(Slip Opinion)
`NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
`being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
`The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
`prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
`See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
`No. 17–1299. Argued January 9, 2019—Decided May 13, 2019
`Respondent Hyatt sued petitioner Franchise Tax Board of California
`(Board) in Nevada state court for alleged torts committed during a
`tax audit. The Nevada Supreme Court rejected the Board’s argument
`that the Full Faith and Credit Clause required Nevada courts to ap-
`ply California law and immunize the Board from liability. The court
`held instead that general principles of comity entitled the Board only
`to the same immunity that Nevada law afforded Nevada agencies.
`This Court affirmed, holding that the Full Faith and Credit Clause
`did not prohibit Nevada from applying its own immunity law. On
`remand, the Nevada Supreme Court declined to apply a cap on tort
`liability applicable to Nevada state agencies. This Court reversed,
`holding that the Full Faith and Credit Clause required Nevada
`courts to grant the Board the same immunity that Nevada agencies
`enjoy. The Court was equally divided, however, on whether to over-
`rule Nevada v. Hall, 440 U. S. 410, which held that the Constitution
`does not bar suits brought by an individual against a State in the
`courts of another State. On remand, the Nevada Supreme Court in-
`structed the trial court to enter damages in accordance with Nevada’s
`statutory cap. The Board sought certiorari a third time, raising only
`the question whether Nevada v. Hall should be overruled.
`Held: Nevada v. Hall is overruled; States retain their sovereign immun-
`ity from private suits brought in courts of other States. Pp. 4–18.
`(a) The Hall majority held that nothing “implicit in the Constitu-
`tion” requires States to adhere to the sovereign immunity that pre-
`vailed at the time of the founding. 440 U. S., at 417–418, 424–427.
`The Court concluded that the Founders assumed that “prevailing no-
`tions of comity would provide adequate protection against the unlike-
`ly prospect of an attempt by the courts of one State to assert jurisdic-
`tion over another.” Id., at 419. The Court’s view rested primarily on


`the idea that the States maintained sovereign immunity vis-à-vis
`each other in the same way that foreign nations do. Pp. 4–5.
`(b) Hall’s determination misreads the historical record and misap-
`prehends the constitutional design created by the Framers. Although
`the Constitution assumes that the States retain their sovereign im-
`munity except as otherwise provided, it also fundamentally adjusts
`the States’ relationship with each other and curtails the States’ abil-
`ity, as sovereigns, to decline to recognize each other’s immunity in
`their own courts. Pp. 5–16.
`(1) At the time of the founding, it was well settled that States
`were immune from suit both under the common law and under the
`law of nations. The States retained these aspects of sovereignty, “ex-
`cept as altered by the plan of the Convention or certain constitutional
`Amendments.” Alden v. Maine, 527 U. S. 706, 713. Pp. 6–9.
`(2) Article III abrogated certain aspects of the States’ traditional
`immunity by providing a neutral federal forum in which the States
`agreed to be amenable to suits brought by other States. And in rati-
`fying the Constitution, the States similarly surrendered a portion of
`their immunity by consenting to suits brought against them by the
`United States in federal courts. When this Court held in Chisholm v.
`Georgia, 2 Dall. 419, that Article III extended the federal judicial
`power over controversies between a State and citizens of another
`State, Congress and the States acted swiftly to draft and ratify the
`Eleventh Amendment, which confirms that the Constitution was not
`meant to “rais[e] up” any suits against the States that were “anoma-
`lous and unheard of when the Constitution was adopted,” Hans v.
`Louisiana, 134 U. S. 1, 18. The “natural inference” from the
`Amendment’s speedy adoption is that “the Constitution was under-
`stood, in light of its history and structure, to preserve the States’ tra-
`ditional immunity from private suits.” Alden, supra, at 723–724.
`This view of the States’ sovereign immunity accorded with the under-
`standing of the Constitution by its leading advocates, including Ham-
`ilton, Madison, and Marshall, when it was ratified. Pp. 9–12.
`(3) State sovereign immunity in another State’s courts is inte-
`gral to the structure of the Constitution. The problem with Hyatt’s
`argument—that interstate sovereign immunity exists only as a mat-
`ter of comity and can be disregarded by the forum State—is that the
`Constitution affirmatively altered the relationships between the
`States so that they no longer relate to each other as true foreign sov-
`ereigns. Numerous provisions reflect this reality. Article I divests
`the States of the traditional diplomatic and military tools that foreign
`sovereigns possess. And Article IV imposes duties on the States not
`required by international law. The Constitution also reflects altera-
`tions to the States’ relationships with each other, confirming that


