American Constitutional Law: Introductory Essays & Selected Cases

By Alpheus Thomas Mason; William M. Beaney | Go to book overview

that the defendants are guilty, and that the commonwealth recover against them one hundred dollars and cost."

Judgment was rendered against the defendants; and the court in which it was rendered being the highest court of the state in which the cause was cognizable, the record has been brought into this court by a writ of error.

The defendant in error moves to dismiss this writ, for want of jurisdiction.

In support of this motion, three points have been made, and argued with the ability which the importance of the question merits. These points are --

1st. That a state is a defendant.

2nd. That no writ of error lies from this court to a state court.

[Point 3 has been omitted.]

The questions presented to the court by the two first points made at the bar are of great magnitude, and may truly be said vitally to affect the Union. They exclude the inquiry whether the constitution and laws of the United States have been violated by the judgment which the plaintiffs in error seek to review; and maintain that, admitting such violation, it is not in the power of the government to apply a corrective. They maintain that the nation does not possess a department capable of restraining, peaceably, and by authority of law, any attempts which may be made, by a part, against the legitimate powers of the whole; and that the government is reduced to the alternative of submitting to such attempts, or of resisting them by force. They maintain that the constitution of the United States has provided no tribunal for the final construction of itself, or of the laws or treaties of the nation; but that this power may be exercised in the last resort by the courts of every state of the Union. That the constitution, laws and treaties may receive as many constructions as there are states; and that this is not a mischief, or, if a mischief is irremediable. . . .

1st. The first question to be considered is, whether the jurisdiction of this court is excluded by the character of the parties, one of them being a state, and the other a citizen of that state?

The 2d section of the third article of the constitution defines the extent of the judicial power of the United States. Jurisdiction is given to the courts of the Union in two classes of cases. In the first, their jurisdiction depends on the character of the cause, whoever may be the parties. This class comprehends "all cases in law and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority." This clause extends the jurisdiction of the court to all the cases described, without making in its terms any exception whatever, and without any regard to the condition of the party. If there be any exception, it is to be implied against the express words of the article.

In the second class, the jurisdiction depends entirely on the character of the parties. In this are comprehended "controversies between two or more States, between a State and citizens of another State," "and between a State and foreign states, citizens, or subjects." If these be the parties, it is entirely unimportant what may be the subject of controversy. Be it what it may, these parties have a constitutional right to come into the courts of the Union. . . .

If. . . a case arising under the constitution, or a law, must be one in which a party comes into court to demand something conferred on him by the constitution or a law, we think the construction too narrow. A case in law or equity consists of the right of the one party, as well as of the other, and may truly be said to arise under the constitution or a law of the United States,

