Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2

Document 1

Chambers's Case

79 Eng. Rep. 746 K.B. 1629

Chambers was brought by a habeas corpus out of the Fleet, and returned, that he was "committed to the Fleet by virtue of a decree in the Star Chamber, by reason of certain words he used at the council table, viz. that the merchants of England were screwed up here in England more than in Turkey." And for these and other words of defamation of the Government, he was censured to be committed to the Fleet, and to be there imprisoned until he made his submission at the council table, and to pay a fine of two thousand pounds.

And now at the Bar he prayed to be delivered, because this sentence is not warranted by any law or statute; for the statute of 3 Hen. 7. c. 1. which is the foundation of the Court of Star Chamber, doth not give them any authority to punish for words only.

But all the Court informed him, that the Court of Star Chamber was not erected by the 3 Hen. 7. c. 1. but was a Court many years before, and one of the most high and honourable Courts of Justice; and to deliver one who was committed by the decree of one of the Courts of Justice, was not the usage of this Court. And therefore he was remanded. Vide 3 Ass. pl. 38. 28 Ass. pl. 34. 21 Hen. 8. c. 20.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 3, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2, Document 1
The University of Chicago Press

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