State of Louisiana Ex Rel New York Guaranty Indemnity Co v. Steele

Decision Date10 March 1890
Citation33 L.Ed. 891,134 U.S. 230,10 S.Ct. 511
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

W. W. Howe and Wm. Allen Butler, for plaintiff in error.

W. H. Rogers and B. J. Sage, for defendant in error.


This case arose upon a petition filed in the civil district court for the parish of Orleans in February, 1884, by the New York Guaranty & Indemnity Company, a corporation of New York, as relators, in the name of the state of Louisiana, for a mandamus to compel Allen Jumel, the auditor of public accounts of the state, to proceed under a certain act of the legislature passed March 8, 1869, to require the several sheriffs throughout the state to levy a tax sufficient to pay the interest due on the state bonds authorized to be issued by said act in aid of the Mississippi & Mexican Gulf Ship Canal Company. Jumel having been succeeded in office by Oliver B. Steele, the latter, on application of the relators, was substituted as defendant by order of the court. Steele, in answer to the petition, set up, among other things, that taxation is an act of sovereignty which can only be performed by the legislative department of the government; that by the present constitution and laws of Louisiana the defendant, as auditor, has no power to raise said tax; that the act of 1869, referred to, has been repealed by an act, No. 3, passed in 1874; and that by another act, No. 55, of 1874, the respondent, and all other officers of the state, are prohibited from complying with the mandamus, and deprived of all power and authority to assess, collect, or enforce the payment of the tax asked for by the relator, and the court is prohibited from entertaining jurisdiction of the suit. The seventh section of the act of 1869, which the relators seek to have executed, is as follows: 'Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, etc., that in order to provide a fund for the semi-annual payment of interest upon the bonds issued in accordance with this act, and the final redemption of said bonds, should the Mississippi & Mexican Gulf Ship Canal Company fail to meet the obligations set forth in the fourth and sixth sections of this act, when the deficit in interest to the year 1879, (one thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine,) or the deficit and the annual installment of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) from that date to the final redemption of said bonds, shall have reached the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, ($100,000,) and as often...

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29 cases
  • Bartlett v. Bowen
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • July 31, 1987
    ...cases that addressed constitutional challenges to failure to pay state bondholders are Louisiana ex rel. New York Guaranty & Indemnity Co. v. Steele, 134 U.S. 230, 10 S.Ct. 511, 33 L.Ed. 891 (1890), and the leading case on this point, Louisiana v. Jumel, 107 U.S. (17 Otto) 711, 2 S.Ct. 128,......
  • Larson v. Domestic Foreign Commerce Corporation
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • June 27, 1949
    ...509, 33 L.Ed. 849; Christian v. Atlantic & N.C.R. Co., 133 U.S. 233, 10 S.Ct. 260, 33 L.Ed. 589; New York Guaranty & Indemnity Co. v. Steele, 134 U.S. 230, 10 S.Ct. 511, 33 L.Ed. 891. These cases do not qualify the principle of the cases in category two. Regard for the facts of these cases ......
  • Morgan Hill Paving Co. v. Fonville
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • December 6, 1928
    ... ... the state highway department of the state of Alabama, which ... 22, 33 L.Ed. 849, 10 S.Ct. 509; ... Louisiana ex rel. New York Guaranty & I. Co. v ... found in the cases of Union Indemnity Co. v. State, for ... Use of McQueen-Smith ... ...
  • Wrigley Pharmaceutical Co. v. Cameron
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Pennsylvania
    • December 27, 1926
    ...U. S. 446 3 S. Ct. 292, 609, 27 L. Ed. 992; North Carolina v. Temple, 134 U. S. 22 10 S. Ct. 509, 33 L. Ed. 849; Louisiana v. Steele, 134 U. S. 230 10 S. Ct. 511, 33 L. Ed. 891; Louisiana v. Jumel, 107 U. S. 711 2 S. Ct. 128, 27 L. Ed. 448; Pennoyer v. McConnaughy, 140 U. S. 1 11 S. Ct. 699......
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