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U.S. Must Keep Within The Bounds Of Its Jurisdiction

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  • Legalbear
    Somewhat akin to the argument which has been considered is the objection that the deputy marshals authorized by the act of Congress to be created and to
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 13, 2013

      "Somewhat akin to the argument which has been considered is the objection that the deputy marshals authorized by the act of Congress to be created and to attend the elections are authorized to keep the peace; and that this is a duty which belongs to the state authorities alone. It is argued that the preservation of peace and good order in society is not within the powers confided to the government of the United States, but belongs exclusively to the States. Here again we are met with the theory that the government of the United States does not rest upon the soil and territory of the country. We think that this theory is founded on an entire misconception of the nature and powers of that government. We hold it to be an incontrovertible principle, that the government of the United States may, by means of physical force, exercised through its official agents, execute on every foot of American soil the powers and functions that belong to it. This necessarily involves the power to command obedience to its laws, and hence the power to keep the peace to that extent. This power to enforce its laws and to execute its functions in all places does not derogate from the power of the State to execute its laws at the same time and in the same 61*61 places. The one does not exclude the other, except where both cannot be executed at the same time. In that case the words of the Constitution itself show which is to yield. `This Constitution, and all laws which shall be made in pursuance thereof, ... shall be the supreme law of the land.' ... Without the concurrent sovereignty referred to, the national government would be nothing but an advisory government. Its executive power would be absolutely nullified. Why do we have marshals at all, if they cannot physically lay their hands on persons and things in the performance of their proper duties? What functions can they perform, if they cannot use force? In executing the processes of the courts, must they call on the nearest constable for protection? Must they rely on him to use the requisite compulsion, and to keep the peace, whilst they are soliciting and entreating the parties and bystanders to allow the law to take its course? This is the necessary consequence of the positions that are assumed. If we indulge in such impracticable views as these, and keep on refining and rerefining, we shall drive the national government out of the United States, and relegate it to the District of Columbia, or perhaps to some foreign soil. We shall bring it back to a condition of greater helplessness than that of the old confederation... . It must execute its powers, or it is no government. It must execute them on the land as well as on the sea, on things as well as on persons. And, to do this, it must necessarily have power to command obedience, preserve order, and keep the peace; and no person or power in this land has the right to resist or question its authority, so long as it keeps within the bounds of its jurisdiction." In re Neagle, 135 US 1, 60-1 Supreme Court 1890


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