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Pacific Mutual Inc. Co. v. Meldrim (Ga.), Ac State Public U. Com. v. City of Quincy (I11.),
Right of Public Service Company to be Re-
People v. Shwartz (Cal.), Appropriating Money
sary to Protect the Promisee, R. D. 262.
Stroud v. United States (U. S. S. C.), May a
Defendant Raise the Defense of Former
Jeopardy to a Verdict Imposing a Severer
Punishment Than on a Previous Trial for
the Same Offense, R. D. 20.
Stuart v. Clements (Ky.), Landlord and Ten-
ant-Property in Manure, ann. case, 177.
Sullivan v. City of Shreveport (U. S. S. C.).
His Own Mistake, R. D. 298.
Sutleff V. Sweetwater Co. (Cal.), Liability of
the Owner of a Reservoir for Breaking Out
Roy v. Kern (Mich.), Duty Owed to Invited
Thomson Machine Co. v. Brown (N. J.), Injunc-
tions Against Illegal Acts of Striking Union
Rubinson v. Rubinson (N. Y.), Annulling a Mar- | Travis v. Yale & Towne Mfg. Co. (U. S. S. C.).
Limitations on Power of a State to Tax In-
comes of Non-Residents, Ed. 277.
Tullock et al. v. Connecticut Co. (Conn.), Neg-
ligence--Last Clear Chance, ann. case, 270.
United States of America v. United States Steel
Corporation (U. S. S. C.), Are Monopolies
Illegal Unless Accompanied by an Abuse
of the Power Conferred by the Combina-
riched Thereby, R. D. 150.
United States v. Rockefeller (U. S. D. C.), Valid-
ity of the Migratory Bird Treaty, Ed. 19.
Right of Manufacturer to Bind Retailer to
Observe Retail Prices by Contracts, R. D.
Residents, Ed. 277, 439.
Waldron v. The Director General (U. S. C. C.
A.), Work for the Judicial Section to do,
Urging Them to Reach a Result, R. D. 95.
of Phrase "Arising Out of the Employment"
S. S. C.), Right to Use Evidence Gained Superinduced by Natural Causes, Ed. 55.
Washburn v. Gillespie (U. S. C. C. A.), Validity
of Provision for Surrender by Lessee in Oil
Affected by the Fact that Accused Was Suf-
His Recovery, R. D. 187.
Wine v. United States (U. S. C. C. A.), Element
where there was no other effective remedy.
The demand of the labor unions that they ST. LOUIS, MO., JANUARY 2, 1920.
shall be exempt from the compulsion of
such a writ while all other persons shall THE CHIEF ISSUE FOR 1920—THE
remain subject to it is presumptuous in the SUPREMACY OF LAW.
extreme. A labor union can easily become as dangerous as a monopoly ever was, and
the law cannot afford to dispense with its When Judge Anderson of Indiana re only effective remedy to deal with a situacently sentenced the president of the Kan tion which may threaten not only the rights sas Coal Miners' Union for contempt for of individual citizens but the very life of the not calling off a strike as he had been com nation itself. manded to do, he declared that it had be
But whether there should or should not come important in these days to determine
be restrictions placed upon the power of whether any organization or any class of
the court to issue the writ of injunction, citizens are above the law.
the duty of every citizen is to respect the We have no intention to discuss the mer law and the order of the court enforcing the its of the particular case; we wish merely
law until the law is changed. Any citizen to use it, and the remark of Judge Ander who declares there are some laws that he son, to call attention to what we regard as will not respect, or that there are some offithe most serious phase of the present cers of the law whose authority he will not unrest.
recognize, is not a good citizen and should No forward-looking citizen is alarmed
be promptly put in the category of enemies at the multitude of proposals to change the
to society. law, no matter how radical or fantastical
Let us be careful to put our finger on such proposals may be, for so long as citi the real danger spot. It is not in Socialism zens are content to achieve the realization | nor any other platform for the reforms of of their dreams through the normal proc society or government. It is not in attacks esses of legislation, there can be no serious upon capital or upon officials or upon social harm to the state, even from experiments organizations, or upon customs, or even in legislation which may later have to be upon the law itself. Everyone has the right discarded as impractical or unworkable. to criticize existing institutions, customs and But when men with dreams are not con- laws; everyone has the right to turn the tent to wait upon the consent of the major spotlight of condemnation on public offiity to put their dreams into effect but talk cials, and even judges are not exempt from about putting down all opposition to their such criticism. But the real danger is when will by force or intimidation, there is reason men, members of a free society like the for every free American to set his jaw and United States, refuse to accept the will of square his shoulders and be prepared and the majority and threaten to defy the law vigilant to defend his dearly bought lib that they are unable to change through legal erties.
