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Massachusetts v. Laird
United States Supreme Court
400 U.S. 886 (1970)
During the Vietnam War, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (plaintiff) tried to bring an action against United States Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird (defendant). Massachusetts sought a declaration that the war was unconstitutional because it had not been authorized or ratified by Congress. Massachusetts also sought an injunction prohibiting Laird from increasing the level of troops in Vietnam and from requiring Massachusetts residents to serve in combat or combat-support positions in the war. Massachusetts filed a motion for leave to file its complaint against Laird in the United States Supreme Court under Article III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, which provides that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over all cases in which a state is a party.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning
Dissent (Douglas, J.)
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