Turner v. President, Directors and Company of the Bank of North America
In Turner v. President, Directors and Company of the Bank of North America, 4 U.S. 8 (1799), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a judgment on a promissory note based on lack of proof in the record of diversity of citizenship, which was a statutory requirement of federal court jurisdiction.
While Chief Justice Ellsworth wrote the opinion for the unanimous Court, this case is best known for a comment made by Justice Samuel Chase that is not in the opinion itself:
- The notion has frequently been entertained, that the federal Courts derive their judicial power immediately from the constitution; but the political truth is, that the disposal of the judicial power, (except in a few specified instances) belongs to congress. If congress has given the power to this Court, we possess it, not otherwise: and if congress has not given the power to us, or to any other court, it still remains at the legislative disposal. Besides, congress is not bound, and it would, perhaps, be inexpedient, to enlarge the jurisdiction of the federal Courts, to every subject, in every form, which the constitution might warrant.