and valid. Hylton v. United States, 3 Dall. 171.
10. A treaty, under the 6th article, sect. 2, of the Constitution, being the supreme law of the land, the treaty of peace, in 1783, operates as a repeal of all state laws, previously created, inconsistent with its provisions. Ware, Adm'r. v. Hylton, 3 Dall. 199.
11. The prohibition, in the Federal Constitution, of er post facto laws, extends to penal statutes only, and does not extend to cases affecting only the civil rights of individuals. Calder et Ux. v. Bull et Ur., 3 Dall. 386.
12. A resolution or law of the legislature of Connecticut, setting aside a decree of a court, and granting a new trial, to be had before the same court, is not void, under the Constitution, as an er post facto law. Ibid.
13. It is a self-evident proposition that the several state legislatures retain all the powers of legislation delegated to them by the state constitutions, which are vot expressly taken away by the Constitution of the United States. Per CHASE, J. Ibid.
14. A law that punishes a citizen for an innocent action, or, in other words, for an act which, when done, was in violation of no existing law; a law that destroys or impairs the lawful private contracts of citizens; a law that makes a man judge in his own canse; or a law that takes property from A, and gives it to B, is contrary to the great first principles of the social compact, and catnot be considered as a rightful exercise of legislative authority. The genius, the nature, the spirit of our state governments amount to a prohibition of such acts of legislation, and the general principles of law and reason forbid them. Per CHASE, J. lbid.
15. The words and intent of the probibition embrace, 1st, every law that makes an action done before the framing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal, and punishes such action ; 2d, every law that aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was wben committed ; 3d, every law that changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime when committed ; 4th, every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less or different testimony than the law required at the time of the commission of the offence, in order to convict the offender. Per Chase, J. Ibid.
16. If any act of Congress, or of the legislature of a state, violates the constitutional provisions, it is unquestionably void. If on the other hand, the legis'lature of the Union, or the legislature of any member of the Union, shall pass a law within the general scope of their constitutional power, the court cannot pronounce it to be void, merely because it is, in their judgment, contrary to the principles of natural justice. If the legislature pursue the authority delegated to them, their acts are valid ; if they transgress the boundaries of that authority, their acts are invalid. Per ÍREDELL, J. Ibid.
17. An act of a state legislature, banishing the person and confiscating the property of certain individuals therein named as traitors, passed before the establishment of the Federal Constitution, is not void. Cooper v. Tefair, 4 Dall. 14.
18. The words of the Constitution, declaring that "the judicial power shall extend to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction," must be taken to refer to the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of England. United States v. M'Gill, 4 Dall. 426, 429.
19. The Constitution, art. 2, sect. 2, 3, with regard to the appointment and commissioning of officers by the President, seems to contemplate three distinct operations - 1. The nonination: this is the sole act of the President, and is completely voluntary. 2. The appointment: this is also the act of the President, though it can only be performed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. 3. The commission : to grant a commission to a person appointed, might perhaps be deemed a duty enjoined by the Constitution. Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch, 137, 155.
20. The acts of appointing to office, and commissioning the person appointed, are distinct acts. Ibid. 156.
21. The Constitution contemplates cases where the law may direct the President to commission an officer appointed by the courts, or by the heads of departments. In such a case, to issue a commission would be apparently a duiy distinct from the appointment, the performance of which, perhaps, could not be legally refused. lbid.
22. Where the officer is not removable at the will of the executive, the appointment is not revocable, and cannot be annulled; it has conferred legal rights which cannot be resumed. Ibid. 162.
23. The question whether the legality of the act of the heads of departments be examinable in a court of justice, or not, must always depend on the nature of that act. Ibid. 165. Where the heads of departments are the political or confidential agents of the executive, merely to execute the will of the President, or rather to act on cases in which the executive possesses a confidential or legal discretion, nothing can be more perfectly clear than that their acts are only politically examinable. But where a specific duty is assigned by law, and iudividual rights depend on the performance of that duty, it seems equally clear that the individual who considers himself injured has a right to resort to the laws of his country for a remedy. Ibid.
24. Where the head of a department acts in a case in which executive discretion is to be exercised, in which he is the mere organ of executive will, any application to a court to control, in any respect, his conduct, would be rejected without hesitation. But where he is directed by law to do a certain act affecting the absolute rights of individuals, in the performance of which he is not placed under the particular direction of the President, and the performance of which the President cannot lawfully forbid, and therefore is never presumed to have forbidden, -as, for example, to record a commission, or a patent for land, which has received all the legal solemnities, or to give a copy of such record,-- in such cases, the courts of the country are no further excused from the duty of giving judgment that right be done to an injured individual, than if the same services were performed by a person not at the head of a department. Ibid. 171.
