In re Neagle

135 U.S. 1 (1890)

Argued March 4, 5, 1890; Decided April 14, 1890

MR. JUSTICE MILLER, on behalf of the court, stated the case as follows:

This was an appeal by Cunningham, sheriff of the county of San Joaquin, in the State of California, from a judgment of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of California, discharging David Neagle from the custody of said sheriff, who held him a prisoner on a charge of murder.

On the 16th day of August, 1889, there was presented to Judge Sawyer, the Circuit Judge of the United States for the Ninth Circuit, embracing the Northern District of California, a petition signed David Neagle, deputy United States marshal, by A. T. Farrish on his behalf. This petition represented that [135 U.S. 4] the said Farrish was a deputy marshal duly appointed for the Northern District of California by J. C. Franks, who was the marshal of that district. It further alleged that David Neagle was, at the time of the occurrences recited in the petition and at the time of filing it, a duly appointed and acting deputy United States marshal for the same district. It then proceeded to state that said Neagle was imprisoned, confined and restrained of his liberty in the county jail in San Joaquin County, in the State of California, by Thomas Cunningham, sheriff of said county, upon a charge of murder, under a warrant of arrest, a copy of which was annexed to the petition. The warrant was as follows:

"In the Justice's Court of Stockton Township"



"The People of the State of California to any sheriff, constable, marshal, or policeman of said State or of the county of San Joaquin:"

"Information on oath having been this day laid before me by Sarah A. Terry that the crime of murder, a felony, has been committed within said County of San Joaquin on the 14th day of August, A.D. 1889, in this, that one David S. Terry, a human being then and there being, was willfully, unlawfully, feloniously, and with malice aforethought shot, killed and murdered, and accusing Stephen J. Field and David Neagle thereof: You are therefore commanded forthwith to arrest the above-named Stephen J. Field** and David Neagle and bring them before me at my office in the city of Stockton, or, in [135 U. S. 5] case of my absence or inability to act, before the nearest and most accessible magistrate in the county."

"Dated at Stockton this 14th day of August, A.D. 1889."

"H. V. J. SWAIN"

"Justice of the Peace"

"The defendant, David Neagle, having been brought before me on this warrant, is committed for examination to the sheriff of San Joaquin County, California."

"Dated August 1, 1889. H. W. J. SWAIN"

"Justice of the Peace"

The petition then recited the circumstances of a rencontre between said Neagle and David S. Terry, in which the latter was instantly killed by two shots from a revolver in the hands of the former. The circumstances of this encounter and of what led to it will be considered with more particularity hereafter. The main allegation of this petition was that Neagle, as United States deputy marshal, acting under the orders of Marshal Franks, and in pursuance of instructions from the Attorney General of the United States, had, in consequence of an anticipated attempt at violence on the part of Terry against the Honorable Stephen J. Field, a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, been in attendance upon said justice, and was sitting by his side at a breakfast table when a murderous assault was made by Terry on Judge Field, and in defence of the life of the judge, the homicide was committed for which eagle was held by Cunningham. The allegation was very distinct that Justice Field was engaged in the discharge of his duties as circuit justice of the United States for that circuit, having held court at Los Angeles, one of the places at which the Court is by law held, and, having left that court, was on his way to San Francisco for the purpose of holding the Circuit Court at that place. The allegation was also very full that Neagle was directed by Marshal Franks to accompany him for the purpose of protecting him, and that these orders of Franks were given in anticipation of the assault which actually occurred. It was also stated, in more general [135 U. S. 6] terms, that Marshal Neagle, in killing Terry under the circumstances, was in the discharge of his duty as an officer of the United States, and was not, therefore, guilty of a murder, and that his imprisonment under the warrant held by Sheriff Cunningham was in violation of the laws and Constitution of the United States, and that he was in custody for an act done in pursuance of the laws of the United States. This petition being sworn to by Farrish, and presented to Judge Sawyer, he made the following order:

"Let a writ of habeas corpus issue in pursuance of the prayer of the within petition, returnable before the United States Circuit Court for the Northern District of California."

"SAWYER, Circuit Judge"

"The writ was accordingly issued and delivered to Cunningham, who made the following return:"

"COUNTY OF SAN JOAQUIN, State of California"


"To the honorable Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of California:"

"I hereby certify and return that, before the coming to me of the annexed writ of habeas corpus the said David Neagle was committed to my custody, and is detained by me by virtue of a warrant issued out of the justice's court of Stockton township, State of California, county of San Joaquin, and by the endorsement made upon said warrant. Copy of said warrant and endorsement is annexed hereto and made a part of this return. Nevertheless, I have the body of the said David Neagle before the honorable court, as I am in the said writ commanded."

"August 17, 1889. THOS. CUNNINGHAM"

"Sheriff San Joaquin County, California"

Various pleadings and amended pleadings were made which do not tend much to the elucidation of the matter before us. Cunningham filed a demurrer to the petition for the writ of [135 U. S. 7] habeas corpus and Neagle filed a traverse to the return of the sheriff, which was accompanied by exhibits, the substance of which will be hereafter considered when the case comes to be examined upon its facts.

The hearing in the Circuit Court was had before Circuit Judge Sawyer and District Judge Sabin. The sheriff, Cunningham, was represented by G. A. Johnson, Attorney General of the State of California, and other counsel. A large body of testimony, documentary and otherwise, was submitted to the court, on which, after a full consideration of the subject, the court made the following order:

"In the Matter of David Neagle, on habeas corpus."

"In the above-entitled matter, the court having heard the testimony introduced on behalf of the petitioner, none having been offered for the respondent, and also the arguments of the counsel for petitioner and respondent, and it appearing to the court that the allegations of the petitioner in his amended answer or traverse to the return of the sheriff of San Joaquin County, respondent herein, are true, and that the prisoner is in custody for an act done in pursuance of a law of the United States, and in custody in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States, it is therefore ordered that petitioner be, and he is hereby, discharged from custody."

From that order an appeal was allowed which brought the case to this court, accompanied by a voluminous record of all the matters which were before the court on the hearing.

[135 U. S. 40] MR. JUSTICE MILLER, after stating the case as above, delivered the opinion of the court.

If it be true, as stated in the order of the court discharging the prisoner, that he was held

"in custody for an act done in pursuance of a law of the United States, and in custody in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States,"

there does not seem to be any doubt that, under the statute on that subject, he was properly discharged by the Circuit Court.

Section 753 of the Revised Statutes reads as follows:

"The writ of habeas corpus shall in no case extend to a prisoner in jail unless where he is in custody under or by color [135 U. S. 41] of the authority of the United States, or is committed for trial before some court thereof, or is in custody for an act done or omitted in pursuance of a law of the United States, or of an order, process, or decree of a court or judge thereof, or is in custody in violation of the Constitution or of a law or treaty of the United States, or, being a subject or citizen of a foreign State, and domiciled therein, is in custody for an act done or omitted under any alleged right, title, authority, privilege, protection, or exemption claimed under the commission, or order, or sanction of any foreign State, or under color thereof, the validity and effect whereof depend upon the law of nations, or unless it is necessary to bring the prisoner into court to testify."

