Chisholm v. Georgia
Chisholm v. Georgia (1793) was a U.S. Supreme Court case which examined the issue of state and local sovereignty, and asserted federal court jurisdiction over a case brought by citizens of Georgia against the state of Georgia. This enabled the plaintiffs who brought the suit to avoid state courts, and it subjected states (e.g., Georgia) to the power of federal judges.. It is considered by many to be the first important Supreme Court case.
In the court's ruling, it stated: The United States are sovereign as to all the powers of Government actually surrendered: each State in the Union is sovereign as to all the powers reserved.
States were furious over this intrusion on state sovereignty, and Georgia even considered a law making it a felony to enforce this decision. Congress and the states quickly overturned this decision by ratifying the Eleventh Amendment.
- 2 U.S. 419 (1793).
- The People or the State?: Chisholm v. Georgia and Popular Sovereignty, PDF