Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

5 Bosw. 341. Bank bills held at the time of the age, and was therefore void as to importers, was for failure of the bank but not those acquired after- that reason unconstitutional and void as to all other ward have been allowed to be set off against the persons. The court held that it was not so void, bank. Jefferson Co. Bk. v. Chapman, 19 Johns. saying that if a law which is constitutional under 322; Diver v. Phelps, 34 Barb. 224. See, also, Gee certain limitations exceeds those limitations, it may v. Bacon, 9 Ala. 609; Exchange Bank v. Knox, 19

still be operative within its legitimate sphere and Gratt. 739; Hallowell, etc., Bk. v. Hovoard, 13 void only for the excess. See, as holding a similar Mass. 235.

doctrine, Commonwealth v. Kimball, 24 Pick. 359,

where Chief Justice Shaw says, in respect of a simiThe case of Carty v. Shields, 5 Week. Not. Cas. 241, decided by the Supreme Court of Pennsyl

lar statute of Massachusetts: “Supposing the law

could be construed to be repugnant to the Constituvania on the 18th February last, illustrates the prin

tion of the United States in so far as it prohibited ciple that an existing right of way cannot be

the sale of imported spirits by the importer in the enlarged or altered by uses not contemplated by the parties at the time of its creation. One Carty was

original packages, it would be void thus far and

no farther, and in all other respects conforming to the owner of two lots fronting upon a railroad, the larger of which he used as a coal yard. He con

the acknowledged power of the State government, nected the tracks of the railroad with his coal yard is that where a part of a

it would be in full force." The general principle

statute is unconstiby a side track passing over the smaller lot, and

tutional that fact does not authorize the courts over this side track he carried on the business of a

to declare the remainder void also unless all the coal dealer. He sold the smaller lot to one Shields

provisions are connected in subject-matter dependwithout any terms as to way or incumbrances.

ing on each other, operating together for the same After the sale Carty established a lime business on the larger lot, in addition to the coal business, and

purpose, or otherwise so connected together in used the siding for the passage of cars employed in

meaning that it cannot be presumed the legisla

ture would have passed the one without the other. both these trades. Shields threatening to tear up the track, Carty filed a bill to restrain him from so

If a statute attempts to accomplish two or more

objects and is void as to one it may still be in doing. The court, in affirming a decree forbidding

every respect valid and complete as to the other. Shields from interfering with the use of the track

See Commonwealth v. Clapp, 5 Gray, 100; State v. by Carty for his coal business, held that Shields, in the absence of terms in his deed, could not be pre

Copeland, 3 R. I. 33; Armstrong v. Jackson, 1 Blackf.

374; People v. Hill, 7 Cal. 97; Thompson v. Grand sumed to have accepted it burdened with a larger

Gulf R.R. Co., 3 How. (Miss.) 240; Mobile & Ohio use or incumbrance than his observation gave him

R.R. v. State, 29 Ala. 573; Santo v. State, 2 Iowa, notice of, and that Carty was entitled only to the

165; People v. Briggs, 50 N. Y. 566; State v. Esteruse of the track for coal and could not use it for his

brook, 3 Nev. 173; Hagerstown v. Dechert, 32 Md. lime business. The case of Onthank v. Lake Shore

369. & Mich. So. R. R. Co., 16 Alb. L. J. 428, decided by the Court of Appeals of this state in November

In Jerome v. Smith, 48 Vt. 230, plaintiff bought last, enunciates a similar principle. In that case

a ticket over defendant's railroad with checks atplaintiff, by a written instrument, gave defendant a

tached. While riding over the route a conductor right to lay and maintain across his land a pipe

detached and retained one of the checks and gave to convey water from a spring. The instrument did plaintiff in lieu thereof a conductor's check which not specify the size of the pipe or where it should was a full equivalent for the check retained. This be laid. The defendant laid pipe of a particular

check plaintiff lost. Before plaintiff arrived at the size which it maintained for a number of years. point in his journey to which the conductor's check Afterward it laid a larger size of pipe carrying entitled him to ride, another conductor took the from the spring a much greater supply of water.

train. He demanded of plaintiff the production of

the conductor's check or payment of fare, and The court held that by laying pipe of a particular refused to let him ride on the passage ticket held by size, defendant fixed the extent of its easement and him. Plaintiff being unable to find the conducwas not thereafter entitled to lay a larger pipe.

tor's check and refusing to pay fare, he was ejected See, also, Jennison v. Walker, 11 Gray, 423; Wynkoop

from the train. The court held that he was lawfully

ejected. This decision seems to be supported by a v. Barger, 12 Johns. 222; French v. Hays, 43 N. H.

number of authorities. Among the most nearly in 30 ; Bannon v. Angier, 2 Allen, 128; Kirkham v. point are Hamilton v. N. Y. 0. R. R. Co., 51 N. Y. Sharp, 1 Whart. 323.

