Repugnance to Federal Law

The US Supreme Court has original and appellate jurisdiction.  A petition for a writ of certiorari, submitted before the Supreme Court, is a written plea for the case to be heard by the court.  When certiorari is granted the court reviews the case to make sure that an individual’s constitutional rights are not violated and render a decision on the case.  The Supreme Court is the court of last resort for federal cases and federal issues from state courts.

State court decisions can be reviewed by the Supreme Court  if the validity of a state statute is the matter in issue.[i]  When a state statute is in conflict with the U.S. constitution, treaties of other laws of the U.S, the Supreme Court can exercise its jurisdiction to review the decision.[ii]  However, the Supreme Court can not review the validity of a state statute on the ground that the statute is not a valid creation of the state legislature, or the state statute is opposed to the state constitution.[iii]

The U.S. Supreme Court cannot review cases regarding misinterpretation of state statutes.[iv]  State Supreme Courts are the highest courts to review issues regarding state issues.  When an official departs from the rules made by a state, the U.S Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to review the action of the officer.  The Supreme Court can review state cases only when the state laws deviate from the U.S. constitution, and established federal laws.[v]

The Supreme Court can review cases in which a state court has decided the validity of another state’s statute.  However, the U.S. Supreme Court cannot review cases in which one state court has interpreted the statutes of another state.[vi]

[i] Elder v. Colorado, 204 U.S. 85 (U.S. 1907)

[ii] 28 USCS § 1257

[iii] S. Ottawa v. Perkins, 94 U.S. 260 (U.S. 1877)

[iv] Connally v. General Constr. Co., 269 U.S. 385 (U.S. 1926)

[v] Ferry v. King County, 141 U.S. 668 (U.S. 1891)

[vi] Smithsonian Institution v. St. John, 214 U.S. 19 (U.S. 1909)


Inside Repugnance to Federal Law