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Maynard v. Durham and Southern Railway Company/Dissent Frankfurter

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Case Syllabus
Opinion of the Court
Dissenting Opinions
Frankfurter
Whittaker

United States Supreme Court

365 U.S. 160

Maynard  v.  Durham and Southern Railway Company

 Argued: Jan. 12, 1961. --- Decided: Feb 20, 1961


Mr. Justice FRANKFURTER, dissenting.

This case was brought here on a meager typewritten petition which invoked the Court's certiorari jurisdiction on the claim that the North Carolina Supreme Court had disregarded controlling federal standards for determining the validity of a release from liability under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. In reversing the North Carolina Supreme Court, this Court does not support the grounds on which review was urged. The oral argument dispelled such a claim and revealed, what the Court's opinion now recognizes, that the conflict between the state court and this Court turns on assessment of the trial testimony. This Court has repeatedly announced that the writ of certiorari is not to be employed to pass on matters of evidence and our Rule 19, 28 U.S.C.A., formally bars such an obvious misuse of our discretionary jurisdiction. Again and again we deny petitions for certiorari which merely raise disputed issues of fact. Instead of making cases arising under the Federal Employers' Liability Act an exceptional class, Congress in 1916 explicitly withdrew Federal Employers' Liability cases from the Court's obligatory jurisdiction. 39 Stat. 727. For reasons set forth at length in my dissenting opinion in Ferguson v. Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc., 352 U.S. 521, 524, 77 S.Ct. 459, 1 L.Ed.2d 515, I would dismiss this writ as improvidently granted. Doing so after argument has been had would serve to discourage petitions brought solely to review matters of evidence; to adjudicate the case on the merits by taking one view of the evidence as against another only encourages petitions that ought not to be filed here. See Layne & Bowler Corp. v. Western Well Works, Inc., 261 U.S. 387, 43 S.Ct. 422, 67 L.Ed. 712.

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).