Jeremiah Mason (1768-1848), a lawyer of the first rank, Jeremiah Smith and Webster appeared for the college, and argued that these acts were invalid because they were not within the general scope of the legislature's power, because they violated provisions of the state constitution and because they violated the clause of the Federal Constitution which prohibits a state from impairing the obligation of contracts but the court decided against them.
These actions of the state assembly against the college and the bank probably were immediate causes for the insertion in the Federal Constitution (adopted by the convention in Philadelphia in 1787) of the clause (proposed by James Wilson of Pennsylvania, a friend of the college and of the bank) forbidding any state to pass a law impairing the obligation of contracts.
Public aspirations for the reduction and control of the excessive number of orders and religious orders, without impairing their Independence in spiritual matters, and in introducing a bill for the amendment of the law of 1887 Seor Canalejas declared that the government, inspired by the universal spirit of liberty of conscience, had given to article xi.
And xv.) make any treaty or alliance; coin money or make anything, save gold and silver coin, a legal tender; pass any bill of attainder or ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; have any but a republican form of government; grant any title of nobility; maintain slavery; abridge the privileges of any citizen of the United States, or deny to him the right of voting on account of race, colour or previous condition of servitude; deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; deny to any person the equal protection of the laws.
Bach contrives to give this anti-climax a definite artistic value; all the more from the fact that his Crucifixus and Resurrexit, and the contrast between them, are among the most sublime and directly impressive things in all music. To the end of his Resurrexit chorus he appends an orchestral ritornello, summing up the material of the chorus in the most formal possible way, and thereby utterly destroying all sense of finality as a member of a large group, while at the same time not in the least impairing the force and contrast of the whole - that contrast having ineffaceably asserted itself at the moment when it occurred.
In the first place the lay authorities often rendered elections uncanonical by interfering in behalf of some favourite, thereby impairing the freedom of the electors.
The constitution prohibits special, local and retroactive legislation, legislation impairing the obligation of contracts, and legislation levying a poll tax for county or state purposes or a tax on state, municipal and public school bonds (amendment of 1905), and it limits the amount and specifies the character of public debts which the legislature may contract.
On the American continent South and Central American states have had many wars, and the disastrous effects of them not only in retarding their own development, but in impairing their national credit, have led to earnest endeavours on the part of their leading statesmen to arrive at such an understanding as will banish from their international polity all excuses for resorting to armed conflicts.
Peck (6 Cranch 87) that such a rescindment as that in the new state constitution was illegal, on the ground that a state cannot pass a law impairing the obligation of contracts; and at an expense of more than four millions of dollars the Federal government ultimately extinguished all claims to the lands.
Saunders, heard in 1824 and reheard in 1827, in which the question was the validity or invalidity of the insolvent laws of the several states, Webster argued that the clause prohibiting a state from impairing the obligation of contracts applied to future as well as to past contracts, but the court decided against him.