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Presidents Quashing Prosecutions

From the Interesting Stuff Stumbled Upon While Looking For Something Else file comes United States v. Phillips, 31 U.S. 76 (1832) (emphasis added):

MR ATTORNEY-GENERAL, of counsel for the plaintiff, having informed the court that a nolle prosequi had been entered in this cause in the circuit court of the United States for the eastern district of Pennsylvania, agreeably to instruction from the president of the United States, of which a copy has been filed in the office of the clerk of this Court, and which was read in open Court, now here moved the Court to dismiss this cause; on consideration whereof, it is ordered by this Court, that this cause be, and the same is hereby dismissed.
Imagine that, the President directing that a particular criminal case be dropped, even after it has gone up on appeal to the Supreme Court.  Haven't we been told lately that the President must keep his hands off cases being handled by DoJ, with mutterings that "interference" might even be criminal and impeachable?

Old Hickory obviously didn't see it that way.  He was the head of the executive branch, vested by the Constitution with "the executive power" in its entirety.  He told the AG what to do, the AG did it, and the Supreme Court evidently didn't see anything remarkable in that.  The latter point seems particularly important, since Old Hickory never was one for constitutional niceties, but the Marshall Court was.
Zalegman Phillips, according to what I could find on a quick search, was a prominent Philadelphia attorney and a leader of the Philly Jewish community.  According to Wikipedia, he was prosecuted "for interfering with diplomatic immunity, as protected by the Crimes Act of 1790, by filing a lawsuit against a former diplomat. The question certified was whether the provision extended to former diplomats."  Sounds pretty weak to me.  Nolle prosequi was probably the right call.

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