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Robert Morris (financier)

Robert Morris, Jr. was an English-born merchant and a Founding Father of the United States. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, the Second Continental Congress, the United States Senate, he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the United States Constitution. From 1781 to 1784, he served as the Superintendent of Finance of the United States, becoming known as the "Financier of the Revolution". Along with Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin, he is regarded as one of the founders of the financial system of the United States. Born in Liverpool, Morris migrated to the United States in his teens becoming a partner in a successful shipping firm based in Philadelphia. In the aftermath of the French and Indian War, Morris joined with other merchants in opposing British tax policies such as the 1765 Stamp Act. After the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, he helped procure arms and ammunition for the revolutionary cause, in late 1775 he was chosen as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

As a member of Congress, he served on the Secret Committee of Trade, which handled the procurement of supplies, the Committee of Correspondence, which handled foreign affairs, the Marine Committee, which oversaw the Continental Navy. Morris was a leading member of Congress until he resigned in 1778. Out of office, Morris refocused on his merchant career and won election to the Pennsylvania Assembly, where he became a leader of the "Republican" faction that sought alterations to the Pennsylvania Constitution. Facing a difficult financial situation in the ongoing Revolutionary War, in 1781 Congress established the position of Superintendent of Finance to oversee financial matters. Morris accepted appointment as Superintendent of Finance and served as Agent of Marine, from which he controlled the Continental Navy, he helped provide supplies to the Continental Army under General George Washington, enabling Washington's decisive victory in the Battle of Yorktown. Morris reformed government contracting and established the Bank of North America, the first bank to operate in the United States.

Morris believed that the national government would be unable to achieve financial stability without the power to levy taxes and tariffs, but he was unable to convince all thirteen states to agree to an amendment to the Articles of Confederation. Frustrated by the weakness of the national government, Morris resigned as Superintendent of Finance in 1784. In 1787, Morris was selected as a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, which wrote and proposed a new constitution for the United States. Morris spoke during the convention, but the constitution produced by the convention reflected many of his ideas. Morris and his allies helped ensure that Pennsylvania ratified the new constitution, the document was ratified by the requisite number of states by the end of 1788; the Pennsylvania legislature subsequently elected Morris as one of its two inaugural representatives in the United States Senate. Morris declined Washington's offer to serve as the nation's first Treasury Secretary, instead suggesting Alexander Hamilton for the position.

In the Senate, Morris aligned with the Federalist Party. During and after his service in the Senate, Morris went into debt speculating on land leading into the Panic of 1796–97. Unable to pay his creditors, he was confined in the Prune Street debtors' apartment adjacent to Walnut Street Prison from 1798 to 1801. After being released from prison, he lived a quiet, private life in a modest home in Philadelphia until his death in 1806. Morris was born in Liverpool, England, on January 20, 1734, his parents were Robert Morris, Sr. an agent for a shipping firm, Elizabeth Murphet. Until he reached the age of thirteen, Morris was raised by his maternal grandmother in England. In 1747, Morris immigrated to Oxford, where his father had prospered in the tobacco trade. Two years Morris's father sent him to Philadelphia the most populous city in British North America, where Morris would live under the care of his father's friend, Charles Greenway. Greenway arranged for Morris to become an apprentice at the shipping and banking firm of Philadelphia merchant Charles Willing.

In 1750, Robert Morris, Sr. died from an infected wound, leaving much of his substantial estate to his son. Morris rose from a teenage trainee to become a key agent in Willing's firm. Morris traveled to Caribbean ports to expand the firm's business, he gained a knowledge of trading and the various currencies used to exchange goods, he befriended Thomas Willing, the oldest son of Charles Willing, two years older than Morris and who, like Morris, had split his life between England and British North America. Charles Willing died in 1754, in 1757 Thomas made Morris a full partner in the newly-renamed firm of Willing Morris & Company. Morris's shipping firm was just one of many such firms operating in Philadelphia, but Willing Morris & Company pursued several innovative strategies; the firm pooled with other shipping firms to insure vessels, aggressively expanded trade with India, underwrote government projects through bonds and promissory notes. Ships of the firm traded with India, the Levant, the West Indies, Spanish Cuba and Italy.

The firm's business of import and general agency made it one of the most prosperous in Pennsylvania. In 1784, with other investors, underwrote the voyage of the ship Empress of China, the first American vessel to visit the Chinese mainland. Morris's partnership with Willing was forged just after the beginning of the Seven Years'

United States v. Johnson (1943)

United States v. Johnson, 319 U. S. 302, was a United States Supreme Court case. The tenant brought suit against the landlord, alleging violation of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, demanding treble damages and reasonable attorney fees; the landlord filed a motion to dismiss. The government filed a brief in support of the constitutionality of the Act; the district court dismissed the tenant's complaint on the grounds that the Act and the promulgation of the regulation under it were unconstitutional because Congress unconstitutionally delegated legislative power. Before entry of the order dismissing the complaint, the government filed a motion to reopen the case on the ground that it was collusive and did not involve a real case or controversy; the affidavit of the plaintiff, submitted by the Government on its motion to dismiss the suit as collusive, shows without contradiction that he brought the present proceeding in a fictitious name. Appellee's counter-affidavit did not deny these allegations.

