150 U.S. 150 (1893), In re Parsons

Citation:150 U.S. 150, 14 S.Ct. 50, 37 L.Ed. 1034
Party Name:In re Parsons
Case Date:November 06, 1893
Court:United States Supreme Court

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150 U.S. 150 (1893)

14 S.Ct. 50, 37 L.Ed. 1034

In re Parsons

United States Supreme Court

November 6, 1893



This Court cannot, by writ of mandamus, compel a court below to decide a matter before it in a particular way.

This Court cannot, through the instrumentality of a writ of mandamus, review the judicial action of a court below had in the exercise of its legitimate jurisdiction.

These were applications for leave to file petitions for writs of mandamus against the judge of the District Court of the United States for the Middle and Northern districts a Alabama, commanding him to vacate certain orders made and entered by him June 20, 1893, while holding the Circuit Court for the Southern Division of the Northern District of Alabama, as to each of said petitioners, and hereinafter set forth, and to reinstate petitioners in the offices of United States attorney and United States Marshal for the Northern District of Alabama, respectively. As the petitions, proceedings, and orders complained of are the same, mutatis mutandis, the particulars of but one application need be stated.

It appears from the petition of Lewis E. Parsons, Jr., and the accompanying record, that on June 20, 1893 at a regular term of the Circuit Court for the Southern Division [14 S.Ct. 51] of the Northern District of Alabama, Emmet O'Neal presented and filed his application or motion as Attorney of the United States for the Northern District of Alabama stating that he had theretofore been recognized by the court as such attorney, duly commissioned and qualified, and representing that he had, as United States attorney, demanded of Parsons,

the former incumbent of said office, the possession and custody of the books, papers, and property belonging to the said office, and that the said Lewis E. Parsons, Jr., has refused and declined

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to surrender or deliver up the same, but, by his counsel, has in open court announced he would decline and refuse to surrender the same without being ordered so to do by the court,

wherefore he moved the court for an order requiring the said Parsons forthwith to turn over and deliver to him, as the attorney for the United States the books, papers, and property pertaining to or belonging to that office, taking his receipt as such attorney therefor.

Notice of this application was given and accepted on the same day, and thereupon Parsons demurred to the motion upon the grounds that the Constitution or laws of the United States did not confer on the President the authority to remove Parsons from the office of United States district attorney, and to appoint O'Neal; that the Constitution did not confer the power of appointment or removal during a recess of the Senate; that the court had no jurisdiction to make the order prayed for; that

there are no pleadings, or papers, or suit, or due process of law to authorize the order prayed for in the motion...

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