Open main menu

Page:United States Reports, Volume 2.djvu/428

This page needs to be proofread.

422 Casas ruled and adjudged in the l193- law impairing the obligation of eontraéts 5 {hould, without V'V`V the confent of Cmgrej}, lay impolls or duties on im-ports or ex- ports, with certain exceptions; lhould, without the confent of Camrer, la an dut on tonna , or ltee tr or {hi s of war°ir£imeYof iaeacey; thefe ag; exprefsl; pcrtdhibited by? the Conliitution ; and thus is announced to the world the probabi- lity, but certainly the apprehenlion, that States may injure in- dividuals in their property, their liberty, and their lives; may opprefs filler States ; and may aét in derogation of the general fovereignty. Are States then to enjoy the high priviledge of ailing thus eminently wrong, without eontroul; or does aremedy eaill ? '.!` he love of morality would lead us to with that fome check lhould be found; if the evil, which flows from it, be not too great for the good contemplated. The common law has ellablilhed a principle, that no prohibitory a£t {hall be without its vindicatory quality ; or, in other words, that the infraction of a prohibitory law, although an exprefs penalty be omitted, is liill puniihable. Government itfelf would be ufelefs, if a pleafure to obey or tranfgrefs with impunity {hould be fuhlli- tuted in the place of afanélion to its laws. This was a jult caufe of complaint againll the deceafed confederation. In our folicitude for a remedy, we meet with no dilliculty, where the ` conduét of a State can be animadverted on through the medi- um of an individual. For inllance, without fuing aState, a perfon arrellcd may hc liberated by baden: corpus ; a perfon at- tainted and a convic} under an ex pa/Ijaélo law, may be faved ; thole, who offend againll improper treaties, may be proteélcd, or who execute them, may be punifhed ; the aélors under let- ters- of marque and reprifal may be muléleclg coinage, bills of credit, unwarranted tenders, and the impairing of contraéls between individuals, may be annihilated. But this redrefs goes only half wav ; as fume of the preceeding unconliitutional ac- tions mull; pals without cenfure, uolefs States can be made de- fendants. What is tobe done, if in confequcnce of a bill of attamdcr, or an rx py} jhélo law, the ellate of a citizen {hall be conlifcated, and depolited in the treafury of a State? V'hat, if a State {hould adulterate or coin money below the Congrelli- onal llandard, emit bills of credit, or enat} unconliitutional tenders, for the purpofe of cxtinguilhing its own debts? `What if a State {honld impair her own contraéls P Thcfe evils, and others which might beenumerated like them, cannot be cor- retled without afuit againlt the State. lt is not denied, that one State may bc fncd by another; andthe rcafon would feem to be the lame, why an individual, who is aggrieved, {houlcl fa: the State aggrieving. A dillinclion between the cafes is fapportablc only on a fuppofcd comparative inferiority of the Plaintiff.