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of a law of Congress was first exercised by the Supreme Court in 1803, the opinion being delivered by Chief Justice Marshall. He showed that unless the Supreme Court could set aside a law conflicting with the Constitution, Congress would be unrestrained in the use of the legislative power. This court may even take exception to the Constitution or laws of a State when repugnant to the Federal Constitution. Laws declared unconstitutional are null and void and cannot be enforced. Laws are sometimes in force for years before they are declared unconstitutional, because a law in the abstract cannot be brought before a court to test its constitutionality. The test must be made in connection with the trial of a case.
129. Jurisdiction of the Circuit Court of Appeals.-It has appellate jurisdiction only. In certain cases its decisions are final—especially in criminal cases-unless the Supreme Court gives special permission for an appeal to itself.
130. Jurisdiction of the Circuit Court.—This court has original jurisdiction only. In civil suits the amount involved, exclusive of interest and costs, must be at least $2,000. Patent and copyright cases, and suits by the United States against national banks, irrespective of the amount involved, are heard in the circuit courts. In criminal cases its jurisdiction embraces all capital offenses, but it has jurisdiction in common with the district courts in the case of lesser crimes.
131. Jurisdiction of the District Courts.-It embraces crimes not punishable by death, admiralty and maritime cases, bankruptcy proceedings, suits for penalties, and civil cases in general in which no appeal is allowable.
132. Concurrent Jurisdiction of the United States and State Courts.—While, as a rule, the United States and State courts have exclusive jurisdiction in certain classes of cases, there may be instances of concurrent jurisdiction. A citizen of a State may sue a citizen of another State in the courts of the other State, if he prefers. However, if the defendant shall base the defense on a United States law he may have it removed to a Federal court. Where there are both Federal and State laws, as against counterfeiting, the plaintiff may likewise exercise his preference; also in cases under the postal laws and State laws involving the United States Constitution. But no State court has final jurisdiction if by its construction of a Federal law it in any way abridges Federal authority.
133. “ Law and Fact.”—When a case is appealed the Supreme Court may review both the law and the facts, that is, the law and the evidence; but the witnesses themselves are not present, nor is there a jury sitting. The whole case is brought before the appellate court by means of a printed record of the proceedings in the lower court. From this record and the lawyer's arguments, the appellate court makes up its decision.
A case may also be brought before the appellate court by a writ of error, which calls only for a review of the law; that is, the judge's decisions and charge to the jury, in the inferior court.
134. “ Law and Equity.”—Equity is applied to cases for which the law has no remedy. To try such cases separate courts used to exist here and in England; but now the courts of law try cases of equity too, except in a few of the Southern States. The most common service of a court of equity is to prevent wrongdoing—as the
granting of injunctions—and to give relief for a wrong already inflicted, as the relief from fraud in bargains.
Questions on the Section.—To what shall the judicial power extend? What courts have jurisdiction of crimes on board American ships? Recite the authority for your answer. Can a foreign nation sue a State in the United States courts? In what event may two citizens of the same State have a case in the United States court? To what is the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court limited? Its appellate jurisdiction extends to what? How must the trial of all crimes be conducted? What exception is made? Where must such trials be held? Where would a pirate or a mutineer be tried?
CLAUSE 1. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
Cl. 2. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.
135. Definition of Treason. There are but few definitions in the Constitution. That of treason is one of them. If there were many the Constitution would have been amended much more than it has been, for definitions are fixed and unyielding.
136. Punishment of Treason. When the Constitution of the United States was made the laws against treason in some countries were barbarous. They permitted indescribable horrors to be practiced, such as disemboweling, beheading, and quartering of the traitor, after he had forfeited his life on the gallows. Nor was this all the punishment. He forfeited all his property to the Government, both what he then had and what might come
to him by inheritance, and his heirs could never get any of it. Such destruction of inheritable qualities is known as “corruption of blood.” Our punishment for treason is death, or, at the discretion of the court, fine and imprisonment.
Questions on the Section.—Define treason. Was the Whisky Rebellion treason? What had Aaron Burr done to make him appear guilty of treason? Blennerhassett? What are the conditions for conviction of treason? Will a confession to a witness convict? How long may the Government hold the property of a traitor in forfeiture?
ARTICLE IV.—THE STATES AND TERRITORIES
SECTION 1.-OFFICIAL ACTS
Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
137. To Make the Union More Perfect.-In order to prevent the States from becoming involved in confusion and litigation the official acts of one State shall be accepted in another, as if they were its own official acts. A judgment rendered in a court in Pennsylvania is ground for an action of debt in the State of New York. A will duly recorded in one State, if it affects property in another, must be accepted in the other when it comes to the disposition of such property. Public acts, that is, legislative acts, are proved by having the State's seal attached. Court records are proved by the seal of the court and the signature of the clerk and judge.
SECTION 2.-PRIVILEGES OF CITIZENS
CLAUSE 1. The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.
Cl. 2. A person charged in any State with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crime.
Cl. 3. No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in
consequence of any
law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.
138. Discriminations Not Permissible.- No State is permitted to discriminate against the citizens of other States, as one nation may against the citizens of another. No passports can be required, ownership of property cannot be denied, justice cannot be withheld, no exclusive legislation can be passed, etc.; but no special privileges or immunities of one's own State can be secured in other States by this provision. The fact that a woman can vote in Colorado does not give her the right to vote in a State where women are not allowed to vote. A license to practice medicine in one State need not be accepted in another. It is only the privileges and immunities which belong to us as citizens of the United States that cannot be abridged by a State.
139. Extradition.-When a criminal escapes from the State which has jurisdiction over his crime into another State, an indictment or complaint under oath is laid before the Governor of the former State; and he is in duty bound to issue a demand, called a requisition, accompanied by the indictment or affidavit, on the Governor