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banced to support it. I think the vol Ostales TCircuit Court form Appeals for

of intoxicating liquors for beverage pur-, die by his own hand, the policy shall be poses in the future, and it seems to have void, and a provision that the policy shall given but slight attention to the

be incontestable after one year from the

date of issue, provided the premiums are sumption of such

of such relatively small amounts of such liquors as might be in (For other cases, see Insurance, XI. d, 2, in

duly paid. existence in private ownership, and in- Digest Sup. Ct. 1908.) tended for consumption by the owner,

Life insurance incontestable and suihis family or his guests, when the

cide clauses public policy. Amendment and the act should take ef

3. Incontestable and suicide clauses in fect.

policies of life insurance which exclude sui

cide as a defense when committed, sane or An intention to confiscate private insane, after a period respectively of one property, even in intoxicating liquors, and two years from the issuance of the will not be raised by inference and con- policies, will not be deemed as against pubstruction from provisions of law which lic policy unless the state concerned adopts have ample field for other operation in a different view. effecting a purpose clearly indicated and [For other cases, see Insurance, XI. d, 2, in

Digest Sup. Ct. 1908.) declared. It results that the decree of the Dis

[Nos. 70 and 71.] trict Court must be reversed.

Submitted October 22, 1920. Decided NoMr. Justice McReynolds, concurring:

vember 15, 1920. I concur in the judgment of the court,

ad

N the stead Act (41 Stat. at L. 305, chap. 83] was properly interpreted by the court the Eighth Circuit presenting questions below; but to enforce it as thus con

as to whether an insurance company is strued would result in virtual confisca- liable in case of the suicide of the intion of lawfully acquired liquors by pre

sured. Answered in the affirmative. venting or unduly interfering with their

The facts are stated in the opinion. consumption by the owner. The 18th Mr. George Lines submitted the cause Amendment gave no such power to Con- for the Northwestern Mutual Life Ingress. Manufacture, sale, and transpor-surance Company. Mr. Sam T. Swantation are the things prohibited,-not

sen was on the brief: personal use.

It is undoubtedly the rule of the Federal courts, as assumed in the question

certified, that where a policy of life in(96) NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL LIFE

surance is silent respecting liability of INSURANCE COMPANY

the company in case of suicide by the

insured, death of the insured by his ISABEL H. JOHNSON. (No. 70.)

own hand, he being sane, is not one of

the risks insured against. NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COM

Ritter v. Mutual L. Ins. Co. 169 U. S. PANY OF MONTPELIER, VERMONT,

Note.-As to power of legislature to A. M. MILLER, Administrator of the Es. I forbid defense of suicide in life insur

tate of George P. Johnson, Deceased. ance-see note to Head Camp, P. J. W. (No. 71.)

W. v. Sloss, 31 L.R.A.(N.S.) 831.

As to applicability of incontestable (See S. C. Reporter's ed. 96-102.) clause in case of suicide-see note to

Mutual L. Ins. Co. v. Lovejoy, L.R.A. Life insurance suicide as a defense

1918D, 870. public policy.

As to incontestability of life insur1. Public policy with regard to express undertakings respecting suicide as a defense of a statute-see note to Clement v. New

ance under provisions of the policy or to suits on policies of life insurance is a matter for the states to decide.

York L. Ins. Co. 42 L.R.A. 247. (For other cases, see Insurance, XI. d, 2, in Generally, on suicide as a defense to Digest Sup. Ct. 1908.)

suits for life insurance-see notes to Life insurance suicide as defense. 2. Suicide of the insured, sane or in- L.R.A.(N.S.) 1124; Mutual L. Ins. Co.

Grand Legion, I. S. K. A. v. Beaty, 8 sane, after the specified time, is no defense to suits on policies of life insurance which y. Wiswell, 35 L.R.A. 258; Mutual L. contain respectively a provision that if, Ins. Co. v. Terry, 21 L. ed. U. S. 236; within two years from the date of the pol- and Home Ben. Asso. v. Sargent, 35 L. icy, the insured, while sane or insane, shall ed. U. S. 1161.

155

V.

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139, 42 L. ed. 693, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 300; Mr. S. F. Prouty submitted the cause
Hopkins v. Northwestern Life Assur. for Isabel H. Johnson:
Co. 94 Fed. 729; Mutual L. Ins. Co. v. There are two elementary principles
Kelly, 52 C. C. A. 154, 114 Fed. 268; of law that will assist in interpreting
Supreme Council, R. A. v. Wishart, 112 its meaning and force:
C. C. A. 591, 192 Fed. 453.