And section 761 declares that when, by the writ of habeas corpus, the petitioner is brought up for a hearing, the "court or justice or judge shall proceed in a summary way to determine the facts of the case, by hearing the testimony and arguments, and thereupon to dispose of the party as law and justice require."

This, of course, means that, if he is held in custody in violation of the Constitution or a law of the United States, or for an act done or omitted in pursuance of a law of the United States, he must be discharged.

By the law as it existed at the time of the enactment of the Revised Statutes, an appeal could be taken to the Circuit Court from any court of justice or judge inferior to the Circuit Court in a certain class of habeas corpus cases. But there was no appeal to the Supreme Court in any case except where the prisoner was the subject or citizen of a foreign State, and was committed or confined under the authority or law of the United States or of any State, on account of any act done or omitted to be done under the commission or authority of a foreign State, the validity of which depended upon the law of nations. But afterwards, by the act of Congress of March 3, 1885, 23 Stat. 437, this was extended by amendment as follows:

"That section seven hundred and sixty-four of the Revised Statutes be amended so that the same shall read as follows: 'From the final decision of such Circuit Court an appeal may be taken to the Supreme Court in the cases described in the preceding section.' "

[135 U. S. 42] The preceding section here referred to is section 763, and is the one on which the prisoner relies for his discharge from custody in this case.

It will be observed that, in both the provisions of the Revised Statutes and of this latter act of Congress, the mode of review, whether by the Circuit Court of the judgment of an inferior court or justice or judge or by this court of the judgment of a Circuit Court, the word " appeal," and not "writ of error," is used, and as Congress has always used these words with a clear understanding of what is meant by them, namely, that, by a writ of error, only questions of law are brought up for review, as in actions at common law, while by an appeal, except when specially provided otherwise, the entire case on both law and facts is to be reconsidered, there seems to be little doubt that, so far as it is essential to a proper decision of this case, the appeal requires us to examine into the evidence brought to sustain or defeat the right of the petitioner to his discharge.

The history of the incidents which led to the tragic event of the killing of Terry by the prisoner Neagle had its origin in a suit brought by William Sharon of Nevada, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of California, against Sarah Althea Hill, alleged to be a citizen of California, for the purpose of obtaining a decree adjudging a certain instrument in writing, possessed and exhibited by her, purporting to be a declaration of marriage between them, under the code of California, to be a forgery, and to have it set aside and annulled. This suit, which was commenced October 3, 1883, was finally heard before Judge Sawyer, the Circuit Judge for that circuit, and Judge Deady, United States District Judge for Oregon, who had been duly appointed to assist in holding the Circuit Court for the District of California. The hearing was on September 29, 1885, and on the 15th of January, 1886, a decree was rendered granting the prayer of the bill. In that decree, it was declared that the instrument purporting to be a declaration of marriage, set out and described in the bill of complaint,

"was not signed or executed at any time by William Sharon, the complainant; that it is not [135 U. S. 43] genuine; that it is false, counterfeited, fabricated, forged, and fraudulent, and, as such, is utterly null and void. And it is further ordered and decreed that the respondent, Sarah Althea Hill, deliver up and deposit with the clerk of the court said instrument, to be endorsed 'cancelled,' and that the clerk write across it 'cancelled' and sign his name and affix his seal thereto."

The rendition of this decree was accompanied by two opinions, the principal one being written by Judge Deady and a concurring one by Judge Sawyer. They were very full in their statement of the fraud and forgery practised by Miss Hill, and stated that it was also accompanied by perjury. And inasmuch as Mr. Sharon had died between the hearing of the argument of the case on the 29th of September, 1885, and the time of rendering this decision, January 15, 1886, an order was made setting forth that fact and declaring that the decree was entered as of the date of the hearing, nunc pro tunc.

Nothing was done under this decree. The defendant, Sarah Althea Hill, did not deliver up the instrument to the clerk to be cancelled, but she continued to insist upon its use in the state court. Under these circumstances, Frederick W. Sharon, as the executor of the will of his father, William Sharon, filed in the Circuit Court for the Northern District of California, on March 12, 1888, a bill of revivor, stating the circumstances of the decree, the death of his father, and that the decree had not been performed; alleging also the intermarriage of Miss Hill with David S. Terry, of the city of Stockton in California, and making the said Terry and wife parties to this bill of revivor. The defendants both demurred and answered, resisting the prayer of the plaintiff, and denying that the petitioner was entitled to any relief.

This case was argued in the Circuit Court before Field, Circuit Justice, Sawyer, Circuit Judge, and Sabin, District Judge. While the matter was held under advisement, Judge Sawyer, on returning from Los Angeles, in the Southern District of California, where he had been holding court, found himself on the train as it left Fresno, which is understood to [135 U. S. 44] have been the residence of Terry and wife, in a car in which he noticed that Mr. and Mrs. Terry were in a section behind him, on the same side. On this trip from Fresno to San Francisco, Mrs. Terry grossly insulted Judge Sawyer, and had her husband change seats so as to sit directly in front of the Judge, while she passed him with insolent remarks, and pulled his hair with a vicious jerk, and then, in an excited manner, taking her seat by her husband's side, said: "I will give him a taste of what he will get by and by. Let him render this decision if he dares," -- the decision being the one already mentioned, then under advisement. Terry then made some remark about too many witnesses being in the car, adding that "The best thing to do with him would be to take him out into the bay and drown him." These incidents were witnessed by two gentlemen who knew all the parties, and whose testimony is found in the record before us.

This was August 14, 1888. On the 3d of September, the court rendered its decision granting the prayer of the bill of revivor in the name of Frederick W. Sharon and against Sarah Althea Terry and her husband, David S. Terry. The opinion was delivered by Mr. Justice Field, and, during its delivery, a scene of great violence occurred in the courtroom. It appears that, shortly before the court opened on that day, both the defendants in the case came into the courtroom and took seats within the bar at the table next the clerk's desk, and almost immediately in front of the judges. Besides Mr. Justice Field, there were present on the bench Judge Sawyer and Judge Sabin of the District Court of the United States for the District of Nevada. The defendants had denied the jurisdiction of the court originally to render the decree sought to be revived, and the opinion of the court necessarily discussed this question without reaching the merits of the controversy. When allusion was made to this question, Mrs. Terry rose from her seat and, addressing the justice who was delivering the opinion, asked in an excited manner whether he was going to order her to give up the marriage contract to be cancelled. Mr. Justice Field said: "Be seated, madam." She repeated the question, and was again told to be seated. She then said, [135 U. S. 45] in a very excited and violent manner, that Justice Field had been bought, and wanted to know the price he had sold himself for; that he had got Newland's money for it, and everybody knew that he had got it, or words to that effect. Mr. Justice Field then directed the marshal to remove her from the courtroom. She asserted that she would not go from the room, and that no one could take her from it.

