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haps, some cases which could not be termed cases of admiralty.
Remark. It is very plain that the power of interpreting the constitution and the laws of the United States should belong to courts of the United States. If it were vested in the state courts, the laws of the states would in all probability soon obtain an ascendancy over the constitution and court of the United States. Besides, the decisions of twenty-four or more different tribunals would introduce such confusion into the interpretation of the laws of the United States, that they would be. come in operation a medley of incongruities and absurdities. Cases affecting foreign nations and different states are properly entrusted to the courts of the United States, since the United States government is charged with the regulation of intercourse with other nations, and with the preservation of domestic peace.
In what cases has the supreme court original jurisdiction? What is meant by original juris. diction ? Ans. A power to try the case in the first instance, that is, before it has been tried by any other court. In what cases has the supreme court appellate jurisdiction? What
is appellate jurisdiction? Ans. Power to try cases on appeal from some inferior court?
In what manner is it declared that all crimes except in cases of impeachment shall be tried ? What is the reason of this rule ? Ans. The trial by jury is one of the great bulwarks of our liberty.
Remark. Where the consent of twelve men, chosen from the body of the people, for the occasion, to whom the accused has a right to object and to require others to be put in their stead, is necessary to convict of a crime, there is little danger that the trial will not be impartial. The persons and lives of the people, are too important to be in any case, made dependent on the opinion or will of a single judge. Judges are appointed by the government; what danger there is that they may be sometimes appointed to oppress the people, and to subserve tyrannical purposes, some exam. ples in English history sufficiently show. Twelve individuals chosen in the manner of juries are much less accessible to bribery and to influence, than judges known beforehand. The effect of constant trials upon the minds of judge, is necessarily unfavorable to sentiments of humanity. A jury not conversant with
such scenés, are more apt to have that leaning to the side of mercy which the humane maxims of the English law inculcate. The privilege of trial by jury, has ever been regarded as one of the dearest rights of Englishmen. What importance was attached to it by the framers of the constitution, is evident from the rule in question. Why were cases of impeachment made an exception to the rule of trial by jury ! Ans. The trial of high officers of the government for official misdemeanors, requires greater knowledge of public matters, and a more imposing dignity than would be possess. ed by a tribunal composed of jurymen. In what places must criminal trials be held ? What is the reason of this rule? Ans. It is that the accused may be tried, and if found guilty, punished, by the laws of the place where the offence was committed. To try and pun. ish him by other laws, would evidently be unjust.
Sec. 3. In what does treason against the United States consist ?
Remark. By the English law, as many as seven or eight different offences are construed to be treason. The laws regarding treason, were sometimes made use of as engines of ty.
ranny. Offences against the person of the king, and of some members of the royal family, and against some of the king's prerogatives were thus construed. Our law, distinguishes between the government itself, and the rulers. Assaults upon the chief magistrate of the nation are in the eye of our law, offences of the same grade as assaults upon the humblest pri. vate individual.
What testimony is requisite to convict a person of treason? What is the meaning of “overt act ?” Ans. Some open, manifest act in distinction from design or intention residing in the mind, and not expressed by any deed.
Remark. In England the celebrated Alger. non Sydney was executed for high treason, simply on account of some papers on government, found in his possession, and construed to be of a treasonable nature.
Who are authorized to declare the punish. ment of treason ?
What is the punishment as declared by law of congress? Ans. Death. What restriction is placed upon
power of congress to declare the punishment of treason? What is meant by working “ corruption of blood ?” Ans. Destroying its inheritable
qualities, that is, rendering it impossible for any person to inherit estate from or through the
person attainted ?
Sec. 1. What is the object of the rule which requires full faith and credit to be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state ? Ans. It is to facilitate the purposes of justice which might be obstructed, were it necessary to prove anew in each state what had been already proved before the courts of another. Who are authorized to prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings shall be proved and their effect? What have oon. gress by law declared shall be their effect ? Ans. They are to have in every court of the United States the same effect which they have in the courts of the state from which they are taken. What is meant by “their effect ?" Ans. The degree of credit to be attached to them.
Sec. 2. To what privileges and immuni. ties are the citizens of each state entitled in the other states ? What was the object of this rule? Ans. The object of the union being