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(40 Sup.Ct.)

1233]) and thence into the Judicial Code, sary and proper laws for carrying out grant(clause 3, sections 24 and 256 [Comp. St. Sed powers), “in the absence of some control991(3), 1233]). The saving clause remained ling statute the general maritime law as unchanged until the statute of October 6, accepted by the federal courts constitutes 1917, added "and to claimants the rights and *158 remedies under the workmen's compensation law of any state."1

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part of our national law applicable to the matters within admiralty and maritime jurisdiction"; also that "Congress has paramount power to fix and determine the maritime law which shall prevail throughout the country." And we held that, when applied to maritime injuries, the New York Workmen's Compensation Law conflicts with the rules adopted by the Constitution and to that extent is invalid. "The necessary conse

*In Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen (May, 1917) 244 U. S. 205, 37 Sup. Ct. 524, 61 L. Ed. 1086, L. R. A. 1918C, 451, Ann. Cas. 1917E, 900, we declared that under section 2, article 3, of the Constitution ("The judicial power shall extend to * all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction"), and section 8, article 1 (Congress may make neces-quence would be destruction of the very uni

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"The District Courts shall have jurisdiction as follows:

"Eighth. Of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; saving to suitors in all cases the right of a common-law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it; and of all seizures on land and on waters not within admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. And such jurisdiction shall be exclusive, except in the particular cases where jurisdiction of such causes and seizures is given to the circuit courts. And shall have original and exclusive cognizance of all prizes brought into

the United States, except as provided in paragraph

six of section six hundred and twenty-nine."

Rev. Stats. § 711:

"The jurisdiction vested in the courts of the United States in the cases and proceedings hereinafter mentioned, shall be exclusive of the courts of the several states:

"Third. Of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; saving to suitors, in all cases, the right of a common-law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it."

The Judicial Code

formity in respect of maritime matters which the Constitution was designed to establish, and freedom of navigation between the states and with foreign countries would be seriously hampered and impeded."

We also pointed out that the saving clause taken from the original Judiciary Act had no application, since, at most, it only specified common-law remedies, whereas the remedy prescribed by the compensation law was unknown to the common law and incapable of enforcement by the ordinary processes of any court. Moreover, if applied to nraritime affairs, the statute would obstruct the policy of Congress to encourage investments in ships.

In Chelentis v. Luckenbach S. S. Co. (June, 1918) 247 U. S. 372, 38 Sup. Ct. 501, 62 L. Ed. 1171, an action at law seeking full indemnity for injuries received by a sailor while on shipboard, we said:

Pacific Co. v. Jensen, no state has power to "Under the doctrine approved in Southern abolish the well recognized maritime rule concerning measure of recovery and substitute therefor the full indemnity rule of the common law. Such a substitution would distinctly and

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definitely *change or add to the settled maritime law; and it would be destructive of the 'uniformity and consistency at which the Constitution aimed on all subjects of a commercial

Section 24: "The District Courts shall have orig- character affecting the intercourse of the states

inal jurisdiction as follows:

"Third. Of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, saving to suitors in all cases the right of a common-law remedy where the common law is competent to give it.

"Section 256:

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"The jurisdiction vested in the courts of the United States in the cases and proceedings here

inafter mentioned, shall be exclusive of the courts

of the several states: •

"Third. Of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; saving to suitors, in all cases, the right of a common-law remedy; where the common law is competent to give it."

Act Oct. 6, 1917, c. 97, 40 Stat. 395:

"That clause three of section twenty-four of the Judicial Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Third. Of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, saving to suitors in all cases the right of a common-law remedy where the common law is competent to give it, and to claimants the rights and remedies under the workmen's compensation law of any state; of all seizures on land or waters not within admiralty and maritime

with each other or with foreign states.'"

And concerning the clause, “saving to suitors in all cases the right of a common-law remedy where the common law is competent to give it," this:

"In Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen we definitely ruled that it gave no authority to the several states to enact legislation which would work material prejudice to the characteristic features

jurisdiction; of all prizes brought into the United States; and of all proceedings for the condemnation of property taken as prize.'

