(A line by line historical analysis of the accusations of the Declaration of Independence.)
VIII. He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
Under the act already referred to, "For the better regulation of the government of Massachusetts Bay," adopted in March, 1774, the judiciary powers were taken out of the hands of the people. The judges were appointed by the Crown, were subject to its will, and depended upon it for the emoluments of office. These emoluments, too, were paid to them out of moneys extracted from the people of the colonies by the "Commissioners of Customs," in the form of duties ; and, therefore, the judges were more obnoxious to the hate and contempt of the colonists. They were also, by this act, deprived, in most cases, of the benefits of trial by jury, and the lives and property of the people were placed in the custody of the myrmidons of royalty. The "administration of justice" was effectually obstructed, and the very rights which the people of England so manfully asserted, and successfully defended in the revolution of 1688, were trampled under foot. In other colonies, too, the administration of justice was so obstructed by the interference of the royal governors, that it had but the semblance of existence left. The people tried every honorable means, by petitions to the King, addresses to the parliament, and votes in legislative assemblies and in popular conventions, to have laws passed, either in the provincial legislature, or in the supreme national council, for "establishing judiciary powers;" but their efforts were ineffectual. Power stood in the place of right, and exercised authority ; and under the goadings of a system of wrong and oppression, the people resorted to arms to "right themselves by abolishing the forms," and in prostrating the power of a monarchy become odious though the maladministration of weak or wicked ministers.
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