Corporations: Corporation as Plaintiff in Action for Libel

1916 Michigan law review  
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more » ... out Early Journal Content at JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact RECENT IMPORTANT DECISIONS RECENT IMPORTANT DECISIONS RECENT IMPORTANT DECISIONS v. Stevenson, I04 Iowa 50, 73 N. W. 360. The court, determining that this statute permitted involuntary servitude for an offense not adjudged a crime, held it to be in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment and therefore unconstitutional. See ii MICH. L. REv. I59. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-REZFERENDUM AS POLITICAL QUESTION.-Whether or not a state has ceased to be republican in form within the meaning of the guaranty of United States Constitution, Article 4, Section 4, because it has made the referendum a part of the legislative power, is not a judicial question, but a political one, which is solely for Congress to determine. State of Ohio ex rel. Davis v. Hilderbrant (I916), 36 Sup. Ct. 708. It will be noticed that the Constitution does not itself define the term "republican form of government." It has, however, always been an accepted rule of construction that technical and special terms used in the Constitution are to be given that meaning which they had at the time that instrument was framed. Turning to history contemporary with the framers of the Constitution and recalling their love of liberty and desire for the fullest political freedom, is it not probable that the phrase "republican form of government" was used as a guarantee against any monarchial rule that might threaten a state rather than as a denial of a free and unhampered democratic form of government? The political philosophy of many of the framers favored a centrifugal as opposed to a centripetal system and a consequent desire that as much power should be left in the people as was compatible with a representative system of government. Judge COOLEY on page 45 of his Constitutional Limitations (7th Edition) states that the purpose of this guarantee is to "protect a Union founded on republican principles, and composed entirely of republican members, against aristocratic and monarchial innovations." But whether the adoption of the referendum by the citizens destroys the republican form of government in the state is a political question. Pacific States Telephone & Telegraph Co. v. Oregon, 223 U. S. 118, 56 L. Ed. 377, 32 Sup. Ct. 224. Political questions are to be determined by Congress. Luther v. Borden, 7 How. I, 12 L. Ed. 581; Neely v. Henkel, I80 U. S. I09, 45 L. Ed. 448, 21 Sup. Ct. 302; Riverside Cotunty v. San Bernardino County, 134 Cal. 517, 66 Pac. 788; Parker v. State, 133 Ind. 178, 32 N. E. 836, 33 N. E. II9, i8 L. R. A. 567. The only difficulty about the question seems to arise from a failure to realize that the legislative duty of determining the political questions involved in deciding whether or not a government is republican in form is entirely different and separate from the judicial power and duty of upholding and enforcing, whenever it becomes necessary in a controversy properly submitted, the applicable provisions of the Constitution as to each and every exercise of governmental power.
doi:10.2307/1274708 fatcat:xhfoxj7zebemdaswhgyzp7vuce