Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2

Document 4

James Iredell, North Carolina Ratifying Convention

28 July 1788Elliot 4:147

. . . an appeal to the Supreme Court will not be allowed but in cases of great importance, where the object may be adequate to the expense. The Supreme Court may possibly be directed to sit alternately in different parts of the Union.

The propriety of having a Supreme Court in every government must be obvious to every man of reflection. There can be no other way of securing the administration of justice uniformly in the several states. There might be, otherwise, as many different adjudications on the same subject as there are states. It is to be hoped that, if this government be established, connections still more intimate than the present will subsist between the different states. The same measure of justice, therefore, as to the objects of their common concern, ought to prevail in all. A man in North Carolina, for instance, if he owed £ 100 here, and was compellable to pay it in good money, ought to have the means of recovering the same sum, if due to him in Rhode Island, and not merely the nominal sum, at about an eighth or tenth part of its intrinsic value. To obviate such a grievance as this, the Constitution has provided a tribunal to administer equal justice to all.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 4, Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2, Document 4
The University of Chicago Press

Elliot, Jonathan, ed. The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. . . . 5 vols. 2d ed. 1888. Reprint. New York: Burt Franklin, n.d.

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