Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/256

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their office was made inalienable; and it was determined that their salary, when once fixed, should not be altered by the legislature[1]. It was easy to proclaim the principle of a Federal judiciary, but difficulties multiplied when the extent of its jurisdiction was to be determined.


Difficulty of determining the jurisdiction of separate courts of justice in confederations.—The courts of the Union obtained the right of fixing their own jurisdiction.—In what respect this rule attacks the portion of sovereignty reserved to the several States.—The sovereignty of these States restricted by the laws, and the interpretation of the laws.—Consequently, the danger of the several States is more apparent than real.

As the Constitution of the United States recognised two distinct powers, in presence of each other, represented in a judicial point of view by two distinct classes of courts of justice, the utmost

  1. The Union was divided into districts, in each of which a resident Federal judge was appointed, and the court in which he presided was termed a ‘District Court’. Each of the judges of the Supreme Court annually visits a certain portion of the Republic, in order to try the most important causes upon the spot: the court presided over by this magistrate is styled a ‘Circuit Court’. Lastly, all the most serious cases of litigation are brought before the Supreme Court, which holds a solemn session once a year, at which all the judges of the Circuit courts must attend. The