1. Insurance policies, being unilateral
So, also, death at the hands of the law, contracts, will be construed most strict-
as a punishment for crime, is not one of ly against the insurer.
the risks insured against, whether so 2. Where there is an express exclu-
stipulated in the policy or not.

sion of one thing, it expressly includes Burt v. Union Cent. L. Ins. Co. 187 other things not excepted. This policy U. S. 362, 47 L. ed. 216, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. clearly excepts the risk of suicide, sane 139; Northwestern Mut. L. Ins. Co. v. or insane, during two years, and thereMcCue, 223 U. S. 234, 56 L. ed. 419, 38 fore as expressly includes such risk L.R.A.(N.S.) 57, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 220. after two years.

Nor is death at the hands of the ben- Goodwin v. Provident Sav. Life Assur, eficiary, assignee, or other person en- Asso. 97 Iowa, 226, 32 L.R.A, 473, 59 titled to the proceeds.

Am. St. Rep. 411, 66 N. W. 157; Supreme Mutual L. Ins. Co. v. Armstrong, 117 Court of Honor v. Updegraff, 68 Kan. U. S. 591, 29 L. ed. 997, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 474, 75 Pac. 477,1 Ann. Cas. 309; Mutual 877.

Reserve Fund Life Asso. v. Payne, Well reasoned decisions of state courts Tex. Civ. App. —, 32 S. W. 1063; Royal are in harmony with the conclusions Circle v. Achterrath, 204 Ill. 549, 63 reached in the cases above cited. L.R.A. 452, 98 Am. St. Rep. 224, 68 N.

Supreme Commandery, K. G. R. v. E. 492; Clement v. New York L. Ins. Co. Ainsworth, 71 Ala. 445, 46 Am. Rep. 101 Tenn. 22, 42 L.R.A. 247, 70 Am. 332; Hartman v. Keystone Ins. Co. 21 St. Rep. 650, 46 S. W. 561; 4 Cooley, Pa. 479; Security L. Ins. Co. v. Dillard, Briefs on Ins. p. 3229, and authorities 117 Va. 401, 84 S. E. 656, Ann. there cited; Thompson v. Phenix Ins. 19170, 1187; Davis v. Supreme Coun-Co. 136 U..S. 287, 34 L. ed. 408, 10 Sup. cil, R. A. 195 Mass. 402, 10 L.R.A.(N.S.) Ct. Rep. 1019; First Nat. Bank v. Hart722, 81 N. E. 294, 11 Ann. Cas. 777; ford F. Ins. Co. 95 U. S. 673, 24 L. ed. Scarborough v. American Nat. Ins. Co. 563; Moulor v. American L. Ins. Co. 171 N. C. 353, L.R.A.1918A, 896, 88 s. 111 U. S. 335, 28. L. ed. 447, 4 Sup. Ct. E. 482, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 1181; Hatch Rep. 466; Wadsworth v. Jewelers & v. Mutual L. Ins. Co. 120 Mass. 550, Tradesmen's Co. 132 N. Y. 540, 29 N. E. 21 Am. Rep. 541; Bloom v. Franklin L. 1104; Fitch v. American Popular L. Ins. Ins. Co. 97 Ind. 478, 49 Am. Rep. 469; Co. 59 N. Y. 557, 17 Am. Rep. 372. American Nat. Ins. Co. v. Munson, The risk of suicide is not prohibited Tex. Civ. App. 202 S. W. 987. by law, as against public policy.

The object and effect of the suicide Simpson v. Life Ins. Co. 115 N. C. clause is to extend during the first two 393, 20 S. E. 517; Steele v. St. Louis years of the policy's life, exclusion of Mut. L. Ins. Co. 3 Mo. App. 207; 2 the risk of suicide to cases where the in- Bacon, Ben. Soc. 694, $$ 340, 340a; sured is insane, as well as to those where Mareck v. Mutual Reserve Fund Life he is sane, at the time of taking his life. Asso. 62 Minn. 39, 54 Am. St. Rep. 613,

Amicable Soc. v. Bolland, 4 Bligh, N. 64 N. W. 68; Goodwin v. Provident Sav. R. 194, 5 Eng. Reprint, 70, 2 Dow C.

