페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

authorizes the national legislature “to constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court.”* It declares in the next place, that “the JUDICIAL POWER of the United States shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inforior courts as congress shall ordain and establish ;” and it then proceeds to enumerate the cases, to which this judicial power shall extend. It afterwards divides the jurisdiction of the supreme court into original and appellate, but gives no definition of that of the subordinate dourts. The only outlines described for them aro, that they shall be “inferior to the supreme court," and that they shall not exceed the specified limits of the federal judiciary. Whether their authority shall be original or appellate, or both, is not declared. All this seems to be left to the discretion of the legislature. And this being the case, I perceive at present no impediment to the establishment of an appeal from the state courts, to the subordinate national tribunals; and many advantages attending the power of doing it may be imagined. It would diminish the motives to the multiplication of federal courts, and would admit of arrangements calculated to contract the appellate jurisdiction of the supreme court. The state tribunals, may then be left with a more entire charge of federal causes; and appeals in most cases in which they may be deemed proper, instead of being carried to the supreme court, may be made to lie from the state courts, to district courts of the union.

PUBLIUS. # Section 8th, Article 1st.

THE FEDERALIST.

NUMBER LXXXIII.

NEW YORK, JULY 15, 18, 22, 25, 1788.

HAMILTON.

A FURTHER VIEW OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, IN RELATION

TO THE TRIAL BY JURY.

The objection to the plan of the convention, which has met with most success in this state, is relative to the want of a constitutional provision for the trial by jury in civil cases. The disingenuous form in which this objection is usually stated, has been repeatedly adverted to and exposed; but continues to bo pursued in all the conversations and writings of the opponents of the plan. The mere silence of the constitution in regard to civil causes, is represented as an abolition of the trial by jury; and the declamations to which it has afforded a pretext, are artfully calculated to induce a persuasion that this pretended abolition is complete and universal; extending not only to every species of civil, but even to criminal causes. with respect to the latter, would be as vain and fruitless, as to attempt to demonstrate any of those propositions which, by their own internal evidence, force conviction when expressed in language adapted to convey their meaning.

With regard to civil causes, subtleties almost too contempti. ble for refutation, have been employed to countenance the nurmiso that a thing, which is only not provided for, is entirely 'ubolished. Every man of discernment must at once perceive

To argue

the wide difference between silence and abolition. But as the inventors of this fallacy have attempted to support it by certain legal maxims of interpretation, which they have perverted from their truo meaning, it may not be wholly useless to ex: plore the ground they have taken.

The maxims on which they rely are of this nature, “a specification of particulars, is an exclusion of generals;” or, the expression of one thing, is the exclusion of another.” Hence, say they, as the constitution has established the trial by jury in criminal cases, and is silent in respect to civil, this silence is an implied prohibition of trial by jury, in regard to the latter.

The rules of legal intepretation, are rules of common sense, adopted by the courts in the construction of the laws. The true test, therefore, of a just application of them, is its conformity to the source from which they are derived. This being the case, let me ask if it is consistent with common sense to suppose, that a provision obliging the legislative power to commit the trial of criminal causes to juries, is a privation of its right to authorize or permit that mode of trial in other cases ? Is it natural to suppose, that a command to do one thing, is a prohibition to the doing of another, which there was a previous power to do, and which is not incompatible with the thing commanded to be done? If such a supposition would be unnatural and unreasonable, it cannot be rational to maintain, that an injunction of the trial by jury, in certain casos, is an interdiction of it in others.

A power to constitute courts, is a power to prescribe the mode of trial; and consequently, if nothing was said in the constitution on the subject of juries, the legislature would be at liberty other to adopt that institution, or to let it alone. This discretion, in regard to criminal causes, is abridged by an express injunction; but it is left at large in relation to civil causes, for the very reason that there is a total silence on the subject. The specification of an obligation to try all criminal causes in a particular mode, excludes indeed the obligation of

employing the same mode in civil causes, but does not abridgo' the power of the legislature to appoint that mode, if it should be thought proper. The pretence, therefore, that the national legislature would not be at liberty to submit all the civil causes of federal cognizance to the determination of juries, is a pretence destitute of all foundation.

From these observations, this conclusion results, that the trial by jury in civil cases would not be abolished, and that the use attempted to be made of the maxims which have been quoted, is contrary to reason, and therefore inadmissible. Even if these maxims had a precise technical sense, corresponding with the ideas of those who employ them upon the present occasion, which, however, is not the case, they would still be inapplicable to a constitution of government. In relation to such a subject, the natural and obvious sense of its provisions, apart from any technical rules, is the true criterion of construction.

Having now seen that the maxims relied upon will not bear the use made of them, let us endeavour to ascertain their proper application. This will be best done by examples. The plan of the convention doclares, that the power of congress, or in other words of the national legislature, shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority; because an affirmative grant af special powers would be absurd as well as useless, if a general authority was intended.

In like manner, the authority of the federal judicatures, is declared by the constitution to comprehend certain cases particularly specified. The expression of those cases, marks the precise limits beyond which the federal courts cannot extend their jurisdiction; because the objects of their cognizance being enumerated, the specification would be nugatory, if it did not exclude all ideas of more extensive authority.

Those examples are sufficient to elucidate the maxims which have been mentioned, and to designate the manner in which they should be used.

From what has been said, it must appear unquestionably true, that trial by jury is in no caso abolished by the proposod constitution; and it is equally true, that in those controversies between individuals in which the great body of the people aro likely to be interested, that institution will remain precisely in the situation in which it is placed by the state constitutions. The foundation of this assertion is, that the national judiciary will have no cognizance of them, and of course they will remain determinable as heretofore by the state courts only, and in the manner which the state constitutions and laws prescribe. All land causes, except where claims under the grants of different states come into question, and all other controversies between the citizens of the same state, unless where they depend upon positive violations of the articles of union, by acts of the state legislatures, will belong exclusively to the jurisdiction of the state tribunals. Add to this, that admiralty causes, and almost all those which are of equity jurisdiction, are determinable under our own government without the intervention of a jury, and the inference from the whole will bo, that this institution, as it exists with us at present, cannot possibly be affected, to any great extent, by the proposed alteration in our system of

government.

The friends and adversaries of the plan of the convention, if they agree in nothing else, concur at least in the value they set upon the trial by jury: Or if there is any difference between them, it consists in this; the former regard it as a valuable safeguard to liberty, the latter represent it as the very palladium of free government. For my own part, the more the operation of the institution has fallen under my observation, the more reason I have discovered for holding it in high estimation; and it would be altogether superfluous to examine to what extent it deserves to be esteemed useful or essential in a representative republic, or how much more merit it may be entitled to, as a defence against the oppressions of an hereditary monarch, tban as a barrior to the tyranny of popular magistrates in a popular government. Discussions of this kind would be more curious

« 이전계속 »