100 ; Standish v. Narragansett Steamship Co., 111

Mass. 512 ; Townsend v. N. Y. C. R. R. Co., 56 N. In the case of State v. Amery, decided by the Y. 295 ; Duke v. G.W. Ry. Co., 14 U. C. C. P. 369. Supreme Court of Rhode Island, the question was See, however, Pittsburgh R. R. Co. v. Hennigh, 39 whether a statute of that State which prohibited

Ind. 509 ; Palmer v. Charlotte R. R. Co., 3 S. C.

(N. S.), 580; Marony v. Ou Col. R. R. Co., 106 Mass. the sale of intoxicating liquors, and makes no excep-153; Hamilton v. Third Ave. R. R. Co., 53 N. Y tion in favor of importers selling in the original pack- 1 25; Moore v. Fitchburg R. R. Co., 4 Gray, 465.

[ocr errors]

on

In an

SOME RECENT DECISIONS – TWENTY-SEC- Cemetery Association v. Commonwealth, 81 Penn. St OND AMERICAN REPORTS.

235, it is held that a by-law of a cemetery association

prohibiting the burial of negroes therein is void as N the subject of life insurance we find two cases

to persons who were lot owners when the by-laws

were passed. We have known of cemeteries prosurance Company v. Hogan, 80 III. 35, it is held that hibiting the interment of dogs, but this is the first the relation of father and son does not give the instance of the extension of the prohibition to neson an insurable interest in the life of the father, groes that has come to our notice. Judge Gordon unless the son has a well-founded or reasonable ex- sits down the cemetery folks in this pectation of some pecuniary advantage to be de- lively manner: “In a sound code of ethics this rived from the continuance of the life of the father. prejudice never had a respectable standing, for it On the other hand, in Reserve Mutual Insurance

was but the child of an abnormal servile system Company v. Kane, 81 Penn. St. 154, it is held that the that was entitled to no man's respect outside of the son has an insurable interest in the life of his country and laws which maintained it. But at this father, especially where the son is liable under the time, when this prejudice is under the ban of repoor law for the support of the father. We vote cent constitutional and legal provisions, expressly with Illinois on the point. The matter being one designed for its suppression and extinction, it is simply of pecuniary interest, no person has an in- scarcely to be expected that we can be induced to surable interest in the life of another unless it is a indorse its respectability, or to encourage it to linger pecuniary advantage to him to have the other live.

on ger around the halls of justice.” Judge SharsIn the Pennsylvania case it was for the son's in- wood said, “I dissent from this judgment and opinterest to have the insured die.

ion." Dogs and“ niggers ” make a good deal of trouble

We don't often run across an elegant classical in this volume. In Heisrodt v. Hackett, 34 Mich. quotation in a judicial opinion, but C. J. Appleton 283, a statute authorized “any person ” to kill a dog makes one in Meader v. White, 66 Me. 90. It is going at large, and not licensed or collared.

here held that an action cannot be maintained to action to recover for the killing of plaintiff's dog recover money loaned on the Lord's day. The court by defendant's dog, held no defense that plaintiff's regretting the statute, and pointing out the anomdog was not licensed and collared, as defendant's aly that while both parties are equally guilty, one dog was not a "person.” We know the converse is punished and the other is rewarded, quote from of this to be urged once. Sidney Smith, when so- Juvenal. licited by Landseer, the famous animal painter, to sit

Committunt eadem, diverso crimina fato; to him for his portrait, exclaimed: Is thy servant

Ille crucem pretium sceleris tulit, hic diadema." a dog, that he shall do this thing ?” In Rider v. which, if we may be allowed to serve as interpreter, White, 65 N. Y. 54, it is laid down that one injured may be thus rendered into the vernacular. by the bite of a dog may recover damages of the

“Of two who equally deserve law's frown, owner on proof that the dog was vicious, and that