"Sec. 2. That clause three of section two hundred and fifty-six of the Judicial Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

""Third. Of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, saving to suitors in all cases the right of a common-law remedy where the common law is competent to give it, and to claimants the rights and remedies under the workmen's compensation law of any state.'"'

of the general maritime law or interfere with the proper harmony and uniformity of that law in its international and interstate relations."" "Under the saving clause a right sanctioned by the maritime law may be enforced through any appropriate remedy recognized at common law; but we find nothing therein which reveals an intention to give the complaining party an election to determine whether the defendant's liability shall be measured by commonlaw standards rather than those of the maritime law."

Thus we distinctly approved the view that the original saving clause conferred no substantive rights and did not authorize the states so to do. It referred only to remedies and to the extent specified permitted continued enforcement by the state courts of rights and obligations founded on maritime law.

In Union Fish Co. v. Erickson, 248 U. S. 308, 39 Sup. Ct. 112, 63 L. Ed. 261, an admiralty cause, a master sought to recover damages for breach of an oral contract, with the owner of a vessel for services to be performed principally upon the sea. The latter claimed invalidity of the contract under a statute of California, where made, because not in writing and not to be performed within a year. We ruled:

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"The Circuit Court of Appeals correctly held that this contract was maritime in its nature and an action in admiralty thereon for its breach could not be defeated by the statute of *California relied upon by the petitioner." "In entering into this contract the parties contemplated no services in California. They were making an engagement for the services of the master of the vessel, the duties to be performed in the waters of Alaska, mainly upon the sea. The maritime law controlled in this respect, and was not subject to limitation because the particular engagement happened to be made in California. The parties must be presumed to have had in contemplation the system of maritime law under which it was made."

See, also, The Black Heath, 195 U. S. 361, 365, 25 Sup. Ct. 46, 47, 49 L. Ed. 236.

Since the beginning federal courts have recognized and applied the rules and principles of maritime law as something distinct from laws of the several states-not derived from or dependent on their will. The foundation of the right to do this, the purpose for which it was granted, and the nature of the system SO administered, were distinctly pointed out long ago:

"That we have a maritime law of our own, operative throughout the United States, cannot #161 *be doubted. One thing, however, is unquestionable; the Constitution must have referred to a system of law coextensive with, and operating uniformly in, the whole country. It certainly could not have been the intention to place the rules and limits of maritime law under the disposal and regulation of the several states, as that would have defeated the uniformity and consistency at which the Constitution aimed on all subjects of a commercial character affecting the intercourse of the states with each other or with foreign states." The Lottawanna, 21 Wall. 558, 574, 575 (22 L. Ed. 654).

The field was not left unoccupied; the Constitution itself adopted the rules concerning rights and liabilities applicable therein; and certainly these are not less paramount than they would have been if enacted by Congress. Unless this be true it is quite impossible to account for a multitude of adjudications by the admiralty courts. See Workman v. New York City, 179 U. S. 552, 557, et seq., 21 Sup. Ct. 212, 45 L. Ed. 314.

could not create substantive rights or obligations or indicate assent to their creation by the states.

[2] The distinction between the indicated situation created by the Constitution relative to maritime affairs and the one resulting from the mere grant of power to regulate commerce without more, should not be forgotten; also, it should be noted that federal laws are constantly applied in state courtsunless inhibited their duty so requires. Constitution, art. 6, clause 2; Second Employers' Liability Cases, 223 U. S. 1, 55, 32 Sup. Ct. 169, 56 L. Ed. 327, 38 L. R. A. (N. S.) 44. Consequently mere reservation of partially [1] As the plain result of these recent concurrent cognizance to such courts by an opinions and the earlier cases upon which act of Congress conferring an otherwise exthey are based, we accept the following doc-clusive jurisdiction upon national courts, trine: The Constitution itself adopted and established, as part of the laws of the United States, approved rules of the general maritime law and empowered Congress to legislate in respect of them and other matters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. Moreover, it took from the states all power, by legislation or judicial decision, to contravene the essential purposes of, or to work material injury to, characteristic features of such law or to interfere with its tainties. In the *first, the District Court in proper harmony and uniformity in its inter- New York dismissed a libel, holding that national and interstate relations. To pre- rights and remedies prescribed by the comserve adequate harmony and appropriate uni-pensation law of that state are exclusive and form rules relating to maritime matters and pro tanto supersede the maritime law. In bring them within control of the federal gov- the second, the District Court of Oregon rulernment was the fundamental purpose; and ed that when an employé seeks redress for a to such definite end Congress was empowered maritime tort by an admiralty court, rights, to legislate within that sphere. obligations and liabilities of the respective

