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The Massachusetts Supreme Court made an important ruling in Commonwealth v Hunt (1842) by decreeing that:
Native Americans had no claim to land sold years before, even if the treaties were not signed by tribe members with the authority to do so.
Fugitive slaves could not be recaptured in Northern states.
Women who illegally voted were legally liable to face punishment, not their husbands.
Puritan religious laws, though technically violating separation of church and state, were still legal.
Labor unions had the right to negotiate contracts, as long as their tactics were "peaceful".