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The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, September 06, 1901, Image 1

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The Commoner.
Vol. fc. No. 33.
Lincoln, Nebraska, September 6, 1901
$1.00 a Year
Mr. Littlefield's Address.
On another page The Commoner repro
duces the address delivered by Congressman
Charles E. Littlefield, of Maine, before the
American Bar Association at Denver. Mr.
Littlefield criticised the Supremo Courts insu
lar decisions, and declared those decisions to
be "without a parallel in our judiciary history."
While disclaiming any disposition to reflect
upon the court, Mr. Littlefield said: "I feel
bound to say it seems to me that they ivere
profoundly impressed -with the supposed con
sequences of an adverse decision." One law
yet protested against Mr. Littlefield's discourse
in the presence of tho American Bar Associa
tion. That gentleman, Mr. Adolph Moses,
"I wish to record my note of dissent to the
general applause which followed the presentation
of the insular cases by Mr. Littlefleld. I regret to
have listened to what I consider an unwarranted
attack upon the supreme court of the United
States, and, as a member of this association, I wish
to raise my voice in protest against the use of this
platform lor a purpose of this kind."
JThe-notion thatonen,who,.occupy-the .bench
are exempt from criticism will not do under a
republican form of government. To say that
any opinion delivered by a man on the bench
must seem to command respect and approval,
although in fact it does not command either,
is to say that men in official position can do
no wrong; and the people of tho United States
know that men in official position are always
liable to err.
Mr. Littlefield's opinion of the insular de
cisions is the opinion of a. large majority of
tho lawyers of the United States. In truth
one need not be a lawyer to realize the error
of those decisions, because they involve the
fundamental ideas of this government and are
repugnant to the elementary principles of
government as taught to every school boy in
the land.
Mr. Littlefield's criticism was courageous
because he is a republican having, perhaps,
some ambition for future honors at his party's
hands. But Mr. Littlefield appears to be a
lawyer and a patriot before he is a republican,
and his condemnation of the insular decisions
will meet the hearty approval of a very largo
majority of tho people, although some may not
bo brave enough to give expression to their
Mr. Moses' idea that even when .one be
lieves a judicial opinion to be wholly wrong
and destructive of the very foundation of tho
government, no criticism should be uttered on
that opinion, is not a good sentiment to create
among a people whose happiness depends upon
liberty. Mr. Littlefield has eminent republi
can authority for criticising the 'action of mien
on the bench. It was Mr. Lincoln lwho;said)
that "The peoplo of these Unittid States are
the rightful masters of both congresses and
courts not to overthrow the constitution, but
to overthrow men who pervert the constitu
tion." Mr. Littlefield's statement that it seemed to
him that the justices were "too profoundly im
pressed with the supposed consequences of an
adverse decision," find corroboration oven in
the opinion delivered by Justice Brown him
self. In the concluding paragraph of that
opinion Justice Brown said:
"A false step at this time might be fatal to
the development of what Chief Justice Marshall
called tho American empire. Tho choice in some
cases, the natural gravitation of small bodies to
ward large ones in others, the result of a suc
cessful war In still others may bring about con
ditions which would render tho annexation of dis
tant possessions desirable. If thoso possessions
are inhabited by alien races, differing from us in
religion, customs, laws, methods of taxation and
modes of thought, the administration of govern
ment and justice, according to Anglo-Saxon prin
ciples, may for a time be impossible and tho ques-
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not to be made for a time, that ultimately our own
theories may bo carried out and the blessings of a
free government under the constitution extended to
them. We decline to hold that there is anything in
tho constitution to forbid such action."
Does this not indicate, exactly as Mr. Little
field said, that the justices were "profoundly
impressed with the consequences of an adverse
The Iowa Campaign.
The Iowa Democratic state convention
adopted a platform and nominated a ticket as
We, the democrats of Iowa, in convention as
sembled, hereby reaffirm the principles of the dem
ocratic national platform adopted at Kansas City
July 5, 1900, and without surrendering our convic
tions or abating our loyalty to our national policies
.we believe this campaign to be particularly one
that should bo confined to state issues.
The fundamental principle of democracy'equal
rights to oil and special privileges to none," applies
in full force to the subject of taxation. The dem
ocratic party believes that the burden of taxation
should be borne equally by all taxable property
subject to the jurisdiction of the state. We pledge
our member's of the general assembly to formulate
and urge the adoption of such a law as will compel
the burden of taxation to rest on corporate and
individual property alike, without favor and ex
emption of any interest.
We demand economy in tho administration of
state affairs, the repeal of the mulct laws, the en
actment of a local option law, tho abolition of the
offices of state printer and state binder and the
contracting for supplies for the state with the low
est responsible bidders. We cordially invite all
honwt, men of the stae- to unit with us in it
curing the enactment of thee principles Into law.
Governor T. J. PHILLIPS
Xileutonant Governor E. P. FERGUSON
Supreme Judge ,..JOHN SHORTLEY
Railroad Commissioner l.A. C. BRICE
Superintendent Instruction J. P. JOHNSON
The brethren of our sister state are to be
congratulated upon their loyalty to Democratic
principles. The legislature to be elected this
fall will choose a Senator to fill the unexpired
term of tho late Senator Gear, the place
temporarily filled by tho appointment of Sen
ator Dolliver. The state campaign can bo
fought on state issues but the senator elected,
if he happens to be a Democrat, will be bound
by tho platform to support Democratic princi
ples as set forth in the Kansas City platform.
With a good platform and a good ticket tho
party enters tho campaign with hope and cour
age. Let every demoorat, populist and silver re
publican make it his business to bo at tho polls.
Iowa is one of .the great agricultural states of
stronghold. .
Mr. McKinley's administration does not
represent the farmers; it is controlled by tho
money changers, tho trust magnates and the
syndicates organized to exploit "our new pos
sessions." Sooner or later tho farmers of
Iowa -will revolt and this year is a good year
to make a beginning.' .
The Filipino's Day of Fun.
The Chicago Record-Herald has interviewed
General Frederick D. Grant on "Characteristics
of the Filipino." General Grant said:
"The Filipino characteristic that surprised mo
tho most is a sense of humor that is not surpassed
by any race on earth except tho Irish. The aver
ago Filipino Is full of fun. He can detect a joke
quicker than many Americans and ho is always
ready to laugh. I take this as a happy omen. Tho
man who can enjoy a joke and who possesses the
saving quality of humor is good material for Am
erican citizenship.
"To Illustrate: One day a Dand of boy mu
sicians appeared before my headquarters to seren
ade us. They played many airs with good musical
conception and much technical skill. Finally they
played 'Aguinaldo's March.' When they had fin
ished one of my staff suggested in Spanish that the
'Aguinaldo M'arch' should be played as a 'quick
step The meaning of the joke appealed instantly
to the boys and young men in tho band. They
roared with laughter and instantly repeated the
tune In an accelerated measure that gave a very
good idea of Aguinaldo's hasty marches."
Perhaps this is a happy omen. It is well to
have, even on the part of men we are trying to
subjugate, a large fund of good humor. It
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