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Sub silentio is a legal Latin term meaning "under" or "in silence" It is often used as a reference to something that is implied but not expressly stated. Commonly, the term is used when a court overrules the holding of a case without specifically stating that it is doing so.
To assume that Congress, which had enacted a criminal sanction directed against state judicial officials, intended sub silentio to exempt those same officials from the civil counterpart approaches the incredible. Sheriffs and marshals, while performing a quintessentially judicial function such as serving process, were clearly liable under the 1866 Act, notwithstanding President Johnson's objections. Because, as Representative Shellabarger stated, § 1 of the 1871 Act provided a civil remedy "in identically the same case" or "on the same state of facts" as § 2 of the 1866 Act, it obviously overrode whatever immunity may have existed at common law for these participants in the judicial process in 1871. Briscoe v. LaHue, 460 U.S. 362 (1983)
- Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 261 U.S. 525, 564 (1923) (CJ. Taft, dissenting) ("It is impossible for me to reconcile the Bunting Case and the Lochner Case, and I have always supposed that the Lochner Case was thus overruled sub silentio. Yet the opinion of the court herein in support of its conclusion quotes from the opinion in the Lochner Case as one which has been sometimes distinguished but never overruled.")
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