processes. We do not wish to defend the so-called The man who would destroy a society principle of "government by injunction.” in which he has equality of right with The writ of injunction is an ancient writ everyone else, because, forsooth, the majorintended originally to grant relief where ity of his fellow citizens will not accept his the common law was unable to do justice. legislative proposals is either very ignorant Its issuance has always been carefully of the essentials of a free government or guarded by the courts and it has issued only he does not believe in a free government
at all. Free societies have not discovered heresies—the idea that a man can drive a any better way to settle strife and differ- | dagger at the very heart of his government ences of opinion in the state except by in and then expect it to be able and willing to voking the will of the majority. That will furnish him with that protection to his becomes for them the voice of the people, rights which he so vigorously demands. which is also, for the purpose of that government, the voice of God. Respect for law as representing the col
NOTES OF IMPORTANT DECISIONS. lective will is essential to the stability of every nation. No matter how citizens may
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF WAR TIME differ on matters of policy and government, PROHIBITION.—There are many important all must agree to abide by the result of the implications in the recent decision of the Suballot; all must bow to the will of the major
preme Court in the case of Hamilton v. Ken
tucky Distilleries and Warehouse Co., sustainity until this will is changed by an appeal to
ing the War Time Prohibition Act against conthe reason and conscience of the people. To
stitutional objection. The chief implication is attack the ballot box with a club is to strike that important events which are the criteria of a down the most sacred right of a free man change in legal conditions or obligations are the right to be his own sovereign. Men who
not established by hearsay, or even the unoffi
cial speeches of a President. attempt such a course are fit only to be
The really important contention of the de. ruled by an autocrat, since they are unfit fendants in the Hamilton case was that the to rule themselves.
war was over, that peace had come de facto if
not de jure, and that demobilization had been Respect for the courts is just as impor
practically completed according to newspapers tant as respect for the law, because the and even according to the admission of the two are inseparable. The courts enforce President in vetoing the Volstead act. the law in defense of the state and of the The term used to limit the operation of war
time prohibition in point of time was the "conrights of the individual citizen, and no man
clusion of the war.” A war is terminated by would be safe or secure in his life, his lib
treaty and a treaty is effective only after it is erty or his property, if the judgment of a ratified and until then we are technically if not court be not respected as the will of the actually at war. The “conclusion of the war" nation to which every other will must sub
does not mean an armistice; it does not mean
the date when a treaty of peace is signed; it mit. To resist the process of the court is
means an absolute ending of the war by therefore to defy society itself and set at
the ratification of a treaty of peace and naught the most important sanctions that the official proclamation of peace and of guard the - most cherished rights of free
demobilization by the President. Only by such
an official declaration, says the Court, can men.
uncertainty be avoided. On this point the For 1920 the chief issue is the supremacy Court said: of law. We do not mean political issue “'Conclusion of the war' clearly did not because political parties could never di
mean cessation of hostilities, because the act
was approved ten days after hostilities had vide on such an issue. We mean that it ceased upon the signing of the armistice. Nor
may we assume that Congress intended by the is an issue raised by foreign intermeddlers
phrase to designate the date when the treaty in our affairs. A few men have thrown of peace should be signed at Versailles or else
where by German and American representaa lot of dust in the air and many people
tives, since, by the Constitution, a treaty is have become confused and cannot see only a proposal until approved by the Senclearly where their best interest lies. It is
"It was expected that the 'conclusion of the therefore the duty of the bar, not particu
war' would precede the termination of de
mobilization. Congress, therefore, provided larly to attack this or that reform as a polit
that the time when the act ceased to be operaical heresy, but to hold up to public scorn
tive should be fixed by the President's ascer
taining and proclaiming the date when deand condemnation the most terrible of all I mobilization had terminated.
"It is insisted that he has done so. The contention does violence to both the language and the evident purpose of the provision. He * * When the President mentioned in his veto message the 'demobilization of the army and navy,' the words were doubtless used in a popular sense, just as he had declared to Congress, on the occasion of the signing of the armistice, “The war thus comes to an end.'
"If he had believed on October 28, 1919, that demobilization had, in an exact sense, terminated, he would doubtless have issued then a proclamation to that effect, for he had mani. fested a strong conviction that restriction upon the sale of liquor should end. Only by such proclamation could the purpose of Congress be attained, and the serious consequences attending uncertainty be obviated."
"The plea was that, believing this erroneous coctrine, the lady desired to defraud her husband and not the tradesmen, whom she believed could secure payment by legal proceedings against her husband. In other words, there was ‘no intent to defraud' the prosecutor, but only a third party: R. v. Jones, 1898, 1 Q. B. 118; R. v. Muirhead, 1 Cr. App. R. 189; R. v. Hunt, 13 Cr. App. R. 55. There is a good deal of authority in support of this view. But the Court of Criminal Appeal disposed of this ingenious plea by cutting, rather than untying, the Gordian knot. They held that the facts supported the view that the goods were obtained fraudulently with an intent to deceive the owners, who would not have parted with them but for the false pretense. Such deception, and the consequent acquisition of the goods without payment, constituted a fraud on the owner, whether or not they could ultimately have recovered against her husband. This is sound common sense. But it does not altogether settle the main issue--namely, whether a conviction is possible where there has been no fraud on the owner of the goods, if such a case can in fact exist."
