From the foregoing it appears that the courts themselves decline to assume jurisdiction with reference to matters of a political character. So also, they have held that it is beyond the constitutional power of Congress to impose upon them the performance of duties essentially administrative in nature. The instances in which the lower federal courts have refused to perform administrative functions are considered in a later chapter.24 So also, it has been held that these courts sitting as equity tribunals may exercise only those powers of English courts of chancery which were judicial in character, and not those exercised by the chancellor as the representative of the King and by virtue of the King's prerogative as parens patriae.25

22 The La Ninfa, 75 Fed. Rep. 513.

23 The American Judiciary, p. 41.

24 Chapter LXIII (The Separation Of Powers. 739. The Separation Of Powers), The Separation of Powers. 25 Fontain v. Ravenel, 17 How. 369; 15 L. ed. 80.