Romero's Enduring Legacy
22 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2008
Date Written: February 2008
This paper was delivered as part of the Eighth Nicholas J. Healy Lecture: Admiralty's Greatest Supreme Court Hits, on May 3, 2007, as part of a series of scholarship on landmark admiralty cases. The 1959 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Romero v. International Terminal Operating Company, continues to exercise an odd influence on contemporary thinking about admiralty jurisdiction and procedure. To the extent that the Supreme Court's decision explores the division-of-power between state courts and federal tribunals in the fashioning of maritime law, it offers a unique discourse on the juxtaposition of substantive law and jurisdictional competence that is relevant not only for general constitutional interpretation, but also for the every-day work of admiralty practitioners throughout the land. Romero is a tribute not only to the relevance of constitutional theory, but also the imperatives of practice, in making a coherent maritime law for all ages.
Keywords: admiralty, maritime law, federalism
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