MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER delivered the opinion of the Court.
Petitioner Francisco Romero, a Spanish subject, signed on as a member of the crew of the S. S. Guadalupe for a voyage beginning about October 10, 1953. The Guadalupe was of Spanish registry, sailed under the Spanish
The amended complaint claimed damages from four separate corporate defendants. Liability of Compania Trasatlantica and Garcia & Diaz, Inc., a New York corporation which acted as the husbanding agent for Compania's vessels while in the port of New York, was asserted under the Jones Act, 41 Stat. 1007, 46 U. S. C. § 688, and under the general maritime law of the United States for unseaworthiness of the ship, maintenance and cure
Following a pre-trial hearing the District Court dismissed the complaint. 142 F.Supp. 570.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, 244 F.2d 409. We granted certiorari, 355 U.S. 807, because of the conflict among Courts of Appeals as to the proper construction of the relevant provision of the Judiciary Act of 1875 (now 28 U. S. C. § 1331) and because of questions raised regarding the applicability of Lauritzen v. Larsen, 345 U.S. 571, to the situation before us. The case was argued during the last Term and restored to the calendar for reargument during the present Term. 356 U.S. 955.
(a) Jurisdiction under the Jones Act.—The District Court dismissed petitioner's Jones Act claims for lack of jurisdiction. "As frequently happens where jurisdiction depends on subject matter, the question whether jurisdiction exists has been confused with the question whether the complaint states a cause of action." Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. v. Northwestern Public Service Co., 341 U.S. 246, 249. Petitioner asserts a substantial claim that the Jones Act affords him a right of recovery for the negligence of his employer. Such assertion alone is sufficient to empower the District Court to assume jurisdiction over the case and determine whether, in fact, the Act does provide the claimed rights. "A cause of action under our law was asserted here, and the court had power to determine whether it was or was not well founded in law and in fact." Lauritzen v. Larsen, 345 U.S. 571, 575.
(b) Jurisdiction under 28 U. S. C. § 1331.—Petitioner, a Spanish subject, asserts claims under the general maritime law against Compania Trasatlantica, a Spanish corporation. The jurisdiction of the Federal District Court, sitting as a court of law, was invoked under the provisions of the Judiciary Act of 1875 which granted jurisdiction to the lower federal courts "of all suits of a civil nature at common law or in equity, . . . arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States, . . . ." (now 28 U. S. C. § 1331).
Abstractly stated, the problem is the ordinary task of a court to apply the words of a statute according to their proper construction. But "proper construction" is not satisfied by taking the words as if they were self-contained phrases. So considered, the words do not yield the meaning of the statute. The words we have to construe are not only words with a history. They express an enactment that is part of a serial, and a serial that must be related to Article III of the Constitution, the watershed of all judiciary legislation, and to the enactments which have derived from that Article. Moreover, Article III itself has its sources in history. These give content and meaning to its pithy phrases. Rationally construed, the Act of 1875 must be considered part of an organic growth—part of the evolutionary process of judiciary legislation that began September 24, 1789, and projects into the future.
Article III, § 2. cl. 1 (3d provision) of the Constitution and section 9 of the Act of September 24, 1789, have from the beginning been the sources of jurisdiction in litigation based upon federal maritime law. Article III impliedly contained three grants. (1) It empowered Congress to confer admiralty and maritime jurisdiction on the "Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court" which were authorized by Art. I, § 8, cl. 9. (2) It empowered the federal courts in their exercise of the admiralty
Section 9 of the First Judiciary Act
Section 9 not only established federal courts for the administration of maritime law; it recognized that some remedies in matters maritime had been traditionally administered by common-law courts of the original States.
Up to the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1875
The Judiciary Act of 1875 effected an extensive enlargement of the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts. For the first time their doors were opened to "all suits of a civil nature at common law or in equity, . . . arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States, or treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority. . . ."
These provisions of Article III are two of the nine separately enumerated classes of cases to which "judicial power" was extended by the Constitution and which thereby authorized grants by Congress of "judicial Power" to the "inferior" federal courts. The vast stream of litigation which has flowed through these courts from the beginning has done so on the assumption that, in dealing with a subject as technical as the jurisdiction of the courts, the Framers, predominantly lawyers, used precise, differentiating and not redundant language. This assumption, reflected in The Federalist Papers,
This lucid principle of constitutional construction, embodied in one of Marshall's frequently quoted opinions, was never brought into question until 1952.
Not only does language and construction point to the rejection of any infusion of general maritime jurisdiction into the Act of 1875, but history and reason powerfully support that rejection. The far-reaching extension of national power resulting from the victory of the North, and the concomitant utilization of federal courts for the vindication of that power in the Reconstruction Era, naturally led to enlarged jurisdiction of the federal courts over federal rights. But neither the aim of the Act of 1875 to provide a forum for the vindication of new federally created rights, nor the pressures which led to its enactment, suggest, even remotely, the inclusion of maritime claims within the scope of that statute. The provision of the Act of 1875 with which we are concerned was designed to give a new content of jurisdiction to the federal courts, not to reaffirm one long-established, smoothly functioning since 1789.
