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States declared a certain law of Georgia unconstitutional and ordered the Courts of Georgia to release certain persons in prison for a debt. Jackson said, “Marshall has rendered his opinion, now let him enforce it." Public sentiment was against the decision and its mandate was not enforced. Von Holst, in his Constitutional History of the United States, tells us “Even in the United States Supreme Court the Constitution had not created a rock upon which all waves and storms break in vain. The truer comparison would be with a glacier,--stiff and firm, and yet moving forward, and as it slides down always adapting itself to the bed on which it lies.” Has not the history of that Court in recent months in a decision rendered affecting Chicago illustrated in a marked degree this statement? There are those whe claim that the history of our State Supreme Court has shown the same characteristics more than once in the last twenty-five years.
In popular government, conservative political sentiment has been said to be far more important than in any other form of government. The danger is not that we are too slow in making changes, but too rapid. The Courts have always been the most conservative of any branch of government. A prominent legal writer has stated recently, “In the problems that confront the Supreme Courts of this country we need not so much profound lawyers, but strong, even-tempered, courageous men of good red blood and sound common sense.” All of these qualities are very important, but is there any one here tonight who will not agree that if added to them the judge has a profound knowledge of the great principles of the law it will make him much better able to grapple with these great problems that come before the Supreme Courts of the country.
But I must reach an end. I do not want to be a frightful example of the definition given by an old rancher of a certain no-account railroad out west when he said, “the railroad could not amount to anything because it did not have a termini at either end." (Laughter.)
Members of the State Bar Association, lawyers of Illinois, I am confident that every member of the Supreme Court of this State as now constituted desires to do the work of that Court in such a way that lawyers and litigants alike will believe in and respect its findings. The judges may be mistaken as to the best plan of work, but how can you doubt that they are honest in thinking that they have adopted such a plan. This is not a new subject to the members of that bench. They have had it presented to them from every point of view many times during recent years.
I speak more freely than I otherwise would because I am not speaking of myself. My work there is in the future. None of my decisions have been presented to you for criticism or commendation. You must credit these men with wishing to reach the same end that you desire. Every one of them expects to make the work of that Court the crowning monument of his life. What you want they are striving for. They desire this Court to stand as the Courts of all Anglo-Saxon countries have always stood, for what is best in the community,—the highest expression of its civilization.
The Supreme Court of this and every other State must be as stable as the constitution. It cannot change with every passing whim or caprice. Its thoughts must be the thoughts of the people at their best moments. This and all other Courts of our country must strive to carry out as they have in the past the spirit of the charge of the IIebrew Law-giver, announced centuries ago :
“Hear ye the causes between your brethren and judge righteously between them. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment. But ye shall hear the small as well as the great. Ye shall not be afraid of the face of any man.” When our Courts cease to live true to this charge, when they are respectors of persons, and when they bow down in fear to any one, be he humble or be he great, then we may as well tear down the court houses and abolish the courts, for the dearest rights of AngloSaxon freedom will have become a thing of the past.
Fellow citizens, I believe in the future of my country be
cause I believe in and trust the men and women who make up the great body of its patriotic citizenship. They demand, as you will ever demand, that the judicial power in this country shall always remain in its original purity, simplicity, dignity and independence,--the very corner stone of our government. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT PAGE: Ladies and Gentlemen: The Bar Associatio:i of Illinois was organized thirty years ago, so that this is the thirtieth annual banquet. There is one thing that we are extremely proud of in this Association, and that is the exPresidents of the Association, who are here tonight with us in a goodly number at the table before us. I might say there are a number at the table who are not ex-Presidents, but they are directly or indirectly connected with them. The foundation stones of this Association were laid by these gentlemen; but there is one difference between them and the ordinary foundation stones, they are not under ground, and we are very glad to have them with us here tonight, and Gen. Orendorff will respond to the toast, "The Old Guard.” (Applause.)