`Cite as: 587 U. S. ____ (2019)
`they are no longer fully independent nations free to disregard each
`other’s sovereignty. See New Hampshire v. Louisiana, 108 U. S. 76,
`90. Hyatt’s argument is precisely the type of “ahistorical literalism”
`this Court has rejected when “interpreting the scope of the States’
`sovereign immunity since the discredited decision in Chisholm.”
`Alden, supra, at 730. Moreover, his argument proves too much.
`Many constitutional doctrines not spelled out in the Constitution are
`nevertheless implicit in its structure and supported by historical
`practice, e.g., judicial review, Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137,
`176–180. Pp. 12–16.
`(c) Stare decisis is “ ‘not an inexorable command,’ ” Pearson v. Cal-
`lahan, 555 U. S. 223, 233, and is “at its weakest” when interpreting
`the Constitution, Agostini v. Felton, 521 U. S. 203, 235. The Court’s
`precedents identify, as relevant here, four factors to consider: the
`quality of the decision’s reasoning, its consistency with related deci-
`sions, legal developments since the decision, and reliance on the deci-
`sion. See Janus v. State, County, and Municipal Employees, 585
`U. S. ___, ___–___. The first three factors support overruling Hall.
`As to the fourth, case-specific reliance interests are not sufficient to
`persuade this Court to adhere to an incorrect resolution of an im-
`portant constitutional question. Pp. 16–17.
`133 Nev. ___, 407 P. 3d 717, reversed and remanded.
` THOMAS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,
`C. J., and ALITO, GORSUCH, and KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined. BREYER, J.,
`filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN,
`JJ., joined.


`Cite as: 587 U. S. ____ (2019)
`Opinion of the Court
`NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the
`preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to
`notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash-
`ington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order
`that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
`No. 17–1299
`[May 13, 2019]
` JUSTICE THOMAS delivered the opinion of the Court.
` This case, now before us for the third time, requires us
`to decide whether the Constitution permits a State to be
`sued by a private party without its consent in the courts of
`a different State. We hold that it does not and overrule
`our decision to the contrary in Nevada v. Hall, 440 U. S.
`410 (1979).
` In the early 1990s, respondent Gilbert Hyatt earned
`substantial income from a technology patent for a com-
`puter formed on a single integrated circuit chip. Although
`Hyatt’s claim was later canceled, see Hyatt v. Boone, 146
`F. 3d 1348 (CA Fed. 1998), his royalties in the interim
`totaled millions of dollars. Prior to receiving the patent,
`Hyatt had been a long-time resident of California. But in
`1991, Hyatt sold his house in California and rented an
`apartment, registered to vote, obtained insurance, opened
`a bank account, and acquired a driver’s license in Nevada.
`When he filed his 1991 and 1992 tax returns, he claimed
`Nevada—which collects no personal income tax, see Nev.
`Const., Art. 10, §1(9)—as his primary place of residence.