Indeed, until 1950, in a dictum in Jansson v. Swedish American Line, 185 F.2d 212, 217-218 (C. A. 1st Cir.), followed by an opinion in Doucette v. Vincent, 194 F.2d 834, judges, scholars and lawyers alike made the unquestioned assumption that the original maritime jurisdiction of the federal courts had, for all practical purposes, been left unchanged since the Act of 1789. Thus Mr. Justice Clifford, an experienced admiralty judge, in 1876, one year after the passage of the Act here in question, could reiterate the classic formulation without the faintest indication of doubt as to its continued vitality.
The history of archaeology is replete with the unearthing of riches buried for centuries. Our legal history does not, however, offer a single archaeological discovery of new, revolutionary meaning in reading an old judiciary enactment.
It is also significant that in the entire history of federal maritime legislation, whether before the passage of the Act of 1875 (e. g., the Great Lakes Act—also a general jurisdictional statute and one often termed an anomaly in the maritime law because of its jury trial provision), or after (the Jones Act), Congress has not once left the availability of a trial on the law side to inference. It has made specific provision.
Not only would the infusion of general maritime jurisdiction into the Act of 1875 disregard the obvious construction of that statute. Important difficulties of judicial policy would flow from such an interpretation, an interpretation which would have a disruptive effect on the traditional allocation of power over maritime affairs in our federal system.
Thus the historic option of a maritime suitor pursuing a common-law remedy to select his forum, state or federal, would be taken away by an expanded view of § 1331,
An infusion of general maritime jurisdiction into the "federal question" grant would not occasion merely an isolated change; it would generate many new complicated problems. If jurisdiction of maritime claims were allowed to be invoked under § 1331, it would become necessary for courts to decide whether the action "arises under federal law," and this jurisdictional decision would largely depend on whether the governing law is state or federal. Determinations of this nature are among the most difficult and subtle that federal courts are called upon to make.
These difficulties, while nourishing academic speculation, have rarely confronted the courts. This Court has been able to wait until an actual conflict between state and federal standards has arisen, and only then proceed to resolve the problem of whether the State was free to
Typical also of the consequences that are implicit in this proposed modification of maritime jurisdiction, is the restriction of venue that would result from this novel interpretation of § 1331 of the Act of 1875. Litigants
In the face of the consistent and compelling inferences to be drawn from history and policy against a break with a long past in the application of the Act of 1875, what justification is offered for this novel view of the statute? Support is ultimately reduced, one is compelled to say, to empty logic, reflecting a formal syllogism. The argument may thus be fairly summarized. It was not until recently, in a line of decision culminating in Pope & Talbot, Inc., v. Hawn, 346 U.S. 406, that it became apparent that the source of admiralty rights was a controlling body of federal admiralty law. This development led to a deepened consideration of the jurisdictional consequences of the federal source of maritime law. And so one turns to the Act of 1875. The Act of 1875 gave original
Although it is true that the supremacy of federal maritime law over conflicting state law has recently been greatly extended, the federal nature of the maritime law administered in the federal courts has long been an accepted part of admiralty jurisprudence. The classic statement of Mr. Justice Holmes in The Western Maid, 257 U.S. 419, 432, summed up the accepted view that maritime law derived its force from the National Government and was part of the laws of the United States; and this was merely a restatement of a view which was clearly set forth in 1874 in The Lottawanna, 21 Wall. 558.
The simple language of the Act of 1875 conceals complexities of construction and policy which have been already examined. When we apply to the statute, and to the clause of Article III from which it is derived, commonsensical and lawyer-like modes of construction, and the evidence of history and logic, it becomes clear that the words of that statute do not extend, and could not reasonably be interpreted to extend, to cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. The statute is phrased in
The considerations of history and policy which investigation has illuminated are powerfully reinforced by the deeply felt and traditional reluctance of this Court to expand the jurisdiction of the federal courts through a broad reading of jurisdictional statutes. A reluctance which must be even more forcefully felt when the expansion is proposed, for the first time, eighty-three years after the jurisdiction has been conferred. Mr. Justice Stone, speaking of the Act of 1875, pointed out that "[t]he policy
(c) "Pendent" and Diversity Jurisdiction.—Rejection of the proposed new reading of § 1331 does not preclude consideration of petitioner's claims under the general maritime law. These claims cannot, we have seen, be justified under § 1331. However, the District Court may have jurisdiction of them "pendent" to its jurisdiction under the Jones Act. Of course the considerations which call for the exercise of pendent jurisdiction of a state claim related to a pending federal cause of action within the appropriate scope of the doctrine of Hurn v. Oursler, 289 U.S. 238, are not the same when, as here, what is involved
Respondents Garcia & Diaz and Quin Lumber Company, New York corporations, and International Terminal Operating Company, a Delaware corporation, are of diverse citizenship from the petitioner, a Spanish subject. Since the Jones Act provides an independent basis of federal jurisdiction over the non-diverse respondent, Compania Trasatlantica, the rule of Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 3 Cranch 267, does not require dismissal of the claims against the diverse respondents. Accordingly, the dismissal of these claims for lack of jurisdiction was erroneous.
