Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1
Hodgson & Thompson v. Bowerbank5 Cranch 303 1809
Error to the Circuit Court for the district of Maryland. The defendants below were described in the record as "late of the district of Maryland, merchants," but were not stated to be citizens of the state of Maryland. the plaintiffs were described as "aliens and subjects of the king of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland."
Martin contended, that the courts of the United States had not jurisdiction, it not being stated that the defendants were citizens of any state.
C. Lee, contrà.--The judiciary act gives jurisdiction to the circuit courts, in all suits in which an alien is a party. (1 U. S. Stat. 78, § 11.)
Marshall, Ch. J.--Turn to the article of the constitution of the United States, for the statute cannot extend the jurisdiction beyond the limits of the constitution.
The words of the constitution were found to be "between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects."
The Court said, the objection was fatal.
The Founders' Constitution
Volume 4, Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1, Document 52
The University of Chicago Press
Easy to print version.