Article 3, Section 2, Clause 3

Document 6

Federal Farmer, no. 2

9 Oct. 1787Storing 2.8.16

Under one general government alone, there could be but one judiciary, one supreme and a proper number of inferior courts. I think it would be totally impracticable in this case to preserve a due administration of justice, and the real benefits of the jury trial of the vicinage,--there are now supreme courts in each state in the union; and a great number of county and other courts subordinate to each supreme court--most of these supreme and inferior courts are itinerant, and hold their sessions in different parts every year of their respective states, counties and districts--with all these moving courts, our citizens, from the vast extent of the country must travel very considerable distances from home to find the place where justice is administered. I am not for bringing justice so near to individuals as to afford them any temptation to engage in law suits; though I think it one of the greatest benefits in a good government, that each citizen should find a court of justice within a reasonable distance, perhaps, within a day's travel of his home; so that, without great inconveniences and enormous expences, he may have the advantages of his witnesses and jury--it would be impracticable to derive these advantages from one judiciary--the one supreme court at most could only set in the centre of the union, and move once a year into the centre of the eastern and southern extremes of it--and, in this case, each citizen, on an average, would travel 150 or 200 miles to find this court--that, however, inferior courts might be properly placed in the different counties, and districts of the union, the appellate jurisdiction would be intolerable and expensive.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 4, Article 3, Section 2, Clause 3, Document 6
The University of Chicago Press

Storing, Herbert J., ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

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