On March 4, 1873, Ulysses S. Grant, who had led the Union Army in the Civil War, was sworn in for his second term as President. Amazingly enough, today's bounty hunters cling to an appellate decision that was handed down a few weeks before President Grant's second inaugeration. Specifically, on January 27, 1873, the US Supreme Court published its decision in Taylor v. Taintor, which dealt with a bond forfeiture that the Court concluded was the surety's own fault. In that decision, the Supreme Court used non-binding language--called "dictum" or "dicta"--which has been cited over and over by bondsmen and bounty hunters, especially when they get themselves into trouble by exceeding their authority. Dicta is language used by one appellate court that is not binding on other courts, because the language was unnecessary to the Court's holding. In Taylor, the Supreme Court used such non-binding dicta, which has forever since been repeated and twisted by some bounty hunters to convince themselves and others that they have extraordinary powers. Not only is dicta not binding on other courts--it is not "stare decisis"-- almost all states in the Union, including California, have passed statutory schemes that have superseded Taylor, making its 140-year-old dicta all the less relevant today.