II. THE CLAIMS AGAINST COMPANIA TRASATLANTICA— THE CHOICE-OF-LAW PROBLEM.
We now turn to the claims against Compania Trasatlantica under the Jones Act and the general maritime law. In light of our recent decision in Lauritzen v. Larsen, 345 U.S. 571, these claims present the narrow issue, whether the maritime law of the United States may be applied in an action involving an injury sustained in an American port by a foreign seaman on board a foreign vessel in the course of a voyage beginning and ending in a foreign country.
We are not here dealing with the sovereign power of the United States to apply its law to situations involving one or more foreign contacts.
In this case, as in Lauritzen v. Larsen, the ship is of foreign registry and sails under a foreign flag. Both the injured seaman and the owner of the ship have a Spanish status: Romero is a Spanish subject and Compania Trasatlantica a Spanish corporation. Unlike the contract in Lauritzen, Romero's agreement of hire was entered into in Spain. By noting this fact, we do not mean to qualify our earlier view that the place of contracting is largely fortuitous and of little importance in determining the applicable law in an action of marine tort. Here, as in Lauritzen, the foreign law provides a remedy for the injury, and claims under that law may be conveniently asserted before the Spanish consul in New York.
In Lauritzen v. Larsen the injury occurred in the port of Havana and the action was brought in New York. Romero was injured while temporarily in American territorial waters. This difference does not call for a difference in result. Discussing the significance of the place of the
Thus we hold that the considerations found in Lauritzen v. Larsen to preclude the assertion of a claim under the Jones Act apply equally here, and affirm the dismissal of petitioner's claims against Compania Trasatlantica.
III. THE CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER RESPONDENTS.
(a) Petitioner made claims based both on the Jones Act and the general maritime law against Garcia & Diaz, Inc. At the pre-trial hearing the District Court concluded that Garcia & Diaz was not Romero's employer and did not operate and control the vessel at the time of
(b) The claims against International Terminal Operating Co., and Quin Lumber Co., for a maritime tort, were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Our decision on the jurisdictional issues necessitates the return of the claims against these respondents for further adjudication.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is vacated and the cause remanded to the District Court for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
Vacated and remanded.
APPENDIX TO OPINION OF THE COURT.
The following is the list of treatises on federal procedure and jurisdiction and admiralty law which were examined to determine if any commentator gave any intimation that the Act of 1875 had swept admiralty jurisdiction within its scope. No such intimation is found in a single treatise. On the contrary, all those which dealt with the subject specifically assumed that the federal courts on the law side had jurisdiction over a maritime cause after the Act of 1875 as before only when the parties were of diverse citizenship.
BOYCE, Manual of the Practice in the Circuit Courts (1869).
ABBOTT, The United States Courts and Their Practice (1877).
PHILLIPS, Statutory Jurisdiction and Practice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1878).
CURTIS, Jurisdiction, Practice and Peculiar Jurisprudence of the Courts in the United States (1880).
BUMP, Federal Procedure (1881).
MILLER and FIELD, Federal Practice (1881).
COHEN, Admiralty—Jurisdiction, Law and Practice (1883).
FIELD, Constitution and Jurisdiction of the Courts of the United States (1883).
SPEAR, Law of the Federal Judiciary (1883).
THATCHER (Thatcher's Practice)—A Digest of Statutes, Equity Rules and Decisions upon the Jurisdiction, Pleadings and Practice of the Circuit Courts of the United States (1883).
THATCHER (Thatcher's Practice)—A Digest of Statutes, Admiralty Rules and Decisions upon the Jurisdiction, Pleadings and Practice of the District Courts of the United States (1884).
HENRY, Jurisdiction and Procedure of the Admiralty Courts (1885).
HOLT, The Concurrent Jurisdiction of the Federal and State Courts (1888).
CURTIS, Jurisdiction, Practice and Peculiar Jurisprudence of the Courts of the United States (rev. ed. 1896).
BENEDICT, The American Admiralty (3d ed. 1898).
GARLAND and RALSTON, Constitution and Jurisdiction of the U. S. Courts (1898).
SIMONTON, CHARLES H. (U. S. Circuit Judge), The Federal Courts, Their Organization, Jurisdiction and Procedure (2d ed. 1898).
