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not object, for he says he will obey it until it is reversed. Somebody has to reverse that decision, since it is made; and we mean to reverse it, and we mean to do it peaceably.
What are the uses of decisions of courts? They have two uses.
As rules of property they have two uses. First - they decide upon the question before the court. They decide in this case that Dred Scott is a slave. Nobody resists that. Not only that, but they say to everybody else that persons standing just as Dred Scott stands are as he is. That is, they say that when a question comes up upon another person, it will be so decided again, unless the court decides in another way, unless the court overrules its decision. Well, we mean to do what we can to have the court decide
the other way. That is one thing we mean to try to do.
The sacredness that Judge Douglas throws around this decision is a degree of sacredness that has never been before thrown around any other decision. I have never heard of such a thing. Why, decisions apparently contrary to that decision, or that good lawyers thought were contrary to that decision, have been made by that very court before. It is the first of its kind; it is an astonisher in legal history. It is a new wonder of the world. It is based upon falsehood in the main as to the facts-allegations of facts upon which it stands are not facts at all in many instances; and no decision made on any questionthe first instance of a decision made under so many unfavorable circumstances thus
placed has ever been held by the profession as law, and it has always needed confirmation before the lawyers regarded it as settled law.
But Judge Douglas will have it that all hands must take this extraordinary decision, made under these extraordinary circumstances, and give their vote in Congress in accordance with it, yield to it and obey it in every possible sense. Circumstances alter cases. Do not gentlemen here remember the case of that same Supreme Court, some twenty-five or thirty years ago, deciding that a national bank was constitutional? I ask if somebody does not remember that a national bank was declared to be constitutional? Such is the truth, whether it be remembered or not. The bank charter ran out, and
granted by Congress. That recharter was laid before General Jackson. It was urged upon him, when he denied the constitutionality of the bank, that the Supreme Court had decided that it was constitutional; and General Jackson then said that the Supreme Court had no right to lay down a rule to govern a coördinate branch of the government, the members of which had sworn to support the Constitution—that each member had sworn to support that Constitution as he understood it. I will venture here to say that I have heard Judge Douglas say that he approved of General Jackson for that act. What has now become of all his tirade against “resistance to the Supreme Court”?
REPEAL OF THE MISSOURI
From Lincoln's reply to Douglas in the joint debate at Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858.
The judge has gone over a long account of the Old Whig and Democratic parties, and it connects itself with this charge against Trumbull and myself.
He says that they agreed upon a compromise in regard to the slavery question in 1850; that in a national Democratic convention resolutions passed to abide by that compromise as a finality upon the slavery question. He also says that the Whig party in national convention agreed to abide by