Why Domicile and Becoming a "Taxpayer" Require Your Consent, Form #05.002 (OFFSITE LINK)-excellent article that describes those with no domicile in a government as "foreign" in relation to that government
Requirement for Consent, Form #05.003 (OFFSITE LINK) -the basis for your sovereignty. You are civilly "foreign" in respect to anyone you didn't consent to
8 U.S.C. §11. Foreign government defined.
The term ''foreign government" as used in this title includes
any government, faction, or body of insurgents within a country
with which the United States is at peace, irrespective of recognition
by the United States. [the several Union states are foreign to
the United States; that makes-by definition-the state governments
[8 U.S.C. §11. Foreign government defined. ]
26 U.S.C. §7701(a)(31) Foreign Estate
TITLE 26 > Subtitle F > CHAPTER 79 > § 7701
§ 7701. Definitions
(31) Foreign estate or trust
(A) Foreign estate The term “foreign estate” means an estate
the income of which, from sources without the United States which
is not effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States, is not includible
in gross income under subtitle A.
(B) Foreign trust The term “foreign trust” means any trust other
than a trust described in subparagraph (E) of paragraph (30).
26 U.S.C. §7701(a)(5) Foreign
TITLE 26 > Subtitle F > CHAPTER 79 > § 7701
§ 7701. Definitions
The term “foreign” when applied to a corporation or partnership
means a corporation or partnership which is not domestic.
26 U.S.C. §2014. Credit for foreign death taxes:
TITLE 26 > Subtitle B > CHAPTER 11 > Subchapter A > PART II > § 2014
§ 2014. Credit for foreign death taxes
of United States deemed a foreign country
For purposes of the credits authorized by this section, each possession of the United States shall be deemed to be a
36A Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.), Foreign, pp. 1092-1093: Foreign
(legal encyclopedia definition of foreign" (Publication date 2003, 224 Kbytes)
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996.
foreign: not being within the jurisdiction of a political unit (as a state)
: being from or in a state other than the one in which a matter is being
Example: a foreign company doing business in South
Example: a foreign executor submitting
to the jurisdiction of this court
Example: a foreign judgment
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1983, Merriam-Webster, p. 483:
a place or country; esp: situated outside one’s own country.
2:born in, belonging to,
or characteristic of some place or country other than the one
IRS Publication 54, Year 2000, page 12:
A “foreign country” usually is any territory (including the air space
and territorial waters) under the sovereignty of a government other
than that of the United States.
“foreign country” does not include Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth
of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, or U.S. possessions
such as American Samoa.
For purposes of the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing
exclusion, and the foreign housing deduction, the terms “foreign,” “abroad,”
and “overseas” refer to areas outside the United States, American Samoa,
Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the
Virgin Islands, and the Antarctic region.
[IRS Publication 54, Year 2000, page 12]
Buckner v. Finley, 2 Pet. 586 (1829)
For all national
purposes embraced by the Federal Constitution, the States and the citizens
thereof are one, united under the same sovereign authority, and governed
by the same laws. In all other respects the States are necessarily foreign
and independent of each other.
v. Finley, 2 Pet. 586 (1829)]
Bank of United States v. Daniel, 12 Pet. 32, 54 (1838)
communities, [are] distinct and sovereign, and consequently foreign
to each other."
[Bank of United States v. Daniel, 12 Pet. 32, 54 (1838)]
Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 647:
Laws:“The laws of
a foreign country or sister state. In conflicts of law, the legal
principles of jurisprudence which are part of the law of a sister state
or nation. Foreign laws are additions to our own laws, and in
that respect are called 'jus receptum'."
Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, p. 647]
Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 648:
of the United States…Term may also refer to another state; i.e. a sister
state.The term ‘foreign
nations’, …should be construed to mean all nations and states other
than that in which the action is brought; and hence, one state of the
Union is foreign to another, in that sense.”
[Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, p. 648]
The United States and the States Under the Constitution, Christopher Stuart Patterson, 1888, p. 2
3. The thirteen original states were existing governments when the Constitution was ratified ; and, states admitted to the union under the Constitution have as
regards the United States and the other states, in all respects in which the effect of that instrument has not been changed by aniendient, the same rights, powers, and obligations as the thirteen original states.' Therefore, in so far as the states are not controlled by the expressed, or implied, restrictions contained in the Constitution of the United States, they may severally exercise all the powers of independent governments. 2 The states, though united under the sovereign authority of the Constitution, are, so far as their freedom of action is not controlled by that instrument, foreign to, and independent of' each other.3
I Pollard v. Hagan, 3 How. 212; Texas v. White, 7 Wall. 700.
2 Amendment. to the Constitution, articles i: and x; Mlartin v. Hunter's Lessee, I Wheat. 304, 325; Sturges v. Crowninshield, 4 Wheat. 193; Texas v. White, 7 Wall. 700, 721.
3 Buckner r. Findley, 2 Pet. 586, 590; Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 12 Pet. 722.
[The United States and the States Under the Constitution, Christopher Stuart Patterson, 1888, p. 2]
The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Complainants v. the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Defendant, 37 U.S. 657, 12 Pet. 657, 9 L.Ed. 1233 (1838)
Before we can proceed in this cause we must, therefore, inquire whether we can hear and determine the matters in controversy between the parties, who are two states of this Union, sovereign within their respective boundaries, save that portion of power which they have granted to the federal government, and foreign to each other for all but federal purposes. So they have been considered by this Court, through a long series of years and cases, to the present term; during which, in the case of The Bank of the United States v. Daniels, this Court has declared this to be a fundamental principle of the constitution; and so we shall consider it in deciding on the present motion. 2 Peters, 590, 91.
Those states, in their highest sovereign capacity, in the convention of the people thereof; on whom, by the revolution, the prerogative of the crown, and the transcendant power of parliament devolved, in a plenitude unimpaired by any act, and controllable by no authority, 6 Wheat. 651; 8 Wheat. 584, 88; adopted the constitution, by which they respectively made to the United States a grant of judicial power over controversies between two or more states. By the constitution, it was ordained that this judicial power, in cases where a state was a party, should be exercised by this Court as one of original jurisdiction. The states waived their exemption from judicial power, 6 Wheat. 378, 80, as sovereigns by original and inherent right, by their own grant of its exercise over themselves in such cases, but which they would not grant to any inferior tribunal. By this grant, this Court has acquired jurisdiction over the parties in this cause, by their own consent and delegated authority; as their agent for executing the judicial power of the United States in the cases specified.
[The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Complainants v. the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Defendant, 37 U.S. 657, 12 Pet. 657, 9 L.Ed. 1233 (1838)]
William Buckner Citizen of New York v. Finley and Van Lear, Citizens of the State of Maryland, 27 U.S. 586, 2 Pet. 586, 7 L.Ed. 528 (1829)
Sir William Blackstone, in his commentaries(a), distinguishes foreign from inland bills, by defining the former as bills drawn by a merchant residing abroad upon his correspondent in England, or vice versa; and the latter as those drawn by one person on another, when both drawer and drawee reside within the same kingdom. Chitty, p. 16, and the other writers(b) on bills of exchange are to the same effect; and all of them agree, that until the statutes of 8 and 9 W. III. ch. 17, and 3 and 4 Anne, ch. 9, which placed these two kinds of bills upon the same footing, and subjected inland bills to the same law and custom of merchants which governed foreign bills; the latter were much more regarded in the eye of the law than the former, as being thought of more public concern in the advancement of trade and commerce.
Applying this definition to the political character of the several states of this union in relation to each other, we are all clearly of opinion, that bills drawn in one of these states, upon persons living in any other of them, partake of the character of foreign bills, and ought so to be treated. For all national purposes embraced by the federal constitution, the states and the citizens thereof are one, united under the same sovereign authority, and governed by the same laws. In all other respects, the states are necessarily foreign to, and independent of each other. Their constitutions and forms of government being, although republican, altogether different, as are their laws and institutions. This sentiment was expressed, with great force, by the president of the court of appeals of Virginia, in the case of Warder vs. Arrell, 2 Wash. 298; where he states, that in cases of contracts, the laws of a foreign country, where the contract was made, must govern; and then adds as follows—'The same principle applies, though with no greater force, to the different states of America; for though they form a confederated government, yet the several states retain their individual sovereignties, and, with respect to their municipal regulations, are to each other foreign.'
