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Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee

United States Supreme Court
14 U.S. 304 (1816)


 

Facts

In 1791, Martin (plaintiff) instituted a land dispute case against Hunter’s Lessee (Hunter) (defendant) in Virginia state court. In 1810, the Virginia Court of Appeals held for Hunter. The United States Supreme Court reversed in 1813, but the Virginia state courts did not respect this ruling. The Virginia judges argued that Section 25 of the Judiciary Act, a law providing that the United States Supreme Court had appellate review over state-court decisions, was unconstitutional and thus unbinding. The United States Supreme Court reconsidered the case.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Story, J.)

Concurrence (Johnson, J.)

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Questions & Answers


Why was Martin arguing that allowing appellate review of state courts weakens sovereignty, if the Supreme Court was working in his favor?

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