When considered with former decisions of this court, a satisfactory interpretation of the Act of October 6, 1917, is difficult, perhaps impossible. The Howell (D. C.) 257 Fed. 578, and Rohde v. Grant Smith Porter Co. (D. C.) 259 Fed. 304, illustrate some of the uncer

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parties must be measured by the maritime | general legislative purpose. And, with this law and these cannot be barred, enlarged or and accompanying circumstances, the words taken away by state legislation. Other dif- must be read. ficulties hang upon the unexplained words [5] Having regard to all these things, we "workmen's compensation law of any state." conclude that Congress undertook to permit [3, 4] Moreover, the act only undertook to application of workmen's compensation laws add certain specified rights and remedies to of the several states to injuries within the a saving clause within a Code section con- admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and ferring jurisdiction. We have held that be- to save such statutes from the objections fore the amendment and irrespective of that pointed out by Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen. section, such rights and remedies did not ap-It sought to authorize and sanction action by ply to maritime torts because they were in- the states in prescribing and enforcing, as to consistent with paramount federal law- all parties concerned, rights, obligations, liawithin that field they had no existence.

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Were the added words therefore wholly in- bilities *and remedies designed to provide effective? The usual function of a saving compensation for injuries suffered by emclause is to preserve something from immedi-ployés engaged in maritime work.

ate interference-not to create; and the rule is that expression by the Legislature of an erroneous opinion concerning the law does not alter it. Endlich, Interpretation of Statutes, § 372.

And, so construed, we think the enactment is beyond the power of Congress. Its power to legislate concerning rights and liabilities dies for their enforcement, arises from the within the maritime jurisdiction, and remeConstitution, as above indicated. The defiNeither branch of Congress devoted much nite object of the grant was to commit direct debate to the act under consideration-alto- control to the federal government, to relieve gether, less than two pages of the Record maritime commerce from unnecessary bur(65th Cong. pp. 7605, 7843). The Judiciary dens and disadvantages incident to discordCommittee of the House made no report; but ant legislation, and to establish, so far as a brief one by the Senate Judiciary Commit-practicable, harmonious and uniform rules tee, copied below,2 *probably indicates the applicable throughout every part of the

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2 65th Congress, 1st Session. Senate Report No. 139. Amending the Judicial Code. October 2, 1917. -Ordered to be printed. Mr. Ashurst, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following Report [to accompany S. 2916]:

The Committee on the Judiciary, to which was

Union.

Considering the fundamental purpose in view and the definite end for which such rules were accepted, we must conclude that in their characteristic features and essential international and interstate relations, the referred the bill (S. 2916) to amend sections 24 and latter may not be repealed, amended, or 256 of the Judicial Code, relating to the jurisdic- changed, except by legislation which embodtion of the district courts, so as to save to claim-ies both the will and deliberate judgment of ants the rights and remedies under the workmen's compensation law of any state, having considered the same, recommend its passage without amend

ment.

Congress. The subject was intrusted to it to be dealt with according to its discretionnot for delegation to others. To say that, because Congress could have enacted a compensation act applicable to maritime injuries, it could authorize the states to do so, as they might desire, is false reasoning. Moreover, such an authorization would inevitably destroy the harmony and uniformity which the Constitution not only contemplated, but actually established-it would defeat the very purpose of the grant. See Sudden & Christenson v. Industrial Accident Commission (Cal.) 188 Pac. 803.

