Page images

by making them act upon individuals instead of corporations. This alone was required to change Congress from a lifeless anatomy of States into the living and active organization of one People-to convert what had hitherto been a delusive and empty supremacy into a substantial sovereignty, acknowledged by all, and, therefore, endued with all the vigour of National life and the capabilities of permanent greatness.


The Constitution ordains—


SECTION I. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their

"It seems scarcely to admit of controversy that the judiciary authority of the Union ought to extend to these several descriptions of causes:-1. To all those which arise out of the laws of the United States, passed in pursuance of their just and constitutional powers of legislation; 2. To all those which concern the execution of the provisions expressly contained in the Articles of Union; 3. To all those in which the United States are

a party; 4. To all those which involve the peace of the Confederacy, whether they relate to the intercourse between the United States and foreign Nations, or to that between the States themselves; 5. To all those which originate on the high seas, and are of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction; and lastly, to all those in which the State tribunals cannot be supposed to be impartial and unbiased." Federalist, No. 80.

offices during good behaviour; and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

SECTION II.-1. The judicial power shall extend to 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; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more States, between a State and citizens of another State; between citizens of different States, between citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States, and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, citizens or subjects.

2. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the supreme court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulation, as the Congress shall make.

By the grant of these powers to the National Judiciary, the State sovereignty is very greatly curtailed. There is an exception to the authority of a State even between its own subjects, and this can be exercised in those cases only which arise within its own boundaries. various other clauses in the Constitution, the States are prohibited from doing a variety of things; and powers not prohibited or delegated to the National Government still belong to


them or the People; but it is by the supreme Judiciary, and not the States themselves, that all cases of doubtful prohibition, delegation, or reservation must be decided.1 The subordinate character of a State is further shown by the fact, that while the separate States can in no case cite the National Government into a State Court, the latter has the power to

'Writing in 1833, Mr. Justice Story says, "The Constitution has now been in full operation more than forty years; and during this period the Supreme Court has constantly exercised this power of final interpretation in relation, not only to the Constitution and laws of the Union, but in relation to State acts and State constitutions and laws, so far as they have affected the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States. Their decisions upon these grave questions have never been repudiated or impaired by Congress. No State has ever deliberately or forcibly resisted the execution of the judgments founded upon them; and the highest State tribunals have, with scarcely a single exception, acquiesced in, and in most instances assisted in executing,

them. During the same period eleven States have been admitted into the Union, under a full persuasion that the same power would be exercised over them. Many of the States have at different times within the same period been called upon to consider and examine the grounds on which the doctrine has been maintained, at the solicitation of other States, which felt that it operated injuriously upon their interests. A great majority of the States, which have been called upon in their legislative capacities to express opinions, have maintained the correctness of the doctrine, and the beneficial effects of the power as a bond of union, in terms of the most unequivocal nature." STORY'S Commentaries, Abridgment, 132.

[ocr errors]


cite the State before the Judiciary. decree, being final, implies too a power of coercion. Suppose this coercion to be resisted by force, that force becomes treason, which is thus defined by the Constitution :—

"Treason against the United States shall consist in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

We conclude therefore that the Constitution, by the powers given to its Judiciary, has reduced the sovereign States into something less than sovereign municipalities-merging them all into one great Republic.




The Congress shall have power


SECTION VIII.-1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. But all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States:

2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States : 3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes :

4. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States:

5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin; and fix the standard of weights and measures:

6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the secu rities and current coin of the United States;

7. To establish post-offices and post-roads :

8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries :

SECTION IX.-1. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »