Discussion: Original Jurisdiction

All of the information below is referenced by Publius-Huldah’s Blog, which uses it to conclude,

ONLY the US Supreme Court has Constitutional Authority to Conduct the Trial of the Case Against Arizona & Governor Brewer.

US Constitution, Article 3, Section 2

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be 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 Regulations as the Congress shall make. (emphasis added)

Federalist 81 (Hamilton)

Let us now examine in what manner the judicial authority is to be distributed between the supreme and the inferior courts of the Union.   The Supreme Court is to be invested with original jurisdiction, only “in cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, and those in which A STATE shall be a party.  ” Public ministers of every class are the immediate representatives of their sovereigns.   All questions in which they are concerned are so directly connected with the public peace, that, as well for the preservation of this, as out of respect to the sovereignties they represent, it is both expedient and proper that such questions should be submitted in the first instance to the highest judicatory of the nation.   Though consuls have not in strictness a diplomatic character, yet as they are the public agents of the nations to which they belong, the same observation is in a great measure applicable to them.   In cases in which a State might happen to be a party, it would ill suit its dignity to be turned over to an inferior tribunal. (emphasis added)

US Code: TITLE 28 > PART IV > CHAPTER 81 > § 1251

§ 1251. Original jurisdiction

(a) The Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies between two or more States.
(b) The Supreme Court shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction of:

(1) All actions or proceedings to which ambassadors, other public ministers, consuls, or vice consuls of foreign states are parties;
(2) All controversies between the United States and a State;
(3) All actions or proceedings by a State against the citizens of another State or against aliens. (emphasis added)

Federalist 78 (Hamilton)

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Federal Judge Allows 10th Amendment Obamacare Suit to Proceed

Writes Ilya Somin at Volokh: Federal District Judge Henry Hudson’s opinion refusing to dismiss Virginia’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Obama health care plan has several interesting aspects. The suit focuses primarily on a challenge to the “individual mandate” element of the plan, which requires most American citizens and legal residents to purchase a…

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Federal Court Makes Rare Ruling in Favor of the 10th Amendment

A Federal Judge today ruled in favor of the Tenth Amendment, which is an unusually rare result. What was the issue? DOMA and gay marriage. From the WSJ blog:

U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from giving pension and other benefits to same sex couples, is unconstitutional, reports the Associated Press.

Tauro wrote that the 1996 law ran afoul of the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment. “The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state, and in doing so, offends the Tenth Amendment,” Tauro wrote.

The problem, though, is that they don’t apply this same principle to everything. They should – and need to.

A few quick points.

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Standoff in Hawaii: Census Taker Arrested

From the Hawaii Tribune-Herald: A battle is brewing between the state and federal governments over a Census taker arrested in Puna for misdemeanor trespassing. The U.S. Attorney’s office filed papers Thursday in federal court in Honolulu to take the case of 57-year-old Russell Haas out of Hilo District Court. That will pit the feds against…

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Disposing the Doctrine of Judicial Supremacy

In addition to Robert Nagel’s column on rejecting judicial remedies for our political disagreements (posted earlier on the Tenther blog), National Review Online has also treated us to two columns by Prof. Robert Lowry Clinton. The first, “Judicial Supremacy and the Constitution,” disposes of the doctrine of judicial supremacy by looking at the Supreme Court’s…

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Against Judicial Supremacy

Much has been made of the coalition of state attorneys-general suing the federal government over the constitutionality of the recently enacted health care bill. But while many of us are happy to see the state governments taking some form of action to preserve their powers and to protect the liberties of their citizens from federal…

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Supreme Court of the United States or The World?

The United States Supreme Court leftists have once again decided to crush the Constitution and the 10th Amendment by striking down a juvenile sentencing law simply because they don’t like it personally and–the most outrageous reason–because they cited the fact that other countries have long since abandoned this practice. And this despite the fact that…

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The Case Against Case Law

Today when you hear the term Constitutional Scholar or Constitutional Expert you get the image of someone who has studied the Constitution and perhaps the Ratification Debates as well as the federalist papers. Someone who has studied the philosophers whose opinions were crucial to how our nation was to be governed like Blackstone, Cicero and…

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Bypassing Posse Comitatus

David Franke writes: An executive order signed by President Clinton and used by President George W. Bush purportedly allows U.S. Special Forces to bypass the Posse Comitatus Act. We have to say “purportedly” because—of course—key parts of the executive order are classified. Scahill asks the natural followup question: “To what extent are U.S. Special Forces…

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