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furnish to the Committee of the House such suggestions as they deem proper.
It occurs to me, when we are providing additional judicial force to relieve the Supreme Court, it is the duty of this Association, at the same time, to have an oversight over pending bills, and thus prevent that court being unnecessarily loaded down.
A. J. Todd, of New York, seconded the resolution.
Is it not a resolution of instruction to the committee to act according to their very best knowledge ?
E. F. Bullard, of New York, said:
I adopt the suggestion that this committee be authorized to take such action as they may deem proper.
John F. Dillon, of New York, said:
I have not seen the bill referred to, and I would not consent to refer to a committee any resolution without knowing the character of the bill in question. Therefore, for one, I object to committing this Association to any recommendations which shall carry with them the moral force of a recommendation from this Association, with respect to any bill, or the policy of any bill, when we are unacquainted with it. The circumstances may be such as to justify the passage of the bill. Mr. Sterne tells us that a thousand more cases are involved in this proposed measure. They may all be dependent upon one fundamental question, and it may be of such importance as will justify the providing of machinery whereby that may be determined by the Supreme Court of the United States. In fact, we have here to deal with a great problem. Until you have determined the measure of jurisdiction of the inferior courts, you cannot, philosophically, deal with the problem of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Certain it is, that such is the deserved
and just confidence of the people of these United States, and of the bar of this country, in the Supreme Court, that it is a constantly felt want to get an important case within the jurisdiction of that court. I therefore move, Mr. President, that the resolution be so amended as to refer this matter to the committee named in it, to report at this time to this session, if need be.
James 0. Broadhead, of Missouri:
I think I know all about that bill. Its jurisdiction sought to be conferred on the Supreme Court is the very same jurisdiction as was given to the same court under the act of 1851, which provided for the adjudication of land titles in California. It is the same as was given under the previous act of 1863, providing for the adjudication of claims in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri. I suppose this bill would not have jurisdiction over about three hundred cases. The decisions are now made by the Land Office Commissioner. The better plan, I think, would be to appoint a commission. When we acquired Louisiana, a commission was appointed. Their report was submitted to Congress and Congress approved of it. Subsequent legislation provided for an appeal to the Supreme Court from the Circuit Court. The great objection to this bill—and I have objection to it—is, that it does, in my opinion, violate the provisions of the treaty with Mexico. It undertakes to limit the amount of the claims and other things which are in violation of that treaty. I agree with Judge Dillon, that in reference to these matters we ought not to invest any one committee with the absolute power of speaking for this Association until this Association has acted with a full understanding of the question before them.
Richard T. Merrick, of Washington :
would rather shun than accept the responsibility that this resolution suggests imposing. The judgment of the committee would doubtless be subjected to serious and embarrassing criticism after the result has been accomplished. It is putting the committee in a delicate attitude to impose upon them what in their judgment ought to be done. I therefore hope that the committee will not be obliged to take charge of the matter. At the same time, I would call Mr. Broadhead's attention to the suggestion that in all probability any difficulty in reference to the organization of a federal tribunal, in the shape of a commission to hear these cases on error, can be avoided by substituting in that bill the Court of Claims for the Supreme Court, as a final appellate tribunal, especially in view of the fact that in all this class of cases to which reference is made in the bill, the United States is itself a party, and the Court of Claims is specially organized for the consideration of cases in which the United States is a party.
James 0. Broadhead, of Missouri:
There is a decided expression of opinion against that kind of legislation, and the probability is that all useful ends will be served by the committee from this Association meeting the committee of Congress, and then reporting to us next year.
I will read a resolution which, it has occurred to me, will embrace all that has been offered:
“Resolved, That, in the judgment of this Association, only a very extreme case will justify any addition to the present duties of the United States Supreme Court, and that the Committee on Judicial Administration and Remedial Procedure be instructed to examine the bill which passed the last session of the United States Senate, and is now pending before the lower House of Congress, in regard to imposing further duties upon the Supreme Court, known as Senate bill No. 19, and to furnish to the committee of the House such suggestions as they may deem proper.”
Henry Budd, of Pensylvania :
It strikes me that if this Association is to take up everything that transpires in Congress, that may in some way oppose the views of any of our members, that we shall lose force and influence, especially if we allow any committee of the body to speak for us. Inasmuch as we do not exactly understand the nature of this senate bill Number 19, I move to lay the whole matter on the table.
Charles A. Peabody, of New York, seconded this motion, and it was adopted.
L. P. Poland, of Vermont, presented the recommendation of the General Council, that Egbert Whittaker, of New York, be made a member of this Association.
On motion, the Association then adjourned sine die.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, August 21, 1884. Your Treasurer submits the following Report for the year ending August 19, 1884:
To balance from last report,
2 10 4 66 5 70 9 00 275
Telegram to Lord Coleridge,
Expressage, Aug. 24.
Printing for sixth meeting, Aug. 27.
Expressage, Aug. 30.
Grand Union Hotel for Sixth
Annual Dinner, . Sept. 8.
E. 0. Hinkley for Stenog
raphers, Sept. 8.
Expressage, Sept. 10.
Expenses of clerk to Execu
tive Committee, . Sept. 15.
Postage Stamps, Oct. 3.
W. F. Murphy's Sons, Re
ceipt Books, Oct. 5.
A. Putnam, Jr., use of hall
three days, Oct. 5.
Postage stamps, Oct. 5.
Circulars, Oct. 5.
Expressage and Telegrams,
Amounts carried forward,
$809 08 $4,209 65