March 20 – Today in Legal History: Supreme Court Affirms Its Right to Review State Court Decisions
March 20, 1816 – Supreme Court Affirms Its Right to Review State Court Decisions
In Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, the U.S. Supreme Court declares that its appellate power over federal legal issues extends to cases in state courts, a notion that the Court states is supported by the “letter and spirit of the Constitution.” The decision was handed down after the Virginia Court of Appeals defied a U.S. Supreme Court order in a case dealing with the impact of a federal treaty on a property dispute, giving the high court the opportunity to rule on the constitutionality of its review powers.
- Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee (FindLaw)
- Landmark Cases: Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee (PBS)
- U.S. Supreme Court Center (FindLaw)