American Insurance Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton

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American Insurance Company v. 356 Bales of Cotton
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued March 8, 10–11, 1828
Decided March 15, 1828
Full case name The American Insurance Company, and The Ocean Insurance Company, (of New-York,) v. 356 Bales of Cotton, David Canter
Citations 26 U.S. 511 (more)
1 Pet. 511, 1828 WL 2951 (U.S.S.C.), 7 L.Ed. 242
Prior history From the Circuit Court of the United States, District of South Carolina
Court membership
Chief Justice
John Marshall
Associate Justices
Bushrod Washington · William Johnson
Gabriel Duvall · Joseph Story
Smith Thompson · Robert Trimble
Case opinions
Majority Marshall, joined by unanimous

American Insurance Company v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 26 U.S. 511 (1828), was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. The case involved the validity of a local court established by Congress in the Florida Territory whose judges lacked life tenure, as mandated by Article III of the Constitution. Chief Justice John Marshall upheld the courts on the basis of Congress's broad power to enact local laws for territories under Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution.[1] The case was later discussed in Dred Scott v. Sandford, where Chief Justice Roger Taney distinguished it in holding that Congress could not ban slavery within a territory.


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