Chisholm sued Georgia regarding a supposed debt. But, Georgia disagreed that the U.S. Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction over the case. The state of Georgia says that the federal government does not have sovereignty over state governments.
The U.S. Supreme Court has to decide whether they have jurisdiction over the state of Georgia. This question will depend upon the answer of whether of not “the people of the United States form a nation”.
The Court agreed that Georgia was subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Justice Wilson is comparing an individual man to a group of men or a state. An individual man has to obey laws, so a group of men should also obey human laws. A state should do justice and fulfill commitments, just like any man would. A state is just a group of men who have common beliefs. The Constitution was formed to “establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for common defense and secure the blessings of liberty”.
The people of the United States established this Constitution and among those people were the people of Georgia. They subsequently agreed to the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the Constitution. The United States would not make laws if the laws were not meant to be enforced and followed. Before the Constitution, the legislative powers were unenforced over the states. One of the reasons of the Constitution is to make a union more perfect than the one before. If the one before had legislative powers that were not enforced, then this union would have legislative powers that are enforced. In order to enforce legislative powers, one must have executive and judicial power.
Justice Wilson is saying that if a man has to obey laws and obey a higher court, then a state has to do the same because a state is just comprised of a collection of men. A state is just a bigger version of a person. Everything a person has to do and should do, a state has to do and should do, too. Also, in the Constitution, it says that we should be better than the union before us. In the union before us, the Articles of Confederation showed us that the states could not have every power. The Constitution states which powers the states can and cannot have. The federal government has power over the states because the national government has supreme political authority.