The Judicial Code, by sections 24 and 256, confers exclusive jurisdiction on the district courts of the United States of all civil cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, "saving to suitors in all cases the right of a common-law remedy where the common law is competent to give it." It was declared by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen that "the remedy which the compensation statute attempts to give is of a character wholly unknown to the common law, incapable of enforcement by the ordinary processes of any court and is not saved to suitors from the grant of exclusive jurisdiction." The bill (S. 2916) proposes only to amend the Judicial Code by so enlarging the saving clause as to Congress cannot transfer its legislative include the rights and remedies under the compensation law of any state. Inasmuch as not only power to the states-by nature this is nonthe remedy but sometimes the right under the com- delegable. In re Rahrer, 140 U. S. 545, 560, pensation plan is unknown to the common law, 11 Sup. Ct. 865, 35 L. Ed. 572; Field v. The bill, if enacted, will not disrupt the admiralty Clark, 143 U. S. 649, 692, 12 Sup. Ct. 495, 36 jurisdiction of the federal courts. The most that L. Ed. 294; Buttfield v. Stranahan, 192 U. can be said of it will be that it is a recognition S. 470, 496, 24 Sup. Ct. 349, 48 L. Ed. 525; by Congress that a concurrent jurisdiction, state Butte City Water Co. v. Baker, 196 U. S. 119, and federal, should exist over certain matters. Actions that were formerly triable in admiralty 126, 25 Sup. Ct. 211, 49 L. Ed. 409; Interstate courts will still be triable there. Where the cases Com. Comm. v. Goodrich, Transit Co., 224 U. were formerly triable only in such courts, it will S. 194, 214, 32 Sup. Ct. 436, 56 L. Ed. 729. now be possible for the state, through its compen- In Clark Distilling Co. v. Western Md. Ry.

both rights and remedies are included in the bill.

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sation plan, to determine the rights of the parties concerned. In other words, there being concurrent Co., 242 U. *S. 311, 37 Sup. Ct. 180, 61 L. Ed. jurisdiction, the injured party, or his dependents, may bring an action in admiralty or submit a 326, L. R. A. 1917B, 1218, Ann. Cas. 1917B, claim under the compensation plan. 845, notwithstanding the contention that it

violated the Constitution-article 1, § 8, cl. 3 | ment prescribes exclusive rights and liabili-this court sustained an act of Congress ties, undertakes to secure their observance by which prohibited the shipment of intoxicating heavy penalties and onerous conditions, and liquors from one state into another when in- provides novel remedies incapable of enforcetended for use contrary to the latter's laws. ment by an admiralty court. See N. Y. Cent. Among other things, it was there stated R. R. Co. v. White, 243 U. S. 188, 37 Sup. Ct. that247, 61 L. Ed. 667, L. R. A. 1917D, 1, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 629; N. Y. Cent. R. R. v. Winfield, 244 U. S. 147, 37 Sup. Ct. 546, 61 L. Ed. 1045, L. R. A. 1918C, 439, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 1139; Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, supra. The doctrine of The Hamilton may not be extended to such a situation.

"The argument as to delegation to the states rests upon a mere misconception. It is true the regulation which the Webb-Konyon Act contains permits state prohibitions to apply to movements of liquor from one state into another, but the will which causes the prohibitions to be applicable is that of Congress"-i. e., Congress itself forbade shipments of a designated character.

And further:

"The exceptional nature of the subject here regulated is the basis upon which the exceptional power exerted must rest"-i. e., different considerations would apply to innocuous articles of commerce.

The reasoning of that opinion proceeded upon the postulate that, because of the peculiar nature of intoxicants which gives enlarged power concerning them, Congress might go so far as entirely to prohibit their transportation in interstate commerce. The statute did less.

"We can see no reason for saying that although Congress in view of the nature and character of intoxicants had a power to forbid their movement in interstate commerce, it had not the authority to so deal with the subject as to establish a regulation (which is what was done by the Webb-Kenyon Law) making it impossible for one state to violate the prohibitions of the laws of another through the channels of interstate commerce. Indeed, we can see no escape from the conclusion that, if we accepted the proposition urged, we would be obliged to announce the contradiction in terms that, because Congress had exerted a regulation lesser in power than it was authorized to exert, therefore its action was void for excess of power."

