Open main menu

Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/312

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Constitutional LawAction against a State.—The State of Virginia put such restrictions upon the method of proving its tax receivable coupons as to impair its contract obligation within Article I., Section 10, of the Constitution. The Act also provided that the State omcers should at once bring suit against those tendering coupons without the requisite proof as delinquents. Held, that under the eleventh amendment the Circuit Court had no jurisdiction to enjoin the officers from bringing such suit. Osborn v. Bank, 9 Wheat. 738, see supra, p. 223, in which State officers were enjoined from seizing property for taxes in pursuance of a levy under an unconstitutional State law, and Poindexter v. Greenhow, 114 U.S. 270, in which the treasurer of Virginia was enjoined from collecting taxes by distress after a tender of coupons, were both distinguished on the groung that the defendants were enjoined in those cases as individuals; the State was not a party at all. As individuals they must make out their defence under the law of the United States, and the State statute, being unconstitutional, would not be regarded. In the present case the only party bringing the suit against which an injunction is asked is the State, though of necessity represented by its officers. Harlan, J., dissented, holding that the cases were not distinguishable. Virginia Coupon Case, Ex parte Ayers, 8 Sup. Ct. Rep. 164.

Constitutional LawProhibitory Liquor Law.—It is within the police power of a State to prohibit the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors, and although it results in greatly diminishing the value of property engaged in the business, it is not depriving “any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” Mr. Justice Field dissents, on the ground that, conceding the right to stop the use of property for purposes deemed injurious to society, the State has not the right to destroy any property; which might be used for other purposes, without compensation to owners. He thus objects particularly to the clause which gives power “to shut up and abate such place by taking possession thereof and destroying all intoxicating liquors found therein, together with all signs, screens, bars, bottles, glasses, and other property used in keeping and maintaining said nuisance.” Mugler v. State, 36 Alb. L.J. 525 (U.S. Sup. Ct.).

Constitutional LawRegistration of Voters.—A law which requires the voter to register on one of four days, the last one being ten days prior to the election, is unconstitutional as hindering the free exercise of suffrage. State v. Conner, 36 Alb. L.J. 444 (Neb.); 34 N.W. Rep. 499, s.c. See Kinneen v. Wells, 144 Mass. 497.

Constitutional LawVested Rights.—An Act of Congress of March 3, 1887, annulled the charter of the Mormon Church which had been granted by the legislative assembly of Utah, dissolved the corporation, and authorized proceedings to wind up its affairs and have certain property declared forfeited to the school-fund of the Territory. A bill was filed under this act, and it was held that a charter from a territorial government gives no vested rights, since it must be deemed to be accepted with knowledge that the United States has authority to change or repeal it. United States v. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 15 Pac. Rep. 473 (Utah).

ContractConsideration.—The rule that the acceptance of part payment for a debt is no consideration for the extinguishment of the debt has no application where property instead of money is received. Hasted v. Dodge, 35 N. W. Rep. 462 (Iowa).

Mutual promises by husband and wife to drop all differences and perform certain duties toward each other are without consideration as being promises to do what they are already bound to do. Miller v. Miller, 35 N.W. Rep. 464 (Iowa).

ContractOusting the Courts of their Jurisdiction.—One who had undertaken to construct a certain section of a railroad, agreed that the estimates of the work made by the company’s engineer should be conclusive against him, “without recourse or appeal.” The contractor was dissatisfied, and brought an action. It was held that the stipulation to abide by the estimates of the engineer was not binding even in the absence of fraud or mistake. Louisville, etc., R. Co. v. Donnegan, 25 Cent. Law Jour. 513 (Ind.).

The case is criticised in a note, and the authorities are examined at considerable length.

DomicileStudent’s Right to Vote.—A student at college may acquire a legal residence so as to be entitled to vote where the college is located, if he, in good faith, elects to make that his home to the exclusion of all other places; and this though he may intend to leave the place at some fixed time or at some indefinite period in the future. Pedigo v. Grimes, 13 N.E. Rep. 700 (Ind.).