Life Assur. Asso. 97 Iowa, 226, 32 1, 6 Eng. Reprint, 630; Supreme Coun- L.R.A. 473, 59 Am. St. Rep. 411, 66 N.

W. 157; Bates v. United L. Ins. Asso. cil, R. A. v. Wishart, 112 C. C. A. 591, 68 Hun, 144, 22 N. Y. Supp. 626, affirmed 192 Fed. 453; Scarborough v. American without opinion in 142 N. Y. 677, 37 N. Nat. Ins. Co. 171 N. C. 353, L.R.A. E. 824; Fitch v. American Popular L. 1918A, 8996, 88 S. E. 482, Ann. Cas. Ins. Co. 59 N. Y. 570, 17 Am. Rep. 372; 1917D, 1181; Collins v. Metropolitan L. Murray v. State Mut. L. Ins. Co. 22 R. Ins. Co. 27 Pa. Super. Ct. 356; American I. 524, 53 L.R.A. 742, 48 Atl. 800; Nat. Ins. Co. v. Munson, Tex. Civ. Wright v. Mutual Ben. Life Asso. 118 App. –, 202 S. W. 987; Bromley v. N. Y. 237, 6 L.R.A. 731, 16 Am. St. Rep. Washington L. Ins. Co. 122 Ky. 407, 5 749, 23 N. E. 186; Kline v. National L.R.A.(N.S.) 747, 121 Am. St. Rep. 467, Ben. Asso. 111 Ind. 462, 60 Am. Rep. 92 S. W. 17, 12 Ann. Cas. 685; Ritter v. 703, 11 N. E. 620; Mutual Reserve Fund Mutual L. Ins. Co. 169 U. S. 152-154, 42 Life Asso. v. Payne, Tex. Civ. App. L. ed. 697, 698, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 300. 32 S. W. 1063; Patterson v. Natural

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1

Premium Mut. L. Ins. Co. 100 Wis. 118, | of his own wrong, or to found any claim

42 L.R.A. 253, 69 Am. St. Rep. 899, 75 N. W. 980; Brady v. Prudential Ins. Co. 168 Pa. 645, 32 Atl. 102; 19 Am. & Eng. Ene. Law, 2d ed. p. 80; 3 Joyce, Ins. 2581, § 2644.

This court recognizes the right of every state to adopt its own public policy on this subject.

Knights Templars' & M. Life Indemnity Co. v. Jarman, 187 U. S. 197, 47 L. ed. 139, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 108; Whitfield v. Etna L. Insurance Co. 205 U. S. 489, 51 L. ed. 895, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 578.

Mr. George B. Young submitted the cause for the National Life Insurance Company. Messrs. E. D. Perry and Guy

B. Horton were on the brief:

It is contrary to public policy to insure against the results of crime or misdemeanors.

Travellers' Ins. Co. v. Seaver, 19 Wall. 531, 22 L. ed. 155; Mutual L. Ins. Co. v. Armstrong, 117 U. S. 591, 29 L. ed. 997, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 877; Supreme Lodge, K. P. v. Beck, 181 U. S. 49, 45 L. ed. 741, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 532; Burt v. Union Cent. L. Ins. Co. 187 U. S. 362, 47 L. ed. 216, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 139; Northwestern Mut. L. Ins. Co. v. McCue, 223 U. S. 234, 56 L. ed. 419, 28 L.R.A. (N.S.) 57, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 220; Amicable Soc. v. Bolland, 4 Bligh, N. R. 194, 5 Eng. Reprint, 70, 2 Dow & C. 1, 6 Eng Reprint, 630; Supreme Commandery, K. G. R. v. Ainsworth, 71 Ala. 436, 46 Am. Rep. 332; Metropolitan L. Ins. Co. v. Shane, 98 Ark. 132, 138, 135 S. W. 836; Hatch Mutual L. Ins. Co. 120 Mass. 550, 21 Am. Rep. 541; Wells v. New England Mut. L. Ins. Co. 191 Pa. 207, 71 Am. St. Rep. 763, 43 Atl. 126; Accident Ins. Co. v. Bennett, 90 Tenn. 256,

V.

16 S. W. 723.

It is contrary to public policy to permit insurance against death from acts in violation of law or by legal execution

for crime.

