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jury, for reasons for which new trials have usually been granted in the courts of law, and may administer all necessary oaths or affirmations, and punish, by fine or imprisonment, at their discretion, all contempts of authority in any cause or hearing before them; and make and establish all necessary rules for the orderly conducting business in such courts: Provided, Such rules be not repugnant to the laws of the United States :(1)

The power of the several courts of the United States to issue attachments and inflict summary punishments for contempts of court, shall not be construed to extend to any cases except the misbehaviour of any person or persons in the presence of the said courts, or so near thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice, the misbehaviour of any of the officers of the said courts in their official transactions, and the disobedience or resistance by any officer of the said courts, party, juror, witness, or any other person or persons, to any lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command of the said courts.(2)

483. They may, from time to time, as occasion may require, make rules and orders for their respective courts, directing the returning of writs and processes, the filing of declarations, and other pleadings, the taking of rules, the entering and making up of judgments by default, and other matters in the vacation; and otherwise, in a manner not repugnant to the laws of the United States, regulate the practice of such courts, respectively, as shall be fit and necessary for the advancement of justice, and especially to that end to prevent delays in proceedings.(3)

484. The judges of the supreme court, and of the several district courts of the United States, and all judges and justices of the courts of the several states, having authority by the laws of the United States to take cognizance of offences against the constitution and laws thereof, shall respectively have the like power and authority to hold to security of the peace, and for good behaviour, in cases arising under the constitution and laws of the United States, as may be lawfully exercised by any judge or justice of the peace of the respective states, in cases cognizable before them.(4)

485. The laws of the several states, except where the constitution, treaties, or statutes of the United States, shall otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision, in trials at common law in the courts of the United States, in cases where they apply.(5)*

(1) Ibid. sec. 17.

(2) Act March 2d, 1831.

(3) Act March 2d, 1793, sec. 7.

(4) Act July 16th, 1798, sec. 1.

(5) Act 24th Sept. 1789, sec. 34.-See Beers and al. v. Haughton, 9 Peters, 330.

The foregoing article applies to civil suits only, as contradistinguished from criminal prosecutions, and from suits which come before the court sitting as a court of equity, or admiralty.—United States v. Burr, appendix, 2d part, 185. It does not apply to the practice and process of the courts. It is a mere legislative recognition of the principles of universal jurisprudence as to the operation of the local law-Wayman v. Southard, 10 Wheat. 1.

In cases depending on the statutes of a state, especially in questions relating to land titles, the courts of the United States are governed by the construction adopted by the state tribunals, when such construction is settled and ascertained.-Polk V. Wendell, 9 Cranch, 98. Thatcher v. Powel, 6 Wheat. 119. Elmendorf v. Taylor, 10 Wheat. 153. But the state laws having no binding force as to remedies, they are at common law and in equity, not according to the practice of the state courts, but according to the principles of the common law and equity, as distinguished and defined in the English code.-Robinson v. Campbell, 3 Wheat. 221. Wayman v. Southard, 10 Wheat. 24. United States v. Howland, 4 Wheat. 108. Consistently with this, where, by the statutes of a state, a title which would otherwise be deemed merely equitable, is recognized as a legal title, or a title which would be valid at law, is, under circumstances of an equitable nature, declared void, the

Suits in equity shall not be sustained in either of the courts of the United States, in any case where plain, adequate, and complete remedy may be had at law.(1)

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ART. 486. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and six associates, any four of whom shall be a quorum,(2) and shall hold annually

(1) Act 24th Sept. 1789, sec. 16.

(2) See Pollard v. Dwight, 4 Cr. 421.

rights of the parties in such case may be as fully considered in a suit at law in the courts of the United States as in any state court.-Robinson v. Campbell, 3 Wheat. 212.

The courts of the United States are all of limited, but not inferior jurisdiction, and their proceedings are erroneous if their jurisdictions be not shown.~Kemp's lessee v. Kennedy, 5 Cranch, 173. But until reversed, they are conclusive evidence between parties and privies.—M'Cormick and wife v. Sullivant, 10 Wheat.


Such courts have exclusive jurisdiction of all seizures made on land and water, for breach of the laws of the United States; and it is not competent for a state court to entertain or decide such question of forfeiture. And a sentence of condemnation or acquittal, with regard to such forfeiture, pronounced by the proper court of the United States, is conclusive, and the question cannot be again litigated in any common law forum.-Slocum v. Maybury, 2 Wheat. 1. Gelsten v. Hoyt, 3 Wheat. 246.

The courts of the United States, on their common law side, have no jurisdiction of causes which respect the conduct of the officers of the United States in making seizures, except upon a writ of error to a state court. But, as courts of admiralty, they may sustain libels for damages for illegal seizures, and compel the seizing officer to institute proceedings to ascertain the forfeiture.-Slocum v. Maybury, 2 Wheat. 1. And they have jurisdiction in cases of maritime torts in personam as in rem.- -Mauro v. Almeida, 10 Wheat. 473.

