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KENT V. PORTO RICO, 207 U. S. 113 (1907)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Kent v. Porto Rico, 207 U.S. 113 (1907)

Kent v. Porto Rico

No. 31

Argued October 30, 31, 1907

Decided November 18, 1907

207 U.S. 113


Amado v. United States, 195 U. S. 172, followed as to when this Court cannot review the final judgment of the Supreme Court of Porto Rico in a criminal case.

Where the jurisdiction of this Court to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of a territory depends on the presence of a federal question, the mere assertion of a federal right indubitably frivolous and without color of merit is not sufficient to confer jurisdiction, nor in such a case has this Court jurisdiction to pass upon other questions nonfederal in nature, and the judgment will not be affirmed, but the writ of error dismissed.

While the contention that a local law of Porto Rico passed in 1904, changing the boundaries of the judicial districts, was void because in conflict with § 33 of the Act of April 12, 1900, so that no district courts have existed since that time, presents a formal federal question, it is frivolous and without color of merit, and therefore insufficient to confer jurisdiction on this Court to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Porto Rico under § 35 of that act.

Where at the request of the accused, the question of the voluntary nature of a written confession has been submitted to the jury no constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment has been asserted and denied and errors assigned on that subject do not present any federal question or furnish any basis for the jurisdiction of this Court.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

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