Alberto v. Nicholas
279 U.S. 139 (1929)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Alberto v. Nicholas, 279 U.S. 139 (1929)

Alberto v. Nicholas

No. 364

Argued March 6, 1929

Decided April 8, 1929

279 U.S. 139

Syllabus

1. A judgment of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands based upon a construction of an Act of the Philippine Legislature, which construction was in turn based upon a construction of the Organic Act, is reviewable by this Court under § 7 of the Act of Congress of February 13, 1925, providing that a certiorari may issue to that court in any case "wherein the Constitution or any statute or treaty of the United States is involved." P. 279 U. S. 142.

2. The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that the power of the Governor General of the Philippines to remove, suspend, or transfer justices of the peace and to merge their districts is intended for the prevention of abuses of their offices resulting from the ease with which their authority lends itself to the creation of caciques, or local bosses, exercising oppressive control over ignorant neighborhoods. P. 279 U. S. 147.

Page 279 U. S. 140

3. Act No. 2768 of the Philippine Legislature, amending § 206 of the Administrative Code by providing "that, in case the public interest requires it, a justice of the peace of one municipality may be transferred to another," intends, as its legislative history proves, that such transfer may be made by the Governor General without the advice and consent of the Philippine Senate. P. 279 U. S. 147.

4. In view of the plenary legislative powers of the Philippine Legislature respecting justices of the peace, this provision is valid, as applied to a justice of the peace whose appointment was made by the Governor General, and confirmed by the Senate, after its enactment. P. 279 U. S. 148.

5. The principle of preserving the independence of the judiciary applies less strictly to justices of the peace than to judges of superior court jurisdiction. P. 279 U. S. 150.

Reversed.

Certiorari, 278 U.S. 593, to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands ousting the present petitioner from his office as justice of the peace of the municipality of Angat, Province of Bulacan, and placing the respondent in possession of it.

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