Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Martin v. Hunter's Lessee case brief
MARTIN v. HUNTER’S LESSEE (1816)
100 US 1
-U.S. confiscated English land in America while the American Revolution took place and Hunter (US) got land of Martin (English)
-After a peace treaty was signed America agreed to return lands they had taken
-Martin tried to take back his land, but Hunter refused
Virginia Court of Appeals stated:
The land belongs to Hunter who had title to the land
Treaty took precedent and the land should be passed over to Martin
Virginia Court of Appeals:
Refusal to recognize Supreme Court decision because Article III only gave SCOTUS jurisdiction over the lower Federal Courts (District Level) and thus the Court of Appeals did not fall under SCOTUS’ jurisdiction
Judiciary Act of 1789
-Provision giving SCOTUS appellate jurisdiction over decisions from District Courts
Compact Theory of the Constitution
-States created the Constitution, hence they are superior to it and only have to abide to it if they consent
SCOTUS has appellate jurisdiction over the state appellate courts as well as Federal Appellate Courts
Story J. Opinion
Article VI, Cl. 2 “The Constitution shall be the Supreme Law of the land, and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby” (Lower court judges bound by the constitution)
Article III, § 2 “The judicial power shall extend to ALL cases in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the U.S. and Treatises made, or which shall be made, under their Authority”
SCOTUS includes all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution
If VA was to say SCOTUS did not have jurisdiction over them, then they could not hear any Federal Question arguments
It is the case and not the court that gives the jurisdiction
The Constitution states that the judicial power in the US should be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as Congress may ordain and establish
Since lower Federal Courts are optional, if SCOTUS did not have appellate jurisdiction over state courts then they would not have appellate jurisdiction over anything
Johnson J. Concurring
The Court is supreme over persons and cases in terms of judicial power, but isn’t deciding on the matter of asserting compulsory control over state tribunals (Prophetic)
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