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William M. Evarts to Richard H. Dana, Jr., 28 November 1868

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November 28, 1868. Hon. Richard H. Dana, Jr. Boston, Mass. Sir: I am just informed, by a letter from Charles O'Conor, counsel of Jefferson Davis, under date of the 27th of November instant, that an appliation will be made to the Circuit Court now in session at Richmond for a rule requiring the Government to show cause why the indictment now pending against Mr. Davis in that circuit, should not be quashed. The sole ground on which this application will be based is, a proposition that by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, other penalties or disabilities for participation in the late rebellion, than are imposed by this Amendment of the Consitution, are inconsistent with it and no longer capable of Judicial enforcement. I understand from Mr. O'Conor's letter that the return day of the rule will be fixed for the latest day next week on which the court will consent to hear it—and he expresses the opinion that on so simple and narrow a point of law as that which I have indicated, there should be no objection on the part of the Government or its counsel to an immediate argument. I have not yet received any notice from Richmond of any such rule having yet been granted, and of course have no knowledge of the return day that will be named by the court.—The object of my present communication is to advise you of the probability of such a rule requiring the attention of the counsel for the prosecution, and to prepare you to receive a telegraphic notice that may make it necessary for you to repair immediately to Washington, with a view of taking care of this motion. I remain, with great respect, Yours, &c. &c. Wm. M. Evarts, Attorney General.
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