Article III

ADJUDICATION OF RIGHTS 

 

Section 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--

The very foundation of the power of the federal courts to declare Acts of Congress unconstitutional lies in the power and duty of those courts to decide cases and controversies properly before them United States v. Raines, 362 U.S. 17, 20  (1960).

 

The jurisdiction of federal courts is defined and limited by Article III of the Constitution. ….the judicial power of federal courts is constitutionally restricted to "cases" and "controversies." Flast v. Cohen 392 U.S. 83, 94 (1968) >  Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Haworth,  >300 U.S. 227 , 239, 240(1937); 2 Dall. 419, 431, 432;  >Muskrat v. United States, 219 U.S. 346, 356 , 357 (1911) 

 

[The] case and controversy limitation, …[is an ]…American institution of judicial review……for the preservation of individual rightsRescue Army v. Municipal Court 331 U.S. 549 , 572 (1947).  ''The province of the court is, solely, to decide on the rights of individuals, …...'' Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 170 (1803).

 

Upon the state courts, equally with the courts of the Union, rests the obligation to guard, enforce, and protect every right granted or secured by the Constitution of the United States, whenever those rights are involved in any suit or proceeding before them, for the judges of the state courts are required to take an oath to support that Constitution. They are bound by it, … as the supreme law of the land. Mr. Justice Harlan in Robb v. Connolly 111 U.S. 624, 637(1884);

 

[S]tate courts also have the solemn responsibility " to guard, enforce, and protect every right granted or secured by the Constitution of the United States . . .," . "We yet like to believe that wherever the Federal courts sit, human rights under the Federal Constitution are always a proper subject for adjudication, and that we have not the right to decline the exercise of that jurisdiction ….." Zwickler v. Koota,  389 U.S. 241, 248   (1967).

 

''It is only where rights, ….are being, or about to be, affected prejudicially by the application or enforcement of a statute that its validity may be called in question by a suitor and determined by an exertion of the judicial power. State of Texas v. Interstate Commerce Commission, 258 U.S. 158 162 1922)

 

The Art. III judicial power exists only to redress or otherwise to protect against injury to the complaining party, even though the court's judgment may benefit others collaterally. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 499  (1975)  

 

We have no power per se to review and annul acts of Congress on the ground that they are unconstitutional. That question may be considered only when the justification for some direct injury suffered or threatened, presenting a justiciable issue, is made to rest upon such an act.  Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Mellon 262 U.S. 447, 488, (1923)

 

 

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