4 US 225 Commonwealth v. Addison

4 U.S. 225

4 Dall. 225

1 L.Ed. 810


Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

March Term, 1801

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THE attorney-general made a motion, for a rule to show cause, why an Information should not be granted against the defendant, the President of the Courts of Common Pleas, in the fifth circuit; on the affidavit of J. C. Lucas, an associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Alleghany county, stating that he had been wilfully prevented by Mr. Addison, from delivering his sentiments to the grand jury, after Mr. Addison, as President, had concluded his charge, &c.


In support of the motion, the attorney-general cited 1 Reeves. Hist. Eng. Law, 201. c. 4. 2 Ibid. 2. Jacob's L. Dict. tit. 'Chapitre.' 4 Bl. Com. 303. Const. Penn. art. 5. s. 4. 6 Mod. 96.

But, by the COURT:


We are, unanimously, of opinion, that the case does not present to our consideration an indictable offence; and, of course, it is not a case, in which an information ought to be granted. But we are (with the same unanimity) of opinion, that every Judge has a right, and, emphatically, that it is his duty, to deliver his sentiments upon every subject that occurs in Court. We add, so far as the expression of our sense of decorum may have weight, that we think, it would be indecent and improper, in any presiding Judge, to attempt to prevent his associates from the exercise of this right; from the performance of this duty.


Motion refused.