Keokuk, Iowa: William Rees, Printer, Binder and Stationer, 1869. Original printed wrappers [front wrap loose and substantially chipped, but no loss of text] with wrapper title [as issued]. Stitched, 56pp, clean text and two inoffensive institutional rubberstamps. Good+.
The dispute, a collision of State and Federal Courts, went like this: Iowa's Supreme Court had barred Lee County, Iowa, from levying taxes to pay railroad bonds that the County had issued. The Court said that "such bonds are prohibited under the constitution of the State and are void." But Illinois's federal court, in an action brought by a bondholder, ordered Lee County to levy the taxes and pay up.
Having ignored the federal order in reliance on the Iowa decision, the County officers were then arrested by federal marshals; the County officers petition Iowa Supreme Court Justice Beck for release from federal custody. Justice Beck had to decide whether he had jurisdiction to review the legality of their imprisonment under the federal writ. Justice Beck held that he did. "No federal officer in Iowa would incur the odium, in such a doubtful case, to say the least, of forcibly resisting the power of the loyal State of Iowa." He reviews the history of the "great remedy" of habeas corpus from its infancy in England; its indispensible importance in preventing "illegal restraint of the personal liberty of the citizen...It is not limited as a remedy for illegal restraint under particular authority; it is a remedy against all illegal imprisonment." He orders that the jailhouse doors be opened.
FIRST EDITION. Sabin 32558. Not in Harv. Law Cat., Marke, Decker, Eberstadt. Item #15242