The courts of the United States being neutral, have jurisdiction to restore to one belligerent his property captured by another belligerent, whose force has been increased, in violation of our laws within our ports.-The Alerta, 9 Cranch, 359. The Divina Pastora, 4 Wheat. 52, 63. The Estrella, ibid, 298. La Amistad de Rues, 5 Wheat. 385. La Conception, 6 Wheat. 235-8. The Santissima Trinidad, 7 Wheat. 350. The Gran Para, ibid, 471, 486. The Arrogante Barcelones, 7 Wheat. 518. See La Neyreda, 3 Wheat. 108. The Fanny, 9 Wheat. 658. But their jurisdiction for this purpose, under the law of nations, extends only to restitution of the specific property, with costs and expenses during the pendency of the suit, and does not extend to the infliction of vindictive damages, as in ordinary cases

of maritime torts.

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at the city of Washington one session to commence on the second Monday of January.(1) The associate justices shall have precedence according to the date of their commissions, or when the commissions of two of them bear date the same day, according to their respective ages.(2)

487. If, at any session of the supreme court, four justices thereof shall not attend on the day appointed for holding said session, such justice or justices as may attend shall have authority to adjourn said court from day to day, for twenty days after the time appointed for the commencement of said session, unless four justices shall sooner attend; and the business of said court shall not, in such case, be continued over to the next stated session thereof, until the expiration of said twenty days, instead of the ten days now limited by law.(3)

If it shall so happen, during any term of the said supreme court, after four of the judges shall have assembled, that, on any day, less than the number of four shall assemble, the judge or judges so assembling shall have authority to adjourn said court from day to day until a quorum shall attend, and, when expedient and proper, may adjourn the same without day.(4)

But any one or more of the justices attending may make all necessary orders touching any suit, process or proceedings returned to the court or de pending therein preparatory to the hearing, trial, or decision thereof.(5)

488. Whenever, in the opinion of the chief justice, or, in case of his death, or inability, of the senior associate justice of the supreme court, a contagious sickness shall render it hazardous to hold the next stated session at the seat of government, he may issue his order to the marshal of the district within which the court is by law to be holden, directing him to adjourn such session to such other place, within the same, or an adjoining district, as he may deem convenient; and the marshal shall thereupon adjourn such court, by making publication thereof, in one or more public papers printed at the place by law appointed for holding the same, from the time he shall receive such order, until the time by law prescribed for commencing such session. And the district judges shall respectively, under the same circumstances, have power by the same means, to direct adjournments of the district and circuit courts within their several districts, to some convenient place within the same, respectively.(6)

489. The associate justice resident in the fourth circuit shall attend at the city of Washington, on the first Monday of August annually, and shall have power to make all necessary orders touching any suit, action, appeal, writ of error, process, pleadings, or proceedings, returned to the court, or depending therein, preparatory to the hearing, trial, or decision of such action, suit, appeal, writ of error, process, pleadings, or proceedings: and all writs and process may be returnable to the court on the first Monday in August, in the same manner as to the session of the court, to be holden on the second Monday in January, and may bear teste on the first Monday in August, as though a session of the court was holden on that day; the clerk of the supreme court shall attend such justice on the first Monday of August, in each and every year, and make due entry of all such matters and things, as may be ordered by such justice; and at every such August session, all actions, pleas, and other proceedings, relative to any cause, civil or criminal, shall be continued over to the ensuing January session.(7)

(1) Act 4th May, 1826.

(2) Act 24th September, 1789, sec. 1. -29th April, 1802, sec. 1.-24th February, 1807, sec. 5.

(3) Act 21st January, 1829, sec. 1.

(4) Ibid. sec. 2.

(5) Act April 29th, 1802, sec. 1.
(6) Act February 24th, 1799, sec. 7.
(7) Act 29th April, 1802, sec. 2.


490. The supreme court shall be attended, during its sessions, by the marshal of the district only, in which the court shall sit, unless the attendance of the marshals of other districts be required by special order of the court.(1)

491. All the records and proceedings of the court of appeals existing previous to the adoption of the present constitution, are deposited in the office of the clerk of the supreme court of the United States, who is required to give copies thereof to any person requiring and paying for them, in like manner, as copies of the records and other proceedings of such court are by law directed to be given: Which copies shall have like faith and credit, as all other proceedings of the said court.(2)

492. The chief justice has a salary of five thousand, and each of the associate judges four thousand five hundred dollars per annum.(3)


Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

In what cases existing-may issue writs of prohibition and mandamus, of ne exeat and injunction—when


ART. 493. The supreme court has exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies of a civil nature, where a state is a party, except between a state and its citizens, and except also between a state and citizens of other states, or aliens, in which latter case it has original, but not exclusive jurisdiction. And has exclusively, all such jurisdiction of suits or proceedings against ambassadors, or other public ministers, or their domestics or domestic servants, as a court of law can have consistently with the law of nations; and original, but not exclusive jurisdiction of all suits brought by ambassadors, or other public ministers, or in which a consul or vice-consul shall be a party. And the trial of issues in fact in the supreme court, in all actions at law against citizens of the United States, shall be by jury.(4)*

(1) Act 9th June, 1794, sec. 7. (2) Act 8th May, 1792.

