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WESTEL WOODBURY WILLOUGHBY, Ph. D.
Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University; Managing Editor
In the preparation of this work, the aim has been to give a logical and complete exposition of the general principles of the constitutional law of the United States. The effort has been to ascertain and to discuss critically the broad principles upon which have been founded the decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States in the leading cases, and thus to present, as a systematic whole, a statement of the underlying doctrines by which our complex system of constitutional jurisprudence is governed. The performance of this purpose has required that attention should be devoted rather to a consideration of those principles of our public law which are fundamental, and especially of those the possible implications of which are not yet certainly determined, than to a statement in minute detail of those adjudications which, in themselves, establish no general rule of law, or illustrate no novel application of one.
This latter task is one which more properly belongs to compilers of digests or to the authors of more special text-books. It is confidently believed, however, that in the present work no really important case has been left unnoticed.
Such merit as the present work may possess must, then, consist in its systematic arrangement, and in the fact that, with reference to the constitutional principles which are discussed, it fully sets forth the processes of judicial reasoning by which they have been established, it suggests the corollaries which may be drawn from them, and it indicates the relations which they bear to one another and to the more general doctrines of American public law.
Whenever space has seemed to permit, the author has reproduced the language of the Federal Supreme Court.
This has necessitated many and, at times, extended quotations. It is believed, however, that this practice will commend itself to the reader. Since the character of this work requires in any case that