State of Kansas v. Bradley

Decision Date31 December 1885
Citation26 F. 289
PartiesSTATE OF KANSAS ex rel., etc., v. BRADLEY.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Kansas


This is a proceeding commenced in the district court of Atchison county, under section 13, c. 128, Laws 1881, as amended by c 149, Laws 1885. The petition charged the defendant with keeping a saloon in violation of law, prayed an order declaring it a nuisance and abating it, and enjoining defendant from maintaining it. The defendant filed in the district court a petition and bond for removal. That court denied his application. 2 Kan.Law J. 246. Nevertheless defendant took a transcript of the record of that court and filed it in this. The plaintiff now moves to remand.

The question presented is whether the case is a removable one. No difference of citizenship exists, and the case is removable only on condition that in it exists what is commonly called a federal question. The latest definition given by the supreme court is in the case of Starin v. New York, decided November 2, 1885, and reported in 20 Reporter, (No. 23,) p. 707, S.C. 6 S.Ct. 28, and is as follows:

'If from the questions it appears that some title, right privilege, or immunity on which the recovery depends will be defeated by one construction of the constitution or a law of the United States, or sustained by the opposite construction, the case will be one arising under the constitution or laws of the United States, within the meaning of that term as used in the act of 1875, otherwise not. Such is the effect of the decisions on this subject. Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 279; Osborn v. Bank of U.S., 9 Wheat. 824; Mayor v. Cooper, 6 Wall. 252; Gold Washing & Water Co. v. Keyes, 96 U.S. 201; Tennessee v. Davis, 100 U.S. 264; Railroad Co. v. Mississippi, 102 U.S. 140; Ames v. Kansas, 111 U.S. 462; S.C. 4 S.Ct. 437; Kansas Pac. R. Co. v. Atchison R. Co., 112 U.S. 416; S.C. 5 S.Ct. 208; Provident Sav. Soc. v. Ford, 114 U.S. 641; S.C. 5 S.Ct. 1104; Pacific R.R. Removal Cases, 115 U.S. 11; S.C. 5 S.Ct. 1113.' When a proposition has once been decided by the supreme court, it can no longer be said that in it there still remains a federal question. More correctly it is said that there is no question, state or federal. This is the only fair starting point for consideration of a case like this. A state may absolutely prohibit the manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors. No state supreme court has ever denied the power, and the supreme court of the United States, both before and after the adoption of the fourteenth amendment, has often and expressly affirmed it. License Cases, 5 How. 504; Bartemeyer v. Iowa, 18 Wall. 129; Beer Co. v. Massachusetts, 97 U.S. 25; Foster v. Kansas, 112 U.S. 205; S.C. 5 S.Ct. 97. This power, comprehensive and absolute, carries with it everything which is merely incidental. The means for executing the power go with it, and rest in the unquestioned discretion of the legislature. It were folly to say that the power exists, and in respect to it no federal question is involved, and at the same time to hold that the use of any of the ordinary means for executing such a power presents a question for the cognizance of federal courts. So, before any of the means and processes prescribed for the execution of this power can be held to present any question of federal cognizance, it must appear that such means or process discloses in and by itself a direct invasion of some right protected by the federal constitution.

Something was said in the argument about a conflict between this prohibitory law and the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh amendments to the federal constitution. It seems scarcely necessary at this late day to say that those amendments contain no limitations or restrictions on the powers of the state. Barron v. Mayor, etc., 7 Pet. 243; Livingston's Lessee v. Moore, 7 Pet. 469; Fox v. State, 5 How. 410; Smith v. State, 18 How. 71.

The real reliance of defendant is on the fourteenth amendment, which reads:

'Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'

This contains three prohibitions on state action. The first has no application. So says the supreme court in Bartemeyer v. State, 18 Wall. 129, as follows:

'The most liberal advocates of the rights conferred by that amendment have contended for nothing more than that the rights of the citizen previously existing, and dependent wholly on state laws for their recognition, are now placed under the protection of the federal government, and are secured by the federal constitution. The weight of authority is overwhelming that no such immunity has heretofore existed as would prevent state legislatures from regulating and even prohibiting the traffic in intoxicating drinks, with a solitary exception. That exception is the case of a law operating so rigidly on property in existence at the time of its passage, absolutely prohibiting its sale, as to amount to depriving the owner of his property. A single case, that of Wynehamer v. People, 13 N.Y. 486, has held that as to such property the statute would be void for that reason. But no case has held that such a law was void as violating the privileges or immunities of citizens of a state, or of the United States. If, however, such a proposition is seriously urged, we think that the right to sell intoxicating liquors, so far as such right exists, is not one of the rights growing out of citizenship of

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    ... ... Western Union Telegraph Co., a corporation organized under ... the laws of the State of New York, filed its petition in the ... Circuit Court of Knox County, Tennessee, a county ... Black's Dillon on ... Removal, Sec. 216, p. 356; State of Kansas v. Bradley ... (C.C.) 26 F. 289, 292 (Mr. Justice Brewer, then Circuit ... Judge); Fitzgerald ... ...
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    ...Whiteside, 239 U.S. 144, 153, 36 S.Ct. 97, 60 L.Ed. 186; Bianchi v. Morales, 262 U.S. 170, 43 S.Ct. 526, 67 L.Ed. 928; State of Kansas v. Bradley (C.C.) 26 F. 289, 290; Harris v. Rosenberger (C.C.A.) 145 F. 449, 452, 13 L.R.A.(N.S.) Passing, without inquiry, the first of these tests, a cons......
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    ...100 F. Supp. 913, 916. Other federal courts have held that all doubts are to be resolved against the removal of the cause. Kansas v. Bradley, C.C.D.Kan.1885, 26 F. 289; Winsor v. United Air Lines, D.C.D.Del.1858, 159 F.Supp. 856; Aetna Ins. Co. v. City of Malden, D.C.E.D.Mo. 1952, 102 F.Sup......
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    ...have been a very doubtful question be still said to be a federal question, within the meaning of the judiciary act? In State of Kansas v. Bradley (C.C.) 26 F. 289, question came before Justice Brewer, then Circuit Judge of this circuit. The facts in that case were that the state had institu......
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