See Delamater v. South Dakota, 205 U. S. 93, 97, 27 Sup. Ct. 447, 51 L. Ed. 724, 10 Ann.

Cas. 733.

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*Here we are concerned with a wholly different constitutional provision-one which, for the purpose of securing harmony and uniformity, prescribes a set of rules, empowers Congress to legislate to that end, and prohibits material interference by the states. Obviously, if every state may freely declare the rights and liabilities incident to maritime employment, there will at once arise the confusion and uncertainty which framers of the Constitution both foresaw and undertook to prevent.

The judgment of the court below must be reversed, and the cause remanded, with directions to take further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

Reversed and remanded.

Mr. Justice HOLMES, dissenting.

In Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, 244 U. S. 205, 37 Sup. Ct. 524, 61 L. Ed. 1086, L. R. A. 1918C, 451, Ann. Cas. 1917E, 900, the question was whether there was anything in the Constitution or laws of the United States to prevent a State from imposing upon an employer a limited but absolute liability for the death of an employé upon a gang-plank between a vessel and a wharf, which the *167

State unquestionably could have imposed had the death occurred on the wharf. A majority of the Court held the State's attempt invalid, and thereupon, by an Act of October 6, 1917, c. 97, 40 Stat. 395, Congress tried to meet the effect of the decision by amending § 24, cl. 3, and § 256, cl. 3, of the Judicial Code; Act of March 3, 1911, c. 231; 36 Stat. 1087. Those sections in similar terms declared the jurisdiction of the District Court and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of the United States, "of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, saving to suitors in all cases the

right of a common law remedy where the amendment added, "and to claimants the common law is competent to give it." The rights and remedies under the workmen's compensation law of any State." I thought that claimants had those rights before. I think that they do now both for the old reasons and for new ones.

I do not suppose that anyone would say that the words, “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction," Const. Art. 3, § 3, by implication enacted a whole code for master and servant at sea, that could be modified only by a constitutional amendment. But somehow or other the ordinary common In The Hamilton, 207 U. S. 398, 28 Sup. Ct. law rules of liability as between master and 133, 52 L. Ed. 264, an admiralty proceeding, servant have come to be applied to a consideffect was given, as against a ship registered erable extent in the admiralty. If my exin Delaware, to a statute of that state which planation, that the source is the common permitted recovery by an ordinary action for law of the several States, is not accepted, I fatal injuries, and the power of a state to can only say, I do not know how, unless by supplement the maritime law to that extent the fiat of the judges. But surely the pow was recognized. But here the state enacter that imposed the liability can change it,

(40 Sup.Ct.)

and I suppose that Congress can do as much | with perhaps widely different needs. See as the judges who introduced the rules. For United States v. Press Publishing Co., 219 we know that they were introduced and can- U. S. 1, 9, 31 Sup. Ct. 212, 55 L. Ed. 65, 21 not have been elicited by logic alone from Ann. Cas. 912. the mediaeval sea laws.

But if Congress can legislate it has done So. It has adopted statutes that were in force when the Act of October 6, 1917, was passed, and to that extent has acted as definitely as if it had repeated the words used

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by the *several States-a not unfamiliar form of law. Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 207, 6 L. Ed. 23; Hobart v. Drogan, 10 Pet. 108, 119, 9 L. Ed. 363; Cooley v. Board of Wardens, 12 How. 299, 317, 318, 13 L. Ed. 996; Interstate Consolidated Street Ry. Co. v. Massachusetts, 207 U. S. 79, 84, 85, 28 Sup. Ct. 26, 52 L. Ed. 111, 12 Ann. Cas. 555; Franklin v. United States, 216 U. S. 559, 30 Sup. Ct. 434, 54 L. Ed. 615; Louisville & Nashville R. R. Co. v. Western Union Tele

