The genesis of this clause was in the report of the Committee of Detail which vested the power to resolve such land disputes in the Senate,1062 but this proposal was defeated in the Convention,1063 which then added this clause to the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary without reported debate.1064 The motivation for this clause was the existence of boundary disputes affecting ten States at the time the Convention met. With the adoption of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the ultimate settlement of the boundary disputes, and the passing of land grants by the States, this clause, never productive of many cases, became obsolete.1065
1062 2 M. Farrand, supra at 162, 171, 184.
1063 Id. at 400-401.
1064 Id. at 431.
1065 See Pawlet v. Clark, 13 U.S. (9 Cr.) 292 (1815). Cf. City of Trenton v. New Jersey, 262 U.S. 182 (1923).
Last modified: June 9, 2014