lieu of the federal injunctive relief they seek in the case at bar.
Moreover, federal declaratory judgment relief would be adequate, in view of the unlikelihood that the Social Security administration would disregard the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction.
But the State courts are the more appropriate forum in view of the questions presented involving interpretation of State statutes and public policy.
If the plaintiffs are convinced that the Pennsylvania statute is unconstitutional, then a declaration of the validity of their marriage could be had from the State court.
If they believe that the unconstitutionality of the statute is of recent vintage,
and did not exist when they first began marital (as distinguished from meretricious) cohabitation, then they are free to renew their vows in verba de praesenti and thus establish a completely valid common law marriage under the force of Pennsylvania law as modified by and subordinated to their newly-minted federal constitutional rights. In any event they have an adequate remedy without injunctive relief from a federal three-judge court.
This conclusion is confirmed by strong reasons of policy. One who seeks nowadays to convene a three-judge court has two strikes against him from the outset.
In the first place, the three-judge procedure was an outgrowth of public sentiment in an era when conditions were utterly different from present-day circumstances.
The procedure arose in the hey-day of the power of railroads and their influence upon public officials. To subvert systems of public utility regulation designed to protect the public from extortionate and discriminatory rates, the railroad magnates turned to a friendly federal judge who granted an injunction against enforcement of the regulatory laws, as being "confiscatory" and resulting in deprivation of property without due process of law.
It is a far cry from those days of railroad dominance to the limping Conrail and Amtrak of our time. It is no longer necessary to convene a three-judge court to prevent a single judge from obstructing a complicated statutory system of public regulation in the public interest at the behest of a powerful corporation.
In the second place, three-judge courts are not only obsolete and outmoded, but are burdensome and inconvenient. Hardly a day passes that Chief Justice Burger does not proclaim, like Cato of old, not Carthago delenda est but curiae trium judicum delendae et tollendae sunt.9 For other descriptions of this undue burden on the federal judiciary, see 66 F.R.D. at 526.
Accordingly, we conclude that it is not appropriate to convene a three-judge court to consider the case at bar. To ensure finality and appealability, the order will also dismiss the case, without prejudice to seeking appropriate relief in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.