HANDLIN v. WICKLIFFE
Annotate this Case
79 U.S. 173 (1870)
U.S. Supreme Court
HANDLIN v. WICKLIFFE, 79 U.S. 173 (1870)
79 U.S. 173 (Wall.)
December Term, 1870
ERROR to the Supreme Court of Louisiana; the case being thus:
During the late civil war, when the State of Louisiana was occupied by the troops of the United States, Brigadier-General G. F. Shepley, who had been appointed military governor of the State, commissioned W. W. Handlin as judge of the Third District Court of New Orleans. Handlin took the prescribed oath and entered upon the duties of his office. Subsequently, while the war was yet flagrant, a constitution was adopted for the State, under military orders, by a portion of its citizens, and Michael Hahn was elected governor, and was also appointed military governor in place of Shepley by the President. Handlin, who remained judge after the election and appointment of Hahn, was removed from office by him on account, as it appeared, of a decision to the effect that slavery still existed in the parish of New Orleans, which had been exempted by President Lincoln from the operation of the Proclamation of Emancipation. Asserting that, notwithstanding this removal, he remained of right in office and was entitled to its salary, Handlin, after the final suppression of the rebellion and reconstruction of the State, sued out a writ of mandamus in one of the inferior State courts of Louisiana against Wickliffe, the auditor of public accounts of the State, to compel payment. The judgment of the court was against him and the mandamus was dismissed. An appeal having been taken to the Supreme Court of the State and the judgment affirmed, Handlin now brought the case here by writ of error.
Messrs. W. W. Handlin, C. Cushing, and J. T. Drew, for the plaintiff in error; Mr. T. J. Durant, contra.
The CHIEF JUSTICE delivered the opinion of the court.
It is too clear for argument that the appointment of the relator as judge was purely military, authorized only by the [79 U.S. 173, 175]