The Cleveland Daily Herald
Cleveland, April 29, 1859
The Wellington Rescue Cases.
The decision of the Supreme Court refusing the writ of Habeas Corpus in the “rescue” cases, was, without doubt, a disappointment to the defendants. Yet they are reasonable men, and know that no prudent man, or man of common sense would ask anything premature of that Court. Any person who is disposed to look calm upon the matter, must see that all preliminary questions should be removed before expressing an opinion upon the merits, and no person, who has decent regard for judicial propriety, should wish a Court to express its opinion one whit faster than necessity demands. – A judge who would give his opinion in advance, deserves impeachment. The point on which the case passed off is plain. Had the writ been granted it would have stopped the cases while in the middle of their trials; and extreme measure any Court, having a proper idea of its duties, will be very cautious about exercising. – When the United States Court shall attempt to enforce any sentence then we suppose the case will be different.
Had the Supreme Court jumped over the preliminary question which was right in the path leading to the merits, the same unpardonable blunder would have been made by our Supreme Court, that was made by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dred Scot decision. That Court overleaped preliminary questions to pronounce on a question not properly before them, and for such an outrage upon honesty and decency, they deserve and receive the condemnation of all right minded men. Let us not ask of our State Court to do the very act we denounce the Federal Court for having done.
While on this point we wish to revert to a threat appearing in the Democrat of this morning (29th). As that paper is the organ of the Federal officials, its expressed sentiments are supposed to emanate from them. The Democrat says:
Had the writ of habeas corpus been granted, from our knowledge of the Government officers in this city, and from our knowledge of the determination of President Buchanan, and of the able Cabinet who surround him, to see that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed, we feel a freedom in saying that they would have been left to take its own course against the persons indicted, regardless of any and of all consequences.
We have said that no collision was to be feared. Our assertion has been based upon assurance made by the Federal officers themselves, but the threat of the Democrat, the unexplained removal of Bushnell from the jail to the Government building, when rumor reported that a writ of Habeas Corpus had been granted, and his removal yesterday back to the jail, when news came that the motion had been denied, must be taken by our readers for what they signify, and they must draw their own inferences.
Messrs. Loren Wadsworth, Daniel Williams and Ely Boyce, three of the defendants, of Wellington, have, since the Court denied the motion entered into their own recognizances, and gone home.
Since writing the above the decision of the Supreme Court has been received, and is given in full elsewhere. That decision will command the respect and admiration of all who hold in proper regard the integrity of that Bench.