SCOTUS Justice Charged with Murder Then Case Comes Back to his own Court! Ana Not Far Off?


US Supreme Court Justice Had Troubles

US Supreme Court Justice Had Troubles

Sara Althea Hill

Sara Althea Hill

On This Date In History:

On this date in 1889, US Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field was arrested for murder making him the only member of that body ever arrested for such a crime. The story goes back to a divorce case in which Justice Field ruled that the marriage between Sarah Althea Hill and a wealthy mine owner was invalid and she therefore was not entitled to any portion of his wealth. The court decision also declared the her new husband,  David Terry,  was also not entitled to the estate.  David Terry was, like Field,  a former California Supreme Court justice.  The courtroom erupted into a brawl and Field ordered the couple jailed for contempt. The pair publically announced revenge on the Justice.

About a year later, Field and his bodyguard, US Marshal David Neagle, were riding on a train to San Francisco. Also on the train was Sarah and David Terry. At a stop in Stockton, California the Terrys spotted field in the station dining room. David went for Field while Sarah went back to the train. Dave slapped the Justice and Neagle pulled his revolver and told Dave to stop while identifying himself as an officer. David Terry started fumbling with his jacket. Neagle fatally shot David Terry as his wife came running up with a satchel holding a loaded gun. Neagle and Field were arrested on a murder charge.

Ironic End for David Terry

Ironic End for David Terry

Now, I’ve wondered why Field and Neagle would go for their guns so quickly over a slap.  I mean, most men would punch him like John Wayne.   It’s because this was not the first time that Terry had been involved in a shooting.  In fact, several years before in 1859  it was Terry who had  been arrested for killing another politician.  Terry had been the Chief Justice of the California Supreme court but had lost an election from the bench.   Senator David C Broderick was a colleague of Terry’s in the Democratic party.  But,  David Terry was a Southerner by birth and was pro-slavery while Broderick was against that institution.  Terry had some unkind things to say about the faction in the Democratic party whom he felt had kept him to win election as Chief Justice of the CA Supreme Court.  Broderick responded by saying unkind things and the pair ended up in a duel, which the sitting US Senator being gunned down by the former state supreme court justice.  Terry was arrested but later released.   

Like Terry years before, California’s Governor ordered Field released but Field’s story proved more interesting.  That’s because the case against Neagle ended up…in the US Supreme Court that ruled in a landmark decision that since Neagle was acting under federal authority, he could not be subject to California law. I suppose that is why no one ever asked the Texas justice system to charge the ATF agents with anything in the Waco/ Branch Davidian case several years ago. I suppose that Field probably recused himself from the case but it may be the only case in which a sitting Supreme Court Justice was actively involved in a situation that set a legal precedent.

Invest 90L Satellite 1215Z 08.14.09

Invest 90L Satellite 1215Z 08.14.09

Tropical Storm Ana may be not far off time wise but miles wise its way out ther and just the variabilities invovled with the environmental conditions generally associated with an El Nino pattern makes any long term outlook virtually impossible.  For instance, just a few days ago a very impressive tropical wave came off of Africa and it became the 2nd tropical depression of the season.  Looked like it had a great opportunity to become the firts tropical storm of the season.  Now, its just about dead.  Another wave came off Africa and it looks very impressive.  Invest 90L is shown in spaghetti models to have a consensus of becoming a Tropical Storm Ana in the near term if not a hurricane.  The track looks fairly good regarding something to keep an eye on.  But, the time factor is problematic because, even if it does develop further, I’m not so sure that the models have built in to them parameters involving the El Nino pattern.  Hence, the developmental aspects of the progs may be operating as if its a normal season.  So, worth watching? Yes. Slam dunk? no.  Here’s the morning discussion from the NHC:

SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY IS GRADUALLY BECOMING BETTER
ORGANIZED IN ASSOCIATION WITH A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE CENTERED
ABOUT 200 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN CAPE VERDE ISLANDS.
CONDITIONS APPEAR FAVORABLE FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THIS
SYSTEM…AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD FORM DURING THE NEXT DAY
OR TWO AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH.  THERE IS A HIGH
CHANCE…GREATER THAN 50 PERCENT…OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

Weather Bottom Line: For the next several days look for temps in the mid to upper 80’s…maybe 90 by Sunday or Monday.  Humidity levels will slowly rise so the comfort levels will be decreasing.  No frontal activity until at least mid week but as a guy slowly drops down across the plains, our atmosphere should become more unstable with a more southerly component to the flow so at least isolated to scattered activity may show up by early in the week and then slowly rise each day as the front gets closer.

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