Article 1, Section 8, Clause 9

[Volume 3, Page 62]

Document 3

Luther Martin, Genuine Information

1788Storing 2.4.58

Among other powers given to this government in the eighth section, it has that of appointing tribunals inferior to the supreme court; to this power there was an opposition. It was urged, that there, was no occasion for inferior courts of the general government to be appointed in the different States, and that such ought not to be admitted--That the different State judiciaries in the respective States would be competent to, and sufficient for, the cognizance in the first instance of all cases that should arise under the laws of the general government, which being by this system made the supreme law of the States, would be binding on the different State judiciaries--That by giving an appeal to the supreme court of the United States, the general government would have a sufficient check over their decisions, and security for the enforcing of their laws--That to have inferior courts appointed under the authority of Congress in the different States, would eventually absorb and swallow up the State judiciaries, by drawing all business from them to the courts of the general government, which the extensive and undefined powers, legislative and judicial, of which it is possessed, would easily enable it to do--That it would unduly and dangerously increase the weight and influence of Congress in the several States, be productive of a prodigious number of officers, and be attended with an enormous additional and unnecessary expence--That the judiciaries of the respective States not having power to decide upon the laws of the general government, but the determination on those laws being confined to the judiciaries appointed under the authority of Congress in the first instance, as well as on appeal, there would be a necessity for judges or magistrates of the general government, and those to a considerable number, in each county of every State--That there would be a necessity for courts to be holden by them in each county, and that these courts would stand in need of all the proper officers, such as sheriffs, clerks and others commissioned, under the authority of the general government: in fine, that the administration of justice, as it will relate to the laws of the general government would require in each State all the magistrates, courts, officers and expence, which is now found necessary in the respective States for the administration of justice as it relates to the laws of the State governments. But here again we were overruled by a majority, who assuming it as a principle that the general government and the State governments (as long as they should exist) would be at perpetual variance and enmity, and that their interests would constantly be opposed to each other, insisted for that reason that the State judges being citizens of their respective States, and holding their commissions under them, ought not, though acting on oath, to be entrusted in the administration of the laws of the general government.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 3, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 9, Document 3
The University of Chicago Press

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

© 1987 by The University of Chicago
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