-39-

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American Constitutional Law: Introductory Essays & Selected Cases
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Source Materials ix
  • Contents xi
  • One - The Constitution, the Supreme Court, and Judicial Review 3
  • Marbury V. Madison 30
  • Eakin V. Raub 34
  • Cohens V. Virginia 39
  • Luther V. Borden 46
  • Coleman V. Miller 50
  • Colegrove V. Green 55
  • Yakus V. United States 57
  • Two - Congress, the Court, and the President 62
  • Mississippi V. Johnson 75
  • Mcgrain V. Daugherty 77
  • Hampton & Co. V. United States 81
  • Panama Refining Co. V. Ryan 85
  • Opp Cotton Mills V. Administrator 89
  • The Prize Cases 91
  • Myers V. United States 96
  • Humphrey's Executor V. United States 102
  • Ex Parte Grossman 105
  • United States V. Curtiss-Wright 108
  • Youngstown Co. V. Sawyer 112
  • Three - Federalism 120
  • Chisholm V. Georgia 135
  • Texas V. White 142
  • Mcculloch V. Maryland 146
  • Collector V. Day 158
  • Helvering V. Gerhardt 162
  • Graves V. New York Ex Rel. O'Keefe 164
  • New York V. United States 168
  • Ex Parte Siebold 174
  • Missouri V. Holland 176
  • Four - Commerce Power and State Power 178
  • Gibbons V. Ogden 193
  • Cooley V. Board of Wardens 202
  • Brown V. Maryland 206
  • Brown V. Houston 211
  • United States V. South-Eastern Underwriters Association 213
  • Leisy V. Hardin 221
  • Plumley V. Massachusetts 224
  • Best & Co. V. Maxwell 228
  • Henneford V. Silas Mason Co. 230
  • Parker V. Brown 232
  • Southern Pacific Co. V. Arizona 235
  • Hood V. Dumond 239
  • Morgan V. Virginia 245
  • Five - Congressional Power Under the Commerce Clause 248
  • United States V. E. C. Knight 266
  • Champion V. Ames the Lottery Case) 271
  • The Shreveport Case (houston, E. & W. Texas Ry. Co. V. United States) 276
  • Hammer V. Dagenhart 278
  • Stafford V. Wallace 282
  • Schechter Poultry Corporation V. United States 284
  • Carter V. Carter Coal Co. 290
  • National Labor Relations Board V. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation 297
  • Mulford V. Smith 303
  • United States V. Darby 305
  • Wickard V. Filburn 308
  • Six - National Taxing and Spending Power 311
  • Hylton V. United States 319
  • Pollock V. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company (rehearing) 321
  • Mccray V. United States 326
  • Bailey V. Drexel Furniture Company (child Labor Tax Case) 328
  • United States V. Butler 330
  • Steward Machine Co. V. Davis 337
  • Seven - The Contract Clause and State Police Power 343
  • Calder V. Bull 355
  • Dartmouth College V. Woodward 360
  • Charles River Bridge V. Warren Bridge 365
  • Stone V. Mississippi 372
  • Home Building & Loan Association V. Blaisdell 373
  • Eight - The Development of Due Process 380
  • Slaughterhouse Cases 389
  • Munn V. Illinois 397
  • Mugler V. Kansas? 404
  • Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Co. V. Minnesota 408
  • Nine - The Application of Due Process After 1890 411
  • Lochner V. New York 424
  • Bunting V. Oregon 429
  • Block V. Hirsh 430
  • Green V. Frazier 434
  • Wolff Packing Co. V. Court of Industrial Relations 437
  • Adkins V. Children's Hospital 439
  • Nebbia V. New York 446
  • West Coast Hotel Co. V. Parrish 450
  • Ten - Equal Protection of Laws 454
  • Civil Rights Cases 465
  • Plessy V. Ferguson 472
  • Truax V. Raich 476
  • Truax V. Corrigan 479
  • Liggett Co. V. Lee 485
  • United States V. Classic 490
  • Smith V. Allwright 494
  • Sweatt V. Painter 498
  • Brown V. Topeka Briggs V. Elliott Davis V. Prince Edward County Bolling V. Sharpe Gebhart V. Belton - The Public School Segregation Cases 501
  • Eleven - Civil LIberties -- Criminal Procedure 505
  • Hurtado V. California 514
  • Olmstead V. United States 521
  • Powell V. Alabama 525
  • Palko V. Connecticut 530
  • Chambers V. Florida 532
  • Adamson V. California 535
  • United States V. Rabinowitz 542
  • Ex Parte Milligan 546
  • In Re Yamashita 551
  • Twelve - Civil LIberties -- the First Amendment Freedoms 558
  • Schenck V. United States 571
  • Meyer V. Nebraska 572
  • Gitlow V. New York 574
  • Whitney V. California 580
  • Near V. Minnesota 585
  • Cantwell V. Connecticut 590
  • Minersville School District V. Gobitis 593
  • Korematsu V. United States 602
  • Mccollum V. Board of Education 607
  • Zorach V. Clauson 612
  • Terminiello V. Chicago 616
  • American Communications Association V. Douds 622
  • Dennis V. United States 631
  • Appendix - The Constitution of the United States of America 643
  • Justices of the Supreme Court: 1789-1954 660
  • Table of Cases 663
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