`Opinion of the Court
` Petitioner Franchise Tax Board of California (Board),
`the state agency responsible for assessing personal income
`tax, suspected that Hyatt’s move was a sham. Thus, in
`1993, the Board launched an audit to determine whether
`Hyatt underpaid his 1991 and 1992 state income taxes by
`misrepresenting his residency. In the course of the audit,
`employees of the Board traveled to Nevada to conduct
`interviews with Hyatt’s estranged family members and
`shared his personal information with business contacts.
`In total, the Board sent more than 100 letters and de-
`mands for information to third parties. The Board ulti-
`mately concluded that Hyatt had not moved to Nevada
`until April 1992 and owed California more than $10 mil-
`lion in back taxes, interest, and penalties. Hyatt protested
`the audit before the Board, which upheld the audit after
`an 11-year administrative proceeding. The appeal of that
`decision remains pending before the California Office of
`Tax Appeals.
` In 1998, Hyatt sued the Board in Nevada state court for
`torts he alleged the agency committed during the audit.
`After the trial court denied in part the Board’s motion for
`summary judgment, the Board petitioned the Nevada
`Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus ordering dismissal
`on the ground that the State of California was immune
`from suit. The Board argued that, under the Full Faith
`and Credit Clause, Nevada courts must apply California’s
`statute immunizing the Board from liability for all injuries
`caused by its tax collection. See U. S. Const., Art. IV, §1;
`Cal. Govt. Code Ann. §860.2 (West 1995). The Nevada
`Supreme Court rejected that argument and held that,
`under general principles of comity, the Board was entitled
`to the same immunity that Nevada law afforded Nevada
`agencies—that is, immunity for negligent but not inten-
`tional torts. We granted certiorari and unanimously
`affirmed, holding that the Full Faith and Credit Clause
`did not prohibit Nevada from applying its own immunity


`Cite as: 587 U. S. ____ (2019)
`Opinion of the Court
`law to the case. Franchise Tax Bd. of Cal. v. Hyatt, 538
`U. S. 488, 498–499 (2003) (Hyatt I). Because the Board
`did not ask us to overrule Nevada v. Hall, supra, we did
`not revisit that decision. Hyatt I, supra, at 497.
` On remand, the trial court conducted a 4-month jury
`trial that culminated in a verdict for Hyatt that, with
`prejudgment interest and costs, exceeded $490 million.
`On appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court rejected most of
`the damages awarded by the lower court, upholding only a
`$1 million judgment on one of Hyatt’s claims and remand-
`ing for a new damages trial on another. Although the
`court recognized that tort liability for Nevada state agen-
`cies was capped at $50,000 under state law, it nonetheless
`held that Nevada public policy precluded it from applying
`that limitation to the California agency in this case. We
`again granted certiorari and this time reversed, holding
`that the Full Faith and Credit Clause required Nevada
`courts to grant the Board the same immunity that Nevada
`agencies enjoy. Franchise Tax Bd. of Cal. v. Hyatt, 578
`U. S. ___, ___–___ (2016) (slip op., at 4–9) (Hyatt II ).
`Although the question was briefed and argued, the Court
`was equally divided on whether to overrule Hall and thus
`affirmed the jurisdiction of the Nevada Supreme Court.
`Hyatt II, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 1). On remand, the
`Nevada Supreme Court instructed the trial court to enter
`damages in accordance with the statutory cap for Nevada
`agencies. 133 Nev. ___, 407 P. 3d 717 (2017).
` We granted, for a third time, the Board’s petition for
`certiorari, 585 U. S. ___ (2018). The sole question presented
`is whether Nevada v. Hall should be overruled.1
`1 Hyatt argues that the law-of-the-case doctrine precludes our review
`of this question, but he failed to raise that nonjurisdictional issue in his
`brief in opposition. We therefore deem this argument waived. See this
`Court’s Rule 15.2; Arizona v. California, 460 U. S. 605, 618 (1983)
`(“Law of the case directs a court’s discretion, it does not limit the
`tribunal’s power”). We also reject Hyatt’s argument that the Board


`Opinion of the Court
` Nevada v. Hall is contrary to our constitutional design
`and the understanding of sovereign immunity shared by
`the States that ratified the Constitution. Stare decisis
`does not compel continued adherence to this erroneous
`precedent. We therefore overrule Hall and hold that
`States retain their sovereign immunity from private suits
`brought in the courts of other States.
` Hall held that the Constitution does not bar private
`suits against a State in the courts of another State. 440
`U. S., at 416–421. The opinion conceded that States were
`immune from such actions at the time of the founding, but
`it nonetheless concluded that nothing “implicit in the
`Constitution” requires States “to adhere to the sovereign-
`immunity doctrine as it prevailed when the Constitution
`was adopted.” Id., at 417–418, 424–427. Instead, the
`Court concluded that the Founders assumed that “prevail-
`ing notions of comity would provide adequate protection
`against the unlikely prospect of an attempt by the courts
`of one State to assert jurisdiction over another.” Id., at
`419. The Court’s view rested primarily on the idea that
`the States maintained sovereign immunity vis-à-vis each
`other in the same way that foreign nations do, meaning
`that immunity is available only if the forum State “volun-
`tar[ily]” decides “to respect the dignity of the [defendant
`State] as a matter of comity.” Id., at 416; see also id., at
` The Hall majority was unpersuaded that the Constitu-
`tion implicitly altered the relationship between the States.
`In the Court’s view, the ratification debates, the Eleventh
`waived its immunity. The Board has raised an immunity-based argu-
`ment from this suit’s inception, though it was initially based on the Full
`Faith and Credit Clause.