[William Buckner Citizen of New York v. Finley and Van Lear, Citizens of the State of Maryland, 27 U.S. 586, 2 Pet. 586, 7 L.Ed. 528 (1829)]
Howlett By and Through Howlett v. Rose, 496 U.S. 356, 110 S.Ct. 2430 (U.S.Fla.,1990)
Federal law is enforceable in state courts not because Congress
has determined that federal courts would otherwise be burdened or
that state courts might provide a more convenient forum-although
both might well be true-but because the Constitution and laws passed
pursuant to it are as much laws in the States as laws passed by
the state legislature. The Supremacy Clause makes those laws “the
supreme Law of the Land,” and charges state courts with a coordinate
responsibility to enforce that law according to their regular modes
of procedure. “The laws of the United States are laws in the several
States, and just as much binding on the citizens and courts thereof
as the State laws are.... The two together form one system of jurisprudence,
which constitutes the law of the land for the State; and the courts
of the two jurisdictions are not foreign to each other, nor to be
treated by each other as such, but as courts of the same country,
having jurisdiction partly different and partly concurrent.” Claflin v. Houseman, 93 U.S. 130, 136-137, 23 L.Ed. 833 (1876);
see Minneapolis & St. Louis R. Co. v. Bombolis, 241 U.S. 211,
222, 36 S.Ct. 595, 598, 60 L.Ed. 961 (1916) (“[T]he governments
and courts of both the Nation and the several States [are not] strange
or foreign to each other in the broad sense of that word, but [are]
all courts of a common country, all within the orbit of their lawful
authority being charged with the duty to safeguard and enforce the
right of every citizen without reference to the *368 particular exercise of governmental power from which the right may
have arisen, if only the authority to enforce such right comes generally
within the scope of the jurisdiction conferred by the government
creating them”); Hart, The Relations Between State and Federal Law,
54 Colum.L.Rev. 489 (1954) ( “The law which governs daily living
in the United States is a single system of law”); see also Tafflin v. Levitt, 493 U.S. 455, 469, 110 S.Ct. 792, 800,
107 L.Ed.2d 887 (1990) (SCALIA, J., concurring).FN15 As Alexander Hamilton expressed the principle in a classic passage:
FN15. See also Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. 515, 571, 8 L.Ed. 483 (1832) (McLean, J.):
“[I]n every case in which they were not expressly excluded by the
future acts of the national legislature, [state courts] will
of course take cognizance of the causes to **2439 causes to which those acts may give birth. This I infer from
the nature of judiciary power, and from the general genius of the
system. The judiciary power of every government looks beyond its
own local or municipal laws, and in civil cases lays hold of all
subjects of litigation between parties within its jurisdiction, though the causes of dispute are relative to the laws of the most
distant part of the globe. *369 Those of Japan, not less than of New York, may furnish the objects
of legal discussion to our courts. When in addition to this we consider
the State governments and the national governments, as they truly
are, in the light of kindred systems, and as parts of ONE WHOLE,
the inference seems to be conclusive, that the State courts would
have a concurrent jurisdiction in all cases arising under the laws
of the Union, where it was not expressly prohibited.” The Federalist
No. 82, p. 132 (E. Bourne ed. 1947) (emphasis added).
“It has been asserted that the federal
government is foreign to the state governments; and that it
must consequently be hostile to them. Such an opinion could
not have resulted from a thorough investigation of the great
principles which lie at the foundation of our system. The federal
government is neither foreign to the state governments, nor
is it hostile to them. It proceeds from the same people, and
is as much under their control as the state governments.
“Where, by the Constitution, the power of legislation is
exclusively vested in Congress, they legislate for the people
of the Union, and their acts are as binding as are the constitutional
enactments of a state legislature on the people of the state.”
