Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Supreme Court of the United States (5)

In 1895, in the Income Tax Cases, 82 U.S., 429, it was held that the constitutional provision requiring direct taxes to be apportioned among the States according to their population rendered invalid a tax which was not so apportioned on incomes derived from real estate and as the direct product of personal property. And only recently were decided the Insular Cases, 128 U.S., 1, cases arising out of the conquest of Porto Rico and the Philippines, in which was considered the power of Congress to govern territories acquired by war or treaty, and in which was affirmed to the largest extent the national power of the Republic. This list might be greatly increased, but enough have been cited to show the general character of the cases considered and determined by that court in upholding the idea of nationality. It has always strongly upheld the powers given by the Constitution to the nation and at the same time protected the States in the powers reserved by that instrument to them.

At first the amount of business in the Supreme Court was small; now it is large. In 1801, the first year of Chief Justice Marshall's term, only ten cases were filed; from 1875 to 1880 there were 1953, or an average of about 390 a year. While the act of 1891 diminished the number of cases that could come to the court, yet during the year 1900 401 cases were filed, and during the year 1901 383.

As heretofore stated, the court at first consisted of six members; it never has had at any time over ten, and now has but nine. The following is a list of the Chief Justices and also of the associate justices, as well as the States from which they were appointed:

Chief Justices

John Jay, New York; John Rutledge, South Carolina; Oliver Ellsworth, Connecticut; John Marshall, Virginia; Roger B. Taney, Maryland; Salmon P. Chase, Ohio; Morrison R. Waite, Ohio; Melville W. Fuller, Illinois.

Associate Justices

William Cushing, Massachusetts; James Wilson, Pennsylvania; John Blair, Virginia; James Iredell, North Carolina; Thomas Johnson, Maryland; William Paterson, New Jersey; Samuel Chase, Maryland; Bushrod Washington, Virginia; Alfred Moore, North Carolina; William Johnson, South Carolina; Brockholst Livingston, New York; Thomas Todd, Kentucky; Joseph Story, Massachusetts; Gabriel Duval, Maryland; Smith Thompson, New York; Robert Trimble, Kentucky; John McLean, Ohio; Henry Baldwin, Pennsylvania; James M. Wayne, Georgia; Philip P. Barbour, Virginia; John Catron, Tennessee; John McKinley, Alabama; Peter V. Daniel, Virginia; Samuel Nelson, New York; Levi Woodbury, New Hampshire; Robert C. Grier, Pennsylvania; Benjamin R. Curtis, Massachusetts; John A. Campbell, Alabama; Nathan Clifford, Maine; Noah H. Swayne, Ohio; Samuel F. Miller, Iowa; David Davis, Illinois; Stephen J. Field, California; William Strong, Pennsylvania; Joseph P. Bradley, New Jersey; Ward Hunt, New York; John M. Harlan, Kentucky; William B. Woods, Georgia; Stanley Matthews, Ohio; Horace Gray, Massachusetts; Samuel Blatchford, New York; Lucius Q. C. Lamar, Mississippi; David J. Brewer, Kansas; Henry B. Brown, Michigan; George Shiras, Jr., Pennsylvania; Howell E. Jackson, Tennessee; Edward D. White, Louisiana; Rufus W. Peckham, New York; Joseph McKenna, California; Oliver W. Holmes, Massachusetts; William R. Day, Ohio. They hold office for life, and yet up to 1903 the average term of office of the Chief Justices had been 13 5-12 years, and of the associates 15 9-12 years.

That the work of the court has not only developed a national idea, but also has done much to give stability to republican institutions is now conceded by all. Consult: Curtis, Jurisdiction of the United States Courts.


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