Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



A great deal has been written about the personal jurisdiction of state courts and particularly about the applicable due process requirements.' Much less has been contributed by commentators on the subject of due process requirements applying to in personam jurisdiction of a United States district court. Perhaps the reason is the difficulty of finding a rationale in the pertinent decisions. These fail to distinguish between the conditions necessary for valid service of federal court process as contrasted with those essential to the proper service of state process. They also fail to explain why the constitutional provision brings about the result which they announce. When a rule or precedent refers to state law as the precept controlling the validity of the service of federal process, does the fifth or the fourteenth amendment govern on the issue of constitutionality? As Mr. Justice Frankfurter has pointed out, the problem of the relation of the United States and the courts of the United States to the states is as old as the Union and will persist as long as our society remains a constitutional federalism. The solution of this problem as it relates to jurisdiction over corporations depends upon an analysis from the standpoint of fundamental principles.