Marshal Franks proceeded to carry out the order of the court by attempting to compel her to leave, when Terry, her husband, rose from his seat under great excitement, exclaiming that no man living should touch his wife, and struck the marshal a blow in his face so violent as to knock out a tooth. He then unbuttoned his coat, thrust his hand under his vest, apparently for the purpose of drawing a bowie knife, when he was seized by persons present and forced down on his back. In the meantime, Mrs. Terry was removed from the courtroom by the marshal, and Terry was allowed to rise and was accompanied by officers to the door leading to the marshal's office. As he was about leaving the room, or immediately after being out of it, he succeeded in drawing a bowie knife, when his arms were seized by a deputy marshal and others present to prevent him from using it, and they were able to wrench it from him only after a severe struggle. The most prominent person engaged in wresting the knife from Terry was Neagle, the prisoner now in court.

For this conduct, both Terry and his wife were sentenced by the court to imprisonment for contempt, Mrs. Terry for one month and Terry for six months, and these sentences were immediately carried into effect. Both the judgment of the court on the petition for the revival of the decree in the case of Sharon against Hill and the judgment of the Circuit Court imprisoning Terry and wife for contempt have been brought to this court for review, and in both cases the judgments have been affirmed. The report of the cases may be found in Ex parte Terry, 128 U. S. 289, and Terry v. Sharon, 131 U. S. 40.

Terry and Mrs. Terry were separately indicted by the grand jury of the Circuit Court of the United States during the same term for their part in these transactions, and the cases were [135 U. S. 46] pending in said court at the time of Terry's death. It also appears that Mrs. Terry, during her part of this altercation in the courtroom, was making efforts to open a small satchel which she had with her, but, through her excitement, she failed. This satchel, which was taken from her, was found to have in it a revolving pistol.

From that time until his death, the denunciations by Terry and his wife of Mr. Justice Field were open, frequent, and of the most vindictive and malevolent character. While being transported from San Francisco to Alameda, where they were imprisoned, Mrs. Terry repeated a number of times that she would kill both Judge Field and Judge Sawyer. Terry, who was present, said nothing to restrain her, but added that he was not through with Judge Field yet; and, while in jail at Alameda, Terry said that, after he got out of jail, he would horsewhip Judge Field, and that he did not believe he would ever return to California, but this earth was not large enough to keep him from finding Judge Field and horsewhipping him; and, in reply to a remark that this would be a dangerous thing to do, and that Judge Field would resent it, he said: "if Judge Field resents it, I will kill him." And while in jail, Mrs. Terry exhibited to a witness Terry's knife, at which he laughed, and said, "Yes, I always carry that," and made a remark about judges and marshals, that "they were all a lot of cowardly curs," and he would "see some of them in their graves yet." Mrs. Terry also said that she expected to kill Judge Field some day.

Perhaps the clearest expression of Terry's feelings and intentions in the matter as in a conversation with Mr. Thomas T. Williams, editor of one of the daily newspapers of California. This interview was brought about by a message from Terry requesting Williams to call and see him. In speaking of the occurrences in the court, he said that Justice Field had put a lie in the record about him, and, when he met Field, he would have to take that back, "and if he did not take it back and apologize for having lied about him, he would slap his face or pull his nose." "I said to him," said the witness,

"'Judge Terry, would not that be a dangerous thing to do? [135 U. S. 47] Justice Field is not a man who would permit anyone to put a deadly insult upon him like that.' He said, 'Oh, Field won't fight.' I said, 'Well, Judge, I have found nearly all men will fight; nearly every man will fight when there is occasion for it, and Judge Field has had a character in this State of having the courage of his convictions, and being a brave man.' At the conclusion of that branch of the conversation, I said to him, 'Well, Judge Field is not your physical equal, and if any trouble should occur, he would be very likely to use a weapon.' He said, 'Well, that's as good a thing as I want to get.' The whole impression conveyed to me by this conversation was that he felt he had some cause of grievance against Judge Field; that he hoped they might meet, that he might have an opportunity to force a quarrel upon him, and he would get him into a fight."

Mr. Williams says that, after the return of Justice Field to California in the spring or summer of 1889, he had other conversations with Terry in which the same vindictive feelings of hatred were manifested and expressed by him.

It is useless to go over the testimony on this subject more particularly. It is sufficient to say that the evidence is abundant that both Terry and wife contemplated some attack upon Judge Field during his official visit to California in the summer of 1889 which they intended should result in his death. Many of these matters were published in the newspapers, and the press of California was filled with the conjectures of a probable attack by Terry on Justice Field as soon as it became known that he was going to attend the Circuit Court in that year.

So much impressed were the friends of Judge Field, and of public justice, both in California and in Washington, with the fear that he would fall a sacrifice to the resentment of Terry and his wife that application was made to the Attorney General of the United States suggesting the propriety of his furnishing some protection to the judge while in California. This resulted in a correspondence between the Attorney General of the United States, the District Attorney, and the marshal of the Northern District of California on that subject. This correspondence is here set out:


"WASHINGTON, April 27th, 1889"

"JOHN C. FRANKS, United States Marshal, San Francisco, Cal."

"SIR: The proceedings which have heretofore been had in connection with the case of Mr. and Mrs. Terry in your United States Circuit Court have become matter of public notoriety, and I deem it my duty to call your attention to the propriety of exercising unusual caution in case further proceedings shall be had in that case, for the protection of his Honor Justice Field or whoever may be called upon to hear and determine the matter. Of course, I do not know what may be the feelings or purpose of Mr. and Mrs. Terry in the premises, but many things which have happened indicate that violence on their part is not impossible. It is due to the dignity and independence of the court and the character of its judge that no effort on the part of the government shall be spared to make them feel entirely safe and free from anxiety in the discharge of their high duties."

"You will understand, of course, that this letter is not for the public, but to put you upon your guard. It will be proper for you to show it to the district attorney, if deemed best."

"Yours truly, W. H. H. MILLER."

"Attorney General"



"SAN FRANCISCO, May 6, 1889"

"Hon. W. H. H. MILLER, Attorney General, Washington, D.C."

"SIR: Yours of the the 27th ultimo, at hand."

"When the Hon. Judge Lorenzo Sawyer, our Circuit Judge, returned from Los Angeles (some time before the celebrated court scene) and informed me of the disgraceful action of Mrs. Terry towards him on the cars, while her husband sat in front smilingly approving it, I resolved to watch the Terrys (and so notified my deputies) whenever they should enter the courtroom, and be ready to suppress the very first indignity offered by either of them to the judges. After this, at the time of their ejectment from the courtroom, when I held Judge Terry [135 U. S. 49] and his wife as prisoners in my private office and heard his threats against Justice Field, I was more fully determined than ever to throw round the Justice and Judge Sawyer every safeguard I could."

"I have given the matter careful consideration, with the determination to fully protect the federal judges at this time, trusting that the department will reimburse me for any reasonable expenditure."

