MUSKRAT v. UNITED STATES
An Act of Congress in 1902 alloted land to Cherokee Indians, including David Muskrat and Henry Dick. Congress passed acts in 1904 and 1906 that limited the rights that Indians on the land could exercise over it. Some Cherokees already on the land contended that this act had the potential to unconstitutionally deprive them of their property. Congress passed an act in 1907 granting federal courts the jurisdiction to hear cases from Indians contesting the constitutionality of the 1904 and 1906 acts. Under this act, Muskrat and Dick filed suit in the Court of Claims and appealed to the Supreme Court.
Can Congress authorize matters for judicial review that are not "cases" or "controversies"?
No. Justice William R. Day delivered the opinion for a 7-0 court. The Court ruled that Congress could not create jurisdiction for judicial review of a specific matter by way of legislation. This is because "the right to declare an act of Congress unconstitutional could only be exercised when a proper case between opposing parties was submitted for judicial determination." The Constitution granted the judiciary the power to decide "cases" and "controversies," but did not grant a "general veto power...upon the legislation of Congress."