One gets the cross, the other takes the crown. the owner knew it, without showing that it had New Hampshire still continues the banner State ever bitten any one. So much for dogs. Now for for long opinions. Here in Hardy v. Merrill, 56 N. the other “animals” mentioned. Down in North H., we have twenty-two pages to demonstrate that Carolina the law-makers have such a delicate sense non-professional witnesses may testify to their opinof the fitness of things that they regulate marriage ion of a testator's sanity, founding their opinion somewhat by complexion, and pronounce marriages upon their knowledge and observation of his apbetween negroes and white persons unlawful. (Prob-pearance and conduct. A good deal of the opinion ably they will not suffer Othello to be acted in their

was omitted, too. An interesting opinion, howtheatres.) So in State v. Ro88, 76 N. C. 242, the ever, on a very important subject. The court made court had a good deal of self-command to adjudge one mysterious observation, namely : In McKee v. that where a white woman left the State to be mar- Nelson, the court says: " There are a thousand ried, in another State, to a negro resident thereof, nameless things, indicating the existence and degree but not intending to return, but was so married and of the tender passion, which language cannot afterward did return, the marriage was lawful in specify; precisely what Judge Bellows, in Whittier North Carolina. But, in State v. Kennedy, 76 N. C. v. Franklin, said of the frightened mental condition 251, where a negro man and a white woman left the and sulky disposition of a horse.” We did not State to be married, with intent to evade the law know that the equine race are peculiarly subject to and to return, and were married in another State the “tender passion,” but it seems to be judicially where such marriages were lawful, and did return, affirmed. Again, the court say: "Evidence of this the marriage was held invalid in North Carolina. character was received a few weeks ago, in the trial But not only do live “diggers ” make the courts of Magoon, for murder, in Rockingham county, trouble, but dead ones do also. In Mount Moriah | without the intimation of a doubt concerning its

* Multi

manner.

competency; and the very able and vigilant counsel, not to remove into the Federal courts any actions upon both sides, in that cause, knew what they were brought against them in the State courts. The U. S. about, and omitted nothing of their duty to the District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin prisoners or to the public.” Assuming that the coun- had previously held the act void. sel really did “know what they were about,” it seems The case of Hayes v. Livingston, 34 Mich. 384, is a rather curious reason for judging of the compe- very interesting and will probably give rise to contency of evidence. Then the court wax quite lively: siderable discussion, although decided by a very “But one witness says, 'he did not appear as usual; able court. The decision is in effect that under the he did not appear natural. Now, let us imagine a statute of frauds it is not permissible that an estopscene that might very probably be exhibited where pel in pais should work a transfer of the legal title the Massachusetts rule prevails. “Very well,' says a

to land. The court concede that the rule is differlearned barrister, ‘very well, Mr. Witness, you may ent in respect to personal property. They concede, say that, that is quite regular, that is your opinion. too, that in regard even to real estate the rule is difNow tell us in what respect he did not appear ó as

ferent in Maine, Georgia, Vermont, Pennsylvania, usual' or 'natural.' "Well, I can't describe it, but I Connecticut and New York. They seem to concede should call it wandering, delirious; he was incoher- too that the injured party might find relief in ent in his talk.' •Very well, Mr. Witness, you acquit equity, and distinguish the New York doctrine on yourself like a sensible man. Now tell the jury, the ground of the abolition of the distinction here whether, in your opinion, he was then of sound mind.' between the legal and the equitable tribunal. It I object!' thunders the learned barrister on the may be that the inability of the courts of law to other side. “I object!' thunders the opposing jun- take cognizance of the facts constituting the estopior, counsel know better. It is an insult and out- pel may support the decision in this case; but we rage to put such a question.' I object!' 'I object!' cannot quite clearly see any other reason for it. We echoes from every side. The court-room is in an

cannot at this moment assent to the idea of the uproar. The judge has to exert himself to keep the court that it would be impolitic to defeat the statute peace. The lawyers on each side are all talking at of frauds “by a technicality so shadowy and unsubthe same time in a very delirious and incoherent stantial." Still we offer these views with diffidence,

The witness is confounded. The jury are and shall endeavor hereafter to examine the matter confounded. Everybody is confounded,” etc. So more thoroughly. are we. Are we reading a grave law-opinion or one

This volume has many valuable notes. of Charles Reade's court scenes? Sometimes the court in the “Granite State” indulges in a little

TAXATION BY MUNICIPALITY OF ITS OWN pardonable sarcasm on the rhetoric of the attorneys.