"I have always, whenever there is any likelihood of either Judge or Mrs. Terry appearing in court, had a force of deputies with myself on hand to watch their every action. You can rest assured that, when Justice Field arrives, he, as well as all the federal judges, will be protected from insults, and where an order is made, it will be executed without fear as to consequences. I shall follow your instructions and act with more than usual caution. I have already consulted with the United States attorney, J. T. Carey, Esq., as to the advisability of making application to you, at the time the Terrys are tried upon criminal charges, for me to select two or more detectives to assist in the case, and also assist me in protecting Justice Field while in my district. I wish the judges to feel secure, and for this purpose will see to it that their every wish is promptly obeyed. I notice your remarks in regard to the publicity of your letter, and will obey your request. I shall only be too happy to receive any suggestions from you at any time."

"The opinion among the better class of citizens here is very bitter against the Terrys, though, of course, they have their friends, and, unfortunately, among that class it is necessary to watch."

"Your most obedient servant, J. S. FRANKS,"

"U.S. Marshal Northern Dist. of Cal."

"SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., May 7, 1889"

"Hon. W. H. H. MILLER,"

"U.S. Attorney General, Washington, D.C."

"DEAR SIR: Marshal Franks exhibited to me your letter bearing date the 27th ult., addressed to him upon the subject [135 U. S. 50] of using due caution by way of protecting Justice Field and the federal judges here in the discharge of their duties in matters in which the Terrys are interested. I noted your suggestion with a great degree of pleasure, not because our marshal is at all disposed to leave anything undone within his authority or power to do, but because it encouraged him to know and feel that the Head of our Department was in full sympathy with the efforts being made to protect the judges and vindicate the dignity of our courts."

"I write merely to suggest that there is just reason, in the light of the past and the threats made by Judge and Mrs. Terry against Justice Field and Judge Sawyer, to apprehend personal violence at any moment and at any place, as well in court as out of court, and that, while due caution has always been taken by the marshal when either Judge or Mrs. Terry is about the building in which the courts are held, he has not felt it within his authority to guard either Judge Sawyer or Justice Field against harm when away from the appraisers' building."

"Discretion dictates, however, that a protection should be thrown about them at other times and places, when proceedings are being had before them in which the Terrys are interested, and I verily believe, in view of the direful threats made against Justice Field, that he will be in great danger at all times while here."

"Mr. Franks is a prudent, cool, and courageous officer who will not abuse any authority granted him. I would therefore suggest that he be authorized in his discretion to retain one or more deputies, at such times as he may deem necessary, for the purposes suggested. That publicity may not be given to the matter, it is important that the deputies whom he may select be not known as such, and that efficient service may be assured for the purposes indicated, it seems to me that they should be strangers to the Terrys."

"The Terrys are unable to appreciate that an officer should perform his official duty when that duty in any way requires his efforts to be directed against them. The marshal, his deputies, and myself suffer daily indignities and insults from Mrs. [135 U. S. 51] Terry, in court and out of court, committed in the presence of her husband and without interference upon his part. I do not purpose being deterred from any duty, nor do I purpose being intimidated in the least degree from doing my whole duty in the premises, but I shall feel doubly assured in being able to do so knowing that our marshal has your kind wishes and encouragement in doing everything needed to protect the officers of the court in the discharge of their duties."

"This, of course, is not intended for the public files of your office, nor will it be on file in my office. Prudence dictates great caution on the part of the officials who may be called upon to have anything to do in the premises, and I deem it to be of the greatest importance that the suggestions back and forth be confidential."

"I shall write you further upon the subject of these cases in a few days."

"I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,"


"U.S. Attorney"


"WASHINGTON, D.C., May 27, 1889"

"J. C FRANKS, Esq., United States Marshal, San Francisco, Cal."

"SIR: Referring to former correspondence of the department relating to a possible disorder in the session of the approaching term of court, owing to the small number of bailiffs under your control to preserve order, you are directed to employ certain special deputies at a per diem of five dollars, payable out of the appropriation for fees and expenses of marshals, to be submitted to the court as a separate account from your other accounts against the government for approval, under section 846, Revised Statutes, as an extraordinary expense, that the same may be forwarded to this Department in order to secure executive action and approval."

"Very respectfully, W. H. H. MILLER"

"Attorney General"

[135 U. S. 52] The result of this correspondence was that Marshal Franks appointed Mr. Neagle a deputy marshal for the Northern District of California, and gave him special instructions to attend upon Judge Field both in court and while going from one court to another, and protect him from any assault that might be attempted upon him by Terry and wife. Accordingly, when Judge Field went from San Francisco to Los Angeles to hold the Circuit Court of the United States at that place, Mr. Neagle accompanied him, remained with him for the few days that he was engaged in the business of that court, and returned with him to San Francisco.

It appears from the uncontradicted evidence in the case that, while the sleeping car, in which were Justice Field and Mr. Neagle, stopped a moment in the early morning at Fresno, Terry and wife got on the train. The fact that they were on the train became known to Neagle, and he held a conversation with the conductor as to what peace officers could be found at Lathrop, where the train stopped for breakfast, and the conductor was requested to telegraph to the proper officers of that place to have a constable or some peace officer on the ground when the train should arrive, anticipating that there might be violence attempted by Terry upon Judge Field. It is sufficient to say that this resulted in no available aid to assist in keeping the peace. When the train arrived, Neagle informed Judge Field of the presence of Terry on the train, and advised him to remain and take his breakfast in the car. This the Judge refused to do, and he and Neagle got out of the car and went into the dining room, and took seats beside each other in the place assigned them by the person in charge of the breakfast room, and very shortly after this, Terry and wife came into the room, and Mrs. Terry, recognizing Judge Field, turned and left in great haste, while Terry passed beyond where Judge Field and Neagle were and took his seat at another table. It was afterwards ascertained that Mrs. Terry went to the car and took from it a satchel in which was a revolver. Before she returned to the eating room, Terry arose from his seat and, passing around the table in such a way as brought him behind Judge Field, who did not see him or notice him, came [135 U. S. 53] up where he was sitting with his feet under the table, and struck him a blow on the side of his face, which was repeated on the other side. He also had his arm drawn back and his fist doubled up, apparently to strike a third blow, when Neagle, who had been observing him all this time, arose from his seat with his revolver in his hand, and in a very loud voice shouted out: "Stop! stop! I am an officer!" Upon this, Terry turned his attention to Neagle, and, as Neagle testifies, seemed to recognize him, and immediately turned his hand to thrust it in his bosom, as Neagle felt sure, with the purpose of drawing a bowie knife. At this instant, Neagle fired two shots from his revolver into the body of Terry, who immediately sank down and died in a few minutes.

Mrs. Terry entered the room with the satchel in her hand just after Terry sank to the floor. She rushed up to the place where he was, threw herself upon his body, made loud exclamations and moans, and commenced inviting the spectators to avenge her wrong upon Field and Neagle. She appeared to be carried away by passion, and in a very earnest manner charged that Field and Neagle had murdered her husband intentionally, and shortly afterwards she appealed to the persons present to examine the body of Terry to see that he had no weapons. This she did once or twice. The satchel which she had, being taken from her, was found to contain a revolver.