`Cite as: 587 U. S. ____ (2019)
`Opinion of the Court
`Amendment, and our sovereign-immunity precedents did
`not bear on the question because they “concerned ques-
`tions of federal-court jurisdiction.” Id., at 420. The Court
`also found unpersuasive the fact that the Constitution
`delineates several limitations on States’ authority, such as
`Article I powers granted exclusively to Congress and
`Article IV requirements imposed on States. Id., at 425.
`Despite acknowledging “that ours is not a union of 50
`wholly independent sovereigns,” Hall inferred from the
`lack of an express sovereign immunity granted to the
`States and from the Tenth Amendment that the States
`retained the power in their own courts to deny immunity
`to other States. Ibid.
` Chief Justice Burger, Justice Blackmun, and Justice
`Rehnquist dissented.
` Hall’s determination that the Constitution does not
`contemplate sovereign immunity for each State in a sister
`State’s courts misreads the historical record and misap-
`prehends the “implicit ordering of relationships within the
`federal system necessary to make the Constitution a
`workable governing charter and to give each provision
`within that document the full effect intended by the
`Framers.” Id., at 433 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting). As Chief
`Justice Marshall explained, the Founders did not state
`every postulate on which they formed our Republic—“we
`must never forget, that it is a constitution we are expound-
`ing.” McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 407 (1819).
`And although the Constitution assumes that the States
`retain their sovereign immunity except as otherwise pro-
`vided, it also fundamentally adjusts the States’ relation-
`ship with each other and curtails their ability, as sover-
`eigns, to decline to recognize each other’s immunity.


`Opinion of the Court
` After independence, the States considered themselves
`fully sovereign nations. As the Colonies proclaimed in
`1776, they were “Free and Independent States” with “full
`Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances,
`establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things
`which Independent States may of right do.” Declaration of
`Independence ¶4. Under international law, then, inde-
`pendence “entitled” the Colonies “to all the rights and
`powers of sovereign states.” McIlvaine v. Coxe’s Lessee, 4
`Cranch 209, 212 (1808).
` “An integral component” of the States’ sovereignty was
`“their immunity from private suits.” Federal Maritime
`Comm’n v. South Carolina Ports Authority, 535 U. S. 743,
`751–752 (2002); see Alden v. Maine, 527 U. S. 706, 713
`(1999) (“[A]s the Constitution’s structure, its history, and
`the authoritative interpretations by this Court make clear,
`the States’ immunity from suit is a fundamental aspect of
`the sovereignty which the States enjoyed before the ratifi-
`cation of the Constitution, and which they retain to-
`day . . . ”). This fundamental aspect of the States’ “invio-
`lable sovereignty” was well established and widely
`accepted at the founding. The Federalist No. 39, p. 245 (C.
`Rossiter ed. 1961) (J. Madison); see Alden, supra, at 715–
`716 (“[T]he doctrine that a sovereign could not be sued
`without its consent was universal in the States when the
`Constitution was drafted and ratified”). As Alexander
`Hamilton explained:
`“It is inherent in the nature of sovereignty not to be
`amenable to the suit of an individual without its con-
`sent. This is the general sense and the general prac-
`tice of mankind; and the exemption, as one of the at-
`tributes of sovereignty, is now enjoyed by the
`government of every State in the Union.” The Feder-
`alist No. 81, at 487 (emphasis deleted).


