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force a treasonable purpose, all those who perform any part, however minute or however remote from the scene of action, and who are actually leagued in the general conspiracy, are to be considered as traitors. Ex parte Bollman, 4 Cranch, 75.
Those who perform a part in the prosecution of the war, may correctly be said to levy war and to commit treason under the Constitution. U.S. v. Burr, 2 Burr's Trial, 401.
When a body, large or small, of armed men, is mustered in military array for a treasonable purpose, every step which any of them takes in part execution of that purpose, is an overt act of levying war, though not a warlike blow may have been struck. The marching of such a corps with such a purpose, in the direction in which a blow might be struck, is levying war. U. S v. Greiner, 4 Phila. 396.
It is not necessary that there should be any military array or weapons. The crime may be committed by those not personally present at the immediate scene of violence, if they are leagued with the conspirators and perform any part, however minute. Druecker v. Salomon, 21 Wis. 621.
The occupation of a fortress by a body of men in military array, in order to detain it against the Government, is treason on the part of all concerned, either in the occupation or detention of the post. U. S. v. Greiner, 4 Phila. 396.
If a party joins and marches with rebels, the only force which excuses him on the ground of compulsion, is force upon the person and present fear of death, which force and fear must continue during all the time of military service with the rebels. U.S. v. Greiner, 4 Phila. 396; U. S. v. Hodges, 2 Wheel. Cr. Cas. 477.
The overt act and the intention constitute the treason, for without the intention the treason is not complete. U. S. v. Fries, 2 Whart. St. Tr. 458; vide U. S. v. Hodges, 2 Wheel. Cr. Cas. 477. The mere enlistment of men for service does not amount to levying
Ex parte Bollman, 4 Cranch, 75. War levied against the United States by citizens of the Republic, under the pretended authority of a rebellious State, or of Consederate States, is treason against the United States, Shortridge v. Macon, Chase, 136.
The offense is complete, whether the force be directed to the entire overthrow of the Government throughout the country, or only in certain portions of the country, or to defeat the execution and compel the repeal of one of its public laws. U. S. v. Greathouse, 2 Abb. C. C. 364.
The resistance of the execution of a law of the United States, accom
panied with any degree of force, if for a private purpose, is not treason. To constitute that offense, the object of the resistance must be of a public and general nature. U. S. v. Hanway, 2 Wall. Jr. 140; U. S. v. Hoxie, I Paine, 265; U. S. v. Fries, 2 Whart. St. Tr. 458.
An assemblage by force, to prevent the operation or compel the repeal of a single act, is treason by levying war against the United States. U.S. v. Fries, 2 Whart. St. Tr. 458; U. S. v. Mitchell, 2 Dall. 348; U.S. v. Hanway, 2 Wall. Jr. 140.
Where the object of the assemblage is to prevent the operation or compel the repeal of a law, force is necessary to complete the crime, but the quantum of force is immaterial. U. S. v. Fries, 2 Whart. St. Tr. 458.
The following elements therefore constitute this offense : ist. A combination or conspiracy, by which different individuals are united in one common purpose.
2d. This purpose must be to prevent the execution of some public law of the United States. 3d. The actual use of force by such combination, to prevent the execution of such law. Druecker v. Salomon, 21 Wis. 621.
The delivery of prisoners to the enemy is high treason against the United States. U. S. v. Hodges, 2 Wheel. Cr. Cas. 477.
If a party being with an enemy's squadron, comes to the shore with the intention to peaceably procure provisions for the use of the enemy, but stops short before anything is effected, this does not constitute an overt act of treason by adhering to the enemy. U. S. v. Pryor, 3 Wash. C. C. 234.
The term "enemies” applies only to the subjects of a foreign power in a state of open hostility with the United States. It does not embrace rebels in insurrection with their own Government. U. S. v. Greathouse, 2 Abb. C. C. 364; U. S. v. Cheneweth, 4 West. L. Mo, 165.
The provision that no person shall be convicted of treason unless upon the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court, applies only to the trial of indictments, and is inapplicable to proceedings before grand juries, or to preliminary investigations. U. S. v. Greiner, 4 Phila. 396.
2. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted.
This provision does not apply to the confiscation of enemies' property, even though those enemies are rebels against the Government, and therefore guilty of treason. Confiscation Cases, i Woods, 221.
1. Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may, by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
The provision had for its object to prevent any such weakening of the bonds of the Federal Union as might follow from the States disregarding what was due to courtesy and comity when their respective proceedings should come under consideration, and opening anew the controversies and questions which in the jurisdiction having properly and primarily the control of them had once been determined. Its object was, so far as judgments are concerned, to preclude their being disregarded in other States when a proper tribunal, with competent jurisdiction, had rendered them. People v. Dawell, 25 Mich. 247.
This section has three distinct objects : 1. To declare that full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other State.
2. The manner of authenticating such public acts, records and judicial proceedings; and 3. Their effect when so authenticated. Green v. Sarmiento, 3 Wash. C. C. 17; S. C. 1 Pet. C. C. 74; Bissell v. Briggs, 9 Mass. 462; Comm. v. Green, 17 Mass. 514.
By the first member of this clause, the framers of the Constitution intended a general declaration that the records of the courts of the several States should be treated with great respect by full faith and credit being given to them in every other State. But as this general declaration was not defined with accuracy, and was subject to be misunderstood, they proceeded further to declare that Congress might, by a general law, mark out the effect and define the general power thus given. Curtis v. Gibbs, 2 N. J. 399.
