Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cohens v. Virginia case brief


-People arrested for selling DC lottery tickets in VA when the state did not allow lotteries.
-People appealed their conviction to the United States Supreme Court.

-An act of the United States Congress authorized the operation of a lottery in the District of Columbia.
-The Cohen brothers proceeded to sell D.C. lottery tickets in the Commonwealth of Virginia, violating state law.
-State authorities tried and convicted the Cohens and fined them $100. The state courts found that Virginia law prohibiting lotteries could be enforced, notwithstanding the act of Congress which authorized the D.C. lottery.
-The Cohens appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that their conduct was protected by the Act of Congress authorizing the D.C. lottery.

Does SCOTUS have appellate jurisdiction over criminal appeals coming from the State Supreme Courts

VA Argues
Article 3, § 2, Cl. 2  “And those in which a state shall be a party, SCOTUS shall have original jurisdiction”

-Original jurisdiction precludes exercise of appellate jurisdiction


The court adopts the "Expansive View," stating that the court has appellate jurisdiction over anything arising under the Constitution regardless of who the parties are

-To achieve the purpose of the Constitution, criminal appeals must be within SCOTUS appellate jurisdiction.
-Under Article III the appeals to State Supreme Courts also fall in line with the appellate jurisdiction of SCOTUS.

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