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KATZENBERGER V. ABERDEEN, 121 U. S. 172 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Katzenberger v. Aberdeen, 121 U.S. 172 (1887)

Katzenberger v. Aberdeen

Submitted March 21, 1887

Decided April 4, 1887

121 U.S. 172


The Act of the Legislature of Mississippi of November, 1858, amending the charter of the City of Aberdeen in that state, conferred no power upon the municipality to issue its negotiable bonds in payment of subscription to railroad stock, and to levy a tax for their payment, until the legal voters of the city should approve of the tax by a vote of a majority of such voters at an election held as other elections in the city.

The curative act of the Legislature of Mississippi of March 16, 1872, did not legalize bonds issued illegally before the adoption of the new Constitution of 1869, which would not be valid if issued after its adoption.

When, by reason of a change in the constitution of a state, its legislature has no constitutional authority to authorize a municipal corporation to issue negotiable bonds, it cannot validate an issue of bonds by such a corporation made before the change in the constitution, and when the legislature had such power.

This was an action at law to recover interest on municipal bonds. Judgment for defendant. Plaintiffs sued out this writ of error. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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