THE Supreme Court of the United States, by a majority of one, lately rendered a decision which destroys the pooling of issues amongst railroads “in restraint of trade.” The case that was thus decided came up from the West. At the same time there was on the docket of the Supreme Court a case from the East, in which the same principle is involved. Now it is determined to push this second case with the “hope that some one of the justices may change his view when the Joint Traffic case is heard.”
So then the lawyers employed upon this Eastern case are to enter upon a course of argument and persuasion to get some one of the five justices, who made the other decision, to change his mind; and thus kill that decision and carry the Court the other way. We have not yet seen any statement from any source that this procedure is in any wise revolutionary or anarchistic.
About two years ago, the Supreme Court, by a majority of one, rendered a decision on the question of an income tax. One of the political parties in the campaign last year proposed to have one or more of the justices of the court change his mind upon that; and proposed to present arguments and persuasions that would in some  way bring this about. By leading men in the other party this was denounced as revolutionary and anarchistic.
But how can it be any more revolutionary or anarchistic for the people generally to present arguments and persuasions to induce a Supreme Court Justice to change his mind than it is for some lawyers to do it? Is it absolutely conservative and legal for a number of lawyers to do it, while revolutionary and anarchistic for the people to do it?
And if these lawyers shall succeed in getting one of the justices to change his mind, and so reverse the other decision and commit the United States Government to a directly opposite course from that to which the decision already rendered commits it; and if such a thing is to be accepted by the country as strictly proper, legal, governmental, and conservative;—wherein, then, was there anything else involved in the course of those who last year proposed to have a decision of the Supreme Court reversed and the Government committed to an opposite course with respect to the question of an income tax?
We call attention to this matter now solely to emphasize the point that as a matter of fact, in the practical workings of things, the position which the SENTINEL holds, and has always held, is recognized: that is, that a decision of the Supreme Court is always subject to reversal; and that there is nothing revolutionary or anarchistic in endeavoring to secure a reversal of a Supreme Court decision.
And our contention is, further, that the people of the United States have just as much right to discuss any of these questions and to secure a reversal of a Supreme Court decision as any set of lawyers have. It is no more just to charge as revolutionary and anarchistic any of the people who try to do this, than it would be to charge the lawyers now employed in this railroad case with revolution and anarchy in their “hope that some one of the justices may change his view.”
The people of the United States, on their own part, in their own behalf, are just as much concerned in the principles of the Government of the United States as the lawyers are; and they have all the rights that the lawyers have; for who are the lawyers but some of the people? And cannot a lawyer, as one of the people, in a political campaign endeavor to get the Supreme Court to change its mind and reverse a decision, with just as much right as he can as a lawyer in the Chamber of the Supreme Court endeavor to get the Court to change its mind and reverse its decision?
The sum of the whole matter is, that the American principle—the principle held by Jefferson, Jackson, and Lincoln, the principle always advocated by the AMERICAN SENTINEL—that the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States are subject to review and discussion and reversal if possible, by the people of the United States, is absolutely sound, and is vital to government of the people, by the people, and for the people.