The latter part of this clause was intended to provide the means of giving to judgments the conclusiveness of judgments upon the merits when it is sought to carry them into judgments by suits in the tribunals of another State. The authenticity of a judgment and its effect depend upon the law made in pursuance of the Constitution ; the faith and credit due to it as the judicial proceeding of a State, is given by the Constitution independently of all legislation. M'Elmoyle v. Cohen, 13 Pet. 312.
This clause does not mean that all the effects and consequences of a litigation in one State shall follow it into another. The rule that “lis pen. dens” is notice to all the world is limited to all persons within the jurisdiction of the State where the suit was pending. Shelton v. Johnson, 4 Sneed, 672.
This clause was not designed to extend the jurisdiction of local courts, or to extend beyond its just limits, the operation of a local decree, but to provide a mode of authenticating evidence of the record of a judicial proceeding had in one State, so that the proper general result of it might be conveniently attained in every other State, against persons and things justly within the range of the proceeding. Bowen v. Johnson, 5 R. I. 112.
It is manifest that the Constitution contemplated a power in Congress to give a conclusive effect to judgments in the State courts, otherwise this clause would be utterly unimportant and illusory. The common law would make such judgments prima facie evidence in the courts of another State. Mills v. Duryee, 7 Cranch, 481; M'Elmoyle v. Cohen, 13 Pet. 312; Warren Manuf. Co. v. Etna Ins. Co. 2 Paine, 501; Green v. Sarmiento, 3 Wash. 17; S. C. 1 Pet. C. C. 74.
Congress may declare what shall be the effect of a judgment of a State court in another State. M'Elmoyle v. Cohen, 13 Pet. 312; Green v. Sarmiento, 3 Wash. 17 ; S. C. 1 Pet. C. C. 74.
This clause places judgments in another State on a different footing from what are commonly called foreign judgments, and gives them all the force and effects of judgments in every State. Oldens v. Hallet, 3 N. J. 466; Gibbons v. Livingston, 6 N. J. 236; Gibbons v. Ogden, 6 N. J. 285.
The terms “ faith and credit” evidently point to the attributes and qualities which such records and judicial proceedings shall have as evidence. Brengle v. McClellan, 7 G. & J. 434; Joice v. Scales, 18 Geo. 725;
7 Shelton v. Johnson, 4 Sneed, 672; M’Elmoyle v. Cohen, 13 Pet. 312; Carter v. Bennett, 6 Fla. 214; Wilson v. Robertson, i Tenn. 266.
The Constitution has effected no change in the nature of a judgment. It only provides that, as a matter of evidence, it shall be entitled to full credit. In marshaling the assets of an insolvent estate, a judgment recovered in another State only ranks as a simple contract, and is not put upon the footing of judgments rendered in the State. M'Elmoyle v. Cohen, 13 Pet. 312; Harness v. Green, 20 Mo. 316; Brengle v. McClellan, 7 G. & J. 434; Cameron v. Wurtz, 4 McCord, 278 ; vide Colt's Estate, 4 W. & S. 314.
This clause does not give validity to a void decree. Ogden v. Saunders, 12 Wheat. 213; Vanuxem v. Hazlehursts, 4 N. J. 192.
The collision of a decree with a prior decree of the same court, is not embraced by this provision. Mitchell v. Lenox, 14 Pet. 49.
The records and judicial proceedings to which full faith and credit are to be given, are only such as are duly rendered by a court of competent jur iction against those who appeared to defend, or were duly notified to appear. Aldrich v. Kenney, 4 Conn. 380; Bissell v. Briggs, 9 Mass. 462.
The Constitution does not confer upon Congress to give to a judgment obtained in one State all the legal properties, rights and attributes to which it is entitled by the law of the State where it was rendered. Brengle v. McClellan, 7 G. & J. 434.
The Constitution makes no distinction between courts of record and those which are not such; nor between courts of the highest and most general jurisdiction and those tribunals whose authority is of the most limited and inferior character. Taylor v. Barron, 30 N. H. 78.
A judgment rendered before a justice of the peace is within the provision of the Constitution, although his court is not a court of record Silver Lake Bank v. Harding, 5 Ohio, 545; Pelton v. Platner, 13 Ohio, 209.
Congress has the power to declare the effect and provide the mode of authenticating the records and judicial proceedings of the courts of the respective territories and countries subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Hughes v. Davis, 8 Md. 271; Duvall v. Fearson, 18 Md 502; contra, Seton v. Hanahan, R. M. Charlt. 374; Adams v. Day, 33 Conn. 419; Haggin v. Squires, 2 Bibb, 334.
This clause relates only to judgments in civil actions, and not to judgments on criminal prosecutions. It has no effect whatever on judgments upon criminal suits, and in this respect the relation of the States to each other is wholly unaffected by the Constitution. Comm. v. Green, 17 Mass. 514.
A State may provide that an action of debt may be maintained on a judgment rendered in the courts of another State, for a State may give to such judgment any effect it may think proper, so that it does not derogate from the effect secured by the Constitution and the acts of Congress. Bissel v. Briggs, 9 Mass. 462.
A State law which declares that no action shall be maintained on any judgment rendered without the State against any person who at the time of the commencement of the suit was a resident of the State in any case where the cause of action would have been barred by any act of limitations of the State, is void. Christmas v. Russell, 5 Wall. 290; Dodge v. Coffin, 15
Prescription is a thing of policy growing out of its experience, and the time after which suits or actions shall be barred has been from a remote antiquity fixed by every nation, in virtue of that sovereignty by which it exercises its legislation for all persons and property within its jurisdiction.