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tiously, and upon false suggestions; and of complaints, by whomsoever instituled, in cases of capture made within the waters of the United States, or within a marine league of their courts.
The judges of the District Courts have, in cases where the party has not had reasonable time to apply to the Circuit Courts, as full power as is exercised by the justices of the Supreme Court, to grant writs of injunction in equity causes, to operate within their respective districts, and continue in force until the next sitting of the Circuit ('ourt.
IV. The Courts of the TERRITORIES of the United States have been created, from time to time, by the several acts of Congress establishing Territorial gov. ernments in those vast regions in the western parts of the Continent which were either ceded by indi. vidual states for the common benefit, upon condition that the proceeds of sales of the public lands therein should be applied to the payment of the national debt incurred during the Revolutionary war, or comprising those obtained by treaty from foreign powers, and never included within the boundaries of any of the original members of the Union. These Territories (as they are politically, as well as geographically termed) are not in either case considered distinct political societies, known to the Constitution as states; but Congress has always assumed to exercise over them supreme powers of sovereignty; and has generally adopted for that purpose the principles of an ordinance established under the confederation for governing the territory northwest of the River Ohio, which now contains the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. This ordinance was formed upon sound and enlightened principles of civil jurisprudence, and the judges appointed in that territory hold their offices during good behaviour, as
well as those in the territories which were successively elected from the residuary parts of it. In the existing territories of Florida, Wisconsin, and Iowa, however, the governor and members of the legislative council, as well as the judges, are appointed by the President and Senate, but are all removable at the pleasure of the President; and the judges, subject to such removal, hold for four, and the governor for three years. In the first, the judicial power is vested in two Superior Courts, and in such inferior courts and magistrates as the legislative council may establish. The legislative power in all these territories is vested in the governor, and a legislative council consisting of nine members, appointed by the President and Senate, to continue in office for five years, and of a House of Representatives, chosen by the inhabitants biennially. The Superior Courts in those territories have exclusive cognizance of all capital offences, and the trial by jury is secured, together with many other great fundamental principles of civil liberty. The legislatures are prohibited from interfering with the primary disposal of the soil, or from taxing land belonging to the United States, or from imposing higher taxes on land belonging to non-resident proprietors than on those of residents. In the organization of the territorial governments of East and West Florida, one of the Superior Courts, consisting of a single judge, is assigned to each division respectively; and has within its limits the same jurisdiction, in all cases arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States, which is vested in the District Courts of the United States, in those districts in which the latter have the powers of a Circuit Court; and writs of error, and appeals from the decisions of these territorial courts, may be taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the
same cases, and under the same regulations, as from the Circuit Courts of the Union.
From these various regulations, it appears that Congress possesses supreme power in regard to all these territories, depending solely on the exercise of its sound discretion. Neither the District of Columbia nor a territory is a state, within the meaning of the Constitution, or entitled to claim the privileges secured to the members of the Union.* Nor will a writ of error or an appeal lie from a territorial court to the Supreme Court, unless there be a special statutory provision for the purpose.f
If,” observes Mr. Chancellor Kent," the government of the United States should
into execution the project of colonizing the great valley of the Oregon west of the Rocky Mountains, it would afford a subject of grave consideration, what would be the future civil and political destiny of that country. It would be a long time,” he continues, “ before it would be populous enough to be created into one or more independent states; and, in the mean time, upon the doctrine taught by the acts of Congress, and the judicial decisions of the Supreme Court, the colonists would be in a state of most complete subordination, and as dependant upon the will of Congress as the people of this country would have been upon the king and Parliament of Great Britain, if they could have sustained their claim to bind us, in all cases whatsoever. Such a state of absolute sovereignty on the one hand, and of absolute dependance on the other, is not at all congenial with the free and independent spirit of our native institutions; and the establishment of distant territorial governments, ruled according to will and pleasure, would have a very natural tendency, as all
* 2 Cranch, 445. 1 Wheaton, 91.
proconsular governments have had, to abuse and oppression.”
V. The State Courts and Magistrates are in some cases invested by Congress with cognizance of cases arising under the laws of the United States. It seems, indeed, that Congress, in the course of its legislation upon the subjects intrusted to it, may commit the decision of causes arising under a particular act, solely, if deemed expedient, to the courts of the Union; but in every case in which the state courts are not expressly excluded, they may take cognizance of causes growing out of an act of Congress : and although Congress cannot confer jurisdiction upon any courts but such as exist under the Constitution and its own laws, yet the state courts may exercise it in cases authorized by the laws of the state, and not prohibited by the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Courts. *
Various duties have been imposed by Congress on the state courts and magistrates; and they have been invested with jurisdiction in civil suits, and in complaints and prosecutions for fines, penalties, and forfeitures, accruing under the laws of the United States. In civil suits, the state courts entertain such jurisdiction; but in criminal and penal cases they have in several instances declined it. In what cases, and to what extent, they will exercise criminal jurisdiction under the laws of the Union; and under what circumstances, and how far, the judges of the state courts have power to issue a Habeas Corpus, and decide on the validity of a commitment or detainer under the authority of the National Government, are questions which have been variously determined in the states, and have never been definitively settled in the Su
* 5 Wheaton, 1.
preme Court of the United States, where the ultimate right of determining them resides. The doctrine, however, seems to be admitted, that Congress cannot compel a state court to entertain jurisdiction in any case.
It only permits such of those tribunals as are competent, and have inherent jurisdiction adequate to the case, to entertain such suits in given cases; and they do not thereby become Superior Courts, in the sense of the Federal Constitution, because they are not ordained and established by Congress. The state courts are left to consult their own duty, from their state authority and organization; but if they do voluntarily entertain jurisdiction of causes cognizable under the authority of the United States, they do it upon the condition that the appellate jurisdiction of the Federal Courts shall apply.* Their jurisdiction of Federal causes must, nevertheless, be confined to civil actions, for civil demands, or to enforce penal statutes. They cannot hold criminal jurisdiction over offences exclusively against the United States ; for every criminal prosecution must charge the offence to have been committed against the sovereign whose court sits in judgment upon the offender, and whose authority can pardon bim.
From the survey I have now completed of the organization of our Federal judicial establishment, you will have perceived that the leading features of the system are to be found in the act so often referred to, passed in 1789, at the first session of the first Congress under the present Constitution. It was understood to have been drawn up by Mr. Oliver Ellsworth, a senator from Connecticut, and has stood the test of severe experience since that time, with very little alteration or improvement; a fact which affords
* 14 Johns. Reps., 95.