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The Supreme Court of the United States, by that five to four division, unfortunately so usual in the determination of important constitutional questions, has ruled that state workmen's compensation acts cannot apply to any cases coming within the jurisdiction of admiralty. Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen (1917) 37 Sup. Ct. 524. This decision was given upon the same day that another important limitation upon the extent of state compensation acts was announced in a decision elsewhere commented upon. The decision in the Jensen case is of great interest not only in its bearing upon compensation law, but also because of its importance upon the entire question of maritime law as well as the intrinsic interest of the opinions rendered. Mr. Justice McReynolds spoke for the majority of the court. Mr. Justice Holmes wrote a dissenting opinion containing an unusual number of the epigrammatic statements for which he is renowned, while Mr. Justice Pitney, concurring substantially with Mr. Justice Holmes, gave a dissenting opinion so full, so complete and so persuasive as seemingly to exhaust the subject. Mr. Justice Brandeis and Mr. Justice Clarke concurred in the dissent.

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Admiralty Jurisdiction and State Compensation Acts, 27 Yale Law Journal 255 (1917)

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