These are the material circumstances produced in evidence before the Circuit Court on the hearing, of this habeas corpus case. It is but a short sketch of a history which is given in over five hundred pages in the record, but we think it is sufficient to enable us to apply the law of the case to the question before us. Without a more minute discussion of this testimony, it produces upon us the conviction of a settled purpose on the part of Terry and his wife, amounting to a conspiracy, to murder Justice Field. And we are quite sure that, if Neagle had been merely a brother or a friend of Judge Field, traveling with him, and aware of all the previous relations of Terry to the Judge -- as he was -- of his bitter animosity, his declared purpose to have revenge even to the point [135 U. S. 54] of killing him, he would have been justified in what he did in defence of Mr. Justice Field's life, and possibly of his own.

But such a justification would be a proper subject for consideration on a trial of the case for murder in the courts of the State of California, and there exists no authority in the courts of the United States to discharge the prisoner while held in custody by the State authorities for this offence unless there be found in aid of the defence of the prisoner some element of power and authority asserted under the government of the United States.

This element is said to be found in the facts that Mr. Justice Field, when attacked, was in the immediate discharge of his duty as judge of the Circuit Courts of the United States within California; that the assault upon him grew out of the animosity of Terry and wife, arising out of the previous discharge of his duty as circuit justice in the case for which they were committed for contempt of court, and that the deputy marshal of the United States, who killed Terry in defence of Field's life, was charged with a duty under the law of the United States to protect Field from the violence which Terry was inflicting, and which was intended to lead to Field's death.

To the inquiry whether this proposition is sustained by law and the facts which we have recited we now address ourselves.

Mr. Justice Field was a member of the Supreme Court of the United States, and had been a member of that court for over a quarter of a century, during which he had become venerable for his age and for his long and valuable service in that court. The business of the Supreme Court has become so exacting that for many years past, the justices of it have been compelled to remain for the larger part of the year in Washington City, from whatever part of the country they may have been appointed. The term for each year, including the necessary travel and preparations to attend at its beginning, has generally lasted from eight to nine months.

But the justices of this court have imposed upon them other duties, the most important of which arise out of the fact that they are also judges of the Circuit Courts of the United States.

[135 U. S. 55] Of these circuits there are nine, to each one of which a justice of the Supreme Court is allotted, under section 606 of the Revised Statutes, the provision of which is as follows:

"The chief justice and associate justices of the Supreme Court shall be allotted among the circuits by an order of the court, and a new allotment shall be made whenever it becomes necessary or convenient by reason of the alteration of any circuit, or of the new appointment of a chief justice or associate justice, or otherwise."

Section 610 declares that it

"shall be the duty of the chief justice, and of each justice of the Supreme Court, to attend at least one term of the Circuit Court, in each district of the circuit to which he is allotted during every period of two years."

Although this enactment does not require in terms that the justices shall go to their circuits more than once in two years, the effect of it is to compel most of them to do this, because there are so many districts in many of the circuits that it is impossible for the circuit justice to reach them all in one year, and the result of this is that he goes to some of them in one year, and to others in the next year, thus requiring an attendance in the circuit every year.

The justices of the Supreme Court have been members of the Circuit Courts of the United States ever since the organization of the government, and their attendance on the circuit and appearance at the places where the courts are held has always been thought to be a matter of importance. In order to enable him to perform this duty, Mr. Justice Field had to travel each year from Washington City, near the Atlantic coast, to San Francisco, on the Pacific coast. In doing this, he was as much in the discharge of a duty imposed upon him by law as he was while sitting in court and trying causes. There are many duties which the judge performs outside of the courtroom where he sits to pronounce judgment or to preside over a trial. The statutes of the United States, and the established practice of the courts, require that the judge perform a very large share of his judicial labors at what is called "chambers." This chamber work is as important as necessary, as much a discharge of his official duty as that performed [135 U. S. 56] in the courthouse. Important cases are often argued before the judge at any place convenient to the parties concerned, and a decision of the judge is arrived at by investigations made in his own room, wherever he may be, and it is idle to say that this is not as much the performance of judicial duty as the filing of the judgment with the clerk and the announcement of the result in open court.

So it is impossible for a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who is compelled by the obligations of duty to be so much in Washington City, to discharge his duties of attendance on the Circuit Courts as prescribed by section 610 without traveling in the usual and most convenient modes of doing it to the place where the court is to be held. This duty is as much an obligation imposed by the law as if it had said in words "the Justices of the Supreme Court shall go from Washington City to the place where their terms are held every year."

Justice Field had not only left Washington and traveled the three thousand miles or more which were necessary to reach his circuit, but he had entered upon the duties of that circuit, had held the court at San Francisco for some time; and, taking a short leave of that court, had gone down to Los Angeles, another place where a court was to be held, and sat as a judge there for several days, hearing cases and rendering decisions. It was in the necessary act of returning from Los Angeles to San Francisco, by the usual mode of travel between the two places, where his court was still in session, and where he was required to be, that he was assaulted by Terry in the manner which we have already described.

The occurrence which we are called upon to consider was of so extraordinary a character that it is not to be expected that many cases can be found to cite as authority upon the subject.

In the case of United States v. The Schooner Little Charles, 1 Brock. 380, 382, a question arose before Chief Justice Marshall, holding the Circuit Court of the United States for Virginia, as to the validity of an order made by the District Judge at his chambers, and not in court. The act of Congress authorized stated terms of the District Court, and gave the judge [135 U. S. 57] power to hold special courts at his discretion, either at the place appointed by the law or such other place in the district as the nature of the business and his discretion should direct. He says:

"It does not seem to be a violent construction of such an act to consider the judge as constituting a court whenever he proceeds on judicial business;"

and cites the practice of the courts in support of that view of the subject.

In the case of United States v. Gleason, 1 Wool.C.C. 128, 132, the prisoner was indicted for the murder of two enrolling officers who were charged with the duty of arresting deserters, or those who had been drafted into the service and had failed to attend. These men, it was said, had visited the region of country where they were murdered, and, having failed of accomplishing their purpose of arresting the deserters, were on their return to their home when they were killed, and the court was asked to instruct the jury that, under these circumstances, they were not engaged in the duty of arresting the deserters named. "It is claimed by the counsel for the defendant," says the report,

"that, if the parties killed had been so engaged, and had come to that neighborhood with the purpose of arresting the supposed deserters, but at the moment of the assault had abandoned the purpose of making the arrests at that time, and were returning to headquarters at Grinnell with a view to making other arrangements for arrest at another time, they were not so engaged as to bring the case within the law."

But the court held that this was not a sound construction of the statute, and

"that, if the parties killed had come into that neighborhood with intent to arrest the deserters named, and had been employed by the proper officer for that service, and were in the proper prosecution of that purpose, returning to Grinnell with a view to making other arrangements to discharge this duty, they were still engaged in arresting the deserters within the meaning of the statute. It is not necessary," said the court, “that the party killed should be engaged in the immediate act of arrest, but it is sufficient if he be employed in and about that business when assaulted. The purpose of the law is to protect the life of the person so employed, and this protection continues so [135 U. S. 58] long as he is engaged in a service necessary and proper to that employment."

