CHISHOLM v. GEORGIA

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Case Basics
Petitioner 
Chisholm
Respondent 
Georgia
Decided By 
Opinion 
Term:
Facts of the Case 

In 1777, the Executive Council of Georgia authorized the purchase of needed supplies from a South Carolina businessman. After receiving the supplies, Georgia did not deliver payments as promised. After the merchant's death, the executor of his estate, Alexander Chisholm, took the case to court in an attempt to collect from the state. Georgia maintained that it was a sovereign state not subject to the authority of the federal courts.

Question 

Was the state of Georgia subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the federal government?

Conclusion 

In a 4-to-1 decision, the justices held that "the people of the United States" intended to bind the states by the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the national government. The Court held that supreme or sovereign power was retained by citizens themselves, not by the "artificial person" of the State of Georgia. The Constitution made clear that controversies between individual states and citizens of other states were under the jurisdiction of federal courts. State conduct was subject to judicial review.

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CHISHOLM v. GEORGIA. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 20 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1793/1793_0/>.
CHISHOLM v. GEORGIA, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1793/1793_0/ (last visited September 20, 2014).
"CHISHOLM v. GEORGIA," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 20, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1793/1793_0/.