MR. ORENDORFF: Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: A prudent lawyer, when he meets with a term or phrase in the preparation of a case, that seems ambiguous, ought to receive, if possible, an authoritative construction or definition of the word.
And so, before I consented to fill this honorable position I investigated what the term “old” meant in connection with "guaril." And I know, to my entire satisfaction that it is not a measure of age, duration of time, or length of service, but that it is a term of endearment. How could it be else than that when we consider that the guardians that have been most efficient in this Association are represented here tonight, by the wives and daughters and friends of the Association, our sister State of Missouri contributing a charming quota, and as we recognize these as the Guardian Angels of our institution, how could we connect the term age with them ? As has been suggested by Col. Hagerman in his able annual address, this As
sociation has had many years of experience; and in my consideration of this sentiment I shall hold that every man and woman who has in any way contributed to the success of the Illinois State Bar Association is one of the “Dear Old Guard."
And first we may consider that this is the Illinois State Bar Association, a State of which it has been said: “Not without thy wondrous story, Illinois, Illinois, May be writ the nation's glory, Illinois, Illinois; On the record of thy years Abraham Lincoln's name appears, Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois, Illinois.”
In referring to the illustrious men who have been connected, directly and indirectly, with this organization, the self-imposed time limitation which propriety suggests will not allow me to more than name them, and perhaps phrase a few words that may possibly throw some light upon the character of some of those men. The ex-Presidents of the Association are as follows: Anthony Thornton, David McCulloch, Orville H. Browning, Elijah B. Sherman, Charles C. Bonney, William L. Gross, David Davis, Benjamin S. Edwards, Melville W. Fuller, E. B. Green, Thomas Dent, Ethelbert Callahan, James B. Bradwell, Janies M. Riggs, Lyman Trumbull, Samuel P. Wheeler, Elliott Anthony, Oliver A. Harker, John II. Hamline, Alfred Orendorff, lIarvey B. Hurd, Benson Wood, Jesse Holdom, John S. Stevens, Murray F. Tuley, and Charles L. Capen.
We have had, you see, illustrious men in this institution. Two Vice-Presidents of the United States; two men who occupied the Vice-Presidential chair, Stevenson, an active member, and Judge David Davis. Davis was actively connected with the early days of this society. Davis, whose fame may safely rest upon that decision which he gave as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in the Milligan case, whereby the rights of American citizens from that time forth were protected under the habeas corpus act in the states where rebellion was not in actual existence.
We have, as an ex-President of this Association, the honored Chief Justice of the United States, (Applause), who sends his greetings here tonight in a letter to Judge Holdom, and asks that he may be remembered by his associates. A great honor to any man to occupy that most dignified judicial position upon earth.
But this Society had a man within its ranks who declined to accept the position of Chief Justice of the United States, our honored and lamented Judge Schofield.
Serators and Governors belong to our Association. This meeting tonight is graced by the presence of Senator Cullom, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. (Applause.)
An early President of this Association was one of the greatest constitutional lawyers that this nation has produced, Lyman Trumbull, of Illinois. (Applause.) In a debate bet een Trumbull and Douglas, Douglas said of him that his parents must have had a prophetic vision as to what the son would become when they gave him the name of Lyman. And Judge Trumbull in his reply said to Judge Douglas, “Your parents must also have had a prophetic knowledge of the future and your course when they selected as a part of your cognomen the name of Arnold, the greatest traitor that we have had against this nation.” I speak of this to show the quick wit and repartee of the two men, not applicable as a matter of truth to either of them, for no more sincere man than Lyman Trumbull has appeared in public affairs, and no truer patriot than Stephen A. Douglas, who upheld the hands of his compatriot, Lincoln, in the great conflict of the sixties and in his own home of Illinois rescued the state from sectional strife. He said that in that great conflict there were only two parties, traitors and patriots, and that he wished his followers to be patriots in deed and in truth. (Applause.)
The State Supreme Court and Federal Judges of this circuit and the ex-members are all members of this Association,