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211 A direct stax may be laid and collected in the District of Columbia, it being apportioned according to the population; although that district is not represented in congress.

OWINGS v. SPEED, et al.

218 The government established by the constitution of the United States did not commence its operations till the first Wednesday in March, 1789; and an act of a state legislature, passed before that time, could not be affected by the constitution of the United States.


221 A case arising under the constitution or laws of the United States is cognizable in the courts of the union, whoever may be the parties to the case. The mere circumstance, that a state is a party, gives jurisdiction to the federal courts.

When a state is a party to an action, the jurisdiction of the supreme court of the United States is original. When the case arises under the constitution, or a law of the United States, that jurisdiction is appellate.

JOHNSON AND GRAHAM'S LESSEE v. M'INTOSH. 262 The Indians cannot convey their lands in fee. The plaintiff's claimed land under a private purchase from the Indians; the defendant held under the United States. The plaintiff's title was adjudged to be void.


287 0 The constitution of the United States contains an enumeration of the powers expressly granted by the people to their government. There is no known rule, which requires that these pewers should be construed strictly. The words of the constitution are to be construed in their natural sense.

“Congress shall have power to regulate commerce.” The word commerce here comprehends navigation.

Carrying passengers is a part of the coasting business; and vessels licensed as coasting vessels may be employed in carrying passengers.

A steamboat may be licensed pursuant to an act of congress “ for the enrolling and licensing of steamboats;” and an act of a state, inhibiting the use of steam to any vessel having a license, comes in direct collision with that act, and, of course, is void.


Congress has constitutional authority to give to the circuit courts of the United States original jurisdiction in any case to which the appellate jurisdiction extends.

The act incorporating the Bank of the United States (passed 1816) gives to the circuit courts of the United States jurisdiction of cases in which the bank is a party.

An act of the state of Ohio, laying a tax on the Bank of the United States, is repugnant to a law of the United States, made in pursuance of the constitution of the United States, and is, therefore, void.


343 The charter of the Bank of the United States gives to the bank a right to sue in the circuit courts of the United States, without regard to citizenship.

This action was brought in the circuit court of the United States on promissory notes, which had been assigned to the Bank of the United States. The payee could not have brought his action on these notes in the circuit court. The eleventh section of the judiciary act takes from the district and circuit courts cognizance of suits brought in favor of an assignee, in cases where the assignor could not have brought the suit in these courts. Yet the Bank of the United States may maintain this action in the circuit court; for it sues in virtue of a right conferred by its charter.



It is the duty of the postmaster general to sue, in his own name, for debts and balances due to the office which he superintends; and the circuit courts have jurisdiction in such cases.

The postmaster general may take bonds of his deputies and the officers in his department; at least, for the payment of balances in their hands, if not for the faithful performance of duties.


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The act of the legislature of Maryland requiring importers of foreign articles, before selling the same, to take out a license, is repugnant to that article of the constitution of the United States which declares that “no state shall.lay any imposts, or duties, on imports or exports ;” and also to that clause in the constitution, which empowers congress " to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states.”


The act of the territorial legislature of Florida, (passed 1823,) establishing a court consisting of a notary and five jurors, was constitutional.

The decree of this court, by virtue of which the cargo of a vessel, which had been wrecked on the coast of Florida, was sold to satisfy the salvors,

This court had jurisdiction of the case ; and the sale made by its decree was a legal transfer of the property.

WESTON et al. v. CITY OF CHARLESTON. 382 A tax on government stock is a tax on the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States, and, consequently, repugnant to the constitution.

CRAIG et al. v. THE STATE OF MISSOURI. 390 The act of the state of Missouri (passed 1821) authorizing the issue of certificates of two per cent, stock, is repugnant to the constitution of the United States, which declares that “no state shall emit bills of credit.” It is, therefore, void, and the certificates were not a valuable consideration for the note given on account of them by the plaintiffs in error.

PROVIDENCE BANK v. BILLINGS AND PITTMAN.' 405 The act of the legislature of Rhode Island, imposing a tax on banks and bodies corporate, does not impair the obligation of the contract created by the charter granted to this bank.

THE CHEROKEE NATION v. THE STATE OF GEORGIA. 412 An Indian tribe, or nation, within the United States, is not a foreign state, in the sense in which that term is used in the constitution, and cannot maintain an action in the courts of the United States. WORCESTER v. STATE OF GEORGIA.

