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Bland's Reports, Chancery Court 1809-1832
Volume 201, Page 597   View pdf image (33K)
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THE CHANCELLOR'S CASE. 597

had not the constitutional power to reduce that salary in any man*
ner whatever, during that period. In consequence of which con-
troversy between the two branches of the legislature, the Chancellor
has been totally deprived, since the close of the last session, of the
salary which had been thus ascertained and secured to him during
the continuance of his commission.

But, however ruinous this controversy may have been, and may
still be to the Chancellor individually; yet, when contemplated in
all its bearings, his fate becomes a matter of comparatively minor
consideration. There are matters involved in it, vitally affecting
the constitution, and the safeguards of the people's rights, of infi-
nitely greater moment than the mere personal wrongs of the Chan-
cellor. Its great importance seems to require, and will certainly
excuse the giving of a condensed account of its origin, progress
and termination.

It had been the uniform practice of the General Assembly, for
about twenty years past to pass a bill at each session, by which
it was enacted, in general terms, that all acts which would then
expire should be continued over to the next session. This had
been found an easy and safe mode of continuing all acts of all
descriptions, not intended to be repealed or made perpetual. But,
at the last session, the subject was taken up with more apparent
care, by a bill which proposed to review, and to continue or per-
petuate each temporary act by name. On the 9th day of Decem-
ber, 1824, soon after the commencement of the session, it was
moved in the House of Delegates, that a committee should be
appointed to inquire what laws would expire with that session;(a)
and a committee was accordingly appointed; who on the 14th of
the same month reported a bill, which, on the 17th, was ordered
to a second reading; that is, to be put upon its passage, on the
17th of the next month. But, on the same day, this bill, instead
of being suffered to lie over to the appointed time, was recom-
mitted; and did not again make its appearance in the house until
the 8th of February following. After which, it was suffered to lie
upon the table unnoticed until the very last day of the session,

(a) It may be well here, once for all, to remark, that it has been deemed unne-
cessary to make any special reference to the journals of either house for what, as in
this instance, is stated in this memorial to have been done by the House of Dele-
gates, or by the Senate; because the date given in the text will, in every instance,
be found to be of itself a sufficient reference, as all the movements of the two houses
are placed upon their respective journals in chronological order.

 

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Bland's Reports, Chancery Court 1809-1832
Volume 201, Page 597   View pdf image (33K)
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  << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>


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