Congress, of course, may oust the state courts of their
concurrent jurisdiction. See Yellow Freight System, Inc. v. Donnelly, 494 U.S. 820,
110 S.Ct. 1566, 108 L.Ed.2d 834 (1990); Tafflin v. Levitt, 493 U.S. 455, 110 S.Ct. 792, 107 L.Ed.2d
887 (1990); Houston v. Moore, 5 Wheat. 1, 25-26, 5 L.Ed. 19 (1820).
follow from the proposition that “federal” law is part of the “Law
of the Land” in the State:
1. A state court may not deny a federal right, when the parties
and controversy are properly before it, in the absence of “valid
excuse.” Douglas v. New York, N.H. & H.R. Co., 279 U.S. 377, 387-388,
49 S.Ct. 355, 356-357, 73 L.Ed. 747 (1929) (Holmes, J.).FN16 “The existence*370 of the jurisdiction creates an implication**2440 of duty to exercise it.” Mondou v. New York, N.H. & H.R. Co., 223 U.S. 1, 58, 32 S.Ct.
169, 178, 56 L.Ed. 327 (1912); see Testa v. Katt, 330 U.S. 386, 67 S.Ct. 810, 91 L.Ed. 967 (1947); Missouri ex rel. St. Louis, B. & M.R. Co. v. Taylor, 266
U.S. 200, 208, 45 S.Ct. 47, 48, 69 L.Ed. 247 (1924); Robb v. Connolly, 111 U.S. 624, 637, 4 S.Ct. 544, 551, 28
L.Ed. 542 (1884).FN17
FN16. See Hathorn v. Lovorn, 457 U.S. 255, 263, 102 S.Ct. 2421,
2426-27, 72 L.Ed.2d 824 (1982); Barr v. City of Columbia, 378 U.S. 146, 149, 84 S.Ct.
1734, 1736, 12 L.Ed.2d 766 (1964); NAACP v. Alabama ex rel Patterson, 357 U.S., at 455,
78 S.Ct., at 1168; Rogers v. Alabama, 192 U.S. 226, 230-231, 24 S.Ct. 257,
258-259, 48 L.Ed. 417 (1904); Eustis v. Bolles, 150 U.S. 361, 14 S.Ct. 131, 37 L.Ed.
1111 (1893); Hill, The Inadequate State Ground, 65 Colum.L.Rev.
943, 954-957 (1965).
To understand why this is so, one
need only imagine a contrary system in which the Supremacy Clause
operated as a constraint on the activity of state-court judges
like that imposed on other state actors, rather than as a rule
of decision. On that hypothesis, state courts would be subject
to the ultimate superintendence of federal courts which would
vacate judgments entered in violation of federal law, just as
they might overturn unconstitutional state legislative or executive
decisions. Federal courts would exercise a superior authority
to enforce and apply the Constitution and laws passed pursuant
to it. See Wechsler, The Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court: Reflections on the Law and the Logistics of Direct Review,
34 Wash. & Lee L.Rev. 1043, 1047 (1977) (describing, and rejecting,
alternative view of Supremacy Clause, as intrusion on state
The language of the Supremacy Clause-which
directs that “the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby,
any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary
notwithstanding”-and our cases confirm that state courts have
the coordinate authority and consequent responsibility to enforce
the supreme law of the land. Early in our history, in support
of the Court's power of review over state courts, Justice Story
anticipated that such courts “in the exercise of their ordinary
jurisdiction ... would incidentally take cognizance of cases
arising under the constitution, the laws, and treaties of the
United States,” Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, 1 Wheat., at 342, and
would decide federal questions even when, pleaded in replication,
they were necessary to the plaintiff's case. Id., at 340. The adequate-state-ground doctrine accords