Burt v. Union Cent. L. Ins. Co. 187 U. S. 362, 47 L. ed. 216, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 139; Northwestern Mut. L. Ins. Co. v. McCue, 223 U. S. 234, 56 L. ed. 419, 38 L.R.A.(N.S.) 57, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 220; Bloom v. Franklin L. Ins. Co. 97 Ind. 478, 49 Am. Rep. 469; Wolff v. Connecticut Mut. L. Ins. Co. 5 Mo. App. 236; Murray v. New York L. Ins. Co. 96 N. Y. 614, 48 Am. Rep. 658; Scarborough v. American Nat. Ins. Co. 171 N. C. 353, L.R.A.1918A, 896, 88 S. E. 482, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 1181.

No one shall be permitted to profit by his own fraud, or to take advantage

65 L. ed.

upon his own iniquity, or to acquire property by his own crime. These maxims are adopted by public policy, and have their foundation in universal law administered in all civilized countries.

Box v. Lanier, 112 Tenn. 393, 64 L.R.A. 458, 79 S. W. 1942.

Suicide is a crime and malum in se.

4 Bl. Com. 189; Rex v. Tyson, Russ. & R. C. C. 523; Com. v. Bowen, 13 Mass. 356, 7 Am. Dec. 154; Com. v. Mink, 123 Mass. 422, 25 Am. Rep. 109; May v. 286, 115 Am. St. Rep. 334, 64 Atl. 885, Pennell, 101 Me. 516, 7 L.R.A.(N.S.) 8 Ann. Cas. 351; Burnett v. People, 204 Ill. 208, 66 L.R.A. 304, 98 Am. St. Rep. Ins. Co. 47 N. Y. 54, 7 Am. Rep. 410. 206, 68 N. E. 505; Mallory v. Travelers'

An insurance contract may not legally cover the risk of self-destruction or

suicide by the assured, while sane.

Mutual L. Ins. Co. v. Terry, 15 Wall. 580, 21 L. ed. 236; Travellers' Ins. Co. V. McConkey, 127 U. S. 661, 32 L. ed. Mutual L. Ins. Co. 69 Fed. 505; Ritter 308, 8 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1360; Ritter v.

v. Mutual L. Ins. Co. 169 U. S. 139, 42

L. ed. 693, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 300.

An insurance contract which has no express reference to suicide contains an implied condition excepting suicide or self-destruction, while sane, from the risks assumed. As to such risk no con

tract exists.

Ritter v. Mutual L. Ins. Co. 169 U. S.

139, 42 L. ed. 693, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 390; Ritter v. Mutual L. Ins. Co. 69 Fed. 505; Burt v. Union Cent. L. Ins. Co. 187 U. S. 362, 47 L. ed. 216, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. McCue, 223 U. S. 234, 56 L. ed. 419, 38 L.R.A. (N.S.) 57, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 220; Hopkins v. Northwestern Life Assur. Co. 94 Fed. 729, s. c. 40 C. C. A. 1, 99 Fed. 199; Mutual L. Ins. Co. v. Terry, 15 Wall. 580, 21 L. ed. 236; Travellers Ins. Co. V. McConkey, 127 U. S. 661, 32 L. ed. 308, Co. v. Kelly, 52 C. C. A. 154, 114 Fed. 8 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1360; Mutual L. Ins. D. C. 379; Supreme Commandery, K. G. 268; Rudolph v. United States, 36 App. R. v. Ainsworth, 71 Ala. 436, 46 Am. Rep. 332; Schmidt v. Northern Life Asso. 112 Iowa, 41, 51 L.R.A. 141, 84 Am. St. Rep. 323, 83 N. W. 800; McDonald v. Mutual L. Ins. Co. 178 Iowa, 863, 160 N. W. 289; Mooney v. Ancient Order, U. W. G. L. 114 Ky. 950, 72 S. W. 288; Hunziker v. Supreme Lodge, K. P. 117 Ky. 418, 78 S. W. 201; Weber v. Supreme Tent, K. M. 172 N. Y. 490,

139; Northwestern Mut. L. Ins. Co. v.