`Cite as: 587 U. S. ____ (2019)
`Opinion of the Court
` The Founders believed that both “common law sovereign
`immunity” and “law-of-nations sovereign immunity” pre-
`vented States from being amenable to process in any court
`without their consent. See Pfander, Rethinking the Su-
`preme Court’s Original Jurisdiction in State-Party Cases,
`82 Cal. L. Rev. 555, 581–588 (1994); see also Nelson,
`Sovereign Immunity as a Doctrine of Personal Jurisdic-
`tion, 115 Harv. L. Rev. 1559, 1574–1579 (2002). The
`common-law rule was that “no suit or action can be
`brought against the king, even in civil matters, because no
`court can have jurisdiction over him.” 1 W. Blackstone,
`Commentaries on the Laws of England 235 (1765) (Black-
`stone). The law-of-nations rule followed from the “perfect
`equality and absolute independence of sovereigns” under
`that body of international law. Schooner Exchange v.
`McFaddon, 7 Cranch 116, 137 (1812); see C. Phillipson,
`Wheaton’s Elements of International Law 261 (5th ed.
`1916) (recognizing that sovereigns “enjoy equality before
`international law”); 1 J. Kent, Commentaries on American
`Law 20 (G. Comstock ed. 1867). According to the founding
`era’s foremost expert on the law of nations, “[i]t does not
`. . . belong to any foreign power to take cognisance of the
`administration of [another] sovereign, to set himself up for
`a judge of his conduct, and to oblige him to alter it.” 2 E.
`de Vattel, The Law of Nations §55, p. 155 (J. Chitty ed.
`1883). The sovereign is “exemp[t] . . . from all [foreign]
`jurisdiction.” 4 id., §108, at 486.
` The founding generation thus took as given that States
`could not be haled involuntarily before each other’s courts.
`See Woolhandler, Interstate Sovereign Immunity, 2006
`S. Ct. Rev. 249, 254–259. This understanding is perhaps
`best illustrated by preratification examples. In 1781, a
`creditor named Simon Nathan tried to recover a debt that
`Virginia allegedly owed him by attaching some of its prop-
`erty in Philadelphia. James Madison and other Virginia
`delegates to the Confederation Congress responded by


`Opinion of the Court
`sending a communique to Pennsylvania requesting that
`its executive branch have the action dismissed. See Letter
`from Virginia Delegates to Supreme Executive Council of
`Pennsylvania (July 9, 1781), in 3 The Papers of James
`Madison, 184–185 (W. Hutchinson & W. Rachal eds.
`1963). As Madison framed it, the Commonwealth’s prop-
`erty could not be attached by process issuing from a court
`of “any other State in the Union.” Id., at 184. To permit
`otherwise would require Virginia to “abandon its Sover-
`eignty by descending to answer before the Tribunal of
`another Power.” Ibid. Pennsylvania Attorney General
`William Bradford intervened, urging the Court of Common
`Pleas to dismiss the action. See Nathan v. Virginia, 1
`Dall. 77, 78 (C. P. Phila. Cty. 1781). According to Brad-
`ford, the suit violated international law because “all sover-
`eigns are in a state of equality and independence, exempt
`from each other’s jurisdiction.” Ibid. “[A]ll jurisdiction
`implies superiority over the party,” Bradford argued, “but
`there could be no superiority” between the States, and
`thus no jurisdiction, because the States were “perfect[ ly]
`equa[l]” and “entire[ly] independen[t].” Ibid. The court
`agreed and refused to grant Nathan the writ of attach-
`ment. Id., at 80.
` Similarly, a Pennsylvania Admiralty Court that very
`same year dismissed a libel action against a South Caro-
`lina warship, brought by its crew to recover unpaid wages.
`The court reasoned that the vessel was owned by a “sover-
`eign independent state.” Moitez v. The South Carolina, 17
`F. Cas. 574 (No. 9697) (1781).
` The Founders were well aware of the international-law
`immunity principles behind these cases. Federalists and
`Antifederalists alike agreed in their preratification de-
`bates that States could not be sued in the courts of other
`States. One Federalist, who argued that Article III would
`waive the States’ immunity in federal court, admitted that
`the waiver was desirable because of the “impossibility of