THE MENS REA IN FALSE PRETENSE CASES.-The English law journals are discussing a very novel point decided by the recent English case of Rex v. Vilma Isaacs (Times, Oct. 25th, 1919). The question was whether the intent in false pretenses cases must be an intent to defraud the prosecutor or whether an express intent to injure some third person other than the person from whom the goods are obtained would suffice to sustain the indictment.
THE PLUMB PLAN FOR THE CON
TROL OF THE RAILROADS.*
In this case a lady against whom a divorce
The great interest in the Plumb plan benisi had been pronounced went to the prose
ing taken by the public is partly due to cutors and obtained from them large quantities of jewelry and other goods. She obtained them
the concern the people feel regarding the by stating that she was the wife of the man solution of the railroad problem; which is from whom she had, in fact, just been divorced, the most important of our reconstruction and that he had distinguished relatives—a fact
problems. But it is significant that the inverbally true but essentially misleading. The
terest shown in the Plumb plan is greater false pretense alleged against her was that she
than that manifested in any other plan falsely represented herself as entitled to pledge her husband's credit, a fact to which has been proposed for the solution her knowledge false, but which actually de of the railroad problem. Undoubtedly ceived the prosecutors; they did not know of this is because the public recognizes the the divorce. The defense raised, apart from the
fact that the implications of the Plumb suggestion that her pretense was not false, but
plan are much broader than the railroad at least verbally true, was very curious. It was shown from the evidence that the accused had problem. been actuated by spite against her husband,
The public more or less clearly sees that she was about to go to America with the co-respondent, and that she desired to pile up
that the Plumb plan is one important exdebts against her husband before doing so, pression of a movement for the revolubelieving that his liability for his wife's debts tion of industry and government which is extended to any goods obtained by her during
being promoted by leaders of radical wedlock.
thought and action in every civilized The court refused to allow the plea of the absence of criminal intent on the ground that *This article is by Hon. Samuel 0. Dunn, the conduct of defendant was sufficient to raise Editor of the Railway Age, and one of the best
informed men on railroad administration in the a presumption of intent to defraud the owner of
country. Mr. Dunn is also a lawyer and his the goods. In commenting on this case the So
discussion takes into account the legal principles licitors Journal (Eng.) (Vol. 64, p. 47) says: 'involved in the problem.-Ed.
country. The main object of these rad upon this amount of at least 6 or 612 per ical leaders is the destruction of so-called cent. We have never heard any spokesman “capitalism,” which is merely another of the railroads claim that, with the presword for the private ownership of prop- ent investment, they should be allowed a erty. They, like the socialists, would vest return upon as much as $20,000,000,000. the ownership of all property in the pub We have heard them claim a valuation of lic; but, unlike the socialists, they would the properties would amount to this, but the turn the management of the various in- railway companies never advocated, and do dustries over to those employed in them. not now advocate, valuation as a basis for The Plumb plan is simply the application rate-making. to the railroads of the soviet scheme of public ownership and employes' manage
Having asserted that the railways claim ment. If it should be applied to the rail
a return upon $20,000,000,000, Mr. Plumb roads there immediately would be a de
| and other advocates of his plan proceed mand for its application to other larger
to attack the capitalization and the "book industries. The United Mine Workers
cost” or property investment account of the already have declared in favor of national
railways upon the alleged ground that they ization of the coal mines and the partici
have been watered to the extent of eight or pation of the employes in their manage
ten billion dollars. They say that when
the railroads are acquired under the Plumb ment.
plan all this water will be squeezed out It is because the Plumb plan puts into
and that a large saving will be made beconcrete form the most radical current cause no return will have to be paid upon theories as to how property should be it. We sometimes wonder if these gentleman owned and managed that it is so impor- , really know what the net capitalization and tant; and it is because the public sees the book cost of the railroads actually are. that the adoption of the Plumb plan We will say nothing about the net capitaliwould be the beginning of a great revolu zation because it is smaller than the book tion in industry and government that it cost of the properties as reported to the is taking so much interest in it and also Interstate Commerce Commission. manifesting so much hostility to it. The Plumb plan contemplates, first, the
The book cost of road and equipment as
reported for 1916, the latest year for which acquisition of the railroads by the government, and then the turning of them over
the statistics have been compiled, was $17,to the management of a board of directors
526,000,000. Prior to 1907 this account one-third of whose members would be ap
on many roads undoubtedly was made high
er or lower than the actual investment, pointed by the President of the United
since each company had up to that time States, one-third by the officers of the railroads and one-third by the employes. The
kept its accounts as it thought best. Since
1907, however, all accounts have been kept advocates of the Plumb plan claim that
as required by the Interstate Commerce by this means vast economies would be
Commission. Therefore it must be assumed effected.
that all additions made to the book cost of The first of these economies would be road and equipment since 1907 represent a reduction of several hundred millions of actual investment, dollar for dollar. If dollars a year in the return which must be that account has been watered it must have paid on railroad capital. They say, first, been done before 1907. Now, in 1907 the that the railroad companies claim the value railways reported a total cost of road and of their properties is $20,000,000,000, and equipment of $13,030,000,000. If, as is althat the companies must be paid a return leged, the book cost has been watered to