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3 Case & Com. 1 (1896-1897)

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       Case and Comment.

                                   NOTES OF



                    LEGAL NEWS NOTES AND FACETIHA.

VOL. 3.                              JUNE, 1896.                              No. 1.

  Monthly. Subscription, 50 cents per almum post-
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         David Josiah Brewer.

  The selection of a judge already eminent
among the judges of the country when mak-
ing an appointment to the Supreme Court of
the United States is sure to meet the approval
of the nation. The judicial career of David J.
Brewer, both in state courts and in the circuit
court of the United States, had given him great
prominence before he was appointed by Presi-
dent Harrison December 18, 1889, to fill the
vacancy on the bench of the Supreme Court
created by the death of Mr. Justice Matthews.
  Judge Brewer's judicial career began soon
after he engaged in the practice of law. He
was elected judge of the probate and criminal
,courts of Leavenworth county, Kan., in 1862,
having been appointed a United States com-
missioner in the year previous. He was elected
judge of the district court for the first judicial
district of Kansas in 1861. During the short
period in which he was subsequently off the
bench, he served as county attorney in 1868,
but in 1870 was elected a justice of the su-
preme court of Kansas, was re-elected in 1576,
and again in 1882. In March, 1884, he was
appointed judge of the circuit court of the
United States for the eighth circuit and con-
tinued in that office nearly six years, until his
appointment to the Supreme Court. Some of
his opinions written while judge of the su-
preme court of Kansas, and others while he
was judge of the United States circuit court,
attracted wide attention. Among these were

the cases in which the Kansas prohibitory
amendment to the Constitution and the legis-
lation under it were sustained. In a very elab-
orate opinion in the case of Chicago & N. W.
R. Co. v. Dey, 35 Fed. Rep. 866, 1 L. R.
A. 744, he upheld the power of the court to
grant an injunction against the enforcement of
a schedule of unremunerative rates fixed by
railroad commissioners. Since he came upon
the bench of the Supreme Court this doctrine
has been reaffirmed in an opinion written by
him in the case of Reagan v. Farmers' Loan &
T. Co. 154 U. S. 362, 38 L. ed. 1014. Among
the many other important cases in which he
has written the opinion of the Supreme Court
is that of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United
States, 143 U. S. 457, 36 L. ed. 226, denying
the application of the contract labor law to a
rector of a church. Also Cleveland, C. C. &
St. L. R. Co. v. Backus, 154 U. S. 439, 88 L. ed.
1041, sustaining a state tax upon that part of a
railroad in the state according to a mileage
basis in proportion to the value of the entire
road, and Pittsburgh, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v.
Backus, 154 U. S. 421, 38 L. ed. 1031, sustain-
ing the same mode of taxation in respect to the
rolling stock of a railroad in the different
counties through which the road runs. An-
other case is Brennan v. Titusville, 153 U. S.
289, 85 L. ed. 719, denying the power of state
authorities to impose a license tax on a can-
vasser or solicitor of orders at retail for goods
to be sent from another state. Among his
strong dissenting opinions are those in Budd
v. New York, 143 U. S. 517, 36 L. ed. 247. and
Brass v. North Dakota, 153 U. S. 391, 388.
ed. 757, in which the majority of the court
sustained statutes regulating the charge for
elevating and storing grain. Thepower of the
Federal courts to restrain the obstruction of
trains engaged in interstate commerce or carry-
ing the mails was established by his convincing
opinion in Re Dabs, 158 U. S. 504,89 L. ed. 10,2

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