251 U.S. 179 (1919), 101, Godchaux Company, Incorporated v. Estopinal

Docket Nº:No. 101
Citation:251 U.S. 179, 40 S.Ct. 116, 64 L.Ed. 213
Party Name:Godchaux Company, Incorporated v. Estopinal
Case Date:December 22, 1919
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 179

251 U.S. 179 (1919)

40 S.Ct. 116, 64 L.Ed. 213

Godchaux Company, Incorporated



No. 101

United States Supreme Court

Dec. 22, 1919

Argued November 17, 18, 1919




A writ of error will not lie under Jud.Code § 237, as amended, to review a judgment of a state court upon the ground that it erroneously sustained an amendment to the state constitution where the validity of such amendment under the federal Constitution was first drawn in question by a petition for rehearing which was not entertained. P. 180.

Writ of error to review 142 La. 812 dismissed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 180

MCREYNOLDS, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.

By petition filed in the District Court, St. Bernard Parish, plaintiff in error sought to restrain collection of an acreage tax assessed against its lands not susceptible of gravity drainage. Invalidity of the tax was alleged upon the ground that no statute of Louisiana authorized it, and also because its enforcement would produce practical confiscation and take property without due process of law contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment. Answering, defendant in error asked dismissal of the petition, claiming the tax was properly assessed and also that an amendment to Article 281 of the Louisiana Constitution, adopted November, 1914, deprived the court of jurisdiction to entertain the contest. The trial court exercised jurisdiction, sustained the tax, and dismissed the petition. Upon a broad appeal, the supreme court, after declaring that the constitutional amendment deprived the courts of the state of jurisdiction over the controversy, affirmed the judgment of the trial court. 142 La. 812.

The record fails to disclose that plaintiff in error at any time or in any way challenged the validity of the state constitutional amendment because of conflict with the federal Constitution until it applied for a rehearing in the Supreme Court. That application was refused, without more. Here, the sole error assigned is predicated upon such supposed conflict, and unless that point was properly raised below, a writ of error cannot bring the cause before us.

Such a writ only lies to review

a final judgment or decree in any suit in the highest court of a state in which a decision...

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