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THE LEGISLATIVE POWER OF THE STATES
OF THE AMERICAN UNION.
THOMAS M. COOLEY,
ONE OF THE JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF MICHIGAN, AND JAY PROFESSOR
OP LAW IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.
WITH CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONS, GIVING THE RESULTS OF THE RECENT CASES.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
In the Preface to the first edition of this work, the author stated its purpose to be, to furnish to the practitioner and the student of the law such a presentation of elementary constitutional principles as should serve, with the aid of its references to judicial decisions, legal treatises, and historical events, as a convenient guide in the examination of questions respecting the constitutional limitations which rest upon the power of the several State legislatures. In the accomplislıment of that purpose, the author further stated that he had faithfully endeavored to give the law as it had been settled by the authorities, rather than to present his own views. At the same time, he did not attempt to deny — what he supposed would be sufficiently apparent - that he had written in full sympathy with all those restraints which the caution of the fathers had imposed upon the exercise of the powers of government, and with faith in the checks and balances of our republican system, and in correct conclusions by the general public sentiment, rather than in reliance upon a judicious, prudent, and just exercise of authority, when confided without restriction to any one man or body of men, whether sitting in legislative capacity or judicial. In this sympathy and faith he had written of jury trials and the other safeguards to personal liberty, of liberty of the press and of vested rights ; and he had also endeavored to point out that there are on all sides definite limitations which circumscribe the legislative authority, independent of the specific restrictions which the people impose by their State constitutions. But while not predisposed to discover in any part of our system the rightful existence of any unlimited power, created by the Constitution, neither, on the other hand, had he designed to advance new doctrines, or to do more than clearly
and with reasonable conciseness to state the principles to be deduced from the judicial decisions.
The unexpected favor with which the work has been received having made a new edition necessary, the author has reviewed every part of it with care, but without finding occasion to change in any important particular the conclusions before given. Further reflection has only tended to confirm him in his previous views of the need of constitutional restraints at every point where agents are to exercise the delegated authority of the people; and he is gratified to observe that in the judicial tribunals the tendency is not in the direction of a disregard of these restraints. The reader will find numerous additional references to new cases and other authorities, and some modifications have been made in the phraseology of the text, with a view to clearer and more accurate expression of his views. Trusting that these modifications and additions will be found not without value, he again submits his work “to the judgment of an enlightened and generous profession.”
THOMAS M. COOLEY. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, L
ANN ARBOR, July, 1871.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.