BONDS. Thus, in Simpson v. City Savings Bank, 56 N. H. 466, the court observe: “In the plaintiff's brief it is sug

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, OCTO

BER TERM, 1877. gested that 'this law of 1874 touches the beart blood

MURRAY V. CITY COUNCIL OF CHARLESTON. of this plaintiff,'” etc.; "but now, if he suffer in

JENKINS V. CITY COUNCIL OF CHARLESTON. the matter of costs, his tribulation will be caused

Under the provisions of its charter, authorizing it to imnot so much by the law of 1874, as by his own per- pose taxes upon property within its limits, the city of

Charleston, S. C., by ordinance imposed a tax of two per sistent disregard of the law.” Truly, it was a great cent upon all property therein, and directed that the mistake on the part of the New Hampshire legisla

tax assessed upon the city stock, which represented the

indebtedness of the city, should be deducted by the city ture to endeavor to compel the judges of that State

Held (reversing

the decision of court below, 5 8. C. 593 ; 22 Am. Rep.14) to write shorter opinions.

that the ordinance as to such city stock was void, as in

conflict with the provision of the Federal Constitution Several cases in Wisconsin are of interest. Hoyt forbidding State legislation impairing the obligation of v. Iludson, 41 Wis. 105, holds that the burden of

No municipality of a State can, by its own ordinances, unproving contributory negligence is on the defendant, der the guise of taxation, relieve itself from perform

ing to the letter all it has expressly promised to its and that the plaintiff is not bound to show an absence of negligence on his part;--a holding which strikes

IN

error to the Supreme Court of the State of South us as more reasonable than our own rule. In Hart Carolina. The facts appear in the opinion.

Mr. Justice STRONG delivered the opinion of the v. Stickney, 41 Wis. 630, a note, bearing interest payable annually, and transferred after maturity of

The plaintiff, a resident of Bonn, in Germany, was, interest and non-payment of interest, was held open prior to the first day of January, A. D. 1870, and he to all defenses, even in the hands of an innocent still is, the holder and owner of $35,262.35 of what is nolder; which is consistent with Newell v. Gregg,

called stock of the city of Charleston. The stock is in 51 Barb. 263. In State ex rel. Drake v. Doyle, a stat

reality debt of the city, the evidence of which is cer

tificates, whereby the city promises to pay to the ownute was held constitutional, which required foreign

ers thereof the sums of money therein mentioned, toinsurance companies, as a condition precedent to

gether with six per cent futerest, payable quarterly. being licensed to do business in that State, to agree One-third of the interest due the plaintiff on the first

treasurer out of the interest thereon.

a contract.

creditors.

court.

days of April, July, and October, 1870, and January loan, impairs the obligation of said contract, and is, and July, 1871, having been retained by the city, this suit therefore, unconstitutional and void." It is plain, was brought to recover the sums so retained, and the therefore, that both in the Common Pleas and in answer to the complaint admitted the retention the Supreme Court of the State a Federal quescharged, but attempted to justify it under city ordi- tion was presented by the pleadings and was denances of March 20, 1870, and March 21, 1871. By these cided, - decided in favor of the State legislaordinances, set out in full in the answer, the city ap- tion and against a right the plaintiff claims he has praiser was directed to assess a tax of two cents upon under the Constitution of the United States. The the dollar of the value of all real and personal property city ordinances were in question on the ground of their in the city of Charleston, for the purpose of meeting repugnancy to the inhibition upon the States to make the expenses of the city government, and the third sec

any law impairing the obligation of contracts, and the tion of each ordinance declared that the taxes assessed decision was in favor of their validity. Nothing else on city stock should be retained by the city treasurer

was presented for decision, unless it be the question out of the interest thereon, when the same is due and

whether the acts of the State legislature authorized payable. On these pleadings the case was submitted

the ordinances, and that was ruled affirmatively. The to the court for trial without a jury, and the court

jurisdiction of this court over the judgments of the made a special finding of facts, substantially as set

highest courts of the States is not to be avoided by forth in the complaint and averred in the answer, upon

the mere absence of express reference to some prowhich judgment was given for the defendant. This vision of the Federal Constitution. Wherever rights judgment was subsequently affirmed by the Supreme acknowledged and protected by that instrument are Court, and the record is now before us, brought here

denied or invaded under the shield of State legislation by writ of error. It is objected that we have no juris- this court is authorized to interfere. The form and diction of the case, because, it is said, no Federal ques- mode in which the Federal question is raised in the tion was raised of record or decided in the Court of State court is of minor importance, if, in fact, it was Common Pleas where the suit was commenced.

