Baldwin (plaintiff) originally sued the Iowa State Traveling Men’s Association (the Association) (defendant) in Missouri state court, and the action was removed to federal court in Missouri. There, the Association appeared in federal court to challenge the court’s personal jurisdiction. The federal court in Missouri refused to dismiss the action for lack of personal jurisdiction, but the Association declined to defend the case on the merits in Missouri. A judgment was entered against the Association. The Association later challenged the judgment in federal court in Iowa, still asserting that the federal court in Missouri lacked personal jurisdiction to render judgment against it. The federal court in Iowa agreed with the Association, dismissing the action. Baldwin appealed to the United States Court of Appeals. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.