CARTER, The Jurisdiction of Federal Courts as Limited by the Citizenship and Residence of the Parties (1899).
DESTY, Manual of Practice in the Courts of the United States (9th ed. 1899).
MAY, Practice and Procedure of the U. S. Supreme Court (1899).
DWYER, The Law and Procedure of United States Courts (1901).
HUGHES, Handbook of Admiralty Law (1901).
TAYLOR, Jurisdiction and Procedure of the Supreme Court of the U. S. (1905).
ROSE, Code of Federal Procedure (1907).
BATES, Federal Procedure at Law (1908).
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT REPORTS (1908).
LOVELAND, Appellate Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts (1911).
HUGHES, Handbook of Jurisdiction and Procedure in United States Courts (2d ed. 1913).
BUNN, Jurisdiction and Practice of the Courts of the United States (1914) (also 3d ed. 1927; 4th ed. 1939; 5th ed. 1949).
THAYER, Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts (1914).
CHAPLIN, Principles of the Federal Law (1917).
LONG, Outline of the Jurisdiction and Procedure of the Federal Courts (3d ed. 1917).
FOSTER, Federal Practice (6th ed. 1920).
HUGHES, Handbook of Admiralty Law (2d ed. 1920).
LOVELAND, Annotated Forms of Federal Procedure (3d ed. 1922).
ROSE, Jurisdiction and Procedure of the Federal Courts (2d ed. 1922).
MONTGOMERY, Manual of Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure (3d ed. 1927).
WILLIAMS, Federal Practice (2d ed. 1927).
DOBIE, Handbook of Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure (1928).
LONGSDORF, Cyclopedia of Federal Procedure (1928).
ZOLINE, Federal Appellate Jurisdiction and Procedure (3d ed. 1928).
HUGHES, Federal Practice, Jurisdiction and Procedure (1931).
ROSE, Jurisdiction and Procedure of the Federal Courts (4th ed. 1931).
BROWNE, Federal Appellate Practice and Procedure (1932).
BROWN, Guide to Federal and Bankruptcy Practice (1933).
HOPKINS, Federal Judicial Code and the Judiciary (4th ed. 1934).
MARKER, Federal Appellate Jurisdiction and Procedure (1935).
ROSE, Jurisdiction and Procedure of the Federal Courts (5th ed. 1938).
SIMKINS, Federal Practice (3d ed. 1938) (also 1942 Supplement).
ROBINSON, Handbook of Admiralty Law in the United States (1939).
BENEDICT, Law of American Admiralty (Knauth ed. 1940).
POUND, Organization of Courts (1940).
KIRSHBAUM, Outline of Federal Practice and Procedure (1941).
O'BRIEN, Manual of Federal Appellate Procedure (3d ed. 1941).
MONTGOMERY, Manual of Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure (4th ed. 1942).
BENDER, Federal Practice Manual (1948).
SUNDERLAND, Judicial Administration (1948).
GUANDOLO, Federal Procedure Forms (1949).
MOORE, A Commentary on the Judicial Code (1949).
WENDELL, Relations Between the Federal and State Courts (1949).
BARRON and HOLTZOFF, Federal Practice and Procedure (1950).
FINS, Federal Practice Guide (1950).
OHLINGER, Federal Practice (rev. ed. 1950), Replacement Vol. One-A.
MR. JUSTICE BLACK, dissenting.
Although this case has aroused much discussion about the scope of jurisdiction under 28 U. S. C. § 1331, I cannot feel that the issue is either complex or earth-shaking. The real core of the jurisdictional controversy is whether a few more seamen can have their suits for damages passed on by federal juries instead of judges. For the reasons stated by MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN here and by Judge Magruder in Doucette v. Vincent, 194 F.2d 834, 839, I believe that federal jurisdiction under 28 U. S. C. § 1331 lies and a federal jury trial is proper. In particular I feel that technical or esoteric readings should not be given to congressional language which is perfectly understandable in ordinary English.
Much the same reason leads me also to dissent from Part II of the Court's opinion. By its terms the Jones Act applies to "any seaman who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment." 41 Stat. 1007, 46 U. S. C. § 688. (Italics added.) This Court in Lauritzen v. Larsen, 345 U.S. 571, held that the words "any seaman" did not include foreign seamen sailing foreign ships and injured in foreign waters. I dissented from that holding. It was based, I thought, on the Court's concepts of what would be good or bad for the country
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS joins in the first paragraph of this opinion. He believes that Lauritzen v. Larsen, 345 U.S. 571, is inapposite to the present case, because of the numerous incidents connecting this transaction with the United States. He therefore agrees with MR. JUSTICE BLACK that the District Court should take jurisdiction over petitioner's claim against Compania Trasatlantica.
MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, dissenting in part and concurring in part.
I regret that I cannot agree with the Court's holding that § 1331 of the Judicial Code does not give jurisdiction to a Federal District Court, sitting at law, over a seaman's claims against his employer for maintenance and cure and for indemnity damages for injury caused by unseaworthiness, where the claims are asserted in the manner of a
The point on which the Court and I are at issue is one which has been much mooted in the Courts of Appeals, and I agree that it is appropriate that a thorough expression of views on it be presented. I propose first to explain why jurisdiction should be sustained under § 1331, and then to offer some reply to specific arguments set forth by the Court which apparently proceed from supposed practical inconveniences that are thought to arise from sustaining the jurisdiction.
The petitioner brought this suit in a Federal District Court. The element in his action with which I am dealing is his claim for money damages from Compania Trasatlantica, his employer, for breach of the shipowner's duty to maintain a seaworthy ship and for maintenance and cure. Since there was no diversity of citizenship between petitioner and Compania Trasatlantica,
First. In a long series of decisions tracing from Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, 244 U.S. 205, this Court has made it clear that, in a seaman's action to recover damages for a maritime tort from his employer, the substantive law to be applied is federal maritime law made applicable as part of the laws of the United States by the Constitution itself, and that the right of recovery, if any, is a federally created right.
It is true that early in our history maritime law was thought to be an international law merchant which was impartially administered by the several maritime nations of the world. This concept was expressed by Chief Justice Marshall's language in American Ins. Co. v. Canter,
The sovereign power which determines the rules of substantive law governing maritime claims of the sort which petitioner asserts here is federal power, speaking through Congress as in the case of the Jones Act, or through this Court in the case of judicially defined causes of action. Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, supra. This is an area where the federal courts have defined substantive rules themselves, and have not applied state law. Indeed, it is federal substantive law so created which the States must enforce in such actions brought in state courts, Garrett v. Moore-McCormack Co., supra, and which the federal courts have applied in actions at law in which diversity of citizenship has been relied upon as a jurisdictional basis, Pope & Talbot, Inc., v. Hawn, supra. The causes of action asserted against his employer by petitioner here present "no claim created by or arising out
Second. Since petitioner's causes of action for unseaworthiness and for maintenance and cure are created by federal law, his case arises under "the laws . . . of the United States" within the meaning of § 1331, for it is clear that "a suit arises under the law that creates the cause of action." Holmes, J., in American Well Works Co. v. Layne & Bowler Co., 241 U.S. 257, 260.
The members of the First Congress, in agreement that national courts of admiralty were an imperative necessity of the times, 1 Annals of Cong. 797-798 (1789), gave to the District Courts in § 9 of the First Judiciary Act original jurisdiction over "all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction . . . ." 1 Stat. 76, 77. Under § 21 the Circuit Courts were given appellate jurisdiction "in causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction . . . ." 1 Stat. 83. These phrases followed almost literally the wording of Art. III, § 2, of the Constitution, extending the federal judicial power "to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction . . . ." Significantly, the First
Section 9 of the First Judiciary Act, however, contained the clause ". . . saving to suitors, in all cases, the right of a common law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it . . . ." The Saving Clause survives in 28 U. S. C. § 1333, phrased ". . . saving to suitors in all cases all other remedies to which they are otherwise entitled. . . ." This provision, plainly, was a recognition that there were, prior to 1789, maritime claims within the concurrent jurisdiction of courts of admiralty and law, 1 Benedict, American Admiralty (6th ed. 1940), § 20; Schoonmaker v. Gilmore, 102 U.S. 118, 119, and it was clearly the intention of Congress to perpetuate this duality of remedy. It is true that certain classes of cases, such as the traditional in rem, prize, and seizure cases, lay within the exclusive jurisdiction of the admiralty, 1 Benedict, American Admiralty, § 23; The Moses Taylor, 4 Wall. 411; The Hine v. Trevor, 4 Wall. 555; The Glide, 167 U.S. 606, but all other suits under the maritime law of an in personam nature might be brought as well in the state courts or, under the diversity jurisdiction, in the Federal Circuit Courts. § 11, 1 Stat. 78.