We have no doubt that Mr. Justice Field, when attacked by Terry, was engaged in the discharge of his duties as Circuit Justice of the Ninth Circuit, and was entitled to all the protection under those circumstances which the law could give him.

It is urged, however, that there exists no statute authorizing any such protection as that which Neagle was instructed to give Judge Field in the present case, and indeed no protection whatever against a vindictive or malicious assault growing out of the faithful discharge of his official duties, and that the language of section 753 of the Revised Statutes, that the party seeking the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus must in this connection show that he is "in custody for an act done or omitted in pursuance of a law of the United States," makes it necessary that, upon this occasion, it should be shown that the act for which Neagle is imprisoned as done by virtue of an act of Congress. It is not supposed that any special act of Congress exists which authorizes the marshals or deputy marshals of the United States in express terms to accompany the judges of the Supreme Court through their circuits, and act as a bodyguard to them, to defend them against malicious assaults against their persons. But we are of opinion that this view of the statute is an unwarranted restriction of the meaning of a law designed to extend in a liberal manner the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus to persons imprisoned for the performance of their duty. And we are satisfied that, if it was the duty of Neagle, under the circumstances, a duty which could only arise under the laws of the United States, to defend Mr. Justice Field from a murderous attack upon him, he brings himself within the meaning of the section we have recited. This view of the subject is confirmed by the alternative provision, that he must be in custody

"for an act done or omitted in pursuance of a law of the United States or of an order, process, or decree of a court or judge thereof, or is in custody in violation of the Constitution or of a law or treaty of the United States."

[135 U. S. 59] In the view we take of the Constitution of the United States, any obligation fairly and properly inferrible from that instrument, or any duty of the marshal to be derived from the general scope of his duties under the laws of the United States, is "a law" within the meaning of this phrase. It would be a great reproach to the system of government of the United States, declared to be within its sphere sovereign and supreme, if there is to be found within the domain of its powers no means of protecting the judges, in the conscientious and faithful discharge of their duties, from the malice and hatred of those upon whom their judgments may operate unfavorably.

It has in modern times become apparent that the physical health of the community is more efficiently promoted by hygienic and preventive means than by the skill which is applied to the cure of disease after it has become fully developed. So also the law, which is intended to prevent crime, in its general spread among the community, by regulations, police organization, and otherwise, which are adapted for the protection of the lives and property of citizens, for the dispersion of mobs, for the arrest of thieves and assassins, for the watch which is kept over the community, as well as over this class of people, is more efficient than punishment of crimes after they have been committed.

If a person in the situation of Judge Field could have no other guarantee of his personal safety, while engaged in the conscientious discharge of a disagreeable duty, than the fact that, if he was murdered, his murderer would be subject to the laws of a State, and by those laws could be punished, the security would be very insufficient. The plan which Terry and wife had in mind of insulting him and assaulting him and drawing him into a defensive physical contest, in the course of which they would slay him, shows the little value of such remedies. We do not believe that the government of the United States is thus inefficient, or that its Constitution and laws have left the high officers of the government so defenceless and unprotected.

The views expressed by this court through Mr. Justice [135 U. S. 60] Bradley, in Ex parte Siebold, 100 U. S. 371, 100 U. S. 394, are very pertinent to this subject, and express our views with great force. That was a case of a writ of habeas corpus, where Siebold had been indicted in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Maryland for an offence committed against the election laws during an election at which members of Congress and officers of the State of Maryland were elected. He was convicted, and sentenced to fine and imprisonment, and filed his petition in this court for a writ of habeas corpus to be relieved on the ground that the court which had convicted him was without jurisdiction. The foundation of this allegation was that the Congress of the United States had no right to prescribe laws for the conduct of the election in question, or for enforcing the laws of the State of Maryland by the courts of the United States. In the course of the discussion of the relative powers of the federal and state courts on this subject, it is said:

"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 [135 U. S. 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 re-refining, 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."

At the same term of the court, in the case of Tennessee v. Davis, 100 U. S. 257, 100 U. S. 262, where the same questions in regard to the relative powers of the federal and state courts were concerned, in regard to criminal offences, the court expressed its views through Mr. Justice Strong, quoting from the case of Martin v. Hunter, 1 Wheat. 363, the following language: "The general government must cease to exist whenever it loses the power of protecting itself in the exercise of its Constitutional [135 U. S. 62] powers," and then proceeding:

"It can act only through its officers and agents, and they must act within the States. If, when thus acting, and within the scope of their authority, those officers can be arrested and brought to trial in a state court, for an alleged offence against the law of the State, yet warranted by the federal authority they possess, and if the general government is powerless to interfere at once for their protection -- if their protection must be left to the action of the state court -- the operations of the general government may at any time be arrested at the will of one of its members. The legislation of a State may be unfriendly. It may affix penalties to acts done under the immediate direction of the national government, and in obedience to its laws. It may deny the authority conferred by those laws. The state court may administer not only the laws of the State, but equally federal law, in such a manner as to paralyze the operations of the government. And even if, after trial and final judgment in the state court, the case can be brought into the United States court for review, the officer is withdrawn from the discharge of his duty during the pendency of the prosecution, and the exercise of acknowledged federal power arrested. We do not think such an element of weakness is to be found in the Constitution. The United States is a government with authority extending over the whole territory of the Union, acting upon the States and the people of the States. While it is limited in the number of its powers, so far as its sovereignty extends, it is supreme. No state government can exclude it from the exercise of any authority conferred upon it by the Constitution, obstruct its authorized officers against its will, or withhold from it for a moment the cognizance of any subject which that instrument has committed to it."

To cite all the cases in which this principle of the supremacy of the government of the United States, in the exercise of all the powers conferred upon it by the Constitution, is maintained would be an endless task. We have selected these as being the most forcible expressions of the views of the court having a direct reference to the nature of the case before us.

Where, then, are we to look for the protection which we [135 U. S. 63] have shown Judge Field was entitled to when engaged in the discharge of his official duties? Not to the courts of the United States, because, as has been more than once said in this court, in the division of the powers of government between the three great departments, executive, legislative and judicial, the judicial is the weakest for the purposes of self-protection and for the enforcement of the powers which it exercises. The ministerial officers through whom its commands must be executed are marshals of the United States, and belong emphatically to the executive department of the government. They are appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. They are removable from office at his pleasure. They are subjected by act of Congress to the supervision and control of the Department of Justice, in the hands of one of the cabinet officers of the President, and their compensation is provided by acts of Congress. The same may be said of the district attorneys of the United States, who prosecute and defend the claims of the government in the courts.

The legislative branch of the government can only protect the judicial officers by the enactment of laws for that purpose, and the argument we are now combating assumes that no such law has been passed by Congress.

