ArtI.S8.C18.1.6 Courts and Judicial Proceedings

Article I, Section 8, Clause 18:

[The Congress shall have Power . . .] To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Because the Constitution delineated only the great outlines of the judicial power . . . , leaving the details to Congress, . . . [t]he distribution and appropriate exercise of the judicial power must . . . be made by laws passed by Congress. . . .1 As a necessary and proper provision for the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by Article III, § 2, Congress may direct the removal from a state to a federal court of a criminal prosecution against a federal officer for acts done under color of federal law, 2 may require the tolling of a state statute of limitations while a state cause of action that is supplemental to a federal claim is pending in federal court, 3 and may authorize the removal before trial of civil cases arising under the laws of the United States. 4 It may prescribe the effect to be given to judicial proceedings of the federal courts 5 and may make all laws necessary for carrying into execution the judgments of federal courts. 6 When a territory is admitted as a state, Congress may designate the court to which the records of the territorial courts shall be transferred and may prescribe the mode for enforcement and review of judgments rendered by those courts. 7 In the exercise of other powers conferred by the Constitution, apart from Article III, Congress may create legislative courts and clothe them with functions deemed essential or helpful in carrying those powers into execution.8


  1.  Jump to essay-1Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 657, 721 (1838).
  2.  Jump to essay-2Tennessee v. Davis, 100 U.S. 257, 263 (1880).
  3.  Jump to essay-3See Jinks v. Richland County, 538 U.S. 456, 46–465 (2003); see also Artis v. District of Columbia, 583 U.S. ___, No. 16-460, slip op. at 17–18 (2018) (holding that interpreting a federal law to suspend a state statute of limitations both while a state law claim is pending in federal court and for 30 days postdismissal does not present[] a serious constitutional problem.).
  4.  Jump to essay-4Railway Company v. Whitton, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 270, 287 (1872).
  5.  Jump to essay-5Embry v. Palmer, 107 U.S. 3 (1883).
  6.  Jump to essay-6Bank of the United States v. Halstead, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 51, 53 (1825).
  7.  Jump to essay-7Express Co. v. Kountze Bros., 75 U.S. (8 Wall.) 342, 350 (1869).
  8.  Jump to essay-8Ex parte Bakelite Corp., 279 U.S. 438, 449 (1929). But see Northern Pipeline Constr. Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50, 67-69 (1982).