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Latest Important Cases 617, 15 Ann. Cas. 927; State v. Sorensen, 138 N. W. 411 (Iowa). Convenient references to the cases generally will be found in the notes to People v. Richards, 2 Am. St. Rep. 383; State v. Vierck, 139 Am. St. Rep. 1047." Insanity. See Wills. Interstate Commerce. Excise Tax on Capi tal of Foreign Corporations — Burdening of Inter state Commerce by State Regulations. U. S. In Baltic Mining Co. v. Massachusetts and 5. 5. White Dental Co. v. Massachusetts, (L. ed. adv. sheets, no.l, p.15) the United States Supreme Court by a majority of six to three upheld the constitutionality of a state statute imposing an excise tax upon the capital stock of foreign cor porations for the privilege of doing business within the state. The Court (Day, J.) said: "The examination of the previous decisions of this court shows that they have been decided upon the application to the facts of each case of the principles which we have undertaken to state, and a tax has only been invalidated where its necessary effect was to burden interstate com merce or to tax property beyond the jurisdiction of the state. In the cases at bar, the business for which the companies are chartered is not of itself commerce. True it is that their products are sold and shipped in interstate commerce, and to that extent they are engaged in the business of carrying on interstate commerce, and are entitled to the protection of the Federal Con stitution against laws burdening commerce of that character. Interstate commerce of all kinds is within the protection of the Constitution of the United States, and it is not within the authority of the state to tax it by burdening laws. From the statement of facts it is plain, however, that each of the corporations in question is carrying on a purely local and domestic busi ness, quite separate from its interstate trans actions. That local and domestic business, for the privilege of doing which the state has im posed a tax, is real and substantial and not so connected with interstate commerce as to render a tax upon it a burden upon the interstate business of the companies involved." The Chief Justice and Justices Van Devanter and Pitney dissented. Wills. Disposing Capacity of Insane Testator — "Manic Depressive Insanity" — Civil and Common Law Tests. N. Y. In one of the first cases to be decided where the issue was the capacity of a testator afflicted with "manic depressive insanity," the Sur rogates' Court of New York County decided, in


Matter of Martin, Nov. 1913, that the burden was on the proponent, to satisfy the conscience of the surrogate that the testator was capax at the moment of making his will, and that in case of doubt on that point, the decree by the common probate law must be against the will. Surrogate Fowler said in his opinion: — "In countries where the civil law obtains it is claimed that there is observable a greater refinement than is common with us in cases involving legal capacity. It is claimed in civil law countries that the decisions in common law countries are on the subject of legal capacity "variant and discordant," and I fear it is so. In civil law countries it is generally held that the proof of legal capacity in cases of partial insanity is extremely difficult, and that when lucid inter vals have to be computed by days and hours courts should be strongly inclined on that ground alone to disbelieve in the restoration of the patient to a state of disposing capacity. In common law countries this is nowhere so clearly stated. As this is the first case, I think, in this state on a will made by one proven to be afflicted with the intermittent type of insanity now known as 'manic depressive insanity,' there is in exis tence no authority for this very case, and when that is the fact the civil law rule becomes in this court, in the absence of all other authority, ex tremely cogent (In re Van Ness's will, 139 N. Y. Supp., p. 493; In re Swartz's will, 139 N. Y. Supp., p. 1113). "But I will not rest my judgment in this cause on a rule taken from the civilians. There is a well established principle of that probate law, which is part of the common law of this state, and this principle I think is determinative here. I refer to the rule requiring a proponent of a will to satisfy the conscience of a probate court that the will he propounds is the will of a free and capable testator. If proponent fail so to satisfy the conscience of the court, the court may then pronounce against the will. This was a well established canon of the probate law, which, as a part of the common law, became the funda mental law of this state by constitutional reserva tion, and I have never been able to put my hand on an express and clearly pronounced adjudica tion in this state changing this old and estab lished principle of the testamentary law. Indeed I find the principle tacitly recognized in cases of late authority in this jurisdiction ( Howland v. Taylor, 53 N. Y., 627; Rollwagen v. Rollwagen, 63 N. Y.,at p. 517; Matter of Cotrell, 95 N. Y., at p. 336)." (Reported N. Y. Law Jour., Nov. 18.)