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Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University; Managing-Editor American Political Science Review; Author of “ The American Constitutional System,” “The Supreme Court of the United States: Its Place and Influence in our Constitutional System,” “The Nature of the State," “Rights and Duties of American Citizen

ship,'' etc.



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In the preparation of this work, the aim has been to give a logical and complete exposition of the general principles of the constitutional law of the United States. The effort has been to ascertain and to discuss critically the broad principles upon which have been founded the decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States in the leading cases, and thus to present, as a systematic whole, a statement of the underlying doctrines by which our complex system of constitutional jurisprudence is governed. The performance of this purpose has required that attention should be devotd rather to a consideration of those principles of our public law which are fundamental, and especially of those the possible implications of which are not yet certainly determined, than to a statement in minute detail of those adjudications which, in themselves, establish no general rule of law, or illustrate no novel application of one. This latter task is one which more properly belongs to compilers of digests or to the authors of more special text-books. It is confidently believed, however, that in the present work no really important case has been left unnoticed.

Such merit as the present work may possess must, then, consist in its systematic arrangement, and in the fact that, with reference to the constitutional principles which are discussed, it fully sets forth the processes of judicial reasoning by which they have been established, it suggests the corollaries which may be drawn from them, and it indicates the relations which they bear to one another and to the more general doctrines of American public law.

Whenever space has seemed to permit, the author has reproduced the language of the Federal Supreme Court. This has necessitated many and, at times, extended quotations. It is believed, however, that this practice will commend itself to the reader. Since the character of this work requires in any case that

the arguments should be given, the authoritative language of the nation's highest tribunal is certainly preferable to a statement by a commentator of his understanding of the court's ruling or reasoning

The author desires to make especial acknowledgment of the very great assistance which he has received from Ilon. John C. Rose, United States District Judge, ard Dr. Frank J. Goodnow, Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Columbia University. Both of these friends have generously spared the time to read this treatise in the proof. That they have not, however, committed themselves to all of the positions assumed herein, hardly needs to be said.

The author wishes also to express generally his debt to the various law magazines published in this country. These journals are an honor to American legal scholarship, and to the articles contained in them the author owes more than he has been able specifically to acknowledge.

In conclusion, it may be added that, where appropriate, the author has repeated language used by him in an earlier and briefer work entitled The American Constitutional System.

The work as a whole is based upon lectures delivered during
recent years to the graduate students in Political Science at the
Johns Hopkins University.
June, 1910.

W. W. W.

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