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nese Laundry Cases.
involving Chinese treaties
of Federal Judiciary as a
as to treaty rights.
Justice Marshall's opinion
treaties and State laws.
to State laws and treaties. 349—The rule in New York. 350_The rule in Illinois. 351-The rule in Iowa and Ne
conflicting with treaty stipulations, by State and Fed
eral courts. 357–Police and taxing powers of
the State sustained; The Slaughter House Cases;
Justice Miller's opinion. 358-California decisions in con
flict with general rules. 359—General rule, State statutes
must give way when in conflict with treaty stipulations.
$ 319. Subject reviewed thus far from historical and not from judicial standpoint.-So far the treaty-making power of the United States has been reviewed from historical and extra-judicial standpoints and not from the record of decisions of the courts. In deciding the extent and scope of that power the Federal and State courts have considered all of these historical points and, undoubtedly, have rendered their decisions in the light which history throws upon the subject; the opinions, however, of publicists, legislators, and even of framers of the instrument itself, have not always been adopted as the views of the courts.
$320. Views of members of Constitutional Convention not always followed by courts. Even the views of those authors of the Federalist who participated so prominently in framing, and procuring the adoption of, the Constitution, have not always been accepted by the courts as the exact interpretation of the instrument which they themselves had assisted in framing;1 in this respect, it must be borne in mind that the interpretation of instruments framed by conventions necessarily depends upon the exact wording finally $ 320,
Federalist and comment thereon in 1 See Alexander Hamilton's views $247, p. 384, Vol. I, and 8 313, p. 449, as expressed in No. LXXV of The Vol. 1.
adopted, and not upon the personal views, of the meaning thereof, of any members of the convention. This rule applies, not only to opinions subsequently expressed but also, in a large measure, to opinions expressed in the convention, although courts have decided that the record of debates may, to some extent, be taken into consideration in deciding the effect of a statute or resolution.
In every convention antagonistic views exist on almost every subject. In construing the meaning of terms used to express the opinion of the body as finally adopted, the court must take into consideration the fact that many members must have voted without expressing their views and that they cannot be considered as having acquiesced in anything beyond the exact terms used; the interpretation therefore of all clauses must necessarily rest with the court as it is derived from the language itself in the final form adopted, and the court cannot be bound to interpret any clause in any instrument in accordance with the views contemporaneously or subsequently expressed either verbally or in writing by one or several members of the body adopting it.?
2 Pollock vs. Farmers' Loan & 4. (Referring to the Hylton Carriage Trust Co., U. S. Sup. Ct. 1895, 157 case) that whether the tax on carU. S. 429, FULLER, Ch. J. In this riages was direct or indirect was case (pp. 556-574) the debates of disputed, but the tax was sustained the Constitutional Convention are as a tax on the use and an excise. reviewed for the purpose of arriv-5. That the original expectation ing at what the expressions direct was that the power of direct taxaand indirect taxes meant. The tion would be exercised only in exconclusion reached is stated on traordinary exigencies. .. pp. 573-574 as follows:
See also Field vs. Clark, U. S. “From the foregoing (review of Sup. Ct. 1892, 143 U. S. 649, HARdebates and decisions) it is appar- LAN, J., in which the effect of the ent: 1. That the distinction be- entries in the Journal of the Houses tween direct and indirect taxation of Congress is considered. was well understood by the framers In speaking of the debate in Conof the Constitution and those who gress in regard to the purchase of adopted it. 2. That under the Louisiana, the Supreme Court says: state systems of taxation all taxes “ It is unnecessary to enter into the on real estate or personal property details of this debate. The arguor the rents or income thereof were ments of individual legislators are regarded as direct taxes. 3. That no proper subject for judicial comthe rules of apportionment and of ment. They are so often influenced uniformity were adopted in view of by personal or political considerathat distinction and those systems. tions, or by the assumed necessi
$ 321. Construction and effect of Constitutional provi. sions to be determined by courts; President Jackson's views as to personal construction.—The construction of Article VI, of the Constitution of the United States, therefore, together with all other cognate clauses must be accepted only as it has been finally construed and become binding upon all the courts of the country, both Federal and State, as well as upon the various Departments of the Government. President Jackson, indeed, declared that it was the duty of each officer of the United States to interpret the Constitution according to his own conscience and to act according;' that theory, however, might possibly lead to confusing, even disastrous, results, and at the present time, it can hardly ties of the situation, that they can the whole sanctioned by judicial hardly be considered even as the authority. deliberate views of the persons who The rules as stated by Black in make them, much less as dictating regard to legislative debate on the construction to be put upon the pages 224-230 are summarized in Constitution by the courts. U. S. the captions as follows: vs. Un. Pac. R. R. Co., 91 U. S. 72, “91. In aid of the interpretation p. 79.” Opinion of Mr. Justice of an ambiguous statute, or one BROWN in Downes vs. Bidwell (In- which is susceptible of several difsular Cases), U. S. Sup. Ct. May, ferent constructions, it is proper 1901, 182 U. S. 244.
