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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 26, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-02-26/ed-1/seq-2/

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weeks ago. At a bar association fare
well given him the other night he
made a speech of warning to his fel
low lawyers. Very little was printed
about this speech. ..
"It may seem remarkable," said
Judge Cullen, "that less than 140
years after the Declaration of Inde
pendence, there is a strong tendency
to disregard the most fundamental
principles of personal rights. Judicial
decisions are made, statutes are en
acted and doctrines are publicly ad
vocated which, when I was young,
would have shocked our people to the
last degree.
"I had always believed that the
subordination of the military power
to the civil was an axiom in a free
country, but we are seeing in this'
country today cases involving a re
pudiation of that principle.
"In the state of West Virginia, in
1912, there had been great violence
and disorder during a strike on the
part of the coal miners, and the law
had been openly defied. The gover
nor suspended the write of habeas
corpus and declared by proclamation
a state of war to exist in a portion
of the county of Kanawha.
"The civil courts of the county
were open and unobstructed, the
country town in which they were
held being outside of what the courts
of that state have-called the 'martial
zone.' The petitioners had been tried
and sentenced by military commis
sion. They sought their release on
habeas corpus, which was denied
them by the Supreme Court of the
state, by a divided- court. ,
"Yet the constitution of West Vir
ginia prescribes this: "The provi
sions of the constitution of the United
States and of this state are opera
tive alike in a period of war as in
time of peace, and any departure
therefrom or violation thereof, under
the plea of necessity, or ariy other
plea, is subversive of good govern
ment and tends to anarchy and des
potism. The military shall be subor
dinate to-the civil power, and no citi
zen, unless engaged in the- military
service of the state, shall be tried or
punished by any military court for
any offense that is cognizable by the
civil courts of the state.'
"The majority of the court, in the
opinion, handed down, held that 'in
any section in which the constitu
tion and the functions of the courts
have been ousted, set aside or ob
structed by an invasion, insurrection,
rebellion or riot, the constitutional
guarantees of life, liberty and prop
erty have ceased to be operative and
efficacious.'
"In another case, the petitioners
were arrested outside the military
zone and turned over to a military
commission for trial. It was from the
imprisonment imposed by such com
mission that they sought relief.
"In this, case also Was the petitipn'
denied and the court adhered, to its
declaration, asserting the power of
the governor 'to declare a state of
war, to upe the military forces to sup
press the insurrection arjebellion or
repel invasion, and to establish a, mili
tary commission for the punishment
of offenses coMmltted within the
military zone, and 'by its judgment
impose imprisonment riotwithstand-

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