Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Opinion of the Court.

voted for and designating the office of each ; $ 122; members

1 of the House of Representatives of the United States are chosen by the qualified voters of the respective congressional districts at the general election in November, 1888, and in every second year thereafter; § 52; electors for President and Vice President of the United States are chosen by the qualified voters of the State at the election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1888, and on the corresponding day in each fourth year thereafter, or at such other time as may be appointed by Congress ; SS 54, 55; and any person, who shall knowingly vote in any election district in which he does not reside and is registered, or vote more than once at the same election, “or, not being a qualified elector, vote at any election with an unlawful intent,” shall be punished by imprisonment in jail not exceeding one year, and by fine not exceeding $1000. $ 3851.

The Circuit Court was of opinion “that the United States courts for this district have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine the matters and things alleged in the bill of indictment found in the said hustings court of Manchester, upon the ground that the acts of Congress in such case made and provided (Rev. Stat. SS 5511, 5514,) have defined the offence charged in the said indictment and prescribed the penalty therefor, and that the United States courts have sole and exclusive jurisdiction thereof, and that the said hustings or corporation court of Manchester had no jurisdiction of the matters and things charged in the said indictment against the said Charles Green ;” and therefore adjudged that the prisoner be discharged. The respondent appealed to this court.

Mr. J. Randolph Tucker and Mr. R. A. Ayers, Attorney General of the State of Virginia, for appellant.

No appearance for appellee.

Mr. JUSTICE GRAY, after stating the case as above, delivered the opinion of the court.

In this case, as in Loney’s case, just decided, (ante, 372,) the question presented is whether the courts of the State of Virginia

Opinion of the Court.

had jurisdiction of the charge against the prisoner. But that is the only respect in which the two cases have any resemblance.

By the Constitution of the United States, the electors for President and Vice President in each State are appointed by the State in such manner as its legislature may direct; their number is equal to the whole number of senators and repre.. sentatives to which the State is entitled in Congress; no senator or representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector; and the electors meet and vote within the State, and thence certify and transmit their votes to the seat of government of the United States. The only rights and duties, expressly vested by the Constitution in the national government, with regard to the appointment or the votes of presidential electors, are by those provisions which authorize Congress to determine the time of choosing the electors and the day on which they shall give their votes, and which direct that the certificates of their votes shall be opened by the president of the Senate in the presence of the two houses of Congress, and the votes shall then be counted. Constitution, art. 2, sect. 1; Amendments, art. 12.

The sole function of the presidential electors is to cast, certify and transmit the vote of the State for President and Vice President of the nation. Although the electors are appointed and act under and pursuant to the Constitution of the United States, they are no more officers or agents of the United States than are the members of the state legislatures when acting as electors of federal senators, or the people of the States when acting as electors of representatives in Congress. Constitution, art. 1, sects. 2, 3.

In accord with the provisions of the Constitution, Congress has determined the time as of which the number of electors shall be ascertained, and the days on which they shall be appointed and shall meet and vote in the States, and on which their votes shall be counted in Congress; has provided for the filling by each State, in such manner as its legislature may prescribe, of vacancies in its college of electors; and has regulated the manner of certifying and transmitting their votes to

Opinion of the Court.

the seat of the national government, and the course of proceeding in their opening and counting them. Rev. Stat. SS 131143; Acts of February 3, 1887, c. 90, 24 Stat. 373 ; October 19, 1888, c. 1216, 25 Stat. 613.

Congress has never undertaken to interfere with the manner of appointing electors, or, where (according to the now general usage) the mode of appointment preseribed by the law of the State is election by the people, to regulate the conduct of such election, or to punish any fraud in voting for electors; but has left these matters to the control of the States.

Sections 5511 and 5514 of the Revised Statutes, referred to in the order of the Circuit Court, were, as observed by this Court in Coy's Case, 127 U. S. 731, 751, made for the security and protection of elections held for representatives or delegates in Congress; and do not impair or restrict the power of the State to punish fraudulent voting in the choice of its electors.