419 O The act of the legislature of Georgia, prohibiting white persons to reside within the limits of the Cherokee nation, without a license, and having taken an oath of a prescribed form, is repugnant to the treaties made between the United States and the Cherokees, as well as the acts of congress for giving effect to those treaties, and for regulating the intercourse of the citizens of the United States with the Cherokees, and therefore void; and the judgment against the plaintiff in error, on the trial of an indictment under this act, is a nullity, it having been pronounced under color of a law which is repugnant to the constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States.

The mere passing of this act was an assertion of a claim, on the part of Georgia, to jurisdiction over the Cherokee nation. But the Cherokee nation is a distinct community, occupying its own territory, in which the laws of Georgia can have no force.


449 The provision in the fifth amendment of the constitution of the United Stales, which declares that private property shall not be taken for public

use, without just compensation, does not apply to the legislation of the states, bot imposes limits on the powers of the general government only, no words being employed, which directly express the intent to apply the inhibition to state power.

THE BRIG WILSON ». THE UNITED STATES. 454 The act “ to regulate the collection of duties on imports and tonnage” does not apply to privateers; these being included under the term “ship, or vessel of war," the commanders of which are exempted from making the report and entry required of the commanders of other vessels.

The power "to regulate commerce," &c., given to congress by art. 1, sec. 8, of the constitution of the United States, includes the power to regulate navigation.

The act of congress, February 28, 1803, prohibits importing, or bringing in, or having on board, any negro, mulatto, or any person of color. The words, " having on board,” do not apply to a vessel one of whose crew is a person of color; nor is any forfeiture incurred by having a person of color among the crew.

THE UNITED STATES v. MAURICE et al. 465 Though the office of agent of fortifications is an office established by law, the secretary of war has no authority to appoint such an officer. But, nevertheless, the bond of office given by an agent thus appointed is valid, and an action may be maintained on it to coërce the repayment of money received by such agent, and not disbursed by him in the performance of his duties. HYLTON v. THE UNITED STATES.

489 The act of congress, passed in 1794, laying a duty on carriages for the conveyance of persons, was a constitutional act. The duty was not a direct tax.

CALDER AND WIFE v. BULL AND WIFE. 505 The resolution, or law, passed, May, 1795, by the legislature of Connecticut, which set aside a decree of a court of probate for Hartford, and granted a new hearing by the said court of probate, was not an ex post facto lau, within the meaning of the prohibition contained in the constitution of the United States, art 1, sec, 10; but was constitutional and valid.


525 0 The appellate power of the United States extends to cases pending in the state courts, and the twenty-fifth section of the judiciary act, which authorizes the exercise of this jurisdiction in the specified cases, by writ of error, is supported by the constitution.

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THE BANK OF COLUMBIA 1. OKELY. A party to a contract may renounce a benefit, or right, secured to him by law.

Thus the maker of a note may agree, (expressly, or by implication,) that, upon non-payment, judgment may be rendered and execution issued for the debt, without a trial by jury.


560 Though the militia laws of the United States have provided that the offence of disobedience to the call of the president upon the militia shall be cognizable by a court martial of the United States, erclusive cognizance of such cases is not conferred upon such courts; but a state court martial may have concurrent jurisdiction of this offence with a court martial of the United States, to enforce the laws of congress against such delinquent.

A militia man, who refuses to obey the call of the president calling him into actual service, is not, in the sense of the act of 1795, “ employed in the service of the United States," so as to be subject to the rules and articles of war; yet he is liable to be tried for the offence under the fifth section of that act, by a court martial under the authority of the United States.


598 Definition of Piracy. The crime of piracy is sufficiently and constitutionally defined by the fifth section of the act of 1819.

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603 The United States house of representatives has authority to punish, for contempt, persons who are not members of that house.


611 The constitution of the United States declares that congress shall have power “to provide for calling forth the militia," &c. The act of congress of 1795 provides that it shall be lawful for the president of the United States to call forth the militia, &c., in certain specified cases.

The act of congress of 1795 is constitutional. The president has the sole authority to decide whether or not the exigency has arisen which justifies his calling out the militia.

The officer appointing a court martial, for the trial of a militia man who has disobeyed the call of the president, has a discretionary authority as to the number of which the court shall consist, and in this matter he is to proceed according to the general usage of the military service. The jurisdiction of a court martial to try such offences does not depend upon the fact of war or peace.

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