Downs v Bidwell

Downs v Bidwell - other areas Cuba, in particularthat might...

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other areas — Cuba, in particular—that might be later annexed by the United States. In January Igor Philippine governor Taft wrote his friend Justice Harlan that if the Supreme Court were to rule the tariff on insular trade unconstitutional, it would "result in a very narrow colonial pol- icy for the islands." Taft again wrote Harlan a few months later, shortly before the Court would issue its decisions in the Insular Cases, to emphasize the undesirability of applying the "uniform tariff clause" to the Philippines: "If there is room for two constructions . .. take the one that avoids such a result." The day of the decisions, Monday, May 27, Igor, newspapers around the country reported on the Supreme Court's upcoming rul- ings. The common line on the story, exemplified in the New York Daily Tribune, was that "in official circles there is scarcely any doubt that the court will sustain the government's contention, which reduced to popular parlance, is that 'the Constitution does not follow the flag' ex proprio vigore." Early reports also predicted a divided bench, based on the observation that some of the justices had made remarks in pub- lic speeches "against the government's colonial policy," and that some of the justices' questions to the U.S. government's counsel during oral argument suggested an opposition to the McKinley administration. One case occupied front and center: Downes v. Bidwell, which chal- lenged the constitutionality of the Foraker Act. "No case ever at- tracted wider attention," Joseph Pulitzer's New York World reported on May 27. "Legal and political opinion was never so divided. A momentous political and legal question hinged on the decision. The Administration watched the case eagerly." And the New York World wondered too, as did many other newspapers and political commen- tators, if the Supreme Court would uphold the "McKinley policy of imperialism." 78 { Chapter 3 ) CHAPTER 4 Downes v. Bidwell "I see," said Mr Dooley, "th' Supreme Coon has decided th' Constitution don't follow th' flag." "Who said it did?" asked Mr. Hennessy. "Some wan," said Mr Dooley. "It happened a long time ago an' I don't rayttzember clearly how it come up, but some fellow said that anywhere th' Constitution wint, th' flag was sure to go. 'I don't believe wan wurrud iv it," says th' other fellow. 'Ye can't make me think th' Constitution is goin' thrapezin' around iveywhere a young liftnant in th' army takes it into his head to stick a flag pole. It's too old. It a home-stayin' Constitution with a blue coat with brass buttons onto it, an' it walks with a goold-heade d cane.' . . . 'But,' says th' other, 'if it wants to throve', why not lave it?' But it don't want to. "I say it does."Howil we find out?' We'll ask th' Supreme Coort.'" "The Supreme Court's Decisions," FINLEY PETER DUNNE, Mr. Dooley at His Best, 1938
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Downs v Bidwell - other areas Cuba, in particularthat might...

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