respect to state courts as decisionmakers by honoring their
modes of procedure. The structure of our system of judicial
review, the requirement that a federal question arising from
a state case must first be presented to the state courts for
decision, see, e.g., Cardinale v. Louisiana, 394 U.S. 437, 89 S.Ct. 1161,
22 L.Ed.2d 398 (1969); State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Duel, 324 U.S.
154, 160-161, 65 S.Ct. 573, 576-577, 89 L.Ed. 812 (1945); McGoldrick v. Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, 309
U.S. 430, 434, 60 S.Ct. 670, 672-73, 84 L.Ed. 849 (1940),
and the rule that a federal district court cannot entertain
an original action alleging that a state court violated the
Constitution by giving effect to an unconstitutional state statute,
see Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 415-416,
44 S.Ct. 149, 150, 68 L.Ed. 362 (1923) (“If the constitutional
questions stated in the bill actually arose in the cause, it
was the province and duty of the state courts to decide them;
and their decision, whether right or wrong, was an exercise
of jurisdiction.... Unless and until so reversed or modified,
it would be an effective and conclusive adjudication”); see
also District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460
U.S. 462, 476, 483-484, n. 16, 103 S.Ct. 1303, 1315-1316, n.
16, 75 L.Ed.2d 206 (1983), all also presuppose that state
courts presumptively have the obligation to apply federal law
to a dispute before them and may not deny a federal right in
the absence of a valid excuse.
FN17. Amici argue that
the obligation of state courts to enforce federal law rests,
not on the Supremacy Clause, but on a presumption about congressional
intent and that Congress should be explicit when it intends
to make federal claims enforceable in state court. Brief for
Washington Legal Foundation et al. as Amici Curiae 8-9,
13. The argument is strikingly similar to the argument that
we addressed in Minneapolis & St. Louis R. Co. v. Bombolis, 241 U.S.
211, 36 S.Ct. 595, 60 L.Ed. 961 (1916), when we held that
state courts need not comply with the Seventh Amendment in hearing
a federal statutory claim. We rejected the argument that “state
courts [had] become courts of the United States exercising a
jurisdiction conferred by Congress, whenever the duty was cast
upon them to enforce a Federal right.” Id., at 222, 36 S.Ct., at 598. We reject it again
today. We stated in Bombolis:
*371 2. An excuse that is inconsistent with or violates federal law is not a valid excuse: The Supremacy Clause forbids state courts
to dissociate themselves from federal law because of disagreement
with its content or a refusal to recognize the superior authority
of its source. “The suggestion that the act of Congress is not in
harmony with the policy of the State, and therefore that the courts
of the State are free to decline jurisdiction, is quite inadmissible
because it presupposes what in legal contemplation does not exist.
When Congress, in the exertion of the power confided to it by the
Constitution, adopted that act, it spoke for all the people and
all the States, and thereby established a policy for all. That policy
is as much the policy of [the State] as if the act had emanated
from its own legislature, and should be respected accordingly in
the courts of the State.” Mondou, 223 U.S., at 57, 32 S.Ct., at 178; see *372 Miles v. Illinois Central R. Co., 315 U.S. 698, 703-704,
62 S.Ct. 827, 830-831, 86 L.Ed. 1129 1942) (“By virtue of the
Constitution, the courts of the several states must remain open
to such litigants on the same basis that they are open to litigants
with causes of action springing from a different source”); McKnett v. St. Louis & San Francisco R. Co., 292 U.S. 230,
233-234, 54 S.Ct. 690, 691-692, 78 L.Ed. 1227 (1934); Minneapolis & St. Louis R. Co. v. Bombolis, 241 U.S. 211,
36 S.Ct. 595, 60 L.Ed. 961 (1916); cf. FERC v. Mississippi, 456 U.S. 742, 776, n. 1, 102 S.Ct. 2126,
2146, n. 1, 72 L.Ed.2d 532 (1982) (opinion of O'CONNOR, J.)
(State may not discriminate against federal causes of action).