raised and decided. The act of Congress of 1867 gives The city of Charleston was incorporated in 1783, be- jurisdiction to this court over final judgments in the fore the adoption of the Federal Constitution. Among highest courts of a State in suits " where is drawn in other powers conferred upon the city councils was one

question the validity of a statute of, or an authority to “ make such assessments on the inhabitants of

exercised under, any State, on the ground of their Charleston, or those who hold taxable property within being repugnant to the Constitution, treaties, or laws the same, for the safety, convenience, benefit, and ad- of the United States, and the decision is in favor of vantage of the city, as shall appear to them expedient.” their validity." Not a word is said respecting the It was under this authority, repeated in subsequent mode in which it shall be made to appear that such a legislation, the city ordinances of 1870 and 1871 were question was presented for decision. In the present made. It may well be doubted whether the acts of the

case it was necessarily involved, without any formal legislature were intended to empower the city to tax

reference to any clause in the Constitution, and it is for its own benefit the debts it might owe to its credit

difficult to see how any such refereuce could have been ors, especially to its non-resident creditors. Debts are

made to appear expressly. not property. A non-resident creditor cannot be said

In questions relating to our jurisdiction, undue imto be, in virtue of a debt due to him, a holder of prop- portance is often attributed to the inquiry whether erty within the city, and the city councils were author- the pleadings in the State court expressly assert a ized to make assessments only upon the inhabitants of right under the Federal Constitution. The true test Charleston, or those holding taxable property within is, not whether the record exhibits an express statethe same. To that extent the Supreme Court of the ment that a Federal question was presented, but State has decided the city has power to assess for tax- whether such a question was decided, and decided adation. That decision we have no authority to review. versely to the Federal right. Everywhere in our deBut neither the charter itself nor any subsequent acts cisions it has been held that we may review the judg. of legislation directly or expressly interfered with any ments of a State court when the determination or debts due by the city or gave to the city any power over judgment of that court could not have been given them. They simply gave limited legislative power to the without deciding upon a right or authority claimed to city councils. It was not until the ordinances were exist under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the passed under supposed authority of the legisla- United States, and deciding against that right. Very tive act that their provisions became the law of little importance has been attached to the inquiry the State. It was only when the ordinances as- whether the Federal question was formally raised. In sessed a tax upon the city debt and required a Crowell v. Randall, 10 Peters, 368, it was laid down, part of it to be withheld from the creditors, that it after a review of almost all our previous decisions, became the law of the State that such a withholding “that it is not necessary the question should appear could be made. The validity of the authority given on the record to have been raised, and the decision by the State, as well as the validity of the ordinances made in direct and positive terms, in ipsissimis verbis, themselves, was necessarily before the Court of Com. but that it is sufficient if it appears by clear and necesmon Pleas when this case was tried, and no judgment sary intendment that the question must have been could have been given for the defendants without de- raised, and must have been decided, in order to have termining that the ordinances were laws of the State, induced the judgment." This case was followed by not impairing the obligation of the contracts made by Armstrong et al. v. Treasurer, 16 Pet. 281, where it the city with the plaintiff. And when the case was re- was held sufficient to give this court jurisdiction if it moved into the Supreme Court of the State, that court appear from the record of the State court that the understood a Federal question to be before it. One of Federal question was necessarily involved in the dethe grounds of the notice of the appeal was “that such cision and that the court could not have given the a tax is a violation of good faith in the contract of judgment or decree which they passed without deciding it. See, also, Bridge Proprietors v. Hoboken fendant that the State of South Carolina and the city Company, 1 Wall. 116, and Furman v. Nichol, 8 id. 44. council of Charleston possessed the power of taxation

That involved in the judgment of the Court of Com- when the contracts were made; that by the contracts mon Pleas and in that of the Supreme Court of the the city did not surrender this power; that, therefore, State was a decision that the city ordinances of the contracts were subject to its possible exercise, and Charleston were valid, that they did control the con- that the city ordinances were only an exertion of it. tract of the city with the plaintiff, and that they did We are told the power of a State to impose taxes upon not im pair its obligations is too plain for argument.