If we turn to the executive department of the government, we find a very different condition of affairs. The Constitution, section 3, Article 2, declares that the President "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed," and he is provided with the means of fulfilling this obligation by his authority to commission all the officers of the United States, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint the most important of them and to fill vacancies. He is declared to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. The duties which are thus imposed upon him he is further enabled to perform by the recognition in the Constitution, and the creation by acts of Congress, of executive departments, which have varied in number from four or five to seven or eight, the heads of which are familiarly called cabinet ministers. These aid him in the performance of the [135 U. S. 64] great duties of his office, and represent him in a thousand acts to which it can hardly be supposed his personal attention is called, and thus he is enabled to fulfill the duty of his great department, expressed in the phrase that "he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

Is this duty limited to the enforcement of acts of Congress or of treaties of the United States according to their express terms, or does it include the rights, duties and obligations growing out of the Constitution itself, our international relations, and all the protection implied by the nature of the government under the Constitution?

One of the most remarkable episodes in the history of our foreign relations, and which has become an attractive historical incident, is the case of Martin Koszta, a native of Hungary, who, though not fully a naturalized citizen of the United States, had in due form of law made his declaration of intention to become a citizen. While in Smyrna, he was seized by command of the Austrian consul general at that place, and carried on board the Hussar, an Austrian vessel, where he was held in close confinement. Captain Ingraham, in command of the American sloop of war St. Louis, arriving in port at that critical period, and ascertaining that Koszta had with him his naturalization papers, demanded his surrender to him, and was compelled to train his guns upon the Austrian vessel before his demands were complied with. It was, however, to prevent bloodshed, agreed that Koszta should be placed in the hands of the French consul subject to the result of diplomatic negotiations between Austria and the United States. The celebrated correspondence between Mr. Marcy, Secretary of State, and Chevalier Hulsemann, the Austrian minister at Washington, which arose out of this affair and resulted in the release and restoration to liberty of Koszta, attracted a great deal of public attention, and the position assumed by Mr. Marcy met the approval of the country and of Congress, who voted a gold medal to Captain Ingraham for his conduct in the affair. Upon what act of Congress then existing can anyone lay his finger in support of the action of our government in this matter?

[135 U. S. 65] So, if the President or the Postmaster General is advised that the mails of the United States, possibly carrying treasure, are liable to be robbed and the mail carriers assaulted and murdered in any particular region of country, who can doubt the authority of the President or of one of the executive departments under him to make an order for the protection of the mail and of the persons and lives of its carriers, by doing exactly what was done in the case of Mr. Justice Field, namely, providing a sufficient guard, whether it be by soldiers of the army or by marshals of the United States, with aposse comitatus properly armed and equipped, to secure the safe performance of the duty of carrying the mail wherever it may be intended to go?

The United States is the owner of millions of acres of valuable public land, and has been the owner of much more which it has sold. Some of these lands owe a large part of their value to the forests which grow upon them. These forests are liable to depredations by people living in the neighborhood, known as timber thieves, who make a living by cutting and selling such timber, and who are trespassers. But until quite recently, even if there be one now, there was no statute authorizing any preventive measures for the protection of this valuable public property. Has the President no authority to place guards upon the public territory to protect its timber? No authority to seize the timber when cut and found upon the ground? Has he no power to take any measures to protect this vast domain? Fortunately we find this question answered by this court in the case of Wells v. Nickles, 104 U. S. 444. That was a case in which a class of men appointed by local land officers, under instructions from the Secretary of the Interior, having found a large quantity of this timber cut down from the forests of the United States and lying where it was cut, seized it. The question of the title to this property coming in controversy between Wells and Nickles, it became essential to inquire into the authority of these timber agents of the government thus to seize the timber cut by trespassers on its lands. The court said:

"The effort we have made to ascertain and fix the authority of these timber agents by any [135 U. S. 66] positive provision of law has been unsuccessful."

But the court, notwithstanding there was no special statute for it, held that the Department of the Interior, acting under the idea of protecting from depredation timber on the lands of the government, had gradually come to assert the right to seize what is cut and taken away from them wherever it can be traced, and in aid of this, the registers and receivers of the Land Office had, by instructions from the Secretary of the Interior, been constituted agents of the United States for these purposes, with power to appoint special agents under themselves. And the court upheld the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to make these rules and regulations for the protection of the public lands.

One of the cases in this court in which this question was presented in the most imposing form is that of United States v. San Jacinto Tin Company, 125 U. S. 273, 125 U. S. 279, 125 U. S. 280. In that case, a suit was brought in the name of the United States, by order of the Attorney General, to set aside a patent which had been issued for a large body of valuable land on the ground that it was obtained from the government by fraud and deceit practised upon its officers. A preliminary question was raised by counsel for defendant, which was earnestly insisted upon, as to the right of the Attorney General or any other officer of the government to institute such a suit in the absence of any act of Congress authorizing it. It was conceded that there was no express authority given to the Attorney General to institute that particular suit or any suit of that class. The question was one of very great interest, and was very ably argued both in the court below and in this court. The response of this Court to that suggestion conceded that, in the acts of Congress establishing the Department of Justice and defining the duties of the Attorney General, there was no such express authority, and it was said that there was also no express authority to him to bring suits against debtors of the government upon bonds, or to begin criminal prosecutions, or to institute criminal proceedings in any of the cases in which the United States was plaintiff, yet he was invested with the general superintendence of all such suits. It was further said:

[135 U. S. 67] "If the United States, in any particular case, has a just cause for calling upon the judiciary of the country, in any of its Courts, for relief by setting aside or annulling any of its contracts, its obligations, or its most solemn instruments, the question of the appeal to the judicial tribunals of the country must primarily be decided by the Attorney General of the United States. That such a power should exist somewhere, and that the United States should not be more helpless in relieving itself of frauds, impostures, and deceptions than the private individual is hardly open to argument. . . . There must, then, be an officer or officers of the government to determine when the United States shall sue, to decide for what it shall sue, and to be responsible that such suits shall be brought in appropriate cases. The attorneys of the United States in every judicial district are officers of this character, and they are by statute under the immediate supervision and control of the Attorney General. How, then, can it be argued that, if the United States has been deceived, entrapped, or defrauded into the making, under the forms of law, of an instrument which injuriously affects its rights of property, or other rights, it cannot bring a suit to avoid the effect of such instrument, thus fraudulently obtained, without a special act of Congress in each case, or without some special authority applicable to this class of cases?"

The same question was raised in the earlier case of United States v. Hughes, 11 How. 552, and decided the same way.

We cannot doubt the power of the President to take measures for the protection of a judge of one of the courts of the United States who, while in the discharge of the duties of his office, is threatened with a personal attack which may probably result in his death, and we think it clear that, where this protection is to be afforded through the civil power, the Department of Justice is the proper one to set in motion the necessary means of protection. The correspondence already recited in this opinion between the marshal of the Northern District of California and the Attorney General, and the district attorney of the United States for that district, although prescribing no very specific mode of affording this [135 U. S. 68] protection by the Attorney General, is sufficient, we think, to warrant the marshal in taking the steps which he did take, in making the provisions which he did make, for the protection and defence of Mr. Justice Field.

