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The motion was seconded and the resolution adopted.
The motion to adjourn was put and carried and the Association adjourned to meet at 8 o'clock P. M.
RECEPTION AND BANQUET.
The annual reception and banquet were given by the As. sociation at the Chicago Beach Hotel on Friday evening, July 13th, and were in charge of the following committees:
GEORGE P. MERRICK
The reception was followed at 8 o'clock by a banquet, which was held in the large reception room of the hotel.
The menu was as follows:
"Judicial power is never executed for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the Judge, but always for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the law."--Osborne V. Bank, of U. S.
LITTLE NECK CLAMS
CLEAR GREEN TURTLE WITH WHIPPED CREAM
• PAUPIETTES OF SALMON, PERIGORD DRESSED CUCUMBERS
CALF'S SWEETBREADS PIQUE AUX TRUFFLES
NEW PEAS IN CASES
If the dignity of the law is not sustained, its sun is set, never to be lighted up again.-Erskine.
ROAST ROCK OF SPRING LAMB
CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN
The Divine Blessing was asked by the Chaplain, Rev. C. N. Clement Brown, of Chicago, after which the following proceedings were had:
PRESIDENT Wood: Ladies and gentlemen: Please give me your attention now. The first upon the program this evening is “The Supreme Court of Illinois," Judge Jacob W. Wilkin.
JUDGE WILKIN: Ladies and gentlemen: My motive in consenting to respond to this toast was not entirely an unselfish one. George Francis Train once said that when he was on the lecture platform that he always made it a point to see that the local papers made favorable mention of his lectures, and in order that there might be no mistake about it, generally stayed over a while the next day and wrote the notice himself. I have a little interest that what is said this evening of the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois shall be at least as favorable as the facts will justify, and so in order that there might be no mistake about it, I thought I would embrace the opportunity to say it myself. (Laughter.)
I have sometimes wondered why some ingenious individual did not prepare responses to toasts on such subjects as "The Bench and Bar," "The Ladies," and such other common toasts as are generally proposed on an occasion like this, and if any gentleman had done that, and had happened to have one on hand in relation to the Supreme Court of Illinois, which was reasonably fair to them, he could have sold it to me this afternoon at a very good price. (Laughter.) Now that I have the opportunity to say something about the Su
I preme Court of the State of Illinois, my own timidity and the extreme modesty of my brethren upon the Bench almost overcome me, and I hardly know what to say more than that the present members of that Court have a just pride in the history of the Court. I believe I can say, without being charged with presumption, that during the past years of the history of the State of Illinois the Supreme Court has not only reflected honor upon the State, but has done its full share toward maintaining the institutions of the State, developing, or at least aiding in the development of her institutions, and in giving
stability to the laws of the State. We also are justly proud of the fact that we are the successors upon that Bench of such men as ('aton, Breese, Walker, McAllister, Lawrence, Scholfield, Bailey, Craig, Shope and others that I might mention, most of whom have finished their earthly career and gone to their reward—some of them closing their lives in active duty upon this Bench. A few of those whom I have mentioned remain, honoring the communities in which they live, and honored by those who knew them.
During the period that these men occupied the Supreme bench of the State of Illinois it has passed through a period of development such as few States have ever passed through in the same period of time. Naturally there came before the court in those years of development and growth questions of the greatest importance, not only to the profession, but to all the vast business interests of the State, and some of them have left upon the records of this State opinions upon questions affecting the policy and the future interests of the State, recognized throughout the civilized world, certainly recog. nized by all the courts of this country as leading cases and as settling principles of the greatest importance.
There is a saying that distance lends enchantment to the view. A good many years ago, to my mind, there was an enchantment about the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois that was absolutely overpowering, but when I'got there, I found that the court was simply composed of seven lawyers,
- I think, and shall insist, seven good lawyers (laughter), in in fact, seven very good lawyers (laughter and applause), but I have understood that even that has been questioned (Laughter.) I have an idea, if I could assemble all the law. yers who have lost cases, soon after the adjournment of the term and the opinions are announced I could get almost a unanimous vote that the Judges are not only not good lawyers, but very poor lawyers, and some of them might emphasize that by even stronger language. (Laughter and applause.)
I believe, myself, that the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois has made some mistakes and made some wrong decisions. A good many years ago they even decided cases against clients of mine (laughter), and I had no doubt that every one of them was wrong. I am not fully convinced yet that they were right. (Laughter and applause.)
It is very hard for the Supreme Court, or any other court to escape criticism, and my experience is that there is no body of men on earth that takes it more kindly, in fact, that feel more disappointed when they do not hear it. (Laughter.) There are a good many reasons why the Supreme Court should be criticised. (Applause from one person, and laughter.) I am not a very good guesser, but I have an idea that man has lost a case. (Laughter.)
It is often said that hard cases make bad law. That result perhaps ought to be avoided more carefully by courts of last resort than any other. We heard today the very magnifi. cent and able address on John Marshall, and heard quoted from his sayings, that a court of last resort must not only see to it as far as it can that even-handed justice is done, but it must maintain the uniformity of the law, and the rules of law that govern cases.
And while there is a disposition to say that courts ought to look only to the justice of the case every lawyer knows and every lawyer appreciates that justice to the law must also be maintained. And when the question arises whether the rules of the law shall yield to individual cases, or whether its majesty shall be maintained so that it may be applied uniformly to all cases, the court has but one alternative, if it does its duty, and that is to administer the law regardless of the consequences in a particular case. I remember not long ago of hearing the criticism that the Supreme Court—I do not know whether of Illinois or some other State-had reversed a very important case on account of error in the instructions to the jury, and the comment was,