25. The authority given to the Supreme Court, by the act establishing the judicial courts of the United States, to issue writs of mandamus to public officers, is not warranted by the Constitution. Ibid. 176.
26. An act of Congress repugnant to the Constitution cannot become the law of the land. Ibid. 176, 177, 180.
27. An act of Congress cannot invest the Supreme Court with an authority not warranted by the Constitution. Ibid. 175, 176.
28. A contemporary exposition of the Constitution, practised and acquiesced under for a period of years, fixes the construction, and the Court will not shake or control it Stuart v. Laird, 1 Cranch, 299.
29. An act of Congress giving to the United States a preference over all other creditors, in all cases, is constitutional and valid. United States v. Fisher et A. 2 Cranch, 358, 395.
30. Such preference exists in a case where no suit has been instituted; as, upon an assignment by a bankrupt, the United States must be first paid. Toid.
31. The legislature of a state cannot annul the judgment, or determine the jurisdiction, of the courts of the United States. United States v. Peters, 5 Cranch, 115.
32. In an action of ejectment between two citizens of the state where the lands lie, if the defendant set up an outstanding title in a British subject, which he contends is protected by treaty, and that therefore the title is out of the plaintiff, and the highest state court decides against the title thus set up, it is not a case in which a writ of error lies to the Supreme Court of the United States, Owing v. Norwood's Lessee, 5 Cranch, 344.
33. This is not a case arising under the treaty, and the words of the judiciary act must be restrained by those of the Constitution. Ibid.
31. Whenever a right grows out of, or is protected by, a treaty, it is sanca tioned against all the laws and judicial decisions of the states; and whoever may have this right, it is protected. But if the person's title is not affected by the treaty, if he claims nothing under the treaty, his title cannot be protected by the treaty. Ibid. 348.
35. If a title be derived from a legislative act, which the legislature might constitutionally pass, if the act be clothed with all the requisite forms of law, a court sitting as a court of law cannot sustain a suit by one individual against another, founded on the allegation that the act is a nullity in consequence of the impure motives which influenced certain members of the legislature which passed the act. Fletcher v. Peck, 6 Cranch, 87, 131.
36. One legislature, so far as respects general legislation, is competent to repeal any act which a former legislature was competent to pass; and one legislature cannot abridge the powers of a succeeding legislature. But if an act be done under a law, a succeeding legislature cannot undo it
. Ibid. 135. 37. When a law is, in its nature, a contract, and absolute rights have vested under that contract, a repeal of the law cannot divest those rights. Ibid.
38. It may well be doubted whether the nature of society and government does not prescribe some limits to the legislative power; and if any be prescribed, where are they to be found, if the property of an individual, fairly and honestly acquired, may be seized without compensation? lbid.
39. The question whether a law be void for its repugnancy to the Constitution, is a question which ought seldom, if ever, to be decided in the uffirmative in a doubtful case. The opposition between the Constitution and the law should be such that the judge feels a clear and strong conviction of their incompatibility with each other. Ibid. 128.
40. Where an estate has passed, under a legislative grant, into the hands of a purchaser for a valuable consideration, without notice, the state is restrained, either by general principles which are common to our free institutions, or by the particular provisions of the Constitution of the United States, from passing a law whereby the estate so purchased can be impaired and invalidated. Ibid. 139.
41. The appellate powers of the Supreme Court are given by the Constitution; but they are limited and regulated by the judiciary act and other acts of Congress, Durousseau v. United States, 6 Cranch, 307.
42. An act of the legislature, declaring that certain lands which should be purchased for the Indians should not thereafter be subject to any tax, constituted a contract, which could not be rescinded by a subseqnent legislative act; such repealing act being void under that clause of the Constitution of the United States which prohibits a state from pussing any law impairing the obligation of contracts. New Jersey v. Wilson, 7 Cranch, 164.
43. In expounding the Constitution of the United States, a construction ought not lightly to be admitted wbich would give to a declaration of war an effect in this country it does not possess elsewhere, and wbich would fetter that exercise of entire discretion respecting enemy's property, which may enable the government to apply to the enemy the rule that he applies to 118. Brown v. United States, 8 Cranch, 110.
44. The power of making“ rules concerning captures on land and water,"