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power of the national courts in the administration of justice The word "power" refers to jurisdiction, or the authority of the court, over causes which must include the subject-matter as well as the parties concerned.
The subject-matter of a cause in court is the thing or question to be decided : the parties are the persons or corporations legally interested in the decision of the court on the subject-matter.
$ 2. The word “law” is generally understood, as defined by lawwriters, to be the supreme power of the State, through its legislature, commanding what is right, and probibiting what is wrong. The word "equity," as applied to judicial proceedings, does not mean contrary to law; but it reaches cases to wbich the law can not be applied by reason of its universality. The object of equity jurisprudence is to supply the deficiencies of the courts of law, and to render the administration of justice more complete, by affording relief where the courts of law, in consequence of imperfections of their machinery or of their too rigid adherence to peculiar forms, are incompetent to give it, or to give it with effect. 1
§ 3. The judicial power of the United States extends to all cases of law and equity arising under the Constitution and laws thereof, and to treaties made under their authority. But there are two kinds of jurisdiction, original and appellate. Original jurisdiction is jurisdiction of a cause from its beginning. If a party can begin his suit in the circuit court, for instance, we say the circuit court has original jurisdiction in the case. If he can not bring his case into that court until it has been first tried in some lower court, then we say the circuit court has appellate jurisdiction. Some kinds of causes can be commenced in either of two different courts.
Such courts, in such cases, are said to be courts of concurrent jurisdiction; that is, either court has jurisdiction of such a cause.
If there is but one court in which a case can be brought, that court is said to have exclusive jurisdiction. The Supreme Court of the United States has original or appellate jurisdiction in all cases arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States, and under treaties, as aforesaid.
The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction,
1st. In all cases affecting ambassadors ;
States, citizens, or subjects. 66, 67. 7th. But the judicial power of the United States shall
not be construed to extend to any suit in law
or equity commenced or prosecuted, 1st. Against one of the United States by citizens
of another State ; or, 2d. By citizens or subjects of a foreign State.
93. § 4. There are but two classes of cases in which the Supreme Court of the United States has original jurisdiction : and these are, first, those affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; and, second, those cases in which a State shall be a party. But, as will be seen by reference to the Analysis in this article, there are several cases in which a State may be a party, either as plaintiff or defendant.
§ 5. The ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, alluded to, refer to those representing or acting for foreign governments. By the law of nations, these classes of officials are not amenable to the laws of the country to which they are accredited agents. The country in which they reside is under obligation to protect them, and their rights and privileges are regulated by the law of nations. This being the case, the national courts only should be allowed to take cognizance of matters affecting their interests, which should be decided by the highest tribunal of the land.
§ 6. In controversies between two or more States, there is no tribunal before which there could be a peaceable and impartial determiuation of questions, except the Federal courts.
courts of neither of the States litigant could be regarded as disinterested ; and they have no common judicatory between them.
§ 7. Controversies may arise between a State and the citizens of a neighboring State. It is manifestly more proper that the State should prosecute its demands before a Federal court than to proceed in the courts of the State to which the defendants belong. The State courts would be liable to the charge of partiality, and obnoxious to suspicion and censure, decide whichever way they might.
§ 8. Controversies arising between States of the Union and foreign States, citizens, or subjects, can more properly be referred to the national courts than to the courts of the States interested as parties. The decisions in all such cases ought to carry with them that confidence sure to be inspired by national authority.
§ 9. The same reasons apply to controversies between the citizens of a State and foreign States, citizens, or subjects.
In the course of complicated and extensive commercial transactions, foreigners or foreign States
find it necessary to appeal to our courts for relief or satisfaction.
§ 10. It must be noticed particularly, however, that no State can be prosecuted by the citizens of another State, or a citizen of any foreign State. The State may be plaintiff against an individual, but can not be made defendant at the suit of a citizen of another State, or a citizen of a foreign State.
It is inherent in the nature of sovereignty not to be amenable to the suit of an individual without its consent. This is the general sense and the general practice of mankind; and this exemption, as one of the attributes of sovereignty, is now enjoyed by the government of every State in the Union.1
$ 11. The Constitution gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in all cases in which a State shall be a party; and this was construed during the first few years after the adoption of the Constitution to authorize suits against States brought by individuals. Many suits were brought to enforce claims held by individuals against the States. This led to the adoption of the eleventh Article
1 Federalist, No. 81.
of Amendments to the Constitution, paragraph 93 of that instrument, which is in these words :
The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another State, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign State.”
§ 12. How is a person to obtain relief, then, in case he has a claim against a State? In the first place, it is presumed that no wise government will withhold justice from its citizens. The citizen to whom the State may be indebted can petition the legislature direct for redress, unless some other means have been instituted by the State. In some of the States, courts of claims have been established for the same purpose, into which the citizen can bring his claim, by petition or otherwise, for adjudication ; and, if he shows the State to be indebted to him, the legislature will make provision for payment.
§ 13. In 1855, a court of claims was established, by act of Con gress, to hear and determine claims against the United States. The demand is presented to the court by petition, setting forth specifically its origin and nature; and the party is allowed to prove it by the same rules of evidence that are usually adopted in courts of justice. If a claim is established, Congress makes provision for its payment. An attorney, called the solicitor of the United States, appears in behalf of the government before this court.
§ 14. These are all the cases in which the Supreme Court of the United States has original jurisdiction. And, as already stated, they are all included in two classes : first, such as affect ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; and, second, all those cases in which a State shall be a party.
The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction,
both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations, as the Congress shall make, 1st. In all cases of admiralty and maritime juris.
2d. In controversies to which the United States shall be
a party; 3d. Between citizens of different States ; 4th. Between citizens of the same Stute claiming lands
under grunts of different States. $ 15. What is meant by appellate jurisdiction has already been explained. By cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, reference is bad to the power to try and determine, on appeal, all causes originating on the high seas, or on rivers, ports, or harbors communicating with the sea, and out of the reach of ordinary courts of justice. Admiralty causes must arise wholly on the sea or on waters immediately communicating with the sea, and not within the jurisdiction of any country. On the high seas, all nations claiin a common right and a common jurisdiction ; and therefore causes originating there should come exclusively under the jurisdiction of the national courts. They can not be brought, however, in the first instance, into the Supreme Court of the United States, but may be appealed into that court after having been commenced and tried by a district court of the United States, which, by a law of Congress, is an admiralty court.
§ 16. The subjects for adjudication which properly come into courts of admiralty are, captures in war made on the high seas, captures in foreign ports and harbors, captures made on land by naval forces, and captures made in the rivers, ports, and harbors of the captor's own country.
If an American commissioned with letters of marque and reprisal shall make captures as aforesaid, it is bis duty to bring them into the court for adjudication. If the court shall decide that the things in controversy were lawfully captured, and according to the usages of war and law of nations, they are awarded to the captors. If the decision is that they were unHawfully seized, they will be awarded by the court to the owners with damages for detention.
$ 17. The ordinary admiralty and maritime jurisdiction also embraces all civil and criminal cases of a maritime nature. The district courts of the United States, however, as courts of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, are limited to the trial of crimes