Hunter v. City of Roseburg

Citation80 Or. 588,157 P. 1065
PartiesHUNTER ET AL. v. CITY OF ROSEBURG ET AL.
Decision Date06 June 1916
CourtSupreme Court of Oregon

In Banc.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Douglas County; G. F. Skipworth, Judge.

Petition for rehearing. Denied.

For former opinion, see 156 P. 267.

Ralph R. Duniway, of Portland, for appellants. Carl E Wimberly and Dexter Rice, both of Roseburg (Albert Abraham Rice & Orcutt, and O. P. Coshow, all of Roseburg, on the brief), for respondents.

HARRIS J.

Much space is given in the 60 pages of the petition for a rehearing to a discussion of the benefits to be derived from the proposed railroad, and emphasis is placed upon the fact that the taxpayers have by a large majority voted for the improvement. The court, however, can neither inquire whether the railroad promises to be a paying or losing investment, nor ask whether a few or many want the improvement. The wisdom of constructing the proposed railroad is a question which must be asked and answered by no one except the voters in Roseburg; and the fact that there are many for and only a few against the contracts cannot even be noticed in determining the question of the legality of the contracts. The Constitution is a shield with which any citizen may ward off any attempted invasion of his rights regardless of the numbers who may be interested. The prominent question presented by this litigation is whether the contracts signed by the city of Roseburg, the Roseburg &amp Eastern Railroad Company, and the Kendall Lumber Corporation are illegal; and we concluded that the contracts are illegal because they infringe upon the Constitution. On account of the importance of the questions involved we have for the second time given much attention to a consideration of them, notwithstanding the fact that the opinion delivered by Mr. Justice Bean expressed the conclusions at which we arrived after deliberating upon every phase of the legal questions presented by this litigation. After again examining the contentions made in the record, we have reached the same conclusions at which we hitherto arrived, and we still adhere to the reasoning and conclusion of the original opinion holding that the contracts are in violation of the Constitution.

The petitioners express some concern lest the original opinion might be misunderstood when, after directing the entry of a decree voiding the contracts, it concludes by "inhibiting the issuance of the $300,000 in bonds." The...

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