Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee


Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816), a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in the development of federal-state relations, asserted for the first time the Supreme Court's authority under Section 25 of the federal Judiciary Act of 1789 to hear appellate state supreme court cases involving the constitutionality of federal laws or treaties. Martin v. Hunter's Lessee’s origins lay in 300,000 acres of land in Virginia's “Northern Neck” region, which Charles II of England had granted to the Fairfax family in 1649. In 1776, when the American colonies declared independence from Britain, many...

Image for: Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee

Joseph Story (Library of Congress)

View Full Size