`Cite as: 587 U. S. ____ (2019)
`Opinion of the Court
`calling a sovereign state before the jurisdiction of another
`sovereign state.” 3 Debates on the Constitution 549 (J.
`Elliot ed. 1876) (Pendleton) (Elliot’s Debates). Two of the
`most prominent Antifederalists—Federal Farmer and
`Brutus—disagreed with the Federalists about the desir-
`ability of a federal forum in which States could be sued, but
`did so for the very reason that the States had previously
`been “subject to no such actions” in any court and were not
`“oblige[d]” “to answer to an individual in a court of law.”
`Federal Farmer No. 3 (Oct. 10, 1787), in 4 The Founders’
`Constitution 227 (P. Kurland & R. Lerner eds. 1987).
`They found it “humiliating and degrading” that a State
`might have to answer “the suit of an individual.” Brutus
`No. 13 (Feb. 21, 1788), in id., at 238.
` In short, at the time of the founding, it was well settled
`that States were immune under both the common law and
`the law of nations. The Constitution’s use of the term
`“States” reflects both of these kinds of traditional immu-
`nity. And the States retained these aspects of sovereignty,
`“except as altered by the plan of the Convention or certain
`constitutional Amendments.” Alden, 527 U. S., at 713.
` One constitutional provision that abrogated certain
`aspects of this traditional immunity was Article III, which
`provided a neutral federal forum in which the States
`agreed to be amenable to suits brought by other States.
`Art. III, §2; see Alden, supra, at 755. “The establishment
`of a permanent tribunal with adequate authority to de-
`termine controversies between the States, in place of an
`inadequate scheme of arbitration, was essential to the
`peace of the Union.” Principality of Monaco v. Mississippi,
`292 U. S. 313, 328 (1934). As James Madison explained
`during the Convention debates, “there can be no impropri-
`ety in referring such disputes” between coequal sovereigns
`to a superior tribunal. Elliot’s Debates 532.


`Opinion of the Court
` The States, in ratifying the Constitution, similarly
`surrendered a portion of their immunity by consenting to
`suits brought against them by the United States in federal
`courts. See Monaco, supra, at 328; Federal Maritime
`Comm’n, 535 U. S., at 752. “While that jurisdiction is not
`conferred by the Constitution in express words, it is inher-
`ent in the constitutional plan.” Monaco, supra, at 329.
`Given that “all jurisdiction implies superiority of power,”
`Blackstone 235, the only forums in which the States have
`consented to suits by one another and by the Federal
`Government are Article III courts. See Federal Maritime
`Comm’n, supra, at 752.
` The Antifederalists worried that Article III went even
`further by extending the federal judicial power over con-
`troversies “between a State and Citizens of another State.”
`They suggested that this provision implicitly waived the
`States’ sovereign immunity against private suits in federal
`courts. But “[t]he leading advocates of the Constitution
`assured the people in no uncertain terms” that this read-
`ing was incorrect. Alden, 527 U. S., at 716; see id., at 716–
`718 (citing arguments by Hamilton, Madison, and John
`Marshall). According to Madison:
`“[A federal court’s] jurisdiction in controversies be-
`tween a state and citizens of another state is much ob-
`jected to, and perhaps without reason. It is not in the
`power of individuals to call any state into court. The
`only operation it can have, is that, if a state should
`wish to bring a suit against a citizen, it must be
`brought before the federal court. This will give satis-
`faction to individuals, as it will prevent citizens, on
`whom a state may have a claim, being dissatisfied
`with the state courts.” Elliot’s Debates 533.
`John Marshall echoed these sentiments:
`“With respect to disputes between a state and the citi-
`zens of another state, its jurisdiction has been decried


