Madison's theory was that the legislature of Virginia, being one of the bodies which had chosen delegates to the constitutional convention, was legally capable of considering the question of the constitutionality of laws passed by the Federal government, and that the state of Virginia might invite other states to join her, but could not singly, as Calhoun argued, declare any law of the Federal legislature null and void.
The question of the constitutionality of the formation of the new state was brought before the Supreme Court of the United States in the following manner.
In 1906 the question of uniting Allegheny with Pittsburg under one municipal government was submitted to a joint vote of the electorate of the two cities, in accordance with an act of the state legislature, which had been passed in February of that year, and a large majority voted for the union; but there was determined opposition in Allegheny, every ward of the city voting in the negative; the constitutionality of the act was challenged; the supreme court of the state on the 11th of March 1907 declared the act valid, and on the 18th of November 1907 this decision was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States.
The earliest of these is his report of the argument of James Otis in the superior court of Massachusetts as to the constitutionality of writs of assistance.
Under such conditions the Southern states questioned the constitutionality of the imposition.
The supreme tribunal has original and appellate jurisdiction, but its power to pass on the constitutionality of federal laws and executive acts seems to fall short of that of the United States Supreme Court.
It is the supreme tribunal of the republic, having original jurisdiction in cases of impeachment, the constitutionality of laws, and controversies between states or officials.
He contested the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Bill, opposed the resumption of specie payments, advocated the payment of the public debt in silver and supported the Bland-Allison Act.
Soon after taking office in 1913 he aroused a storm of protest, especially on the part of the large daily newspapers, by declaring that he would enforce the law (requiring publications to print, among other things, a sworn statement of paid circulation), which had been held in abeyance by his predecessor until its constitutionality might be confirmed.
The concurrence of at least three judges is necessary to the decision of a case involving the constitutionality of a law.