North Carolina v. Trustees of Univ.

Citation65 N.C. 714, 1 Hughes 133, 18 F.Cas. 347, 5 N.B.R. 466
Case DateDecember 31, 1871
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Carolina

1 Hughes 133
65 N.C. 714
18 F.Cas.
5 N.B.R. 466


Circuit Court, D. North Carolina.


This was a bill in equity by the state of North Carolina against the trustees of University and C. W. Dewey, assignee, and others.

[18 F.Cas. 347] BROOKS, District Judge.

The attention of the court has not been invited to the question of jurisdiction in this case by either the complainant or respondent in their arguments, yet that is a question to be considered in the opinion of the court, and the first properly demanding attention. All the authority vested in the courts of the United States to hear and determine causes arises under the provisions of the constitution of the United States or acts of congress. By the provisions of the constitution the supreme court of the United States is established, and its jurisdiction prescribed directly, and it is further provided that congress shall have power to create or establish inferior courts. Then we think that it necessarily follows that congress has the power to prescribe the jurisdiction of such courts. We are sustained in this view by the opinion in the case

[65 N.C. 715]

of Osborne v. U. S. Bank, 9 Wheat. [22 U. S.] 738, and Sheldon v. Gill, 8 How. [49 U. S.] 448. The second section of the third article of the constitution relates to the subjects or classes of cases declared to be within the jurisdiction or power of the United States courts, and is as follows: ‘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; to controversies between two or more states; between a state and citizens of another state; between citizens of different states; between citizens of [18 F.Cas. 348] the same state claiming lands under grants of different states,’ and lastly, ‘between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens, or subjects.’ If the framers of our constitution had proceeded no further, it might be contended with more reason that this suit as instituted comes within the jurisdiction intended to be conferred upon the circuit courts, but, as if to leave no doubt upon the subject, they proceed, in the second clause of the second section of the third article, to enumerate the class of cases over which the supreme court shall have original jurisdiction, and with these we find all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party; and it is further provided that, as to all other subjects included within the jurisdiction...

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