Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Great SCOV Quiz—Part 3

SCOV Law is once again pleased to present the work of Paul GilliesVermont lawyer and historian.  Paul has recently begun work on his big project: A History of the Vermont Supreme Court.  To kick off this project he designed a 75-question quiz that he deems "impossible."  Today brings the final installment.  See here for the introduction and Part One (Questions 1–25) and here for Part Two (Questions 26–75).  Answers to today's questions can be found at the bottom of the post.

SCOV Quiz Part III (Questions 51–75)

51.       Which judge wrote the town history of Manchester?[1]

52.        Which judge was one of Vermont’s great historians?[2]

53.       Which judge is said to have smiled but twice in his 19 years on the high court?[3]

54.       In which decision did the Vermont Supreme Court decide that the use of the words “ought to” in the Vermont Constitution mean “shall”?[4]

55.       How many decisions of the Vermont Supreme Court have been reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court?[5]

56.       Which judge was paid part of the $30,000 Vermont owed New York to settle claims of that state, prior to statehood?[6]

57.       When did the Court stop giving advisory opinions to Governors?[7]

58.       Which judge was turned down for reelection as Chief Justice in favor of his brother?[8]

59.       What year did the Vermont Supreme Court declare one-town, one-vote unconstitutional?[9]

60.   Which judge was with Ethan Allen when he took Fort Ticonderoga?[10]

61.   Which judges were also physicians?[11]

62.   Which judge wrote the words to the leading patriotic song of the Revolutionary War?[12]

63.    Which judge demanded a bill of sale from God almighty before he would release a man into the custody of a slave-owner’s agent?[13]

64.   What year did common law pleading end in Vermont?[14]

65.   When did the Vermont Supreme Court finally end its circuit riding and find a permanent home in Montpelier?[15]

66.   When did Vermont stop electing its Supreme Court in the legislature every two years?[16]

67.   Which judge ran a law school in Fairfield?[17]

68.    Who was the first lawyer admitted to practice in Vermont?[18]

69.   In what year did the Vermont Supreme Court recognize that juries were not the judges of the law, as well as the facts?[19]

70.   When did equity merge with law in Vermont courts?[20]

71.   Can a judge serve past the age of seventy?[21] Ninety?

72.    When did rotation of judges through all shires of Vermont end?[22]

73.   When did the judicial authority of Justices of the Peace end?[23]

74.   What was the longest litigation in Vermont judicial history?[24]

75.    Name the ten most memorable decisions of the Vermont Supreme Court.[25]

[1] Loveland Munson, The History of Manchester (1876).

[2] Hiland Hall wrote The Early History of Vermont and published it in 1868, which has become a classic.

[3] Charles K. Williams. 

[4] Brigham v. State, 166 Vt. 246, 259 (1997) (Section 68 “requires that a school be maintained in each town unless the Legislature permits otherwise . . . .”).

[5] Nine.  The latest was Vermont v. Brillon, 129 S. Ct. 1283 (2009).

[6] Luke Knoulton.

[7] In 1949, as shown in In re Opinion of the Justices, 115 Vt. 524 (1949).  There were at least three earlier advisory opinions.  Opinion of the Judges as to the Constitutionality of Soldiers Voting, 37 Vt. 665 (1863); In re Conditional Discharge of Convicts, 73 Vt. 414 (1901); In re Municipal Charters, 86 Vt. 562 (1913); In re Constitutionality of House Bill 88, 115 Vt. 524 (1949).

[8] Israel Smith, in 1798, lost the Chief Justice position to his brother Noah due to political opinion.  Israel was a republican; Noah leaned more toward the Federalists. 

[9] It wasn’t the Vermont Supreme Court that acted; it was the federal court, which found Vermont’s constitutional apportionment section violative of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

[10] Jonas Fay. 

[11] Drs. Paul Spooner, Increase Mosely, and Jonas Fay. 

[12] Nathaniel Niles wrote “The American Hero.” 

[13] Theophilus Harrington.
[14] The first practice act was enacted in 1915.  It provided, boldly, “No pleading shall fail for want of form.”

[15] In 1892, when the State House was expanded.  The legislative lounge is the former courtroom, the offices to the side of the lounge the judge’s chambers.  The Court still travels to other venues occasionally today.

[16] The constitutional amendments of 1974 transferred the power of election to the appointment by the Governor. 

[17] Bates Turner’s school trained about 175 students between 1807 and 1812. 

[18] Stephen Row Bradley was the first of two—Noah Smith was the second—admitted at the May term of the Superiour Court, in 1779.

[19] In 1892.  State v. Burpee, 65 Vt. 1, 15, 25 (1892).

[20] In 1971, with legislative changes that gave the Supreme Court the authority to adopt a civil code of procedure. 

[21] See Vermont Constitution, Chapter II, Section 35:  “All justices of the Supreme Court and judges of all subordinate courts shall be retired at such age, not less than seventy years of age, as the General Assembly may prescribe by law, or, if the General Assembly has not so provided by law, at the end of the calendar year in which they attain seventy years of age or at the end of the term of election during which they attain ninety years of age, as the case may be, and shall be pensioned as provided by law.”

[22] In 1982, the Supreme Court was authorized to manage the rotation system. 

[23] With the constitutional amendments of 1974.

[24] It took 20 years to resolve the dispute between the Vermont Central Railroad and the Vermont & Canada Railroad, from 1861 to 1882.  Vermont & Canada R.R. Co. v. Vermont Central R.R. Co., 34 Vt. 1 (1861); Langdon v. Vermont & Canada R.R. Co., 54 Vt. 593 (1882).  The longest decision of the Court arises from that litigationLangdon v. Vermont & C. R. Co., 53 Vt. 228 (1880) runs 62 pages.
[25] I know. This is asking for trouble.  “Memorable” must be subjective term.  Your list may differ.  The point of the question is to get you to make a list of your own.  My list includes Dupy qui tam v. Wickwire, 1 D.Chip. 237 (1814) (the first reported case in which the Vermont Supreme Court exercised judicial review and found a statute in violation of the fundamental law); Selectmen of Windsor v. Jacob, 2 Tyl. 192 (1802) (Vermont Constitution prohibits slavery); West River Bridge Co. v. Dix, 16 Vt. 446 (1844) (a Vermont Supreme Court decision affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, providing an important corrective to the holding in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, and authorizing the taking of a corporate franchise giving exclusive rights to cross a river for public use); Thorpe v. Rutland & Burlington Railroad Company, 27 Vt. 140 (1854) (the granddaddy of all police power decisions); Ploof v. Putnam, 81 Vt. 471 (1908) (any port in a storm); New England Trout and Salmon Club v. Mather, 68 Vt. 338 (1896) (boatable waters); Aitken v. Village of Wells River, 70 Vt. 308 (1898) (selectmen blow up dam to save highway; no liability); Sabre v. Rutland Railroad Co., 86 Vt. 347 (1913) (administrative law respected and constitutional); State v. Morse, 84 Vt. 387 (1911)(the first great Vermont environmental decision); State v. Badger, 141 Vt. 430 (1982) (Vermont constitution gives greater protection for search and seizure); Brigham v. State, 166 Vt. 246 (1997)(school funding law unconstitutional); Baker v. State, 170 Vt. 194 (1999) (common benefits requires equal treatment for same sex couples). 

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