issue to make with the Supreme Court.
I have no crusade to preach against that august body.
I have no warfare to make upon it. I receive the decision of the Judges
of that Court, when pronounced, as the final adjudication upon all questions within their jurisdiction.
It would be perfectly legitimate and proper for Mr. Lincoln
, myself, or any other lawyer, to go before the Supreme Court and argue any question that might arise there, taking either side of it, and enforcing it with all our ability, zeal, and energy, but when the decision is pronounced, that decision becomes the law of the land, and he, and you, and myself, and every other good citizen, must bow to it, and yield obedience to it. Unless we respect and bow in deference to the final decisions of the highest judicial tribunal in our country, we are driven at once to anarchy, to violence to mob law, and there is no security left for our property, or our own civil rights.
What protects your property but the law, and who expounds the law but the judicial tribunals ; and if an appeal is to be taken from the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States
, in all cases where a person does not like the adjudication, to whom is that appeal to be taken?
Are we to appeal from the Supreme Court to a county meeting like this?
And shall we here re-argue the question and reverse the decision?
If so, how are we to enforce our decrees after we have pronounced them?
Does Mr. Lincoln
intend to appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court to a Republican caucus, or a town meeting?
To whom is he going to appeal? [ “To Lovejoy
,” and shouts of laughter.] Why, if I understand aright, Lincoln
are co-appellants in a joint suit, and inasmuch as they are so, he would not certainly appeal from the Supreme Court to his own partner to decide the cast for him.
tells you that he is opposed to the decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott
Well, suppose he is ; what is he going to do about it?
I never got beat in a law suit in my life that I was not opposed to the decision, and if I had it before the Circuit Court I took it up to the Supreme Court, where, if I got beat again, I thought it better to say no more about it, as I did not know of any lawful mode of reversing the decision of the highest tribunal on earth.
To whom is Mr. Lincoln
going to appeal?
Why, he says he is going to appeal to Congress.
Let us see how he will appeal to Congress.
He tells us that on the 8th of March, 1820, Congress passed a law called the Missouri Compromise
, prohibiting slavery forever in all the territory West
of the Mississippi
of the Missouri
line of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes, that Dred Scott
, a slave in Missouri
, was taken by his master to Fort Snelling in the present State of Minnesota
situated on the West
branch of the Mississippi river
, and consequently in the Territory
where slavery was prohibited by the Act of 1820, and that when Dred Scott
appealed for his freedom in consequence of having been taken into a free Territory, the Supreme Court of the United States
decided that Dred Scott
did not become free by being taken into that Territory, but that having been carried back to Missouri
, was yet a slave.
is going to appeal from that decision and reverse it. He does not intend to reverse it as to Dred Scott
But he will reverse it so that it shall not stand as a rule in the future.
How will he do it?
He says that if he is elected to the Senate, he will introduce and pass a law just like the Missouri Compromise
, prohibiting slavery again in all the Territories
Suppose he does reenact the same law which the Court
has pronounced unconstitutional, will that make it constitutional?
If the Act of 1820 was unconstitutional in consequence of Congress having no power to pass it, will Mr. Lincoln
make it constitutional by passing it again?
What clause of the Constitution of the United States
provides for an appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court to Congress?
If my reading of that instrument is correct, it is to the effect that that Constitution and all laws made in pursuance of it are of the supreme law of the land, anything in the Constitution
or laws of a State to the contrary notwithstanding.
Hence, you will find that only such acts of Congress are laws as are made in pursuance of the Constitution
When Congress has passed an act, and put it on the statute book as law, who is to decide whether that act is in conformity with the Constitution
The Constitution of