II. Meandering into the Twentieth Century
. . .
E. The NPL and Court Discord
The three new justices asserted their terms began on December 4, 1916, apparently because "[s]everal important cases were to be decided during the month of December, and it was generally assumed that the League was eager to utilize its new majority."(169) The attorney general quickly petitioned the Supreme Court for an "orderly determination . . . of the rights of the respective contenders."(170) The three defeated justices disqualified themselves from the case, and the remaining justices called three district judges to sit for those disqualified.(171) On December 9, 1916, that temporary Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion explaining the Court had taken jurisdiction, the remaining two justices had also decided to step aside, and two more district judges had been summoned to participate in the case.(172)
After a hearing on December 7, with four of the selected district judges present, the temporary Court also issued its decision on December 11, 1916. The Court held the term of an elected justice begins the first Monday in January of the year after they are elected.(173) The "old" Court continued to decide cases throughout December,(174) but in January 1917 the "new" Court received several petitions for rehearing those decisions. The petitions were denied.(175) One denial drew a harsh dissent from Justice Robinson, the only "new" justice to participate in the rehearings: "The case is a travesty on the administration of justice."(176)
169. Morlan, supra note 161, at 94.
170. North Dakota ex rel Linde v. Robinson, 160 N.W. 512, 512 (N.D. 1916).
171. See id. at 512.
172. See id. at 514.
173. See id. at 520.
174. See Morlan, supra note 161, at 94.
175. See Morlan, supra note 161, at 94.
176. Youman v. Hanna, 161 N.W. 797, 806 (N.D. 1917) (Robinson, J., dissenting).