It is thus clear that any argument that § 1333 is an exclusive grant of jurisdiction would be false to the history of enactments allocating the judicial power of the United States. The fact that, in a diversity case under § 1332, the claimant is free to proceed on the law side of the federal court to enforce rights created by the federal maritime law, Seas Shipping Co. v. Sieracki, 328 U.S. 85, 88-89, clearly runs counter to any theory that the federal courts, because of § 9 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, can adjudicate maritime claims only while sitting in admiralty. There is no compelling reason why § 1333, which does not exclude maritime actions from being brought at law in a federal court under § 1332, should exclude them
Plainly there is nothing in the language of § 1331 which would exclude jurisdiction of maritime claims of the nature asserted by petitioner. Rather, in more than a manner of speaking, the language of that section fits the cause of action in question here "like a glove," Jenkins v. Roderick, 156 F.Supp. 299, 301. But the Court reasons that the section must be read restrictively because the corresponding jurisdictional grant in the Constitution speaks of "Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States . . . ." This specification of "law and equity," reflected in the 1875 ancestor
The legislative history of § 1331 does not indicate any intent on the part of Congress to exclude claims asserted under federal maritime law from its ambit. The present section is but the latest recodification of the provisions of the Judiciary Act of 1875, 18 Stat. 470, alluded to above, which for the first time with any permanence vested in the federal courts an original general federal-question jurisdiction over any claim which "arises under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States." The congressional debates focused so largely on proposed
The Court argues, however, that Congress, aware of Chief Justice Marshall's statement that Article III created the admiralty jurisdiction as "distinct" from the "arising under" jurisdiction,
Before discussing the Canter case, I think it wise to restate the precise nature of the issue before the Court. This is so because I fear the Court, in an expansive reading of Canter not justified either by what was decided there or by what was said there considered in the light of what was decided, has blurred the issue for decision today. The issue before us is not whether all cases "of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction" are per se encompassed in the statutory "arising under" jurisdiction. A suit seeking the sort of remedy that the common law is not competent to give could not be fairly contended to lie under § 1331; it would clearly be the sort of suit in which the jurisdictional grant of § 1333 was intended to be exclusive. The issue before us concerns only actions maintainable in some forum "at law" under the Saving Clause. And again, the issue is not even the narrower one whether Saving Clause actions are per se cognizable under § 1331. The tests of jurisdiction under § 1331 must still be met, and there is no contention that they are met merely by a showing that an action is one maintainable under the Saving Clause and involving the requisite jurisdictional amount. The plaintiff's right to recovery must still be one rooted in federal substantive law, and it has quite recently been made clear that there are Saving Clause actions that do not meet that test. Wilburn Boat Co. v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., 348 U.S. 310. The issue before us is only whether the fact that an action is a Saving Clause action excludes it from § 1331 where it would otherwise be maintainable thereunder.
At issue in American Ins. Co. v. Canter was the power of a territorial court to make a decree selling cargo to satisfy a maritime lien in rem existing in favor of its
Much is made by the Court of Marshall's language that the categories of actions he mentions are "distinct" and not "identical." Of course this is so, in a real sense and the only sense in which Marshall meant it. A matter affecting an ambassador or a consul is not per se an action "arising under," just as it is not per se a maritime action. But could not a case involving a consul be also a case of admiralty jurisdiction, under certain fact situations? And could not a suit by or against a consul happen, per-chance, to be also one "arising under"? The fact that the jurisdictional categories are separate and distinct, as Marshall demonstrates, does not mean that a particular action could not come under the heading of more than one of them. Everyone recognizes that this is the case in a maritime matter in which the parties are of diverse citizenship. I see no reason why it should not be true here of Romero's general maritime law claims against his employer.
And it was understood before 1875 that this concurrent jurisdiction at law was not one merely existent in the state courts, but one available to suitors in the federal courts. See The Belfast, 7 Wall. 624, 644, infra, pp. 406-407.
Accordingly, I cannot see how it can be concluded that Congress in 1875 read Marshall's opinion as creating some sort of gulf that would make it impossible for any maritime case to be also one "arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States."
Nor can I consider it sound to place the reliance the Court has placed on the fact that the arguments we are considering today were not raised until 1950. Till then no court ever considered the problem that we discuss here at great length. None of the assortment of commentators listed in the Court's Appendix ever discussed it. The Court's argument, in fact, claims to draw force from the fact that it was not discussed at all. From the fact that the issue was never explored or tried at all till 1950, when Judge Magruder, in a dictum in Jansson v. Swedish American Line,
It is, finally, true that this Court has adhered to a policy of construing jurisdictional statutes narrowly. Healy v. Ratta, 292 U.S. 263, 270; Thomson v. Gaskill, 315 U.S. 442, 446. In regard to the grant of federal-question jurisdiction to the District Courts, this Court has insisted that a claim created under federal law be a necessary part of the plaintiff's case, Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Mottley, 211 U.S. 149, and that this claim be truly federal in nature, Gully v. First National Bank, 299 U.S. 109. But the present problem is apart from this line of cases, for here it is clear that petitioner is presenting to a federal court a claim created by federal law, and the objection is that somehow Congress intended to exclude claims of this particular sort from the grant in § 1331. But the arguments presented for such a narrow construction appear to me too insubstantial to withstand the logic of petitioner's
Fourth. The Court envisions various unfortunate results, from a practical standpoint, that would ensue from a holding on the jurisdictional issue under § 1331 contrary to its own. I shall comment briefly on its arguments.
