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UNITED STATES. Congress. THE Revision OF THE Laws. — The Committee of the House of Representatives on the Revision of the Laws, which was, during the greater part of this session, one of the hardest worked committees in Congress, have rendered the country a service more important than is likely to be brought into prominent notice. Nothing but great devotion to the public interests, great zeal, patience, and perseverance, both on the part of the commissioners who have devoted several years to the work, and on the part of this committee and the House of Representatives, could have succeeded in compressing the great body of statutes into the comparatively small compass of the revision. No attempt has been made to alter existing laws in any particular, and the changes of phraseology, where made, are for the single purpose of simplicity and condensation; and this fact alone has required watchfulness and incessant care. The Senate, who have passed the bill, spent about half an hour on it, taking it, as we are informed, just as it came from the lower branch, without even cutting the string that held together the package, and passing the whole bill by its title. We trust that, whatever imperfections may be hereafter found in the Revised Statutes, - and it would be almost a miracle if none should be found, - it may be accorded to this committee, amid the general cry of incompetency and inattention to duty of public officers, that they have faithfully and persistently carried to a successful termination a laborious and thankless duty.

HABEAS CORPUS. EXCESSIVE SENTENCE. — SUPREME Court. In the Matter of Lange. — In the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, Judge BENEDICT sentenced Edward Lange to one year's imprisonment, and to pay two hundred dollars fine, for stealing, &c., certain mail-bags, the punishment on conviction of which crime, as fixed by statute, is imprisonment for not more than one year, or a fine of not less than ten, nor more than two hundred dollars. On habeas corpus before the same judge, the sentence was vacated, after the fine had been paid, and the prisoner again sentenced to one year's imprisonment. A second writ of habeas corpus was issued by the circuit judge, and the prisoner remanded to the custody of the marshal. On application, however, to the supreme court, it is now held that the first sentence was erroneous, but that at the date of the second sentence, the prisoner having fully suffered, under a judgment of the court, one of the alternative punishments allowed by law, i.e., having paid his two hundred dollars fine, the power to punish for that one offence was gone, and the second sentence was wholly void.

FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT. Rights OF CITIZENS. – SUPREME COURT. Bartemeyer v. State of Iowa. — Following on the Slaughter-house Cases and the question of Mrs. Bradwell's right to practise law, the Supreme Court have been called to decide, and straightway have decided, that the right to sell intoxicating liquor is not one of the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States which the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution has forbidden the states to abridge. The court, however, say that if a man owns intoxicating liquor at a time when a state passes a law absolutely prohibiting its sale, two very grave and important questions would arise: First, whether that would be a statute depriving him of his property without due process of law: and, secondly, whether, if it were so, it would be so far a violation of the fourteenth amendment in that regard as would call for judicial action by the Supreme Court.

CONTEMPT. POWER TO DISBAR AN ATTORNEY-AT-LAW. – SUPREME Court. E:c parte James S. Robinson. — Among the recent decisions of the Supreme Court of general interest, this case and Judge FIELD's opinion will commend themselves to lawyers. Briefly, the petitioner, an attorney-at-law, was summoned into the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, to answer for contempt on the complaint of the grand jury that they had endear. ored to find a witness, and had sent a subpæna after him, but the witness, " after seeing the attorney, J. S. Robinson, in the Nash Case, suddenly absented himself.” On no other complaint than this the District Court summoned the petitioner; and on his appearing, an altercation ensued between the court and the petitioner, in which the petitioner, “ in a grossly contemptuous, contumacious, and defiant manner,” in open court, refused to respond in writing, and the court thereupon proceeded to disbar him; and he applying to the Supreme Court for a mandamus to compel the inferior court to restore him to the roll of attorneys, it is now held that the court had no jurisdiction, on such a complaint, and in so summary a manner, to inflict such a punishment, and ordered that the petitioner be restored.

SUPREME COURT REPORTS. — The Messrs. Morrisons, law-book publishers, of Washington, have secured the services of Mr. Justice Miller, of the United States Supreme Bench, to continue the series of condensed reports of the decisions of the Supreme Court, begun by Mr. Curtis. Judge Curtis left off with the 17th Howard, and Judge Miller will bring the series down to the present time. The first volume will contain the cases reported in 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Howard.


THE LEGISLATURE. MURDER. — The legislature of California has passed a law giving juries power, where a prisoner is convicted of murder in the first degree, of commuting the punishment to imprisonment for life. Merely another form of abolishing the death penalty.

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