graph Co., 237 U. S. 300, 303, 35 Sup. Ct. 598, 59 L. Ed. 965. An Act of Congress, we always say, will be construed so as to sustain it, if possible and therefore if it were necessary, the words "rights and remedies under the workmen's compensation law of any State" should be taken to refer solely to laws existing at the time, as it certainly States v. Paul, 6 Pet. 141, 8 L. Ed. 348. Taking the act as so limited it is to be read as if it set out at length certain rules for New York, certain others more or less different for California, and so on. So construed the single objection that I have heard to the law is that it makes different rules

does at least include them. See United

I thought that Clark Distilling Co. V. Western Maryland Ry. Co., 242 U. S. 311, 37 Sup. Ct. 180, 61 L. Ed. 326, L. R. A. 1917B, 1218, Ann. Cas. 1917B, 845, went pretty far in justifying the adoption of state legislation in advance, as I cannot for a moment believe that apart from the Eighteenth Amendment special constitutional principles exist against strong drink. The fathers of the Constitution so far as I know approved it. But I can see no constitutional objection to such an adoption in this case

the Act of Congress be given that effect. I assume that Congress could not delegate to state legislatures the simple power to decide what the law of the United States

should be in that district. But when institutions are established for ends within the

power of the States and not for any purpose of affecting the law of the United States, I take it to be an admitted power of Congress to provide that the law of the United States shall conform as nearly as may be to what

for the time being exists. A familiar example is the law directing the common law

practice, &c., in the District Courts to 'conform, as near as may be, to the practice, &c., existing at the time' in the State Courts. Rev. Sts. § 914 (Comp. St. § 1537). This was in Amy v. Watertown, No. 1, 130 U. S. 301, held by the unanimous Court to be binding

9 Sup. Ct. 530, 32 L. Ed. 946. See Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 207, 208, 6 L. Ed. 23; for different places, and I see nothing in the Cooley v. Board of Wardens, 12 How. 299, I have mentioned Constitution to prevent that. The only mat- 317, 318; 13 L. Ed. 996. ters with regard to which uniformity is pro-law remedy and have referred to cases on the scope given to the saving of a common

vided for in the instrument so far as I now remember, are duties, imposts and excises, naturalization and bankruptcy, in Article 1. § 8. As to the purpose of the clause concerning the judicial power in these cases nothing is said in the instrument itself. To read into it a requirement of uniformity more mechanical than is educed from the express requirement of equality in the Fourteenth

Amendment seems to me extravagant.

In

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the statutes adopting State pilotage laws. Other instances are to be found in the Acts of Congress, but these are enough. I think that the same principle applies here. lt should be observed that the objection now dealt with is the only one peculiar to the adoption of local law in advance. That of want of uniformity applies equally to the adoption of the laws in force in 1917. Furthermore we are not called on now to consider the collateral effects of the act. The only question before us is whether the words in the Constitution, "The judicial Power shall * all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction' prohibit Congress from passing a law in the form of the New York Workmen's Compensation Actif not in its present form, at least in the form in which it stood on October 6, 1917. I am of opinion that the New York law at the time of the trial should be applied and that the judgment should be affirmed.

extend to

deed it is contrary to the construction of the Constitution in the very clause of the Judiciary Act that is before us. The saving of a common law remedy adopted the common law of the several States within their several jurisdictions, and, I may add by way of anticipation, included at least some subsequent statutory changes. Steamboat Co. v. Chase, 16 Wall. 522, 530-534, 21 L. Ed. 369; Knapp, Stone & Co. Co. v. McCaffrey, 177 U. S. 638, 645, 646, 20 Sup. Ct. 824, 44 L. Ed. 921; Rounds v. Cloverport Foundry & Machine *Co., 237 U. S. 303, 307, 35 Sup. Ct. 596, 59 L. Ed. 966. I cannot doubt that in matters with which Congress Mr. Justice PITNEY, Mr. Justice BRANis empowered to deal it may make different DEIS and Mr. Justice CLARKE concur in arrangements for widely different localities this opinion.

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