Supreme Court Original Jurisdiction –

The Arizona Case

The question has come up, “How come the Obama administration sued the State of Arizona in Federal Court over its new immigration law, in light of what the Constitution says about the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction and is this Constitutional?

Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution reads in part:

“In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a Party, the Supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all other Cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

I did a little checking and I found an article on entitled “The Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court” in which it states:

“Congress from 1789 on gave the inferior federal courts concurrent jurisdiction in some classes of such cases”, and refers to Section 3 of the Judiciary Act of 1789—which is now covered in 28 U.S.C. Section 1251 (these numbers refer to a portion of the United States Code, which is abbreviated U.S.C., and is basically a collection of all laws passed by the U.S. Congress).

I also found on the Cornell University Law School site this portion of the U.S. Code mentioned just above, which says “The Supreme Court shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction of … All controversies between the United States and a State…”—-000-.html

Do you think it is Constitutional for the Federal government to sue the State of Arizona over Arizona’s new immigration law in a Federal Court and not in the U.S. Supreme Court?