271 U.S. 323 (1926), 104, Corrigan v. Buckley

Docket Nº:No. 104
Citation:271 U.S. 323, 46 S.Ct. 521, 70 L.Ed. 969
Party Name:Corrigan v. Buckley
Case Date:May 24, 1926
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 323

271 U.S. 323 (1926)

46 S.Ct. 521, 70 L.Ed. 969

Corrigan

v.

Buckley

No. 104

United States Supreme Court

May 24, 1926

Argued January 8, 1926

APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS

OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Syllabus

1. This Court has no jurisdiction of an appeal from the court of appeals of the District of Columbia founded on alleged constitutional questions so unsubstantial as to be plainly without color of merit and frivolous. P. 329.

2. The Fifth Amendment is a limitation upon the powers of the General government, and is not directed against individuals. P. 330.

3. The Thirteenth Amendment denouncing slavery and involuntary servitude, that is, a condition of enforced compulsory service of one to another, does not in other matters protect the individual rights of persons of the negro race. Id.

4. The prohibitions of the Fourteenth Amendment have reference to state action exclusively, and not to any action of private individuals. Individual invasion of individual rights is not the subject matter of the Amendment. Id.

5 Not by any of these Amendments, nor by §§ 1977-1979 Rev.Stats., are private lot owners prohibited from entering into twenty-one year mutual covenants not to sell to any person of negro blood or race. P. 331.

6. The contention that such an indenture is void as against public policy does not involve the construction or application of the Constitution or draw in question the construction of the above sections of the Revised Statutes, and therefore affords no basis for an appeal to this Court under § 250, Judicial Code, from a decree of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia. P. 330.

7. A contention, to constitute ground for appeal, should be raised by the petition for appeal and assignment of errors. P. 331.

8. Mere error of a court in a judgment entered after full hearing does not constitute a denial of due process of law. Id.

Appeal from 55 App.D.C. 30; 299 F. 899; dismissed.

Appeal from a decree of the court of appeals of the District of Columbia, which affirmed a decree of the Supreme Court of the District in favor of Buckley in a suit to enjoin the defendant Corrigan from selling a lot

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in Washington to the defendant Curtis, in violation of an indenture entered into by Buckley, Corrigan, and other landowners whereby they mutually covenanted and bound themselves, their heirs and assigns, for twenty-one years, not to sell to any person of negro race or blood.

Page 327

SANFORD, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE SANFORD delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a suit in equity brought by John J. Buckley in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia against Irene H. Corrigan and Helen Curits to enjoin the conveyance of certain real estate from one to the other of the defendants.

The case made by the bill is this: the parties are citizens of the United States, residing in the District. The plaintiff and the defendant Corrigan are white persons, and the defendant Curtis is a person of the negro race. In 1921, thirty white persons, including the plaintiff and the defendant Corrigan, owning twenty-five parcels of land, improved by dwelling houses, situated on S...

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