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U.S. Supreme Court

Loeb v. Columbia Township Trustees, 179 U.S. 472 (1900)

Loeb v. Columbia Township Trustees

No. 42

Argued April 27, 1900

Decided December 10, 1900

179 U.S. 472


In a case brought here from a circuit court, the opinion regularly filed below, and which has been annexed to and transmitted with the record, may be examined in order to ascertain, in cases like this, whether either party claimed that a state statute upon which the judgment necessarily depended in whole or in part was in contravention of tile Constitution of the United States; but this must not be understood as saying that the opinion below may be examined in order to ascertain that which, under proper practice, should be made to appear in a bill of exceptions, or by an agreed statement of facts, or by the pleadings.

If a claim is made in the circuit court that a state law is invalid under the Constitution of the United States, this Court may review the judgment at the instance of the unsuccessful party.

As the bonds in suit in this case were executed by the defendant township, a corporation, and are payable to bearer, the present holder, being a citizen of a state different from that of which the township was a corporation, was entitled to sue upon them, without reference to the citizenship of any prior holder.

The circuit court erred in holding that the petition in this case made a case that brought it within the decision in Norwood v. Baker, 172 U. S. 269.

Even if the third section of the statute in question be stricken out, the petition makes a case entitling the plaintiff to a judgment against the township.

The contention that, independently of any question of federal law, the statute of Ohio under which the bonds were issued was in violation of the constitution of that state in that, when requiring the defendant township to widen and extend the avenue in question, the legislature exercised administrative, not legislative, powers, is not supported by tile decisions of the Supreme Court of Ohio made prior to the issuing of these bonds.

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court. chanrobles.com-red

Page 179 U. S. 473