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XI. - THE JUDICIARY-CHIEF JUSTICE CHASE.
Salmon P. Chase was, appointed Chief Justice, to preside in a court that had become distinguished in history, and honored by the noted men who had presided in it, as well as by the renowned lawyers who had plead causes before the highest tribunal of the nation. The system of Federal law, too, of which the Supreme Court is the highest exponent, had become pretty well settled, and men were on the bench as judges who by the long period of their judicial lives had become familiar with almost every question for litigation in that court.
The time had gone by for one man to write or dictate the opinion of the court, especially if that man were but fresh from the field of politics, as was Mr. Chase, and henceforth the opinions of the court are more truly the opinions of a number of corapetent judges than the irresistible conclusions of one profound mind.
The life of Mr. Chase had been passed chiefly in politics, and he had adopted a theory of our Federal government which as judge he did not fail to carry out. As a statesman, he aimed to divorce the Federal government from all connection with slavery, to confine its action within constitutional limits, to uphold the rights of individuals whether black or white, as