Martin v. Hunter's Lessee

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Martin v. Hunter's Lessee 

14 U.S. 304 (1816), affirmed the Supreme Court's right to appellate jurisdiction—that is, the right to review all state court judgments in cases arising under the federal Constitution or a law of the U.S. At issue was a Virginia superior court's refusal to obey an earlier Supreme Court judgment concerning title ownership in a property dispute. Justice Joseph Story's landmark opinion rejected the Virginia court's position and firmly established the Supreme Court as the ultimate authority in interpreting the Constitution.

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