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Encyclopedia > Martin v. Hunter's Lessee

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Martin v. Hunter's Lessee

Martin v. Hunter's Lessee is an important U.S. Supreme Court case from 1816.

During the American Revolution, the state of Virginia enacted legislation that allowed it to confiscate Loyalists’ property. One such Loyalist named Denny Martin sued on the grounds that treaties with Britain guaranteed protection of Loyalist property. Though the Virginia state supreme court upheld the confiscation, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the state court’s decision on appeal, ruling that such matters were within its jurisdiction, and thereby establishing its own supremacy in matters of constitutional interpretation.

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