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Ableman v. Booth and United States v. Booth


The Ableman decision emphasized our dual form of government and the independence of state and federal courts from one another. It is illegal for state officials to interfere with United States officers acting under federal laws. Ironically, while Ableman arose from arguments over the proslavery Fugitive Slave Law, this same principle of federal judicial supremacy was used to override state efforts to preserve racial segregation during the 1960s.

The Ableman cases reflected the dramatic events and fiery controversies that immediately preceded and led to the U.S. Civil War. Benammi S. Garland owned a slave, Joshua Glover, who worked as the foreman on Garland's farm near St. Louis, Missouri. In 1852, Glover escaped and fled to Wisconsin.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1833 to 1882Ableman v. Booth and United States v. Booth - Significance, Joshua Glover Is Saved From The Slave Catchers, Wisconsin Nullifies Federal Laws, Federal Courts Are Supreme Over State Courts