(3) Act 23d Sept. 1789.-20th Feb. 1819.

(4) Act 24th September, 1789, sec. 13.

* If a consul being sued in a state court, omit to plead his privilege of exemption from the suit, and afterwards on removal of the judgment of the inferior court, to a higher court by writ of error claim the privilege, the omission is not a waiver of the privilege. A consul is exempt from suit in a state court.-Davis v. Packard and al. 6 Pet. 41. 7 Pet. 276.

The jurisdiction of the supreme court, extends to controversies between two or more states.-New York v. Connecticut, 4 Dall. 3. New Jersey v. New York, 5 Pet. 284. Between a state and foreign states, and to suits by a state against citizens of a different state. But no state can enforce its penal laws in the courts of the United States.-Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 399.

But to give jurisdiction to the supreme court, on account of the interest which a state has in the controversy, the case must be one in which the state is either nominally or substantially the party.-Fowler v. Lindsey, 3 Dall. 411. New York v. Connecticut, 4 Dall. 3. Bank of the United States v. Planters' Bank, 9 Wheat. 904. A state may proceed originally in the supreme court for the purpose of contesting the right of soil.-New York v. Connecticut, 4 Dall. 3.

The grant of original jurisdiction to this court does not imply exclusive jurisdiction.-Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 400.

The supreme court can possess original jurisdiction in no cases other than those described in the constitution: and an act of congress granting original jurisdiction not warranted by the constitution is void.—Ibid. Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch, 137.

The supreme court shall have power to issue writs of prohibition to the district courts, when proceeding as courts of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and writs of mandamus, in cases warranted by the principles and usages of law, to any courts appointed, or persons holding office, under the authority of the United States.(1)*

Writs of ne exeat, and of injunction, may be granted by any judge of the supreme court, in cases where they might be granted by the supreme or a circuit court; but no writ of ne exeat shall be granted unless a suit in equity be commenced, and satisfactory proof be made to the court or judge granting it, that the defendant designs quickly to depart from the United States, nor shall a writ of injunction be granted to stay proceedings in any court of a state; nor shall such writ be granted in any case, without reasonable previous notice to the adverse party, or his attorney, of the time and place of moving for the same.(2)†

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The authority given to the supreme court by the act establishing the judicial courts to issue writs of mandamus to public officers is not warranted by the constitution. Ib. It may issue a mandamus to a circuit court commanding the court to sign a bill of exception.-Exparte Crane, 5 Pet. 190.

A mandamus will not be granted by the supreme court to a district judge, commanding him to issue a warrant in a case in which he acts in a judicial capacity and determines against issuing it. A judge cannot be compelled to act according to the dictates of any judgment but his own.-United States v. Lawrence, 3 Dall. 42. Such court may issue the writ of Habeas Corpus ad subjiciendum to inquire into the cause of commitment when the party is imprisoned by order of any other court of the United States.-Exparte Bollman and Swartwout, 4 Cranch, 75, 3 Cranch, 448. Exparte Kearny, 7 Wheat. 41-2. But such writ does not lie to bring up one confined by a ca. sa. in a civil suit.-Exparte Wilson, 6 Cranch, 52. Sich court may also issue the writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, testificandum, et deliberandum.-Burford's case, 3 Cranch, 448. But it is not authorized to award the writ of habeas corpus ad respondendum, nor ad satisfaciendum, nor ad faciendum et recipiendum.-Ibid. Ib. Quere?

But this court having no power to revise the judgment of the circuit courts, by writ of error in any case where a party has been convicted of a public offence, cannot grant a habeas corpus where a party has been committed for a contempt adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction.-Exparte Kearny, 7 Wheat. 38.

If upon the return of the habeas corpus the commitment appear to be irregular, it is unimportant, as the supreme court will proceed to do what the court below ought to have done.-Exparte Bollman and Swartwout, 3 Cranch, 114.

On habeas corpus for a prisoner a certiorari may issue from the supreme court to the clerk of the circuit court to certify the record by which the cause of commitment may be examined, and its legality investigated.-Exparte Burford, 3 Cranch.


The supreme court has power to bail one committed for trial on a criminal charge by a district judge.-United States v. Hamilton, 3 Dall. 18.

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