Menu
Image 1 of
Zoom In
Zoom Out
Fullscreen

Summons to the state of Georgia to the Supreme Court for the case Chisholm v. Georgia, February 8, 1792

Georgia refused a summons to the Supreme Court, contending that as a sovereign state, it could not be sued without its consent and was not subject to federal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court, however, found in Chisholm v. Georgia that the Constitution’s Article III, Section 2, affirmed federal authority over “Controversies . . . between a State and a Citizen of another State.”

Records of the Supreme Court, National Archives and Records Administration

Summons to the state of Georgia to Supreme Court for the case Chisholm v. Georgia, February 8, 1792 Summons to the state of Georgia to Supreme Court for the case Chisholm v. Georgia, February 8, 1792 Summons to the state of Georgia to Supreme Court for the case Chisholm v. Georgia, February 8, 1792

Congress Overrides the Supreme Court

Congress can counter Supreme Court rulings by proposing constitutional amendments. In Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), the court held that the Constitution permitted a lawsuit in federal court against a state by a citizen of another state. States with Revolutionary War debts did not want to be vulnerable to lawsuits from creditors. They protested, prompting Congress to pass a resolution to amend the Constitution to bar suits against states. The Eleventh Amendment was ratified by the states in 1795.

Congress has the power to propose constitutional amendments that limit the jurisdiction of federal courts. In 1795 Congress proposed the Eleventh Amendment in response to a Supreme Court ruling concerning lawsuits against states.