War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0581 THE MARYLAND ARREST.

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of tumult and danger. The Government of the United States is one of delegated and limited powers. It derives its existence and authority altoghter from the Constitution, and neither of its branches-executive, legislative or judicial-can exercise any of the powes of government beyond those specified and granted. For the tenth article of the amendments to the Constitution in express terms provides that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States respectively or to the people. "

Indeed the security against imprisonment by executive authority provided for in the fifth article of the amendments of the Constitution which I have before quoted is nothing more than a copy of a like provision in the English constitution which had been firmly established before the Declaration of Independence.

Blackstone in his Commentaries (1st vol., 137) states it in the following words:

To make imprisonment lawful it must be either by process from the courts of judicature or by warrant from some legal officer having authority to commit to prison.

And the people of the United Colonies who had themselves lived under its protection while they were British subjects were well aware of the necessity of this safeguard for their personal liberty. And no one can believe that in framing the Government-intending to guard still more efficiently the rights and the liberties of the citizen against executive encroachment and oppression-they would have conferred on the President a power which the historyof England had proved to be dangerousand oppressive in the hands of the Crown and which the people of England had compelled it tosurrender after a long and obstinate struggle on the part of the English executive to usurp and retain it.

The right of the subject to the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus it must be recollected wasone of the great points in controversy during the long struggle in England between arbitrary government and free institutions, and must therefore have strongly attracted the attention of statesmen engaged in framing a new and as they supposed a freer government than the one which they had thrown off by the Revolution. For from the earliest history of the common law if a person was imprisoned-no matter by what authority-he had a right to the writ of habeas corpus to bring his case before the King's Beach, and if no specific offense was charged against him in the warrant of commitment he was entitled to be forthwith discharged; and if an offense was charged which was bailable in its character the court was bound to set him at liberty on bail. And the most exciting contets between the Crown and the people of England from the time of Magna Charata were in relation to the privilege of this writ and they continued until the passage of the statute of 31st Charles II. commonly known as the great habeas corpus act. This statute put an end to the struggle and finally and firmly secured the liberty of the subject from the usurpation and oppression of the executive branch of the Government. It nevertheless conferred no new right upon the subject but only secured a right already existing; for although the right could not justly be deneid there was often no eefectual remedy against its violation. Until the state of the 13th William III. the judges held their offices at the pleasure of the King, and the influence which he exercised over timid, time-serving and partisan judges often induced them upon some