The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article III, Section 2, Clause 1: “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Law of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; -- to Controversies between two or more States….” This clause illustrates the common sense of the Founders, who apparently spent little time deciding on this clause. It stands to reason that neither state would accept the decision by the courts in the other state in any controversy between states; thus, such controversies would need to be settled by a federal court.
“Though of modest jurisprudential importance today, the clause providing for federal-court jurisdiction over disputes between two states is emblematic of the issues at the heart of the constitutional Founding. The movement to adopt a Constitution grew out of substantial dissatisfaction with the operation of the Articles of Confederation, including the Confederation’s difficulty in settling disputes between states over economic policies and territorial claims. Establishing federal jurisdiction to resolve such disputes reflects the political sea change involved in the movement from a confederation to a federal union” (Paul Rosenzweig in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, pp. 250-251).