*                                                           *                                                           *                                                            *

We therefore affirm the judgment of the circuit court authorizing his discharge from the custody of the sheriff of San Joaquin county.

FIELD, J., did not sit at the hearing of this case, and took no part in its decision.

MR. JUSTICE LAMAR (with whom concurred MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER) dissenting.

The chief justice and myself are unable to assent to the conclusion reached by the majority of the court.

*                                                           *                                                           *                                                            *

Now we agree, taking the facts of the case as they are shown by the record, that the personal protection of Mr. Justice Field as a private citizen, even to the death of Terry, was not only the right, but was also the duty, of Neagle, and of any other bystander, and we maintain that for the exercise of that right or duty he is answerable to the courts of the state of California, and to them alone. But we deny that, upon the facts of this record, he, as Deputy-Marshal Neagle, or as Private Citizen Neagle, had any duty imposed on him by the laws of the United States growing out of the official character of Judge Field as a circuit justice. We deny that anywhere in this transaction, accepting throughout the appellee's version of the facts, he occupied in law any position other than what would have been occupied by any other person who should have interfered in the same manner, in any other assault of the same character, between any two other persons in that room. In short, we think that there was nothing whatever, in fact, of an official character in the transaction, whatever may have been the appellee's view of his alleged official duties and powers, and therefore we think that the courts of the United States have, in the present state of our legislation, no jurisdiction whatever in the premises, and that the appellee should have been remanded to the custody of the sheriff.

The contention of the appellee, however, is that it was his official duty, as United States marshal, to protect the justice; and that, for so doing, in discharge of this duty, "which could only arise under the laws of the United States," his detention by the state courts brings the case within section 753 of the Revised Statutes, as aforesaid.

We shall therefore address ourselves, as briefly as is consistent with the gravity of the question involved, to a consideration of the justice of that claim. We must, however, call attention again to the formal and deliberate admission that it is not pretended that there is any single specific statute making it, in so many words, Neagle's duty to protect the justice. The position assumed is, and is wholly, that the authority [135 U. S. 81] and duty to protect the justice did arise directly and necessarily out of the Constitution and positive Congressional enactments.

The Attorney General of the United States has appeared in this case for the appellee, in behalf of the government, and, in order that the grounds upon which the government relies in support of its claim against the state of California, that Neagle should be discharged on this writ, may fully appear, it is proper to give some of his most important propositions in his own language. He maintains that

"it was the duty of the judiciary, having been thus protected by the executive department, to sit in judgment upon and to vindicate the officer of the executive department, if innocent, in the discharge of his duty, because such authority in the federal judiciary is essential, in principle, to the existence of the nation. . . . We insist that, by the Constitution of the United States, a government was created possessed of all the powers necessary to existence as an independent nation; that these powers were distributed in three great Constitutional departments; and that each of these departments is by that Constitution invested with all of those governmental powers naturally belonging to such department which have not been expressly withheld by the terms of the Constitution. In other words, that Congress is invested not only with expressed, but with implied, legislative powers; that the judiciary is invested not only with express powers granted in the Constitution as its share of the government, but with all the judicial powers which have not been expressly withheld from it; and that the President, in like manner, by the very fact that he is made the chief executive of the nation, and is charged to protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution, and to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, is invested with necessary and implied executive powers which neither of the other branches of the government can either take away or abridge; that many of these powers, pertaining to each branch of the government, are self-executing, and in no way dependent, except as to the ways and means, upon legislation."

"The Constitution provides that, before the President enters [135 U. S. 82] upon the execution of his office, he shall take an oath:"

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

And he asks:

"Has this clause no significance? Does it not, by necessary implication, invest the President with self-executing powers, that is, powers independent of statute?"

In reply to these propositions, we have this to say: we recognize that the powers of the government, "within its sphere," as defined by the Constitution and interpreted by the well-settled principles which have resulted from a century of wise and patriotic analysis, are supreme; that these supreme powers extend to the protection of itself and all of its agencies, as well as to the preservation and the perpetuation of its usefulness; and that these powers may be found not only in the express authorities conferred by the Constitution, but also in necessary and proper implications. But, while that is all true, it is also true that the powers must be exercised not only by the organs, but also in conformity with the modes, prescribed by the Constitution itself. These great federal powers, whose existence in all their plenitude and energy is incontestable, are not autocratic and lawless. They are organized powers committed by the people to the hands of their servants for their own government and distributed among the legislative, executive, and judicial departments. They are not extra the Constitution, for, in and by that Constitution, and in and by it alone, the United States, as a great, democratic, federal republic, was called into existence, and finds its continued existence possible. In that instrument is found not only the answer to the general line of argument pursued in this case, but also to the specific question propounded by the attorney general in respect to the President's oath and its implications.

The President is sworn to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution." That oath has great significance. The sections which follow that prescribing the oath (sections 2 and 3 of article 2) prescribe the duties and fix the powers of the President. But one very prominent feature of the Constitution [135 U. S. 83] which he is sworn to preserve, and which the whole body of the judiciary are bound to enforce, is the closing paragraph of section 8, art. 1, in which it is declared that "the Congress shall have power . . . to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."

This clause is that which contains the germ of all the implication of powers under the Constitution. It is that which has built up the Congress of the United States into the most august and imposing legislative assembly in the world, and which has secured vigor to the practical operations of the government, and at the same time tended largely to preserve the equilibrium of its various powers among its coordinate departments, as partitioned by that instrument. And that clause alone conclusively refutes the assertion of the attorney general that it was "the duty of the executive department of the United States to guard and protect at any hazard the life of Mr. Justice Field in the discharge of his duty, because such protection is essential to the existence of the government."

Waiving the question of the essentiality of any such protection to the existence of the government, the manifest answer is that the protection needed and to be given must proceed not from the President, but primarily from Congress. Again, while it is the President's duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, it is not his duty to make laws or a law of the United States. The laws he is to see executed are manifestly those contained in the Constitution and those enacted by Congress, whose duty it is to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers of those tribunals. In fact, for the President to have undertaken to make any law of the United States pertinent to this matter would have been to invade the domain of power expressly committed by the Constitution exclusively to Congress. That body was perfectly able to pass such laws as it should deem expedient in reference to such matter. Indeed, it has passed such laws in reference to [135 U. S. 84] elections, expressly directing the United States Marshals to attend places of election, to act as peace officers, to arrest with and without process, and to protect the supervisors of election in the discharge of their duties; and there was not the slightest legal necessity out of which to imply any such power in the President. For these reasons, the letters of the attorney general to Marshal Franks, granting that they did import what is claimed, and granting that the attorney general was to all intents and purposes, pro hac vice, the President, invested Neagle with no special powers whatever. They were, if so construed, without authority of law; and Neagle was then and there a simple deputy marshal, no more and no less.

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