The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 162
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Older and wiser persons might have answered these questions in
the same manner without impeaching their intelligence. Precisely
what the Creator will do to one who swears falsely is a question
which may not be answered under oath.
The admission of this child's evidence was properly in the sound
discretion of the court.
Perhaps the most perplexing character in the drama of Ex
parte Rodriguez was A. J. Hamilton, former congressman, gov-
ernor, and Supreme Court justice, who appeared as the attorney
for the allegedly over-active voter. It has been said that the arrest
of Rodriguez and the framing of a fictitious case were the brain-
child of Hamilton. This seems to be strongly inferred in A. W.
Terrell's argument before the court.46 Hamilton's reply as evi-
denced by the fragment thereof appearing in the Texas Reports
was heated, and he maintained that his primary concern was the
interest of his client and not the effect the decision would have
upon the election of December 2, which he claimed would be
only temporary at most." Judge Roberts in his account of the
trial offered no criticism of Hamilton's actions, although he was
definitely of the opinion that the case was fictitious.48 No one
questions a lawyer's right to represent a person accused of crime,
but when one recalls the bitter and successful fight which Hamil-
4aNear the close of his argument, Terrell said:
"I will be excused for reminding your honors of a fact not before adverted to
by any one, namely, that you have more than most men a direct personal interest
in the question you are considering. It is known to all that the constitutional
amendments increasing the supreme bench and changing the tenure of your office
have been ratified by the people at the late election. These amendments affect
directly your official existence, and I will be pardoned for expressing the belief
that you will imitate the pure example of Lord Thurlow and Ellenborough, and
not, without due reflection, pronounce a judgment against the people, in which you
might be so directly interested.
"Three times have the people of Texas since the surrender attempted to establish
civil government. Once they were remanded by the federal power to a condition
of territorial vassalage; once, if we may believe the eloquent adversary, they were
defrauded of their choice by a military commander; and now he himself leads
the van in the third assault, and attempts, by the more insidious approaches of
judicial construction, to stifle again the popular voice and substitute a reign of
anarchy. Why, on the very eve of the meeting of the people's representatives, is
this strange haste shown to test this question? Why does the counsel of Rodriguez
assume upon the facts the position of a prosecutor? These are questions which all
can answer."-Texas Reports, XXXIX, 742-743.
48Wooten, Comprehensive History of Texas, II, i98-2oi.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/204/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.