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JOHN H. HAMLINE.
Court. Opportunity for oral argument and for a determination of each case by the full bench was intended to be afforded by the act. But the act would be vain unless the Court shall adopt rules which will carry out the spirit and intent of the law. It would seem that any set of rules which does not provide for a daily call of a limited number of cases, and fails to require the attendance of the judges at Springfield for at least five days of each week of every term, must fail of securing the reform anticipated by this act.
Objection was made to the act that it would require the judges to spend most of their time together at Springfield, and that the cost of living was higher at Springfield than at their homes. To meet this objection, a bill was passed increasing the salaries of the judges to $7,000 per annum. There is therefore no good reason why the members of this Court should not work together at Springfield. In view of the importance of this subject, the Executive Committee of this Association has appointed a competent committee to suggest in a tentative way an outline of rules which it is thought may secure the end desired. Discussion of its report will be had at this meeting and the recommendations of this body will be presented to the Court.
The Legislature having located our Supreme Court at one place, and provided its members with salaries sufficient to meet the additional expense required to make a second home at Springfield, it would seem not inappropriate for this Association to suggest to the Court that its members adopt the insignia of their office—the judicial robe. Ours is an elective judiciary. A judiciary that springs from the people; a judiciary that is strictly accountable to the people for its actions; a judiciary which, if corrupt, the people may depose; which, if tyrannical, the people may destroy. A judiciary which at appropriate but prolonged intervals, must present its record to the people for their inspection, but a judiciary, the members of which may quite
PRESIDENT'S ANNUAL ADDRESS.
safely rely upon retaining their judicial offices so long as they do conscientious work and leave politics alone.
I will venture to say that none of you ever entered the Palace of Justice in Paris, the Westminster Hall in London, or the Chamber of the Supreme Court of the United States at Washington, without yielding-insensibly, perhaps, to the feeling that the judicial gown was appropriate to such a place; without recognizing that appropriate judicial attire did direct the mind of the observer to the fact that the men before him were an elect body and one engaged in a different service, a nobler calling, than that of the majority of their fellow men.
If such reflections are inspired in you who are accustomed to school your feelings and emotions, how much stronger must the impression be upon the mass of the people; and if such be the impression, then it would seem that the judicial office must be dignified by the wearing of the robe.
It is fitting that those who administer justice for the people should surround their office with such attributes as may dignify it, such circumstances as may at all times call the attention of the beholder to the high calling in which they are engaged-the highest known to man—that of doing equal and exact justice between man and man. From the days of Solomon the robe has been the vestment of the judge. As well make the army of this republic march without its banners as to deny to its courts the robe of office. The flag does not fight, the robe does not pronounce decisions, but both appeal, and in like manner, to the sentiment of the people. The flag expresses the militant patriotism of the re. public; the robe says to the observer, “At this shrine justice is enthroned and justice will be done though the heavens fall."
Gentlemen of this Association, this reform is the work of this Association; while other organizations have helped it along, while the press has been its staunch supporter, while many public spirited legislators have seconded our
JOHN H. HAMLINE.
efforts, this Association started the movement, drafted the law, put it in the hands of competent and influential legislators, secured the co-operation of the other bodies, supplied the data, furnished the arguments, dictated the editorials in the metropolitan press, and saw that copies thereof were sent to the local journals throughout the State. In short, achieved the reform. While every lawyer can not be a jurist like Marshall or Mansfield; a statesman like Brougham or Trumbull; aye, can not discharge the debt, which Lord Bacon says every lawyer owes to his profession by writing a book; the events of the past year show that by co-operating together under the flag of our Association, the lawyers of this State may, when they will, enable their fellow citizens "to obtain right and justice freely and without being obliged to purchase it, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay, conformably to the laws.” And this, after all, is the true function of the lawyer. May I not hope that the consolidation of the Supreme Court will prove to be the forerunner of a long line of reforms in the law to be conceived and carried out by the Illinois State Bar Association.
THE END OF THE LAW.
ROBERT E. HAMILL, OF SPRINGFIELD.
As I look into the faces of this company of gentlemen who have through many years pursued the law, I can almost read the history of its hardships, its sacrifices and its triumphs. I come to speak of no new subject. I only stop to ask: What does it all mean? What is the grand aim of the law? What good has been or will be accomplished by these unnumbered volumes which have been written and by that greater volume which never has been written? Why these unsearchable records and this constantly increasing paraphernalia of the law and to what end have the lives and energies of men of towering intellect, great heart and God-given genius been devoted?
I ask you to think of the past—to go back for a moment over the old contests which led up to your present estateto recall the legal giants whose works have shed lustre upon the law and illumined your minds—to weave into picture the events and associations of your own professional career, and then answer me: What is the end of the law?
At first you hesitate--you think of the individual motives of men—the view seems an irregular, barren coast, with here and there the remnant of a wreck. Yonder the rocks, immovable, rough, unapproachable—here the low marsh—the swamp—there the sand stretches away. It is the darkness
ROBERT E. HAMILL.
of night and the indescribable storm envelops you. But over it all comes the inspiring dawn. The sea is still again. The white caps dance upon the blue. The rising sun has awakened and glorified the scene.
A lawyer; and in the use of this term let it be understood in the higher sense—one, who possesses a soul that loves the law; one, who has caught a glimpse of the eternal fitness of things; one, who comprehends the mission of his profession; one, who appreciates the order and symmetrical beauty of nature and has communed with that same Invisible Being who by His perfect laws renews the face of the earth and regenerates and inspires the spirits of men—such a lawyer answers instantly-involuntarily, as the expression of a sublime purpose-Yes: the end is the administration of justice among men.
We look out upon the mountains in the distance. The ethereal blue overhangs them. The spirit of the mists enshrouds them—the angular nakedness of their uplifted forms is veiled in the silken folds of a visible, yet indescribable covering beauty. We turn away with a new conception of crea: tion. So, too, we look out upon the mountains of the law. Above and beyond we see the blue field of promise; and overshadowing it as a drapery which conceals all defects-all unsightliness—all error--we behold the visible, yet intangible mantle of eternal justice. We turn away with new concep tion of the law. Its real sources are as the waters—out of nature-and its purpose to wash and adorn man and to cool his fitful fevers into repose.
We come then to think of the agencies of the administration of justice. We get away from the poetic to the practical. At once to the mind of the lawyer comes the suggestion that agencies are legislative, executive, judicial, to which may be added the great throng "bringing up the read of this bright host”—the common lawyers.
Legislative: Thank God there have been and still are men in our legislative bodies whose noble souls would burst