of the Scottish parliament may in certain cases cease to be binding by desuetude. "To bring an act of parliament like those we are dealing with" (i.e. the Sabbath Profanation Acts) "into what is called in Scots law the condition of desuetude, it must be shown that the offence prohibited is not only practised without being checked but is no longer considered or dealt with in this country as an offence against law" (Lord Justice General Inglis in Bute's case, 1 Couper's Rep., 495). Acts of the imperial parliament passed since the union extend in general to Scotland, unless that country be excluded from their operation by express terms or necessary implication. Scottish acts are cited thus, 1678, c. 10. The best edition is that issued by order of the Treasury, 1844–1875. An edition of the revised statutes has been facilitated by the repeal of obsolete statutes by the Statute Law Revision (Scotland) Act 1906.
By the constitutions of many states English statute law, as it existed at the time of the separation from England, and as far as it is applicable, has been adopted as part of the law of the states. The United States and the state are not bound by an act of Congress or a state law unless specially named. The states legislate for themselves within the limits of their own constitution and that of the United States. Here appears the striking difference between the binding force of a statute of the United Kingdom and an act passed by Congress or a state legislature. In the United Kingdom parliament is supreme; in the United States an act is only of authority if it is in accordance with the constitution. The courts may declare an act void if it contravene the constitution of the United States or of a state, so that practically the Supreme Court of the United States is the ultimate legislative authority. The restrictions upon Federal legislation in the constitution of the United States provide against the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus except in case of rebellion or invasion, the passing of a bill of attainder or ex post facto law, the imposition of capitation or other direct tax, unless in proportion to the several states, or of a tax or duty on exports, the preference of the ports of one state over those of another, the drawing of money from the treasury except by appropriations made by law, and the grant of a title of nobility. Constitutional amendments contain further limitations, e.g. the taking of private property for public use without just compensation, and the abridging of the right of citizens on account of race, colour or previous condition of servitude. State legislation is limited by s. 10: "No state shall. .. make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts, pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility." The section further forbids. imposition of duties on imports or exports or any duty of tonnage without consent of Congress. State constitutions often contain further restrictions; among the more usual are provisions against laws with a retrospective operation, or impairing the obligation of contracts, or dealing with more than one subject to be expressed in the title. The time when a statute is to take effect after its passing is often fixed by state constitutions. The statutes of the United States were revised under the powers of an act of Congress passed in 1874 (sess. i. c. 333), and the volume of Revised Statutes was issued in 1875. There was a second edition in 1878 and several supplements have appeared since that date. Many of the states have also issued revised editions of their statutes. The rules of construction are in general agreement with those adopted in England. In some states the referendum has been introduced in certain cases.
STATUTE MERCHANT and STATUTE STAPLE, two old forms of security, long obsolete in English practice, though references to them still occur in some modern statutes. The former security was first created by the Statute of Acton Burnell (1283) and amplified by the Statute of Merchants (1285)—whence its name-and the latter by an act of 1353, which provided that in every staple (i.e. public mart) the seal of the staple should be sufficient validity for a bond of record acknowledged and witnessed before the mayor of the staple. They were originally permitted only among traders, for the benefit of commerce, but afterwards extended by an act of Henry VIII. (1532) to all subjects, whether traders or not. The creditor under either form of security was allowed to seize the goods and hold the lands of a defaulting debtor until satisfaction of his debt. While he held the lands he was termed tenant by statute merchant or by statute staple. In addition to the loss of his goods and lands the debtor was liable to be imprisoned. Statute merchant, owing to the summary method of enforcing payment, was sometimes known as “pocket judgment.” Both were repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1863.
STAUNTON, SIR GEORGE THOMAS, Bart. (1781–1859), English traveller and Orientalist, was born near Salisbury on the 26th of May 1781. He was the son of Sir George Leonard