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FROM THE ORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT IN 1789 TO 1847,
The Supreme, Circuit, District and Admiralty Courts;
REPORTED IN DALLAS, CRANCH, WHEATON PETERS, AND 19WARD'S SUPREME COURT REPORTS; IN
PETERS, AND GILPIN'S DISTRICT AND ADMIRALTY REPORTS.
BY RICHARD PETERS,
COUNSELLOR AT LAW.
WITH AN APPENDIX:
RULES AND ORDERS OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
RULES OF THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
IN PROCEEDINGS IN EQUITY, ESTABLISHED BY THE SUPREME COURT.
IN TWO VOLUMES,
LIBRARY OF THE
Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by
RICHARD PETERS, in the clerk's office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsyr via.
FULL AND ARRANGED
OF THE MATTERS DECIDED IN THE SUPREME, CIRCUIT .
AND DISTRICT COURTS
FROM THE ORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1780, TO 1847.
circuit court in such a case, where the record 19 HABEAS CORPUS.
brought up directly by writ of error. Ex parte 1. The supreme court of the United States Tobias Watkins, 3 Peters, 201. may grant a habeas corpus to bring up the body 7. The power of the supreme court to award of a prisoner. Ex parte Buford, 3 Cranch, 448. writs of habeas corpus is conferred expressly on
2. The supreme court has power to issue a the court by the fourteenth section of the judiwrit of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum. Ex ciary, act, and has been repeatedly exercised. parte Bollman, 4 Cranch, 75; 2 Cond. Rep. 33. No doubt exists respecting the power. No law
3. The writ of habeas corpus does not lie to of the United States prescribes the cases in which bring up a person confined in the prison bounds this great writ shall be issued, nor the power of upon a capias ad satisfaciendum, issued in a the court over the party brought up by it
. The civil suit. ' Ex parte Wilson, 6 Cranch, 52; 2 term used in the constitution is one which is well Cond. Rep. 300.
understood; and the judiciary act authorizes the 4. The supreme court has authority to issue a court, and all the courts of the United States, habeas corpus where a person is imprisoned and the judges thereof, to issue the writ "for under the warrant or order of any court of the the purpose of inquiring into the cause of com. United States. Ex parte Kearney, 7 Wheat. 38; mitment.” Ibid. $ Cond. Rep. 225.
8. This general reference to a power which 5. The supreme court will not grant a habeas the court are required to exercise, without any corpus where a party has been committed for a precise definition of that power, imposes the contempt, by a court of the United States of necessity of making some inquiries into its competent jurisdiction; and, if granted, the court use, according to that law which is in a conwill not inquire into the sufficiency of the cause siderable degree incorporated into our own. The of the commitment. Ibid.
writ of habeas corpus is a high prerogative writ, 6. A petition was presented by Tobias Wat- known to the common law; the great object kins for a habeas corpus, for the purpose of in- of which is the liberation of those who may quiring into the legality of his confinement in be imprisoned without sụfficient cause. It is the gaol of the county of Washington, by virtue in the nature of a writ of error, to examine of a judgment of the circuit court of the United the legality of the commitment. The English States of the District of Columbia, rendered in a judges being originally under the influence of criminal prosecution instituted against him in the crown, neglected to issue the writ where the that court. The petitioner alleged that the in-government entertained suspicions which could dictments under which he was convicted and not be sustained by evidence; and the writ, sentenced to imprisonment, charge no offence when issued, was sometimes' disregarded or for which the prisoner was punishable in that evaded, and great individual oppression was sufcourt, or of which that court could take cogni- fered in consequence of delays in bringing prison. zance; and, consequently, that the proceedings ers to trial. To remedy this evil, the celebrated were coram non judice. The supreme court has habeas corpus act of the 31st of Charles II. was no jurisdiction in criminal cases which could enacted, for securing the benefits for which the reverse or affirm a judgment rendered in the writ was given. This statute may be referred