Ableman v. Booth

220px-Sherman_Booth.png
Abolitionolist Sherman Booth
who is this?


Date of court case:
March 7th, 1859

Chief Justice:

Roger B Tanney: Tanney was born on Match 17, 1777 in Calvert County ,Maryland. He was admitted to the bar in 1799, after graduating from Dickinson College. Tanney was the country’s fifth Chief of Justice. He served from 1836 to 1864 as Chief Justice. Tanney was a slave holder but later released his slaves due to his view of slavery. He was nominated by President Andrew Jackson in 1836. He was the first Chief of Justice to be a Roman Catholic. He held many other honorable positions in his lifetime including the Secretary of war in 1831, Attorney General in 1831, and Secretary of the treasury in 1833.

Important Documents or amendments:

The Supremacy Clause states that the federal law is the highest law in the U.S. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin broke the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which states that any runaway slave that is caught must be sent back to his or her rightful master. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin broke the constitution by letting the slave go up to Canada and not sending him back to his master. The constitution of the United States is also important because the state Supreme Court of Wisconsin broke the constitution by stating that the Fugitive Slave Act is unconstitutional.

Summary:

In 1852 Joshua Glover, a runaway slave from St. Louis Missouri, escaped to Racine Wisconsin. In 1854 a slave catcher found Glover, and threw him in prison. A mob of 5,000 including abolitionist Sherman Booth, broke into the jail in which Glover was held, rescued him, and helped him travel to Canada. Booth was captured, and thrown in jail. US Marshal Steven Ableman was unhappy with this and appealed to the state Supreme Court. (gee, you think?) The state Supreme Court said the Fugitive Slave Act was not taken very seriously in the Northen states, as it was very strict in the Southern states. The state Supreme Court broke the law because they deemed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 unconstitutional. The case eventually went the Supreme Court in 1859; the Supreme Court of Wisconsin was accused of making the power of the state greater than the power of the federal court. The Supreme Court used the Supremacy Clause to support them, which stated that the federal law is the supreme law of America. The court also said that if the states had more power then bad things would happen. In the end it was decided that Wisconsin did not have the power to break the federal law, and they couldn’t hold the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional. Sherman Booth was pardoned from his offense in 1861 by President James Buchanan.

Main issue:

The main issue of the case was that the Supreme Court of Wisconsin broke the law by not abiding by the Fugitive Slave Act and deeming it unconstitutional. They did not have to power to do this but they still did it anyway, which caused the problem. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin broke the Supremacy Clause by putting their word above that of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Sherman Booth was in jailed but was released on a wit of Habeas Corpus, or in other words lack of evidence; It was deemed unconstitutional for a Supreme Court to give a wit of Habeas Corpus to a prisoner that is under federal custody. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin was wrong for letting Booth leaving prison.


Court Decision:

The decision of the court was a state Supreme Court cannot free a prisoner from confinement by the United States government.


Who voted what:

The court came to a decision of 9 to 0 a state not being able to free a prisoner from confinement of a U.S government.


Members of the court (not including the CJ?):
John Mclean- 1829-1861
James M Wayne-1835-1867
John Catron-1837-1865
Peter V. Daniel-1841-1860
Samuel Nelson-1845-1872
Robert C. Grier-1846-1870
John A. Campbell-1853-1861
Nathan Clifford-1858-1881

Personal Opinion of the case:

We have mixed feelings about this case. We think the Supreme court of Wisconsin was wrong with breaking the law, but they helped save a slave. We think it is necessary to break the law only when n the law is wrong or it hurts people because of their race, gender, ethnicity or anything else. We think that the mob that helped saved the slave could of done a better job, like sneaking him out without drawing much attention to themselves. What about the whole Supremacy Clause??


Had the case went other way:

The initial decision of the court was a state court cannot free a prisoner from confinement by the United States government. If this case had gone the other way, the state would have more power than the federal government, which would go against the Supremacy Clause. Also the Fugitive Slave Act would have been deemed unconstitutional. Sherman Booth (you mean Glover?) have been released from prison earlier, and the state Supreme Court would have to power to free a prisoner form federal custody.
Impact on American abolitionists?

Bibliography:

Free, Setting Booth. "Ableman v. Booth - ENotes.com." ENotes - Literature Study Guides, Lesson Plans, and More. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. <http://www.enotes.com/ableman-v-booth-reference/ableman-v-booth>.


Ableman v. Booth." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ableman_v._Booth>.


Ableman v. Booth | The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law." The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law | A Multimedia Archive of the Supreme Court of the United States. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1858/1858_0>.



5.5/7 Biblio - Alphabetical, plus, only 3 sources?
24/28 Content - Good explanation in spots, tell me who the photograph is
4.5/5 Organization - watch out for errors.

34/40 Total