Propeller Genesee Chief v. Fitzhugh 12 Howard 443 (1851)
PROPELLER GENESEE CHIEF v. FITZHUGH 12 Howard 443 (1851)
An act of Congress extended the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States Courts in matters of contract and tort arising upon the Great Lakes and connecting navigable rivers. In the case of The Thomas Jefferson (1825), the Court had confined federal admiralty and maritime jurisdiction to tide waters. Here, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 8–1, sustained the constitutionality of the act of Congress by ruling that jurisdiction should not depend on the ebb and flow of the tide as in England but on the fact that the United States has "thousands of miles" of public navigable waters in which there is no tide. The taney court thus considerably expanded federal jurisdiction.
Leonard W. Levy