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LOUISIANA v. TEXAS.

decided: January 15, 1900.

LOUISIANA
v.
TEXAS.



ORIGINAL.

Author: Fuller

[ 176 U.S. Page 13]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

The ninth of the Articles of Confederation of 1778 provided that the Congress should be "the last resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting or that may hereafter arise between two or more States concerning boundary, jurisdiction or any other cause whatever," the authority to be exercised through a tribunal to be created by the Congress as prescribed, and whose judgment should be final and conclusive; and also that "all controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under different grants of two or more States" should be determined in the same manner.

In the Constitutional Convention, the Committee of Detail, composed of Rutledge, Randolph, Gorham, Ellsworth and Wilson, to which the resolutions arrived at by the Convention and sundry propositions had been referred, reported on the sixth of August, A.D. 1787, a draft of a Constitution, consisting of twenty-three articles.

The second section of the ninth article provided that as to "all disputes and controversies now subsisting, or that may hereafter subsist, between two or more States, respecting jurisdiction or territory," the Senate should have power to designate a special tribunal to finally determine the same by its judgment; and by the third section, "all controversies concerning lands claimed under different grants of two or more States" were to be similarly determined.

[ 176 U.S. Page 14]

     The third section of the proposed eleventh article provided, among other things, that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court should extend "to controversies between two or more States, except such as shall regard territory or jurisdiction; between a State and Citizens of another State; between citizens of different States; and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, citizens or subjects."

On the twenty-fifth of August Mr. Rutledge said in respect to sections two and three of article nine: "This provision for deciding controversies between the States was necessary under the Confederation, but will be rendered unnecessary by the National Judiciary now to be established;" and on his motion the sections were stricken out.

The words "between citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States" were subsequently inserted in the third section of the eleventh article, and the words "except such as shall regard territory or jurisdiction" omitted. 1 Elliot, 223, 224, 261, 262, 267, 270; 5 Elliot, 471; Meigs on Growth of the Constitution, 244, 249.

Clauses 1 and 2 of the second section of Article III of the Constitution as finally adopted read:

"The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more States; between a State and citizens of another State; between citizens of different States, between citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States, and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, citizens or subjects.

"In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and thsoe 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 make."

[ 176 U.S. Page 15]

     The reference we have made to the derivation of the words "controversies between two or more States" manifestly indicates that the framers of the Constitution intended that they should include something more than controversies over "territory or jurisdiction"; for in the original draft as reported the latter controversies were to be disposed of by the Senate, and controversies other than those by the judiciary, to which by amendment all were finally committed. But it is apparent that the jurisdiction is of so delicate and grave a character that it was not contemplated that it would be exercised save when the necessity was absolute and the matter in itself properly justiciable.

Undoubtedly, as remarked by Mr. Justice Bradley in Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1, 15, the Constitution made some things "justiciable which were not known as such at the common law; such, for example, as controversies between States as to boundary lines, and other question admitting of judicial solution. . . . The establishment of this new branch of jurisdiction seemed to be necessary from the extinguishment of diplomatic relations between the States. Of other controversies between a State and another State or its citizens, which on the settled principles of public law are not subjects of judicial cognizance, this court has often declined to take jurisdiction. See Wisconsin v. Pelican Ins. Co., 127 U.S. 265, 288, 289, and cases there cited."

By the Judiciary Act of 1789 the judicial system was organized and the powers of the different courts defined. Its thirteenth section, carried forward as ยง 687 of the Revised Statutes, provided "that the Supreme Court shall have 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 shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction."

The language of the second clause of the second section of Article III, "in all cases in which a State shall be party," means in all the enumerated cases in which a State shall be a party, and this is stated expressly when the clause speaks

[ 176 U.S. Page 16]

     of the other cases where appellate jurisdiction is to be exercised. This second clause distributes the jurisdiction conferred in the previous one into original and appellate jurisdiction, but does not profess to confer any. The original jurisdiction depends solely on the character of the parties, and is confined to the cases in which are those enumerated parties and those only. California v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 157 U.S. 229, 259; United States v. Texas, 143 U.S. 621. And by the Constitution and according to the statute, the original jurisdiction of this court is exclusive over suits between States, though not exclusive over those between a State and citizens of another State.

On the 8th of January, 1798, the Eleventh Amendment was ratified, as follows: "The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another State, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign State."

Referring to this Amendment, Mr. Chief Justice Waite, in New Hampshire v. Louisiana and New York v. Louisiana, 108 U.S 76, 91, said: "The evident purpose of the Amendment, so promptly proposed and finally adopted, was to prohibit all suits against a State by or for citizens of other States, or aliens, without the consent of the State to be sued, and in our opinion, one State cannot create a controversy with another State within the meaning of that term as used in the judicial clauses of the Constitution by assuming the prosecution of debts owing by other States to its citizens."

In order then to maintain jurisdiction of this bill of complaint as against the State of Texas, it must appear that the controversy to be determined is a controversy arising directly between the State of Louisiana and the State of Texas, and not a ...


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