It is first argued that the recognition of jurisdiction under § 1331 would, combined with the removal provisions of § 1441 (b) of the Judicial Code, operate to destroy the competence of the States in maritime matters altogether. A source cited by the Court itself
In further elaboration of the inroads on state competence which rejection of the Court's view is supposed to entail, it is stated that it is a destructive oversimplification to claim that all enforced rights pertaining to maritime matters are rooted in federal law. So it is; and no one is so claiming. The point is not that all Saving Clause actions meet the "arising under" test of § 1331.
The Court next argues that a holding to the contrary of its own will produce venue problems, and will in fact be unduly restrictive toward plaintiffs in their choice of forums. Where the District Courts have jurisdiction under § 1331 (even though diversity may also be present) § 1391 (b) of the Judicial Code rather than § 1391 (a) governs, and the suit must be brought in the defendants' residence district, and may not be brought in the plaintiffs' residence district, unless of course it also happens to be the defendants'. But one reading the discussion of the consequences this will have for plaintiffs is apt to forget (for the Court does not inform him) that defendants in maritime actions are most likely to be corporations (particularly in personal injury litigation, the sort of case we have at bar) and that § 1391 (c) declares that the residence of a corporation for venue purposes is any district where it is incorporated or any district in which it is licensed to do, or actually doing business. With corporate venue so widely defined, it will be a rare plaintiff (and a rarer personal injury plaintiff, for seamen and longshoremen are apt to live near where their employers carry on business, or where the vessel owners their employers
The Court, though it rejects Romero's assertion of jurisdiction over his general maritime law claims against his employer under § 1331, proceeds to adjudicate them on the merits. It reaches them through a "pendent" jurisdiction theory analogous to Hurn v. Oursler, 289 U.S. 238. The Court's action appears unprecedented, as it appears to recognize. The prior applications of the doctrine recognized here have been limited to cases where claims arising under state law, over which there was no independent jurisdiction in the federal court, have been intertwined with federal claims. The theory has not been here applied to cases where there have been two types of claims, both admittedly within the District Court's jurisdiction, one of which was admittedly cognizable according to the forms of the common law and the other, except for the theory, not. Here a plaintiff comes into court desiring that his claims be adjudicated strictly according to the common law and disclaiming federal jurisdiction in admiralty. In short, he desires that a common-law jury pass upon his claims. If the federal
Obviously what we have here, once the Court's view of § 1331 is accepted, and as claims are presented which can survive summary judgment, is not a problem in pendent jurisdiction but a glaring problem in judicial administration and in the separation of functions between judge and jury. Crew members' maritime tort suits almost invariably urge claims under the Jones Act and under the general maritime law for breach of the duty to maintain a seaworthy vessel. These claims are legally, and generally factually, completely bound up with each other. McAllister v. Magnolia Petroleum Co., 357 U.S. 221; Baltimore S. S. Co. v. Phillips, 274 U.S. 316. It would be productive of extraordinary problems if the two elements of the claim are presented to different triers of fact at the same time, as would be one consequence of holding that there was no jurisdiction at law of any sort over unseaworthiness claims where diversity of citizenship was absent. Cf. Jenkins v. Roderick, 156 F.Supp. 299, 304-306. Should an advisory jury (with the same membership, doubtless, as the "mandatory" one hearing the Jones Act claim) hear the unseaworthiness claim? To what extent would its verdict bind the judge? If the judge passes on the issues himself, how to avoid overlapping damages, or contradictory findings? And what would be
Since under my view there would be jurisdiction at law (the only jurisdiction Romero invoked) to consider all his claims, I arrive at the merits of his claims against his employer, Compania Trasatlantica. As to them, I concur in the result set forth in Part II of the Court's opinion. I also agree with the Court's disposition of the claims against the other respondents, as set forth in Part III of its opinion.
THE CHIEF JUSTICE joins in this opinion, and MR. JUSTICE BLACK and MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS join in it except to the extent indicated in their dissents.
"(2) Citizens of a State, and foreign states or citizens or subjects thereof;"
The City of Panama, 101 U.S. 453, decided in 1879, four years after the passage of the Act of 1875, does not countenance the notion that Chief Justice Marshall's strict differentiation between the two provisions of § 2 of Art. III had been disapproved. That case only held that the Organic Act for the Territory of Washington granted the courts of that Territory the combined jurisdiction of the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, thereby including, of course, admiralty jurisdiction. See In re Cooper, 143 U.S. 472, 494. This holding merely recognized the settled practice in the Territory of Washington since the Act of 1853, as well as the practice in other territories with similar Acts. The Court's statement in The City of Panama that "Select passages of the opinion in that case [Canter], when detached from the context, may appear to support the theory of the respondents, but the actual decision of the court is explicitly and undeniably the other way" merely indicated that Canter, like The City of Panama, interpreted a congressional statute to grant admiralty jurisdiction to territorial courts in light of the purposes of a particular statute. The City of Panama did not reject the principle of constitutional construction which Marshall used by way of reaching his "actual decision." It did not question the conclusion in Canter that the two clauses of Article III are distinct grants of jurisdiction and that this truth is to be observed whenever it becomes relevant as it does here. The City of Panama, like other decisions, serves to illustrate that jurisdictional statutes are not to be read literally, and are not to be construed as abstract collections of words, but derive their meaning from their setting in history and practice, with due regard to the consequences of the construction given them. See American Security & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of the District of Columbia, 224 U.S. 491; Boston Sand & Gravel Co. v. United States, 278 U.S. 41.
