A Righteous Judicial Decision
September 22, 1866
Commenting a recent court opinion out of New Hampshire that made a test oath unconstitutional, the editor of the paper is very pleased with this decision.
A Righteous Judicial Decision. It is generally known that the close corporation of voters who at present control the destinies of West Virginia have adopted a registration law which disfranchises a large proportion of the men in that State. James D. Armstrong, Esq., of Romney, has tested the constitutionality of the law in the Circuit Court of Hampshire. At the May term of that court a rule was made against the Board of Registration to show cause why they should not be compelled to register Mr. Armstrong as a voter. The reason assigned by the Board was that Mr. Armstrong (a southern sympathizer) had refused to take the oath required by the registration act. At the term of the same court held last week, as we learn from a letter in the Wheeling Register, Judge Harrison awarded a peremptory mandamus requiring the Board to register Mr. Armstrong. The Judge declared in effect that the Legislature had by this act required a qualification not required by the constitution, which of course it had no power to do, and consequently so much of the registration act as requires the voter to take this oath is unconstitutional.
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“A Righteous Judicial Decision,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 18, 2017, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/337.