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It appears that all along out history the legislative understanding of the Constitution has been that it authorizes the removal from state courts to the circuit courts of the United States, alike civil and criminal cases, arising under the laws, the Constitution, or treaties.
Defendant James M. Davis was a deputy tax collector whose duties included seizing illicit distilleries. While seizing one of the stills, the defendant was fired upon by several men. He fired back and killed one of the men. The defendant was arrested and indicted for murder. The defendant sought to have his state criminal case removed to a federal court. The federal court, unable to determine a majority opinion, certified the question of whether the defendant's case was transferable to the Supreme Court.
Was the defendant’s case transferrable to the Supreme Court?
The Court answered the certified questions in the affirmative, and allowed for the removal of state criminal cases to federal court. The Court found that the Constitution authorized the removal of civil and criminal cases from state court to federal courts, and that upon removal of a case from a state court to federal court, the federal court administered state laws to determine the outcome of the case.