LIBERTY OF THE SUBJECT.
Has Anybody Any Rights Under the Provisional Government?
Argument of the Question in the Circuit Court.
John G. M. Sheldon, editor of the Holomua, who is deprived of his liberty under a warrant issued by the President of the Provisional Government, was produced in the First Circuit Court before Judge Frear, at 11 o’clock this forenoon, under a writ of habeas corpus. Attorney-General Smith and F. M. Hatch appeared for the Government, and C. W. Ashford, C. Creighton, A. Rosa and J. L. Kaulukou for the prisoner.
Mr. C. W. Ashford argued for the discharge of the prisoner, speaking to the following effect: There was no authority vested in the Executive and Advisory Councils to issue warrants of arrest. President Dole had no right in the Proclamation of the Provisional Government to issue a warrant of arrest. The Government could not go behind that proclamation, he presumed. “We the People of the Hawaiian Islands” gave him no such power. If “We the People of the Hawaiian Islands” had intended to exercise that power they would have given it to him. The Proclamation stated that the President’s duties were to preside over the meetings of the Executive Council. Mr. Dole now holds no judicial position in these islands. He did hold such position before, but resigned it to become President of the Provisional Government. If that warrant, of President Dole was valid, then there was no security of liberty for any man, woman or child under these tropic skies. There was then nothing to prevent any resident of this country being consigned to a dungeon or bound in irons. It should be known whether the Provisional Government had such tremendous powers. He was not making a covert attack on the late revolution. He believed in the sacred right of revolution, and he considered the late revolution was a good thing. But it might not be good if the Provisional Government introduced anarchy and despotism. Some persons were led by their philosophy to believe that a beneficent despotism was the best form of government, and he believed that members of this school of philosophy had seats in the Advisory Council. Continue reading