against such offences.
The judiciary certainly cannot adopt a more indulgent rule towards those who are in open rebellion against the authority of the United States
, or towards aliens co-operating with, and acting under, the assumed authority of such rebels.
While the other departments of the Government
and the nation refuse to regard any State or association of States as having the rights of a belligerent, or as carrying on legitimate war, and are exerting not only moral but physical force against them as rebels and lawless aggressors upon the United States
and its citizens, the courts also must so regard them, and cannot admit that any legislation or assumption of power by such State or States can authorize acts in violation of the laws of the United States
, or change the character of offences under them.
There is another view.
Mere rebellion absolves no man from his allegiance.
Citizens of the United States
, therefore, may not only be subject to the penalties of treason, but if they commit hostilities upon the commerce of the United States
, under a commission from any foreign nation, even the oldest and best established, such as England
for example, they may be dealt with as pirates by the express enactments in the ninth section of the statute of 1790, which has already been referred to. And aliens who are subjects or citizens of any foreign State with whom we have a treaty, such as is described in the statute of 1847, chapter 51, which has already been quoted; if, in violation of such treaty, they make war upon the United States
, or cruise against our vessels or property under a commission from any foreign government, however long acknowledged, may, by the clear provisions of that statute, be dealt with as pirates.
If aliens, subjects of a nation with whom we have no such treaty, commit acts of hostility upon our commerce, under the alleged authority or commission of a new and self-created government claiming to be independent, it may be material to inquire whether such government is to be regarded as having the immunities of a belligerent, or whether such aliens may be treated as robbers on the seas, and this inquiry will be governed by the principles which I have already stated.--Boston Journal
, May 17.