for the courts to study the history The rule is stated in Black on of the bill in its progress through Interpretation of Laws, Hornbook the legislature, by examining the Series, St. Paul, 1896, as follows, on legislature journals. page 28, in regard to “extraneous “92. Opinions of individual memaids in construction of constitu-bers of the legislature which passed tions. If an ambiguity exists a statute, expressed by them in which cannot be cleared up by a debate or otherwise, as to the meanconsideration of the constitution ing, scope, or effect of the act, canitself, then, in order to determine not be accepted by the courts as its meaning and purpose, resort authority on the question of its inmay be had to extraneous facts, terpretation, and if received at all such as the prior state of the law, are entitled to but little weight. the evil to be remedied, the circum “93. In the interpretation of ştances of contemporary history or statutes, it is not proper or perthe discussions of the Constitu- missible to inquire into the motives tional Convention.” In regard to which influenced the legislative the last point he cites on page 30 body, except in so far as such monumerous authorities, Dwarris on tives are disclosed by the statute Statutes; and Endlich on Interpre- itself.” tation of Statutes, sec. 510, in which § 321. that author declares that it is a 1 President Jackson's “ Protest" great stretch of principle but on
be even the subject of discussion, that no matter what individual views or conscientious scruples any officer of the Government, administrative or judicial, may have, he must subordinate them, in the performance of his duties, to the decisions of the judicial department of the Government, and he can only fulfill the obligation of his oath to support the Constitution of the United States by doing so in accordance with the lines which have been established by the Federal Courts of last resort.
$ 322. Views of publicists and courts as to extent and scope of treaty-making power.-In this chapter we purpose to enlarge upon the opinion expressed in the introduction to this volume as to the great extent of the treaty-making power of the United States, and to show the manner in which the Constitutional provisions affecting treaties have been construed and interpreted, by the Supreme Court of the United States; and not only that all of the Federal Courts, which are of course bound to do so, have followed these decisions, but that the construction of the law, as expressed by the highest Federal tribunal, has been unanimously accepted as the law of the land by the courts of last resort of many of the States; that in so doing they have accepted it, not because they have been forced so to do, but, because they have recognized the reasonableness of the proposition, as well as the great benefits which have inured to the States themselves as the result of empowering the Central Government to act , as the exclusive, and fully authorized, agent of the several States in determining the relations of the United States with foreign powers.
$ 323. Treaty-making power to be considered as to scope and extent, effect on State legislation, and relative effect of treaties and Congressional statutes. The subject can properly be considered in three aspects. First, the scope of the treaty-making power as vested in the United States and as determined by the Federal Courts; second, the superiority of treaty stipulations as to all conflicting State legislation, either past, present or future; third, the relative effect of treaties and Congressional legislation. April 15, 1834, Richardson's Mes-1 pp. 69, et seq. See p. 71. sages of the Presidents, vol. III,
The first subdivision has been the subject of preceding chapters, but it will also be referred to in subsequent chapters; the third subdivision will be reserved for a separate consideration in the next chapter; the second subdivision will be the subject-matter of this chapter which will be devoted to revewing the decisions of the courts in cases which have involved the relative effect of treaty provisions and State statutes.
$ 324. First important treaty case; Ware vs. Hylton. -The first important cases involving treaties and the treatymaking power which reached the Supreme Court did not relate to a treaty made by the President and ratified by the Senate under the Constitution, but one which had been made under the Confederation-the Definitive Treaty of Peace of 1783 with Great Britain; the point involved was how far did that treaty override State statutes in regard to the collection and confiscation of ante bellum debts owed by Americans to citizens of Great Britain.
In Ware vs. Hylton, a British subject sued citizens of Virginia, on a debt contracted prior to the war; the debtors pleaded, amongst other things, abrogation of the debt by war, confiscation of the debt by the State of Virginia as a war measure, and also a partial payment to the State as owner of the debt by confiscation; the plaintiff replied, setting up the Definitive Treaty of Peace of 1783 and the ratification thereof by Article VI of the Constitution of the * United States, making it the supreme law of the land, and, therefore, paramount to all State legislation past and future. Thus at the very outset of the operation of constitutional power, a direct conflict arose between State sovereignty and the right of the Federal Government to modify State laws under the treaty-making power.
$ 325. Far-reaching effect of decision in Ware vs. Hyl. ton; five opinions delivered. - Nearly two hundred pages of the third volume of Dallas's Reports are devoted to the record of this case : five of the seven Justices delivered separate opinions and many of the prominent lawyers of
from opinions delivered in this case, 1 Ware vs. Hylton, U. S. Sup. Ct. see $$ 325 et seq. post. 1796, 3 Dallas, 199. For extracts