Rhode Island v. Massachusetts (38 U.S. 23)
MR. SOUTHARD, for the complainants, stated that the state of Rhode Island, with the consent of the Court, obtained at last term, had amended the bill filed in this case; and he moved the Court for a rule on the state of Massachusetts to answer within a short time, so that the case might be disposed of during the term.
Mr. Webster stated, that, although not authorized to appear in the case, he thought it proper to say that the opinions of the Court delivered at the last term in this cause had been submitted to the government of Massachusetts. It was a short time before the adjournment of the legislature of the state that they were communicated to them. The subject will be again presented by the governor to the legislature, at the session now held; and it is expected that some action upon it will take place. In the posture in which the case stood at the last term of this Court, the attorney general of the state of Massachusetts has not thought it proper to do any thing. The movements of such bodies, as the defendants in this case, are slow.
Mr. Hazard had no objection to an allowance of time to the defendants to answer. He had a strong impression that he had seen some proceedings of the legislature of Massachusetts, at its last session in 1838, by which the direction of this case was left to the counsel employed by the state. He did not think that the slow movements of such bodies should be allowed, when other parties are concerned. He desired that a time for the filing of an answer, by the state of Massachusetts, should be definitely fixed.
Mr. Chief Justice TANEY delivered the opinion of the Court.--