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I had always understood that the reason for "case or controversy" was twofold -- first, it was a way ot alleviating the concerns of some framers that the jurisdiction of the federal courts should be limited to avoid conferring general jurisdiction on the federal courts; second, it was a way to avoid the power held by the supreme judicial courts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire to give "advisory opinions" absent an actual, live dispute between two real parties. In the 1790s, of course, that didn't quite work out that way, as President Washington often consulted individual Justices informally. When in 1792, however, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson referred a question to the Court at the request of President Washington for an advisory opinion, the Justices politely but firmly declined to provide the requested advisory opinion. For a quick summary, see Ene Sirvet and R. B. Bernstein, "John Jay, Judicial Independence, and Advising Coordinate Branches," JOURNAL OF SUPREME COURT HISTORY, 2 (1996): 23-29, and sources cited. Respectfully submitted, R. B. Bernstein -- R. B. Bernstein * Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law, New York Law School * Member of Editorial Board, H-LAW * Editor, NEWSLETTER, American Society for Legal History * Director of Online Operations, Heights Books, Inc. 120 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 * Author, THOMAS JEFFERSON (Oxford, 2003; paperback, 2005) and THE FOUNDING FATHERS RECONSIDERED (Oxford, spring 2009) * firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com