CITES BY TOPIC:  foreign

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 foreign 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).

Ly Shew v. Acheson, 110 F.Supp. 50 (N.D. Cal., 1953)

“Constitutionally, only those born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens. Const.Amdt. XIV. The power to fix and determine the rules of naturalization is vested in the Congress. Const.Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 4. Since all persons born outside of the [CONSTITUTIONAL] United States, are “foreigners,”[1] and not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, the statutes, such as § 1993 and 8 U.S.C.A. §601, derive their validity from the naturalization power of the Congress. Elk v. Wilkins, 1884, 112 U.S. 94, 101, 5 S.Ct. 41, 28 L.Ed. 643; Wong Kim Ark v. U. S., 1898, 169 U.S. 649, 702, 18 S.Ct. 456, 42 L.Ed. 890. Persons in whom citizenship is vested by such statutes are naturalized citizens and not native-born citizens. Zimmer v. Acheson, 10 Cir. 1951, 191 F.2d. 209, 211; Wong Kim Ark v. U. S., supra.”
[Ly Shew v. Acheson, 110 F.Supp. 50 (N.D. Cal., 1953)]

26 U.S.C. 7701(a)(5)  Foreign

TITLE 26 > Subtitle F > CHAPTER 79 > 7701

7701. Definitions

(5) Foreign

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

(g) Possession 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 foreign country.

PDF 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 considered

Example: a foreign company doing business in South Carolina
Example: a foreign executor submitting to the jurisdiction of this court
Example: a foreign judgment
(compare domestic)

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1983, Merriam-Webster, p. 483:

Foreign:1:situated outside 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 under consideration.

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.


The term “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.

[Buckner v. Finley, 2 Pet. 586 (1829)]

U.S. v. Kagama & Another, Indians, 118 U.S. 375 (1886)

"The commerce with foreign nations is distinctly stated as submitted to the control of congress. Were the Indian tribes foreign nations? If so, they came within the first of the three classes of commerce mentioned, and did not need to be repeated as Indian tribes. Were they nations, in the minds of the framers of the constitution? If so, the natural phrase would have been 'foreign nations and Indian nations,' or, in the terseness of language uniformly used by the framers of the instrument, it would naturally have been 'foreign and Indian nations.' And so in the case of Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, brought in the supreme court of the United States, under the declaration that the judicial power extends to suits between a state and foreign states, and giving to the supreme court original jurisdiction where a state is a party, it was conceded that Georgia as a state came within the clause, but held that the Cherokees were not a state or nation, within the meaning of the constitution, so as to be able to maintain the suit. 5 Pet. 20."

[U.S. v. Kagama & Another, Indians, 118 U.S. 375 (1886)]

Bank of United States v. Daniel, 12 Pet. 32, 54 (1838)

"as political 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:

Foreign 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'."  

[Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, p. 647]

Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 648:

Foreign States:“Nations outside 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)]

Smith v. Lathrop, 44 Pa. 326 (1863)

“For all national purposes embraced by the Federal Constitution, the states and 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." They are each governed by their own lanws, and their courts having no extraterritorial power to enforce the decrees beyond theyr jurisdictional limits, they are in that sense foreign to each other, which is the clear and settled doctrine of the common law.

[Smith v. Lathrop, 44 Pa. 326 (1863)]

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.):

“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).
“[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).

Three corollaries 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 autonomy).

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:

“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).

*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).

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 Clause.

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. 2430 (U.S.Fla.,1990)]