Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/512

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Latest Important Cases The statute simply permits that to be done by this court which ought to have been done at the trial. The hypothesis by which alone it permits the order to be made is that at the trial no question of fact was in truth presented, but only one of law, which the court should have uiled as such. It does not disturb the plain boundary between fact which a jury must determine and law which the court must rule. It permits the right ruling to be given at a time later than that at which it should have been made when no substantial rights have accrued in the meantime.'" Extradition. Evidence of Insanity — Waiver of Breach of a Treaty by Executive Branch of the Government. U. S. Several questions involving the regularity of the extradition proceedings in the celebrated Charlton case were presented to the United States Supreme Court in Charlton v. Kelly, decided June 10, the Court (Lurton, J.) holding the pro ceedings entirely regular. It was held, for example, that evidence of the insanity of the accused was excluded without any violation of law by the committing magistrate. Much of this discussion is perhaps to be considered to have been purely obiter, as the principle that a writ of habeas corpus cannot be used as a writ of error was clearly re-iterated. A more interesting question was that found in the refusal of the Italian Government to surrender its own nationals committing crimes in the United States. Did this constitute a breach? The Ccurt held that the executive recognition, by the United States Government, of its own obligations under the treaty, con stituted a waiver of the breach, if there was any, and left the treaty in force as the supreme law of the land. Jury Trial. See Appellate Procedure. Local Government. Cleveland Charter Constitutional — Preferential Voting. O. The new Cleveland charter, adopted under the home rule provisions of the new Ohio con stitution, was held constitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court on August 26, by a tie vote of three to three. The decision was rendered in a suit brought to test a ruling of Attorney-General Hogan, who had declared unconstitutional the preferential vote and the primary elimination features of the charter. The charter provides for the abolition of the direct primary nomination and substitutes nomination by petition. It also abolishes partisan designation upon the ballot, and permits the voter to denominate a


second and third choice for mayor, the only elective office. Race Distinctions. Civil Rights Act of 1875 — Limitation ofLegislative Intent by Judicial Decree Refused. U. S. In Butts v. Merchants and Miners Transporta tion Co., decided June 16 (L. ed. adv. sheets, Oct. term 1912, no. 17, p. 964) the Supreme Court of the United States passed upon the validity of the Civil Rights Act of 1875, in federal territory, the statute having been held invalid in state territory in the Civil Rights cases in 1883, as exceeding the powers of Congress. This statute declared the equal rights of all persons throughout the jurisdiction of the United States to the accommodations of inns, public conveyances on land or water and theatres, for bidding any discrimination on grounds of race, color or previous servitude. The Court (Van Devanter, J.) now held the act wholly unconstitutional, on the ground that, as the purpose of Congress was plainly to make one law for the whole country, and as this pur pose failed for want of power in Congress to apply it to the states, it failed in toto; that the Court cannot, or will not, assume that Congress would have made such a law for the federal jurisdiction outside the states, by itself, if aware of its incapacity to apply it alike to all places; and, accordingly, to allow it to operate outside the states would be, in effect, to make a law by judicial decree which Congress did not make and may not have been disposed to make. White Slave Act. Construed as Applied only to Interstate Traffic in Women for Commercial Purposes. U. S. Judge Pollock of the United States District Court, in a decision rendered at Wichita, Kas., has ruled that the Mann White Slave Act applies only to persons who transport women from one state to another for commercial purposes. He instructed a defendant to change his plea from guilty to not guilty, with the intimation that he would instruct the jury to acquit if it did not appear that the girl was taken into another state to commercialize her immorality. "Under the law as I construe it," the Court said, "the com mercial feature must be proved. It was not the aim of Congress to prevent the personal escapades of any man. If the Government can not prove this man took the girl to another state for a commercial purpose, I shall instruct the jury to acquit him. The jurisdiction of the Government in cases of this kind is based on the commerce clause."