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Holmes v. Walton: Case File Transcriptions and Other Materials

Compiled by Paul Axel-Lute, October 2009

Holmes v. Walton (N.J. Supreme Court, 1780) is believed to be the earliest case in the United States in which a court held a statute unconstitutional. There is no written opinion in the case. Our knowledge of it comes from the minutes and case files of the Supreme Court, from legislative proceedings and enactments, and from other contemporary sources -- all as marshalled and interpreted by historians and legal scholars. In this digital collection, we present a chronology of the case, transcriptions of the primary sources, a bibliography of the scholarly treatments, and passages from later citing cases.