American Law Review Volume 19

American Law Review Volume 19

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1885 edition. Excerpt: ...relates that in the early colony days there was scarcely a lawyer in that colony, and the profession was regarded with great disfavor. There the very judges were by education not lawyers, but clergymen, physicians, soldiers, merchants, apothecaries; and one was a tailor. Benjamin Lynde, who was appointed judge in 1712, "was the first regularly educated lawyer ever appointed to the bench of the Superior Court."2 This court was the forerunner of the present Supreme Court. In such conditions as these, a regular and normal growth of legal ideas is not likely to be found. And the student of early charters and acts is apt to find reasons that might or ought to have been given by the courts for granting the writ, and is apt to forget that these reasons were in point of fact never given. On this point the use of the writ in Massachusetts is instructive. In 1782, chapter 9, section 2, of the statutes gave the Supreme Court power to issue the writ to inferior courts, but not to other officers, individuals or corporations; as to these it was silent. Yet the reports from 1804 to 1836, show that the court often issued it to such parties. Thus, Parker, C. J., in 1827, in granting the writ against a town treasurer8 said: "The Legislature having given authority to this court to issue writs of mandamus, the cases suitable for the application of this writ must be determined by the common law. Without such power somewhere, the affairs of the public might be brought to a stand; and as in England, so in this Commonwealth, the highest eirai Waldron v. Tee, 5 Pick. 237. mou-law judicial authority is made the depositary of this power." So well satisfied were the court of their power, that it troubled them little that the statute gave more

Product details

  • Paperback | 398 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 21mm | 708g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236869982
  • 9781236869982