subjects within its jurisdiction is unlimited (with The plaintiff complains that the city has not fully per- some few exceptions) and that it extends to every thing formed its contracts according to their terms, and it that exists by its authority or is introduced by its perhas paid only four per cent interest instead of six per mission. Hence it is inferred that the contracts of the cent which it promised to pay, and that it has re- city of Charleston were made with reference to this tained two per cent of the interest for its own use. power and in subordination to it. The city admits all this, but attempts to justify its All this may be admitted, but it does not meet the retention of one-third of what it promised to pay by case of the defendaut. We do not question the existpleading its own ordinances directing its officer to ence of a State power to levy taxes as claimed, nor the withhold the two per cent of the interest promised

subordination of contracts to it, so far as it is unrewhenever it became due and payable according to the strained by constitutional limitation. But the power stipulations of the contract, calling the amount de- is not without limits, and one of its limitations is tained a tax. Of course the question is directly pre

found in the clause of the Federal Constitution, that sented whether the ordinances are a justification; no State shall pass a law impairing the obligation of whether they can and do relieve the debtor from full contracts. A change of the expressed stipulations of compliance with the promise; in other words, whether a contract, or a relief of a debtor from strict and litethe ordinances are valid and may lawfully be applied ral compliance with its requirements, can no more bo to the contract. The court gave judgment for the effected by an exertion of the taxing power than it can defendant, which would have been impossible had it be by the exertion of any other power of a State legisnot been held that they have the force of law, not

lature. The coustitutional provision against impairing withstanding the Constitution of the United States, contract obligations is a limitation upon the taxing and the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment. Our power as well as upon all legislation, whatever form it jurisdiction, therefore, is manifest.

may assume. Indeed, attempted State taxation is We come, then, to the question whether the ordinan- the mode most frequently adopted to affect contracts ces decided by the court to be valid did impair the contrary to the constitutional inhibition. It most obligation of the city's contract with the plaintiff. frequently calls for the exercise of our supervisory The solution of this question depends upon a correct power. It may, then, safely be affirmed that no State, understanding of what that obligation was. By the

by virtue of its taxing power, can say to a debtor, certificates of stock, or city loan, held by the plaintiff,

"you need not pay to your creditor all of what you the city assumed to pay to him the sum mentioned in

have promised to him. You may satisfy your duty to them, and to pay six per cent interest in quarterly him by retaining a part for yourself, or for some mupayments. The obligation undertaken, therefore, was nicipality, or for the State treasury." Much less can both to pay the interest at the rate specified, and to a city say, we will tax our debt to you, and in virtue pay it to the plaintiff. Such was the contract and such of the tax withhold a part for our own use. was the whole contract. It contained no reservation What, then, is meant by the doctrine that contracts or restriction of the duty described. But the city or

are made with reference to the taxing power resident dinances, if they can have any force, change both the in the State, and in subordination to it? Is it meant form and effect of the undertaking. They are the lan- that when a person lends money to a State, or to a guage of the promisor. In substance they say to the municipal division of the State having the power of creditor: “True, our assumption was to pay to you

taxation, there is in the contract a tacit reservation of quarterly, a sum of money equal to six per cent per an- a right in the debtor to raise contributions out of the num on the debt we owe you. Such was our express money promised to be paid before payment? That engagement. But we now lessen our obligation. In- cannot be, because if it could, the contract (in the stead of paying all the interest to you we retain a part language of Alexander Hamilton) would "involve for ourselves, and substitute the part retained for a two contradictory things: an obligation to do and part of what we expressly promised you.” Thus ap- à right not to do-an obligation to pay a certain plying the ordinances of the contract it becomes a very sum and a right to retain it in the shape of a tax. It different thing from what it was when it was made, is against the rules both of law and of reason to adand the change is effected by legislation, by ordinances mit by implication in the construction of a contract a of the city, enacted under asserted authority of laws principle which goes in destruction of it.” The truth passed by the legislature. That by such legislation is, States and cities, when they borrow money and the obligation of the contract is impaired is manifest contract to repay it with interest, are not acting as enough, unless it can be held there was some implied sovereignties. They come down to the level of ordireservation of a right in the creditor to change its nary individuals.

Their contracts have the same terms, a right reserved when the contract was made- meaning as that of similar contracts between private unless some power was withheld, not expressed or dis- persons. Hence, instead of there being in the underclosed, but which entered into and limited the express taking of a State or city to pay, a reservation of a undertaking. But how that can be--how an express sovereign right to withhold payment, the contract contract can contain an implication, or consist with a should be regarded as an assurance that such a right reservation directly contrary to the words of the in- will not be exercised. A promise to pay, with a restrument, has never yet been discovered.

served right to deny or change the effect of the promIt has been strenuously argued on behalf of the de- ise, is an absurdity.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »