James Madison Papers

James Madison to Joseph C. Cabell, 5 October 1831

Montpr Ocr. 5. 1831

Dear Sir

Among my letters from Judge Pendleton is one which relates to the Judicial Bill, as then before the Senate of the U. S. A copy of it had been sent to him by R. H. Lee with a request of his observations on it, and a Copy of these enclosed by Mr P in his letter to me. It is remarkable that altho’ the observations are numerous, and descend to minute criticisms none of them touch the <>th Section, which gives to the Supreme Court of the U. S. its controuling juris[d]iction over the State Judiciaries. In the letter of Mr P to me inclosing his observations it appears that he wd. have preferred to the plans of the Bill, a Federal use of the State Courts, with an appeal from the Supreme Courts of the States, to the Supreme Court of the U. S. Wishing to learn, what he had said in his answer to R. H. Lee, enclosing his observations, I requested a friend intimate with Mr. Ludwell Lee, to make the enquiry. From the answer to this request, I find that the Letters from Mr. P. to R. H. Lee, had all passed into the hands of his grandson R H Lee, who had finally deposited them in the University of Virginia. Should you have an early occasion to visit Charlottesville, I will ask the favor of you to examine that particular letter; and let me know how far it corroborates the view taken of his subject, in the letter to me. You are aware of the weight of the opinion of Mr. P. and its value if opposed to the Nullifying power of a State, thro’ its judiciary department. I find that since Col. Taylors authority is in print, for the ultimate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Ct. of the U. S over the boundary between the U. S & State Should you not be likely to have an early call towards the University, be so good as to let me know it, and I will transfer the task requested of you to some one on the Spot.

Hoping this will find your health restored, I offer my best wishes for its continuance, & for every other happiness. My own health is still under the invasion of Rheumatism—With Cordial esteem.

J. M.

Draft (DLC).

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