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of any State requires it to restrict the rule, it has but to declare its will, and the legal presumption is at once at an end. But until this is done, upon what grounds could this Court refuse to administer the law of international comity between these States? They are sovereign States; and the history of the past, and the events which are daily occurring, furnish the strongest evidence that they have adopted towards each other the laws of comity in their fullest extent." 29
In every one of these leading cases, Webster successfully advocated the adoption of vital principles of constitutional law against the adverse decisions of the Courts below. These principles underlie our whole American system. Without them we should not have been a Nation, but a chaos of individuals. Mr. Everett tells us that what gave to La Fayette his spotless fame was "the living love of liberty protected by law." What has given to this country its greatness is its well-ordered freedom, protected and secured by the Union; Liberty secure, Union equal. No individual or citizen of one State may have privileges secured to him by law, superior to the privileges of others. On the other hand, every citizen is secured by law in the acquisition of property and in the enjoyment of his personal rights. So long as American Courts respect the principles thus established, and America combines public freedom with individual security, so long shall a grateful people cherish the memory of the expounder of the Constitution, the farmer boy of Salisbury, the eloquent, far-seeing law-giver and lawyer. DANIEL WEBSTER.
The gentlemen will join with me in thanking you, Mr. Wheeler, for your paper.
29 Bank of Augusta v. Earle, 13 Peters, p. 590.
The report of the Committee on Law Reform will now be received.
J. Newton Fiero, of Albany:
Mr. President, the report of the Committee on Law Reform deals mainly with the matters that were referred to it last year, growing out of the papers of Messrs. Littleton and Fleischmann. I need not recall the substance of those papers, but they related entirely to the present congested condition of Courts and the remedies. The whole matter has been gone over by the committee, and Mr. Fleischmann, who has met with us. We have discussed the subject and, without reading you the report, which goes somewhat into detail in connection with the subject, the committee has arrived at the conclusion that the recommendation in Mr. Fleischmann's paper, that Appellate Division Judges, who are assigned outside their districts, should be allowed to do Trial Term and Special Term work, provided they are willing so to do, would, in some of the districts of the State, where the difficulty is most serious, very much relieve the situation, so that we have concluded to recommend the passage of a constitutional amendment of that character, and such an amendment will be introduced in the Senate by Senator Hill. The committee, in considering the matter that was referred to it in those papers came to the conclusion, substantially, that the great difficulty in connection with the business of the Courts outside of the city of New York, arises from the necessity of sending country Judges to the cities of New York and Brooklyn, and, if that difficulty can be avoided, that will be a full, sufficient and probably a complete remedy so far as the balance of the State is concerned. So far as the city of New York is concerned, that matter has been taken up by the Committee on the
Law's Delays, which has been in session there for a part of the last two years and a report will be made to the Legislature in connection with it by that committee. Our attention, of course, was brought to the fact that there is now a constitutional amendment pending which has passed two Legislatures, and which will be submitted to the people next fall, bearing on this precise question, by which the Legislature will be authorized to provide for the election of additional Judges in all of the districts upon the basis of population. The limit to the number would be twenty-three. It will not, of course, be necessary in all the districts, by any means, that the Legislature should act with regard to the matter, but it will relieve the dif ficulty in the cities of New York and Brooklyn by giving sixteen Judges to those two cities, so that the Legislature may then remedy this difficulty. We conclude that this goes to the root of the whole matter, and that the adoption of this constitutional amendment by the people will put the State in a position where, through the Legislature, the difficulties can be remedied, and, therefore, we recommend that the Association pass a resolution, which I will read to you, indorsing the plan and asking the people of the State to vote favorably upon it, with a view to having the Association use its influence in the direction of bringing about the adoption of that amendment.
As to Mr. Whitney's paper, that related to procedure relating to the methods of pleading. Without going into detail in regard to it, the committee is of the opinion that, the plan whereby a demurrer, by which questions of law may be raised at any stage, without the delay which is now involved, and the doing away with the interlocutory judgment on demurrer, is desirable, and they recommend the passage of the act, which was drafted in accordance with it, and which was before your committee. Only one sub
ject then remains for consideration and that is the question of statutory consolidation, and as to that, your committee contents itself simply with referring to the action which has been taken by the Association, and to the address of the President upon that subject, and we present a resolution bearing upon the question. The recommendations are:
First. That the Supreme Court Justices assigned to the Appellate Division should be allowed to perform all duties of a Justice, including the holding of Trial Courts, in every department except the one to which they are assigned as Appellate Justices.
Second. That the constitutional amendment heretofore passed by the Legislature, providing for an increased number of Judges upon the basis of population, should receive the support of this Association, and is at this time a most practicable method of obtaining relief for the present congested condition of business in the Supreme Court.
Third. In the proposed bill introduced by Mr. Finch in the Legislature of 1903, as amended, relative to pleading, and relating more especially to demurrers, is desirable and would aid in the transaction of business in the Courts. Fourth. We recommend the following resolution: WHEREAS, This Association recognizes the necessity. for early action in connection with the revision of the statutes of the State, which was begun in 1889, but has been suspended for the past four years;
Resolved, That the Legislature be requested to enact the proposed statute reported in 1903,* by the Committee of Fifteen appointed to inquire concerning the condition
* For proposed act see page 361 of Volume 26, Proceedings of New York State Bar Association.
of the statutes and laws of the State, which provides for the consolidation of the statutes by a board, to be appointed by the Governor, and that the work be submitted as a whole to the Legislature within three years from the date of such appointment.
Resolved, That for the purpose of expediting the work, and to insure its completion, the Governor be and is requested to call the attention of the Legislature to this matter at an early period in the session of 1904, and to recommend favorable action thereon.
The opinion of the committee being that the Governor should be asked, if desirable, and it does seem to be desirable, to call, by way of a message, the special attention of the Legislature to this matter; to the recommendation of the Committee of Fifteen, and urge upon the Legislature the enactment of the statute in question. What is to be done in that direction can, of course, best be accomplished by conference with the Governor, and I may be allowed to say that it is exceedingly desirable we should have a full delegation upon meeting the Governor, in order that he may understand that the Association really means what it has said by way of resolution, and that we should not simply allow a few men to go there and represent the Association, but the Association should go as a body. That was the idea in making the arrangement. I move the adoption of the resolutions which I have read.
Everett P. Wheeler, of New York:
I second the motion.
I would like to ask the Chairman if that amendment to the Constitution regarding additional Judges makes it imperative upon the Legislature.