Courts and Judicial Proceedings

Because the Constitution “delineated only the great outlines of the judicial power . . . , leaving the details to Congress, . . . [t]he distribution and appropriate exercise of the judicial power must . . . be made by laws passed by Congress. . . .”1878 As a necessary and proper provision for the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by Article III, § 2, Congress may direct the removal from a state to a federal court of a criminal prosecution against a federal officer for acts done under color of federal law,1879 may require the tolling of a state statute of limitations while a state cause of action that is supplemental to a federal claim is pending in federal court,1880 and may authorize the removal before trial of civil cases arising under the laws of the United States.1881 It may prescribe the effect to be given to judicial proceedings of the federal courts1882 and may make all laws necessary for carrying into execution the judgments of federal courts.1883 When a territory is admitted as a state, Congress may designate the court to which the records of the territorial courts shall be transferred and may prescribe the mode for enforcement and review of judgments rendered by those courts.1884 In the exercise of other powers conferred by the Constitution, apart from Article III, Congress may create legislative courts and “clothe them with functions deemed essential or helpful in carrying those powers into execution.”1885


Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 657, 721 (1838). [Back to text]
Tennessee v. Davis, 100 U.S. 257, 263 (1880). [Back to text]
Jinks v. Richland County, 538 U.S. 456 (2003). [Back to text]
Railway Company v. Whitton, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 270, 287 (1872). [Back to text]
Embry v. Palmer, 107 U.S. 3 (1883). [Back to text]
Bank of the United States v. Halstead, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 51, 53 (1825). [Back to text]
Express Co. v. Kountze Bros., 75 U.S. (8 Wall.) 342, 350 (1869). [Back to text]
Ex parte Bakelite Corp., 279 U.S. 438, 449 (1929). But see Northern Pipeline Constr. Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50, 67–69 (1982). [Back to text]