Cherokee Phoenix

From the Cincinnati Journal

Published April, 14, 1832

Page 1 Column 4b

From the Cincinnati Journal

'The mandate issued by the Supreme Court in the case of the Missionaries, is not and cannot be directed to the Marshal. It is addressed to the Georgia Court, in which the sentence was rendered. It is the common ordinary process issued, when the Supreme court reverses the judgment of an inferior court. It informs the Georgia Court, that its judgment is reversed and annulled, and it directs that the Prisoners be set at large. In common cases, the Georgia Court would receive the mandate, cause it to be recorded, and comply with its directions. This is the plain course of duty in a Government of laws. But the Georgia Court may refuse to pursue this course. The Court of appeals of Virginia once refused to pursue it and the proceedings that followed were these: The party interested applied, at the next term of the Supreme Court, for redress; the Court entered into no conflict with the Court of Appeals of Virginia. It issued a process directed to the Marshal of Virginia to put the party in possessio of the property adjudged to be his right by the Supreme court; the Marshal obeyed, and there the matter ended.

If the Georgia Court refuse to respect the mandate, that refusal does not defeat its validity and effect-neither does it call for any action of the part of the President. In fact, it made no occasion for him to act. Several modes of seeking further redress are open to the counsel for the Missionaries. One of them is,that pursued in the Virginia case. Let the matter rest until the next Supreme court, and then apply to that court for the proper writ addressed to the Marshal of Georgia, commanding him to set the Prisoners at liberty. If he refuse to obey this writ, then the next measure is to proceed against him by attachment. In case of such refusal, it would, perhaps, be the legal duty of the President to remove the Marshal, and appoint one that would act; but his permitting to do so could hardly be held an impeachable offence. If the Marshal take upon himself to execute the precess, ' the officers of Georgia resist, it then becomes his duty to call for aid upon the citizens of the State, as State officers call for assistance when resisted, in the execution of legal processes. If he cannot obtain this assistance, then it is his duty to represent the matter to the President; and it is the President's duty to call out the military power of the Union to enforce the execution of its laws.

There is another mode of proceeding which may bring the contest to this crisis in less time. The reversal of the Georgia judgment totally takes away its validity. It is of no more effect than if it had never been rendered. The Missionaries are as illegally confined, as if no accusation had ever been preferred against them, or sentence passed upon them. Their Counsel may therefore apply to the United States District Judge of Georgia, or to the United States Circuit Judge for that district, for a writ of habeas corpus. This writ must be granted, and those Judges being concluded and bound by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, must, and no doubt would, order the prisoners to be discharged. Process to ensure their discharge would be issued to the Marshall, and then the same predicaments occur as already stated. But until the State officers of Georgia refuse to respect the decision until a Marshall has refused to act, or until he is resisted in acting, and unable to command assistance to enforce obedience, the President has nothing to do. It becomes him to remain silent, until called upon to express his opinions and intentions, and it most likely he has pursued this course.'