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United States v. Peters

The Fate Of The Active, To Prevent "a Solemn Mockery"


United States


Richard Peters

Appellant's Claim

That Judge Peters should be obliged to act upon a mandamus or writ enforcing the judgement of a federal appeals court in favor of Gideon Olmstead, et al, despite a conflicting decision by Pennsylvania's Court of Admiralty.

Justices for the Court

Samuel Chase, William Cushing, William Johnson, Henry Brockholst Livingston, John Marshall (writing for the Court), Thomas Todd, Bushrod Washington

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision



Judge Peters was directed to execute the mandamus.


The decision established that a state cannot annul the judgements nor determine the jurisdiction of U.S. federal courts.

Further Readings

  • Middlebrook, Louis F. Maritime Connecticut During the American Revolution. Salem: Essex Institute, 1925.
  • Warren, Charles. The Supreme Court In United States History. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1926.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1637 to 1832