“It is true in the Mondou Case it was held that where the general jurisdiction
conferred by the state law upon a state court embraced otherwise
causes of action created by an act of Congress, it would be
a violation of duty under the Constitution for the court to
refuse to enforce the right arising from the law of the United
States because of conceptions of impolicy or want of wisdom
on the part of Congress in having called into play its lawful
powers. But that ruling in no sense implied that the duty which
was declared to exist on the part of the state court depended
upon the conception that for the purpose of enforcing the right
the state court was to be treated as a Federal court deriving
its authority not from the State creating it, but from the United
States. On the contrary the principle upon which the Mondou
Case rested, while not questioning the diverse governmental
sources from which state and national courts drew their authority,
recognized the unity of the governments, national and state,
and the common fealty of all courts, both state and national,
to both state and national constitutions, and the duty resting
upon them, when it was within the scope of their authority,
to protect and enforce rights lawfully created, without reference
to the particular government from whose exercise of lawful power
the right arose.” Id., at 222-223, 36 S.Ct., at 598-599.
See also Tafflin v. Levitt, 493 U.S., at 469-470, 110 S.Ct., at
800 (SCALIA, J., concurring).
3. When a state court refuses jurisdiction because of a neutral
state rule regarding the administration of the courts, we must act
with utmost caution before deciding that it is obligated to entertain
the claim. See Missouri ex rel. Southern R. Co. v. Mayfield, 340 U.S.
1, 71 S.Ct. 1, 95 L.Ed. 3 (1950); Georgia Rail Road & Banking Co. v. Musgrove, 335 U.S. 900,
69 S.Ct. 407, 93 L.Ed. 435 (1949) **2441 ( per curiam); Herb v. Pitcairn, 324 U.S. 117, 65 S.Ct. 459, 89 L.Ed. 789
(1945); Douglas v. New York, N.H. & H.R. Co., 279 U.S. 377, 49 S.Ct.
355, 73 L.Ed. 747 (1929). The requirement that a state court
of competent jurisdiction treat federal law as the law of the land
does not necessarily include within it a requirement that the State
create a court competent to hear the case in which the federal claim
is presented. The general rule, “bottomed deeply in belief in the
importance of state control of state judicial procedure, is that
federal law takes the state courts as it finds them.” Hart, 54 Colum.L.Rev., at 508; see also Southland Corp. v. Keating, 465 U.S. 1, 33, 104 S.Ct. 852,
869-70, 79 L.Ed.2d 1 (1984) (O'CONNOR, J., dissenting); FERC v. Mississippi, 456 U.S., at 774, 102 S.Ct., at 2145 (opinion of Powell, J.). The States thus have great latitude to
establish the structure and jurisdiction of their own courts. See Herb, supra; Bombolis, supra; Missouri v. Lewis, 101 U.S. 22, 30-31, 25 L.Ed. 989 (1880).
In addition, States may apply their own neutral procedural rules
to federal claims, unless those rules are pre-empted by federal
law. See Felder v. Casey, 487 U.S. 131, 108 S.Ct. 2302, 101 L.Ed.2d
123 (1988); James v. Kentucky, 466 U.S., at 348, 104 S.Ct., at 1835.
These principles are fundamental to a system of federalism in
which the state courts share responsibility for the application*373 and enforcement of federal law. In Mondou, for example, we
held that rights under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA)
“may be enforced, as of right, in the courts of the States when
their jurisdiction, as prescribed by local laws, is adequate to
the occasion.” 223 U.S., at 59, 32 S.Ct., at 179. The Connecticut courts had
declined cognizance of FELA actions because the policy of the federal
Act was “not in accord with the policy of the State,” and it was
“inconvenient and confusing” to apply federal law. Id., at 55-56, 32 S.Ct., at 177-178. We noted, as a matter
of some significance, that Congress had not attempted “to enlarge
or regulate the jurisdiction of state courts or to control or affect
their modes of procedure,” id., at 56, 32 S.Ct., at 178, and found from the fact
that the state court was a court of general jurisdiction with cognizance
over wrongful-death actions that the court's jurisdiction was “appropriate
to the occasion,” id., at 57, 32 S.Ct., at 178. “The existence of the jurisdiction
creat[ed] an implication of duty to exercise it,” id., at 58, 32 S.Ct., at 178, which could not be overcome
by disagreement with the policy of the federal Act, id., at 57, 32 S.Ct., at 178.
