A Collection of Court Authorities
                           in re the
               District Court of the United States


                Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
                     (All Rights Reserved)

We begin  with one  of the  great masters  of Constitution, Chief
Justice John  Marshall, writing  in the year 1828.  Here, Justice
Marshall makes  a very clear distinction between judicial courts,
authorized by  Article III, and legislative (territorial) courts,
authorized by  Article IV.   Marshall  even utilizes  some of the
exact wording  of Article  IV to  differentiate those courts from
Article III "judicial power" courts, as follows:

     These [territorial]  courts  then,  are  not  Constitutional
     courts,  in  which  the  judicial  power  conferred  by  the
     Constitution on  the general  government can  be  deposited.
     They are  incapable of  receiving it.   They are legislative
     courts,  created   in  virtue   of  the  general  rights  of
     sovereignty which  exists in the government, or in virtue of
     that clause which enables Congress to make all needful rules
     and regulations,  respecting the  territory belonging to the
     United  States.    The  jurisdiction  with  which  they  are
     invested, is  not a  part of  that judicial  power which  is
     defined in  the 3d  article  of  the  Constitution,  but  is
     conferred by  Congress, in  the execution  of those  general
     powers which that body possesses over the territories of the
     United States.    Although  admiralty  jurisdiction  can  be
     exercised in  the States  in those  courts  only  which  are
     established  in   pursuance  of   the  3d   article  of  the
     Constitution, the  same limitation  does not  extend to  the
     territories.   In legislating  for them,  Congress exercises
     the  combined  powers  of  the  general  and  of  the  State

                  [American Insurance Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton]
                              [1 Pet. 511 (1828), emphasis added]

     Though  the  judicial system  set up  in a  Territory of the
United States  is a  part of  federal  jurisdiction,  the  phrase
"court of  the United States", when used in a federal statute, is
generally construed  as not  referring to  "territorial  courts."
See Balzac  v. Porto  Rico, 258  U.S. 298 at 312 (1921), 42 S.Ct.
343, 66 L.Ed. 627.  In Balzac, the high Court stated:

     The United States District Court is not a true United States
     court established  under  Article III of the Constitution to
     administer the  judicial power  of the United States therein
     conveyed.    It  is  created  by  virtue  of  the  sovereign
     congressional faculty,  granted under Article IV, Section 3,
     of  that   instrument,  of  making  all  needful  rules  and
     regulations respecting the territory belonging to the United
     States.  The resemblance of its jurisdiction to that of true
     United  States   courts  in   offering  an   opportunity  to
     nonresidents of resorting to a tribunal not subject to local
     influence,  does   not  change   its  character  as  a  mere
     territorial court.

                     [Balzac v. Porto  Rico, 258 U.S. 298 at 312]
                              [42 S.Ct. 343, 66 L.Ed. 627 (1921)]

     Constitutional provision  against diminution of compensation
     of federal  judges was  designed to  secure independence  of
                        [O'Donoghue v. U.S., 289 U.S. 516 (1933)]
                                             [headnote 2. Judges]

     The term "District Courts of the United States," as used in
     Criminal Appeals Rules, without  an addition  expressing  a
     wider  connotation,  had  its   historic  significance  and
     described courts  created under article 3  of Constitution,
     and did not include territorial courts.

     Courts of the Territories are legislative courts, properly 
     speaking, and are not District Courts of the United States.
     We have often held  that  vesting a territorial court with 
     jurisdiction similar to that vested in the District Courts 
     of the United States does not make it a "District Court of 
     the United States." 

                    [Mookini et al. v. U.S., 303 U.S. 201 (1938)]
                             [headnote 2. Courts, emphasis added]

     Where statute authorized Supreme Court to prescribe Criminal
     Appeals Rules  in  District  Courts  of  the  United  States
     including named  territorial courts,  omission in rules when
     drafted of  reference  to  District  Court  of  Hawaii,  and
     certain other  of the  named courts, indicated that Criminal
     Appeals Rules were not to apply to those [latter] courts.

                    [Mookini et al. v. U.S., 303 U.S. 201 (1938)]
                             [headnote 4. Courts, emphasis added]

The following paragraph from Mookini is extraordinary for several
reasons:  (1) it refers to the "historic and proper sense" of the
term "District Courts of the United States",  (2)  it makes a key
distinction between such courts and application of their rules to
territorial courts;   (3)  the application  of the maxim inclusio
unius est exclusio alterius is obvious here, namely, the omission
of territorial courts clearly shows that they were intended to be

     Not only  did the  promulgating order  use the term District
     Courts of  the United  States in  its  historic  and  proper
     sense, but the omission of provisions for the application of
     the  rules  to  the  territorial  courts  and  other  courts
     mentioned  in   the  authorizing   act  clearly   shows  the
     limitation that was intended.

                    [Mookini et al. v. U.S., 303 U.S. 201 (1938)]
                                                 [emphasis added]

     The words  "district court  of the  United States"  commonly
     describe constitutional  courts created under Article III of
     the Constitution, not the legislative courts which have long
     been the courts of the Territories.

           [Int'l Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union et al.]
                     v. Juneau Spruce Corp., 342 U.S. 237 (1952)]
                                                 [emphasis added]

     The phrase "court of the United States", without more, means
     solely courts  created by  Congress under Article III of the
     Constitution and not territorial courts.

           [Int'l Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union et al.]
             [v. Wirtz, 170 F.2d 183 (9th Cir. 1948), headnote 1]
                                                 [emphasis added]

     United States District Courts have only such jurisdiction as
     is conferred  by an  Act of Congress under the Constitution.
     U.S.C.A. Const. art. 3, sec. 2;  28 U.S.C.A. 1344]

            [Hubbard v. Ammerman, 465 F.2d 1169 (5th Cir., 1972)]
                                             [headnote 2. Courts]

     The  United States district courts are not courts of general
     jurisdiction.     They  have   no  jurisdiction   except  as
     prescribed by  Congress  pursuant  to  Article  III  of  the
     Constitution.  [many cites omitted]

                  [Graves v. Snead, 541 F.2d 159 (6th Cir. 1976)]

     The question  of jurisdiction  in the  court either over the
     person, the  subject-matter or the place where the crime was
     committed  can   be  raised  at  any  stage  of  a  criminal
     proceeding;   it is  never  presumed,  but  must  always  be
     proved;  and it is never waived by a defendant.

                      [U.S. v. Rogers, 23 F. 658 (D.C.Ark. 1885)]

     In a criminal proceeding lack of subject matter jurisdiction
     cannot be  waived  and  may  be  asserted  at  any  time  by
     collateral attack.

                [U.S. v. Gernie, 228 F.Supp. 329 (D.C.N.Y. 1964)]

     Jurisdiction of  court may be challenged at any stage of the
     proceeding, and  also may be challenged after conviction and
     execution of judgment by way of writ of habeas corpus.

              [U.S. v. Anderson, 60 F.Supp. 649 (D.C.Wash. 1945)]

     The United  States District Court has only such jurisdiction
     as Congress confers.
                                 [Eastern Metals Corp. v. Martin]
                                 [191 F.Supp 245 (D.C.N.Y. 1960)]

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