Wisconsin Nullifies Fugitive Slave Act – Praise The 10th Amendment

Let us not forget that nullification was used by the northern states to reject the fugitive slave laws.

Here Wisconsin rejects the law, nullifying the criminal federal government mandate that slaves must be returned to their owners across state lines.

If Wisconsin had obeyed the criminal federal government, untold numbers of slaves would have been killed or beaten.


of the prisoner is sought to be justified, by whatsoever authority the same may have been issued.

If, upon enquiry into the nature and cause of the caption and detention of the prisoner, it shall be found that he is held by virtue of process issued by a court or judge of the United States, having exclusive jurisdiction of the subject matter of the process, the prisoner must be remanded, and this as well by the comity of courts as by the provisions of the statute.

The warrant set forth in the return to this writ of certiorari, is not sufficient to justify the detention of the prisoner.

The order of discharge set forth in the return to this writ of certiorari was properly made.

The act of Congress of 1850, commonly called the Fugitive Slave Act, is unconstitutional and void.

1. Because it does not provide for a trial by jury of the fact that the alleged fugitive owes service to the claimant by the laws of another State, and of his escape therefrom.

2. It authorizes a hearing and determination of the claim of the master, and the fact of escape, by commissioners of the United States, who cannot be endowed with judicial powers under the Constitution of the United States.

3. The judicial power of the United States can be vested only in courts, or in judges, whose term of office is during good behaviour, and whose compensation is fixed and certain.

4. The functions with which United States commissioners are endowed by the act of 1850 are judicial, and therefore repugnant to the Constitution.

5. By the said act, any person alleged to be a fugitive may be arrested and deprived of his liberty “without due process of law.” Crawford, J., dissenting.

The act of Congress of 1850, commonly called the Fugitive Slave Act, in relation to fugitives from service or labor, is unconstitutional and void; because Congress has no constitutional power to legislate upon that subject. Per Smith, J.