The question whether the State has concurrent power with the United States to punish fraudulent voting for representatives in Congress is not presented by the record before us. It may be that it has.

Ec parte Siebold, 100 U. S. 371. But even if the State has no such power in regard to votes for representatives in Congress, it clearly has such power in regard to votes for presidential electors, unaffected by any. thing in the Constitution and laws of the United States; and the including, in one indictment and sentence, of illegal voting both for a representative in Congress and for presidential electors, does not go to the jurisdiction of the state court, but is, at the worst, mere error, which cannot be inquired into by writ of habeas corpus. Exc parte Crouch, 112 U. S. 178; In re Coy, 127 U. S. 756–759. Judgment reversed, and case remanded for further proceed

ings in conformity with this opinion.

[blocks in formation]

No. 1269. Submitted January 10, 1890. — Decided March 24, 1890.

Under $ 4887 of the Revised Statutes, which provides that “every patent

granted for an invention which has been previously patented in a foreign country shall be so limited as to expire at the same time with the foreign patent, or, if there be more than one, at the same tinie with the one having the shortest term, and in no case shall it be in force more than sev. enteen years,” a United States patent runs for the term for which the prior foreign patent was granted, without reference to whether the latter patent became lapsed or forfeited in consequence of the failure of

the patentee to comply with the requirements of the foreign patent law. The case of Bate Refrigerating Co. v. Hammond, 129 U. S. 151, explained.

IN EQUITY. The case is stated in the opinion.

Mr. Grosvenor Lowrey, Mr. B. F. Thurston, Mr. Clarence A. Seward and Mr. J. M. Deuel for appellants.

Mr. Noah Davis for Edison Electric Light Company.

Mr. William J. Townsend for appellee.

MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a suit in equity, brought on the 16th of April, 1889, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, by Carl Pobl and Charles Zoller against the Anchor Brewing Company, a corporation, for the infringement of letters patent, No. 213,447, granted March 18, 1879, on an application filed January 3, 1879, to Carl Pohl, for an “improvement in barrel and cask-scrubbing machines.”

The patent is granted on its face for the term of seventeen years from March 18, 1879, “subject to the limitation prescribed by sec. 4887, Rev. Stats., by reason of German patent dated September 6, 1877, and French patent dated September

Opinion of the Court.

3, 1877.” It appears, by translations into English of the German and French patents, annexed to the bill, that the German patent began to run September 6, 1877, and its longest duration was until December 12, 1891, and that the French patent began to run from September 3, 1877, and ran for fifteen years.

The defendant put in a plea to the bill, setting forth that, at the time when Pohl applied for the United States patent, and at the time it was issued, he was a citizen of the empire of Germany; that, on the 6th of September, 1877, a German patent was issued to him for the same invention, for the term of fifteen years; that, under the German patent law of 25, 1877, he was required to pay certain annuities on the German patent, and to work the invention in the empire of Germany in the manner and for the term specified by that law; that in default thereof, the term of the German patent would expire, and the rights and privileges of the patentee under it would become forfeited and cease; that Pohl neglected and failed to pay the annuities, and to work the invention in the empire of Germany in the manner and time required by that law, whereby and under the provisions of that law the German patent became forfeited in 1880, and the term thereof expired; that, by reason thereof, and under the provisions of section 4887 of the Revised Statutes, the United States patent expired and the term thereof ended in 1880, and prior to the commencement of this suit, and, at the time it was brought, the plaintiff had no title to the patent and no rights under it; that, on the 3d of September, 1877, a patent was issued to Pohl for the same invention by the proper authorities of the government of France, for the term of fifteen years, and subject to the provisions of the French patent law of July 5, 1844; that, under those provisions, a patentee who failed to pay his annuity as required by that law, before the beginning of each year of the duration of his patent, or who failed to put his invention in working order in France within two years from the signature of the patent, or who ceased such working during two consecutive years, would forfeit all right under the patent; that Pohl neglected and failed to pay his annuity as required by such law, and failed to put his alleged invention in working

« ПредишнаНапред »