"The several cases to which the judicial power extends are to be regarded as independent, in the sense that any one clause is sufficient to sustain jurisdiction in a case to which it applies, and that it is neither restrained nor enlarged by the other clauses, with the exception of the restraint imposed by amendment XI. . . ." The author then discusses the classes of cases in Article III, concluding "The grant of jurisdiction over one of these classes does not confer jurisdiction over either of the others; the discrimination is conclusive against their identity. A case of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction is not to be regarded as one `arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States,' merely because the exercise of judicial power in maritime cases is provided for in the Constitution and laws." (Citing American Ins. Co. v. Canter.)
See also Spear, The Law of the Federal Judiciary (1883), 46. Discussing the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction as granted by the Constitution, the author says:
"The cases coming within this jurisdiction, as referred to in the Constitution, are not identical with, or embraced in, the cases of law and equity referred to in the same instrument, as arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. They belong to a different category, and are provided for by a distinct and specific grant of judicial power." He then quotes from Marshall's opinion in Canter.
". . . Such, however, was the devotion of Mr. Carpenter to his profession that his election to the United States senate seemed to be a matter of gratification principally for the broader field of professional labors which it enabled him to cultivate. . . ." I Reports of Wisconsin State Bar Association 227.
Among Senator Carpenter's collaborators on the Senate Judiciary Committee were men with outstanding professional experience as lawyers, professors of law and judges: George G. Wright of Iowa (a professor of law and a member of his State's Supreme Court), Allen G. Thurman (Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court), John W. Stevenson (a professor of law, codifier of the law of Kentucky, President of the American Bar Association), and Frederic T. Frelinghuysen (eminent practitioner, Attorney General of New Jersey, subsequently Secretary of State).
After leaving the Senate the bill went to conference and was reported out on the floor of the House by Luke Poland of Vermont, an esteemed Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court.
Such men would not have made a revolutionary change in maritime jurisdiction sub silentio.
"It is a broad recognition of the authority of the States to create rights and liabilities with respect to conduct within their borders, when the state action does not run counter to federal laws or the essential features of an exclusive federal jurisdiction." Id., at 391.
Thus Congress was careful to make the Death on the High Seas Act applicable only outside state territorial waters so as not to intrude on state legislative competence. 59 Cong. Rec. 4482-4486.
There may also well be situations in which the venue provisions prevent the joinder of defendants in a Federal District Court and the state court rules of procedure do not allow their joinder, thus precluding suit altogether.
"The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions wherein the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $3,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and arises under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States."
Section 1, Act of July 25, 1958, 72 Stat. 415, increased the requisite jurisdictional amount to $10,000.
"The Constitution and laws of the United States, give jurisdiction to the District Courts over all cases in admiralty; but jurisdiction over the case, does not constitute the case itself. We are therefore to inquire, whether cases in admiralty, and cases arising under the laws and Constitution of the United States, are identical.
"If we have recourse to that pure fountain from which all the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts is derived, we find language employed which cannot well be misunderstood. The Constitution declares, that `the judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, or other public ministers, and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction.'
"The Constitution certainly contemplates these as three distinct classes of cases; and if they are distinct, the grant of jurisdiction over one of them does not confer jurisdiction over either of the other two. The discrimination made between them, in the Constitution, is, we think, conclusive against their identity. If it were not so, if this were a point open to inquiry, it would be difficult to maintain the proposition that they are the same. A case in admiralty does not, in fact, arise under the Constitution or laws of the United States. These cases are as old as navigation itself; and the law, admiralty and maritime, as it has existed for ages, is applied by our Courts to the cases as they arise." 1 Pet., at 545-546.
Of course, the question whether "arising under" language in an organic act for a territory should be taken as vesting the entire admiralty jurisdiction, the subject of the Canter and Panama decisions, in itself has no relation to the issue here. It is not contended that § 1331 somehow entitles the federal district courts to exercise all the admiralty power "at law." The issue is whether that section grants them a jurisdiction at law over federally based claims that remains unaffected by the circumstance that particular claims may be of a maritime nature.