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transcripts and other files pow stored in the respective court houses in the Northern and Southern Grand Divisions, in places totally unfit for depositing important papers, and where they are without any adequate protection from fire or other causes that might destroy them. As before remarked, the rooms now provided for storing transcripts and files are so inadequate, it is impracticable to so arrange them, that old records or files when wanted can be readily found. If nothing else is done, more and safer depositories for old records and files should be provided, and it is of the utmost importance it should be done at an early day.
All that has been attempted is to give expression to personal views. There is one opinion, however, in which most if not all of us will perhaps concur, and that is, the Supreme Couut of this State has been "on wheels” long enough, and that it is time it should have a permanent abiding place. The exigency of the public business to be transacted in that Court would seem to make it imperative.
CHICAGO, October 14, 1889. E. CALLAHAN, Esq., President Illinois State Bar Association:
DEAR SIR:—I have your favor of the 24th inst., desiring my views on the desirability of locating and holding the Supreme Court of the State at one place only.
During the time I occupied a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court, and since, I have thought much upon the subject of the location of that Court, and of the times or terms when it should be held, and am well convinced that both should be left to the determination of the Court itself. There can be no doubt that the judges of that court are better qualified to judge when and where that court should be held, than the legislature can be; and if they are honest men, and may be intrusted with the final decision of the causes which come before them, they certainly should be intrusted with the less responsible duties of determining when and where they shall hold the terms of the court to hear and decide those
They know the conditions of their dockets, and the exigencies of their business better than anybody else can, and so are best qualified to judge how the public interest may be best promoted in this regard.
Why should they not be intrusted with the power to determine when and where they shall hear and determine the causes which are brought before them? Who can know as well as they in what way the profession, as well as themselves, can be best accommodated in this regard? To withhold from them this power, which it must be conceded they are best qualified to exercise, bespeaks a distrust in the integrity and discretion of the eminent jurists who compose our Supreme Court, which I am sure is not really felt in any quarter.
They are, and I trust ever will be, entitled to our utmost confidence, and I am sure would willingly take the responsibility, which the suggested change would impose upon them, as readily as the far greater responsibilities which they have always hitherto discharged. This, too, would remove from the legislative department, matters in which private interests may sometimes be supposed to have an influence. Should these powers be vested in the Court, we may well assume they would be discreetly exercised by the adoption of rules which would give all necessary stabilities as to times and places.
If we have confidence in our courts, let us manifest it in such a way as to strengthen their hands in the discharge of their greater responsibilities.
I would also give them supreme control over venues, believing that they would exercise that control wisely and discreetly.
Very truly yours,
JOHN DEAN CATON.
ROCKFORD, ILL., December 27, 1889. E. CALLAHAN, Esq., President of Illinois State Bar Association.
MY DEAR SIR -In answer to your request for the expression of my views as to locating the sitting of the Supreme Court of the State at one place only, instead of at different places, as now provided, I would say that I am in favor of the proposition.
The change would insure fuller coöperation of the judges in their work. Under the present system, the judges during vacation, when their opinions are mostly written, are separated at their several homes, away from sufficient libraries, and there is not opportunity for consult ition with each other. Un. foreseen difficulties will present themselves there, rendering mutual conference most desirable. The holding of the Court at one place only, would tend to drawing the residence of the judges at such place, and would result in the keeping of them together more of the time than at present. The tendency would be to make the opinions more the actual work of the whole Court, be promotive of harmony and consistency therein, and improvement in quality.
The proposed change would make each session of the Court one for the whole State, instead of a particular division thereof, as now. Not infrequenty now, when the Court is in session, there is found urgent need of making application to the Court in respect of some cause or matter within the jurisdiction of some other division, and action must be delayed until a session of the Court comes around in that division. With the Court located at one place only, at any session business might be transacted for any part of the State. Of especial advantage would this be found in criminal cases, enabling their hearing to be expedited, and avoiding consequent increase of imprisonment from delay, in awaiting the recurrence of the Court's session in a particular division.
It is a great inconvenience for the records of the Court to be scattered in different places, as they now are. The Court's whole records should be present at the place of its sitting, ready of access there. As it is now, while the Court is in session in one division, there arises constant need of the examination of the records in some other division, for the inspection of unpublished opinions on file there. There is continual necessity of sending records from one division to another, involving expense, hazard to the records, and very much inconvenience.
With but one place of the Court's session, there would be need of maintaining only one law library for the Court, instead of several, as at present, and the State could afford to furnish, for its Supreme Court, one well equipped law library, adequate to all its needs, which is not now the case, and its judges be spared the humiliating necessity, as has been within the writer's experience, of resort to the private law library of a local bar association, to consult authorities not to be found in the Court's own library. The constant packing up and moving of the judges from place to place, like a strolling troupe of performers, to hold their sessions, entails loss of time, discomfort, and is rather belittling to the dignity of the Court.
The public interest, the convenience and usefulness of the Court, its character and dignity, call for the striking away of its present feature of itinerancy.
Very respectfully yours,
BENJ. R. SHELDON.
E. CALLAHAN, President Illinois State Bar Association:
DEAR SIR:—The manner of doing business by the Supreme Court for some years, has not been satisfactory to me, nor do I think to the profession generally. An impression prevails that cases do not have the deliberate consideration of all the members of the court, which they would have if the court was held at the place where the judges resided. If the sessions of the court were to be permanently located at Springfield, the judges, during the terms of their office, would probably make that their residence; and thus being together permanently, would, in the decision of cases and the preparation of opinions, counsel more fully and freely than it is possible for them to do when they are together a few weeks at a
PROCEEDINGS, ILLINOIS STATE BAR ASSOCIATION.
time, and that from the place of their residence. I think the decisions of the court would be more satisfactory to the profession and receive better consideration from all the judges, if the court were to be held at one place. Yours very truly,
15. HISTORIAN'S REPORT. The report was presented and read by the Historian of the Association, Hon. J. B. Bradwell, and embraced the year ending January 11, 1890.
Being too voluminous for publication, it should, however, be here recorded, that it consisted of carefully prepared historical notices of the lives, character, and public and professional services of the following members of the bar of this State, deceased during the period named. John Mattock, of Chicago,
Deceased, February 12, 1889,
February 26, 1889.
March 15, 1889.
March 16, 1889.
April 5, 1889.
April 26, 1889.
June 8, 1889.
August 8, 1889.
August 10, 1889.
September 2. 1889.
September 28, 1889.
August 26, 1889,
15. RECEPTION. The cordial invitation of Governor and Mrs. Fifer, tenderdering a public reception to the officers and members of the Association, at the Executive Mansion, was accepted for the evening of January 14, 1890.
The attendance was general, and the occasion marked by that "spirit of brotherhood," to cherish which, is one of the objects of the Association.
W. L. GROSS,