`Cite as: 587 U. S. ____ (2019)
`Opinion of the Court
`with unusual vehemence. I hope no gentleman will
`think that a state will be called at the bar of the fed-
`eral court. . . . The intent is, to enable states to re-
`cover claims of individuals residing in other states. I
`contend this construction is warranted by the words.”
`Id., at 555 (emphasis in original).
` Not long after the founding, however, the Antifederal-
`ists’ fears were realized. In Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall.
`419 (1793), the Court held that Article III allowed the very
`suits that the “Madison-Marshall-Hamilton triumvirate”
`insisted it did not. Hall, 440 U. S., at 437 (Rehnquist, J.,
`dissenting). That decision precipitated an immediate
`“furor” and “uproar” across the country. 1 J. Goebel,
`Antecedents and Beginnings to 1801, History of the Su-
`preme Court of the United States 734, 737 (1971); see id.,
`at 734–741. Congress and the States accordingly acted
`swiftly to remedy the Court’s blunder by drafting and
`ratifying the Eleventh Amendment.2 See Edelman v.
`Jordan, 415 U. S. 651, 660–662 (1974); see also Federal
`Maritime Comm’n, supra, at 753 (acknowledging that
`Chisholm was incorrect); Alden, supra, at 721–722 (same).
` The Eleventh Amendment confirmed that the Constitu-
`tion was not meant to “rais[e] up” any suits against the
`States that were “anomalous and unheard of when the
`Constitution was adopted.” Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U. S.
`1, 18 (1890). Although the terms of that Amendment
`address only “the specific provisions of the Constitution
`that had raised concerns during the ratification debates
`and formed the basis of the Chisholm decision,” the “natu-
`ral inference” from its speedy adoption is that “the Consti-
`2 The Eleventh Amendment provides: “The Judicial power of the
`United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or
`equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by
`Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign


`Opinion of the Court
`tution was understood, in light of its history and structure,
`to preserve the States’ traditional immunity from private
`suits.” Alden, supra, at 723–724. We have often empha-
`sized that “[t]he Amendment is rooted in a recognition
`that the States, although a union, maintain certain at-
`tributes of sovereignty, including sovereign immunity.”
`Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority v. Metcalf &
`Eddy, Inc., 506 U. S. 139, 146 (1993). In proposing the
`Amendment, “Congress acted not to change but to restore
`the original constitutional design.” Alden, 527 U. S., at
`722. The “sovereign immunity of the States,” we have
`said, “neither derives from, nor is limited by, the terms of
`the Eleventh Amendment.” Id., at 713.
` Consistent with this understanding of state sovereign
`immunity, this Court has held that the Constitution bars
`suits against nonconsenting States in a wide range of
`cases. See, e.g., Federal Maritime Comm’n, supra (actions
`by private parties before federal administrative agencies);
`Alden, supra (suits by private parties against a State in its
`own courts); Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak, 501
`U. S. 775 (1991) (suits by Indian tribes in federal court);
`Monaco, 292 U. S. 313 (suits by foreign states in federal
`court); Ex parte New York, 256 U. S. 490 (1921) (admiralty
`suits by private parties in federal court); Smith v. Reeves,
`178 U. S. 436 (1900) (suits by federal corporations in
`federal court).
` Despite this historical evidence that interstate sovereign
`immunity is preserved in the constitutional design, Hyatt
`insists that such immunity exists only as a “matter of
`comity” and can be disregarded by the forum State. Hall,
`supra, at 416. He reasons that, before the Constitution
`was ratified, the States had the power of fully independent
`nations to deny immunity to fellow sovereigns; thus, the
`States must retain that power today with respect to each


`Cite as: 587 U. S. ____ (2019)
`Opinion of the Court
`other because “nothing in the Constitution or formation of
`the Union altered that balance among the still-sovereign
`states.” Brief for Respondent 14. Like the majority in
`Hall, he relies primarily on our early foreign immunity
`decisions. For instance, he cites Schooner Exchange v.
`McFaddon, in which the Court dismissed a libel action
`against a French warship docked in Philadelphia because,
`under the law of nations, a sovereign’s warships entering
`the ports of a friendly nation are exempt from the jurisdic-
`tion of its courts. 7 Cranch, at 145–146. But whether the
`host nation respects that sovereign immunity, Chief Jus-
`tice Marshall noted, is for the host nation to decide, for
`“[t]he jurisdiction of [a] nation within its own territory is
`necessarily exclusive and absolute” and “is susceptible of
`no limitation not imposed by itself.” Id., at 136. Similar
`reasoning is found in The Santissima Trinidad, 7 Wheat.
`283, 353 (1822), where Justice Story noted that the host
`nation’s consent to provide immunity “may be withdrawn
`upon notice at any time, without just offence.”
` The problem with Hyatt’s argument is that the Consti-
`tution affirmatively altered the relationships between the
`States, so that they no longer relate to each other solely as
`foreign sovereigns. Each State’s equal dignity

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