281 U.S. 74 (2028), Ohio ex rel. Bryant v. Akron Metropolitan Part District
|Citation:||281 U.S. 74, 50 S.Ct. 228, 74 L.Ed. 710|
|Party Name:||Ohio ex rel. Bryant v. Akron Metropolitan Part District|
|Case Date:||March 12, 1930|
|Court:||United States Supreme Court|
APPEALS FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF OHIO
1. An Ohio statute empowers the probate judge of any county, upon petition and after notice and hearing, to establish a park district if he finds the proceedings regular and that the district will be conducive to the general welfare, and thereupon to appoint a board of park commissioners of the district. It empowers the board, so appointed, to acquire lands within the district for the conservation of its natural resources, and, to that end, to create parks, parkways
and other reservations and develop, improve, and protect the same in such manner as they may deem conducive to the general welfare; to lay assessments upon specially benefited lands in proportion to, and not exceeding, the special benefits conferred by the development or improvement; to levy limited taxes upon all taxable property within the district, and to adopt regulations for the preservation of good order within and adjacent to such parks and reservations and of property and natural life therein, violation of which regulations shall constitute a misdemeanor. It further provides for annexing additional territory to a district through probate court proceedings in the county embracing the additional territory, and for the levying of additional taxes for the use of a district when authorized by the electors of the district at an election to which the question is submitted by the board. The board is empowered to issue bonds in anticipation of the collection of such levy for the purpose of acquiring and improving lands. Held that no substantial federal question is presented by a contention that the statute, in delegating legislative power to the probate court and the nonelective commissioners, violates the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 79.
2. Section 2 of Article IV of the Ohio Constitution, providing that
no law shall be held unconstitutional and void by the Supreme Court without a concurrence of at least all but one of the judges, except in the affirmance of a judgment of the court of appeals declaring a law unconstitutional and void
held not violative of the due process or equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 79.
3. It is well settled that questions arising under the guaranty to every state of a republican form of government (Const. Art. IV, § 4,) are political -- for Congress, and not for the courts. P. 79.
4. The right of appeal is not essential to due process, provided that due process has already been accorded in the tribunal of first instance. P. 80.
5. The equal protection clause is not violated by diversity in the jurisdiction of the several courts of a state as to subject matter or finality of decision if all persons within the territorial limits of the respective jurisdictions of the state courts have an equal right in like cases under like circumstances to resort to them for redress. P. 81.
120 Oh.St. 464 affirmed.
Appeals from judgments of the Supreme Court of Ohio, affirming, as a result of a divided court and a provision
of the state constitution (Art. IV, 2,) judgments of the court of appeals sustaining the Ohio Park District Act in two suits brought by taxpayers to restrain its enforcement. The appeals were also directed to orders of the court below overruling motions to vacate its judgments of affirmance and to enter judgments of reversal.
HUGHES, J., lead opinion
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.
These two cases were argued together, and present substantially the same questions. Each suit was brought in the state court by a taxpayer attacking the validity of the Park District Act of the state (General Code of Ohio, §§ 2976-1 to 2976-10i; 107 Ohio Laws, pp. 65-69, 108 Ohio Laws pt. 2, pp. 1097-1100). The one suit related to the Park District Board of the Akron District, and the other to that of the Cleveland District, and, in each suit, the taxpayer sought an injunction against the park boards, respectively, together with the auditor of the county where the board revenues and disbursements are handled, from expending public moneys or incurring obligations requiring such expenditure, and from taking any other official action on behalf of the district. The statute was assailed as being in violation of the constitution of the state and also of the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal Constitution. The
validity of the act was sustained by the court of common pleas, and by the court of appeals, of the counties where the suits were brought. On error proceedings from these judgments, the cases were heard together in the supreme court of the state, and that court was divided in opinion, two of the justices holding the statute to be valid, and five of them being of the contrary view. Section 2 of Article IV of the Constitution of Ohio provides that
no law shall be held unconstitutional and void by the Supreme Court without the concurrence of at least all but one of the judges, except in the affirmance...
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