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LEHIGH WATER CO. V. EASTON, 121 U. S. 388 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lehigh Water Co. v. Easton, 121 U.S. 388 (1887)

Lehigh Water Company v. Easton

Argued April 7, 1887

Decided April 18, 1887

121 U.S. 388


The provision in the Constitution of the United States that "No state shall pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts" necessarily refers to the law made after the particular contract in suit.

The judgment of the highest court of a state involving the enforcement or interpretation of a contact is not reviewable in this Court, under the clause of the Constitution protecting the obligation of contracts against impairment by state legislation and under the existing statutes defining and regulating its jurisdiction, unless by its terms or necessary operation it gives effect to some provision of the state constitution or some legislative enactment of the state claimed by the unsuccessful party to impair the contract in question.

Bill in equity in a state court of Pennsylvania to enjoin the municipal authorities of Easton, Pennsylvania, from constructing waterworks. Decree dismissing the bill, which was affirmed by the supreme court of the state. The plaintiff sued out this writ of error. The federal question is stated in the opinion of the court.

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