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U.S. Supreme Court

Principality of Monaco v. Mississippi, 292 U.S. 313 (1934)

Principality of Monaco v. Mississippi

No. ___, original

Argued March 5, 1934

Decided May 21, 1934

292 U.S. 313


1. This Court has no jurisdiction of a suit brought by a foreign state against a state of the Union without her consent. Pp. 292 U. S. 320, 292 U. S. 330.

2 The need for such consent, though not expressed in Art. III, § 2, cl. 1, of the Constitution, is clearly to be implied. P. 292 U. S. 321.

3. Clause 2 of § 2, Art. III, of the Constitution merely distributes the jurisdiction conferred by Clause 1, and deals with cases in which resort may be had to the original jurisdiction of this Court in the exercise of the judicial power as previously given. P. 292 U. S. 321.

4. Neither the literal sweep of the words of Clause 1, § 2, Art. III, nor the absence of restriction in the letter of the Eleventh Amendment, permits the conclusion that, in all controversies of the sort described in Clause 1 and omitted from the words of the Eleventh Amendment, a State may be sued without her consent. P. 292 U. S. 321.

5. Behind the words of these constitutional provisions are the essential postulates that the controversies shall be found to be of a justiciable character and that the states of the Union, still possessing attributes of sovereignty, shall be immune from suits, without their consent, save where there has been a surrender of this immunity in the plan of the Constitution. P. 292 U. S. 322.

6. There has been such a surrender of immunity as respects suits in this Court brought by one state of the Union against another, or by the United States against a state, but not as respects (1) suits against a state brought by citizens of another state or citizens of a foreign state (expressly barred by the Eleventh Amendment), or (2) suits against a the Union by its own citizens or by federal corporations, or (3) suits against a the Union by foreign states. P. 292 U. S. 328.

7. In construing the constitutional provision with respect to suits by foreign states, consideration is given to the thought that such suits may involve questions of national concern. P. 292 U. S. 331.

Leave to file denied.

Hearing upon the application of the Principality of Monaco for leave to bring in this Court an action against Mississippi to recover the principal and interest of certain chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 292 U. S. 314

bonds issued by that state. Mississippi made her return to a rule to show cause why the leave should not be granted. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 292 U. S. 317

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