It admitted that appellee's attorney had undertaken to procure an attorney to represent the plaintiff and had assured the plaintiff that his presence in court during the trial of the cause would not be necessary. It appears from the district court's opinion that no brief was filed on the plaintiff's behalf in that court; the Government's motion was denied. The Government appealed to the Supreme Court under § 2 of the Act of August 1937, 50 Stat. 752, 28 U. S. C. § 349a, assigns as error both the ruling of the district court on the constitutionality of the Act, its refusal to reopen and dismiss the case as collusive. The Supreme Court vacated and ordered dismissal of the suit, holding that the suit was collusive because it was not in any real sense adversary. In so holding, the court noted that the tenant had no active participation in the suit, exercised no control in the case, was only nominally represented by counsel, his counsel was selected by the landlord's counsel. "Even in a litigation where only private rights are involved, the judgment will not be allowed to stand where one of the parties has dominated the conduct of the suit by payment of the fees of both.

Gardner v. Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Co. 131 U. S. Appendix, ciii." "Here an important public interest is at stake—the validity of an Act of Congress having far-reaching effects on the public welfare in one of the most critical periods in the history of the country. That interest has been adjudicated in a proceeding in which the plaintiff has had no active participation, over which he has exercised no control, the expense of which he has not borne, he has been only nominally represented by counsel, selected by appellee's counsel and whom he has never seen. Such a suit is collusive, it does not assume the "honest and actual antagonistic assertion of rights" to be adjudicated—a safeguard essential to the integrity of the judicial process, one which we have held to be indispensable to adjudication of constitutional questions by this Court. Chicago & Grand Trunk Ry. Co. v. Wellman, 143 U. S. 339, 345. 251. 129, 134-35. S. 13, 15. Whenever in the course of litigation such a defect in the proceedings is brought to the court's attention, it may set aside any adjudication thus procured and dismiss the cause without entering judgment on the merits.

It is the court's duty to do so where, as here, the public interest has been placed at hazard by the amenities of parties to a suit conducted under the domination of only one of them. The district court should have granted the Government's motion to dismiss the suit as collusive. We accordingly vacate the judgment below with instructions to the district court to dismiss the cause on that ground alone. Under the statute, 28 U. S. C. § 401, the Government is liable for costs. Text of United States v. Johnson, 319 U. S. 302 is available from: Justia Library of Congress

Lightning Strikes (band)

Lightning Strikes are an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1984 and resurrected again in 2011 by drummer/founder Karpis Maksudian with different musicians, most notably guest vocalist Tony Martin of Black Sabbath fame. Lightning Strikes carry the distinction of being the first all-Armenian-American rock band of note preceding System of a Down by a decade; the band has a now collectible 7” single, released in 1986, 2016 full-length album to their credit. The origins of Lightning Strikes go back to 1983 when drummer Karpis Maksudian and guitarist Levon Mkhsigevorkian started to jam together and came up with the name Lightning Strikes; the band began to take shape in earnest when Mkhsigevorkian introduced guitarist Levon Zeytounzian to Maksudian and Mike Kazarian joined on bass. Maksudian approached vocalist Harout Khatchoyan about singing for the band after hearing him perform Elvis Presley and Rockabilly style songs. By 1985, Lightning Strikes were up and running playing their inaugural show at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel ballroom in and getting ready to record their debut single when bassist Mike Kazarian quit due to musical differences.

He was replaced by Cat Tate with whom the band entered the studio to record the "Lightning Strikes" b/w "Lottery Ticket" 7" single. The single was released in mid-1986 and received airplay on local radio stations KMET, KLOS and KCME. Keyboardist Brook Hansen would join the band as a full-time member as Lightning Strikes began to make inroads on the Southern California club scene playing venues such the Roxy, Country Club, Jezebel’s and opening up for Faster Pussycat at the Troubadour. Still, by late 1986 the members went their separate ways with only Maksudian left to carry on, he recruited an all-new line-up consisting of vocalist David Modena, guitarist Randy Thiel and bassist Greg S. Wood; the revamped band would venture out of state for gigs in Phoenix and Las Vegas, Nevada before calling it quits for good in late 1987. Maksudian gave up music altogether and instead turned his focus on his career in the local TV news business. Starting in the mid-2000s, he would direct and edit several music videos for Leatherwolf and Mandy Lion’s World War III.

In 2011, Maksudian decided to get back into music and began to assemble a new Lightning Strikes line-up including bassist Cat Tate, who had played on the band’s 1986 single, guitarist Rob Math, a member of Leatherwolf and Player, Brazilian vocalist Nando Fernandes who came recommended by way of noted guitarist/producer Roy Z. Re-working some of the band’s old unreleased material and writing new songs, Maksudian started recording what would become the eponymous Lightning Strikes debut album, pulling in well known guests musicians, including keyboardist Derek Sherinian, vocalist Tony Martin, vocalist Noah of Japanese visual kei artists Avanchick, to assist in the effort, with Roy Z mixing the album. In September 2016 it was announced that Lightning Strikes had signed a worldwide record deal with German label Pure Legend Records. Issued on November 18, 2016, the album’s release was accompanied by a promotional video for the song "Death Valley", featuring Tony Martin. A second video for the band’s cover of the Deep Purple classic "Our Lady" followed in conjunction with the album’s wider North American release in January 2017.

Lightning Strikes enjoyed its biggest success in Japan where the album entered the Burrn! magazine Import Charts and stayed there for 3 months peaking at Nr. 6. A limited edition vinyl version of Lightning Strikes, including both cuts from the band's 1986 single as bonus tracks, was released in November 2017, along with a video for the song "Can't Cross the Rainbow". Karpis Maksudian – drums Cat Tate – bass Rob Math – guitars Nando Fernandes – vocals Karpis Maksudian – drums Mike Kazarian – bass Levon Zeytounzian – guitar Harout Khatchoyan – vocals Lightning Strikes "Lightning Strikes" b/w "Lottery Ticket" 7" Official website