In McKnett, the state court refused to exercise jurisdiction
over a FELA cause of action against a foreign corporation for an
injury suffered in another State. We held “[w]hile Congress has
not attempted to compel states to provide courts for the enforcement
of the Federal Employers' Liability Act, the Federal Constitution
prohibits state courts of general jurisdiction from refusing to
do so solely because the suit is brought under a federal law.” 292 U.S., at 233-234, 54 S.Ct., at 691-692 (citation omitted).
Because the state court had “general jurisdiction of the class of
actions to which that here brought belongs, in cases between litigants
situated like those in the case at bar,” id., at 232, 54 S.Ct., at 691, the refusal to hear the
FELA action constituted discrimination against rights arising under
federal laws, id., at 234, 54 S.Ct., at 692, in violation of the Supremacy
We unanimously reaffirmed these principles in Testa v. Katt. We held that the Rhode Island courts could not decline jurisdiction
over treble damages claims under the federal*374 Emergency Price Control Act when their jurisdiction was otherwise
“adequate and appropriate under established local law.” 330 U.S., at 394, 67 S.Ct., at 815. The Rhode Island court had
distinguished our decisions in McKnett and Mondou on the grounds that the federal Act was a “penal statute,” which
would not have been enforceable under the Full Faith and Credit
Clause if passed by another State. We rejected that argument. We
observed that the Rhode Island court enforced the “same type of
claim” arising under state law and claims for double damages under
federal law. **2442 330 U.S., at 394, 67 S.Ct., at 814-15. We therefore concluded
that the court had “jurisdiction adequate and appropriate under
established local law to adjudicate this action.” Ibid.FN18 The court could not decline to exercise this jurisdiction to enforce
federal law by labeling it “penal.” The policy of the federal Act
was to be considered “the prevailing policy in every state” which
the state court could not refuse to enforce “ ‘because of conceptions
of impolicy or want of wisdom on the part of Congress in having
called into play its lawful powers.’ ” Id., at 393, 67 S.Ct., at 814 (quoting Minneapolis & St. Louis R. Co. v. Bombolis, 241 U.S., at
222, 36 S.Ct., at 598).
FN18. We cited for this proposition
the section of the Rhode Island code authorizing the State District
Court and Superior Court to entertain actions for fines, penalties,
and forfeitures. See 330 U.S., at 394, n. 13, 67 S.Ct., at 815 n. 13 (citing R.I.Gen.Laws, ch. 631, § 4 (1938)).
On only three occasions have we found a valid excuse for a state
court's refusal to entertain a federal cause of action. Each of
them involved a neutral rule of judicial administration. In Douglas v. New York, N.H. & H.R. Co., 279 U.S. 377, 49 S.Ct.
355, 73 L.Ed. 747 (1929), the state statute permitted discretionary
dismissal of both federal and state claims where neither the plaintiff
nor the defendant was a resident of the forum State. FN19 In Herb, the City Court denied jurisdiction over a *375 FELA action on the grounds that the cause of action arose outside
its territorial jurisdiction. Although the state court was not free
to dismiss the federal claim “because it is a federal one,” we found
no evidence that the state courts “construed the state jurisdiction
and venue laws in a discriminatory fashion.” 324 U.S., at 123, 65 S.Ct., at 462. Finally, in Mayfield, we held that a state court could apply the doctrine of forum
non conveniens to bar adjudication of a FELA case if the State
“enforces its policy impartially so as not to involve a discrimination
against Employers' Liability Act suits.” 340 U.S., at 4, 71 S.Ct., at 3 (citation omitted).
FN19. We wrote: “It may very
well be that if the Supreme Court of New York were given no
discretion, being otherwise competent, it would be subject to
a duty. But there is nothing in the Act of Congress that purports
to force a duty upon such Courts as against an otherwise valid
excuse. Second Employers' Liability Cases, 223 U.S. 1, 56, 57
[32 S.Ct. 169, 178, 56 L.Ed. 327].” 279 U.S., at 387-388, 49 S.Ct., at 356-357.
[Howlett By and Through Howlett v. Rose, 496 U.S. 356, 110 S.Ct.