157

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92 Am. St. Rep. 753, 65 N. E. 258; Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the Shipman v. Protected Home Circle, 174 opinion of the court: N. Y. 398, 63 L.R.A. 347, 67 N. E. 83; These are suits upon policies issued to Hartman v. Keystone Ins. Co. 21 Pa. George P. Johnson upon his life, pay466; Plunkett v. Supreme Conclave, I. able in the first case to his wife, in the 0. H. 105 Va. 643, 55 S. E. 9; Suprem

me second to his executors or administraConclave, I. 0. H. v. Rehan, 119 Md. tors. The wife and the administrator re92, 46 L.R.A.(N.S.) 308, 85 Atl. 1035, spectively recovered in the district court, Ann. Cas. 1914D, 58.

and, the cases having gone to the circuit The rights of all parties to an insur- court of appeals, the latter has certified ance contract are determined by the certain questions to this court. The terms of the policy,-express or implied, policy payable to the wife contained a -and no one can recover thereon ex- provision that "if within two years from cept in accordance with the terms of the date hereof, the said insured shall such contract.

die in consequence of a [100] Mutual L. Ins. Co. v. Terry, 15 Wall. duel, or shall, while sane or insane, 580, 21 L. ed. 236; Mutual L. Ins. Co. v. die by his own hand, then, and in Armstrong, 117 U. S. 591, 29 L. ed. 997, every such case, this policy shall be 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 877; Burt v. Union void.” Johnson, the insured, died by Cent. L. Ins. Co. 187 U. S. 362, 47 L. his own hand more than two years ed. 216, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 139; North- after the date of the policy. The western Mut. L. Ins. Co. v. McCue, 223 first question put in the wife's suit is U. S. 234, 56 L. ed. 419, 38 L.R.A.(N.S.) whether the above provision, there be57, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 220; Hopkins v. ing no other in the policy as to suicide, Northwestern Life Assur. Co. 94 Fed. makes the insurance company liable in 729, s. c. 40 C. C. A. 1, 99 Fed. 199; Mu- the event that happened. The second is tual L. Ins. Co. v. Kelly, 52 C. C. A. 154, in substance whether the contract, if 114 Fed. 268; Schmidt v. Northern Life construed to make the company liable, Asso. 112 Ioʻra, 44, 51 L.R.A. 141, 84 Am. is against public policy and void. St. Rep. 323, 83 N. W. 800; McDonald The policy payable to the administrav. Mutual L. Ins. Co. 178 Iowa, 863, 160 tor had no provision as to suicide, but N. W. 289; Pitt v. Berkshire L. Ins. Co. did agree that “this contract shall be in100 Mass. 500; Davis v. Supreme Coun contestable after one year from the date cil, R. A. 195 Mass. 402, 10 L.R.A.(N.S.) of its issue, provided the required premi722, 81. N. E. 294, 11 Ann. Cas. 777. ums are duly paid.” Johnson's suicide

The incontestable clause does not pre was more than a year after the date of clude the defense of suicide or self-de- the policy. The first question propoundstruction by the assured, while sane, ed is whether the above provision prebecause as to such risk there is no in- vents the insurer from denying liability surance contract.

in this case, it not appearing that JohnSupreme Council, R. A. v. Wishart, son was insane when he killed himself. 112 C. C. A. 591, 192 Fed. 453; North The second is whether such a contract, American Union v. Trenner, 138 Ill. which makes no exception for death reApp. 586; Bromley v. Washington L. Ins. sulting from suicide, is against public Co. 122 Ky. 402, 5 L.R.A.(N.S.) 747, policy, and therefore void. There is a 121 Am. St. Rep. 467, 92 S. W. 17, 12 third, as to a possible distinction beAnn. Cas. 685; Scarborough v. Amer-tween insurance payable to the wife and ican Nat. Ins. Co. 171 N. C. 353, L.R.A. that payable to the estate of the insured, 1918A, 896, 88 S. E. 482, Ann. Cas. which will not need to be discussed. 1917D, 1181; IIall v. Mutual Reserve

The public policy with regard to such Fund Life Asso. 19 Pa. Super. Ct. 31; contracts is a matter for the states to

decide. Starck v. Union Cent. L. Ins. Co. 134 205 U. S. 489, 495, 51 L. ed. 895, 898, 27

Whitfield v. Ætna L. Ins. Co. Pa. 45, 5 L.R.A. 756, 19 Am. St. Rep: Sup. Ct. Rep. 576. This case qualifies 674, 19 Atl. 703; Childress v. Fraternal the statement in Ritter v. Mutual L. Ins. Union, 113 Tenn. 252, 82 S. W. 832, 3 Co. 169 U. S. 139, 154, 42 L. ed. 693, 698, Ann. Cas. 236; Security L. Ins. Co. v. 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 300, to the effect that Dillard, 117 Va. 401, 84 S. E. 656, Ann. insurance on a man's own life, payable Cas. 1917D, 1187; American Nat. Ins. to his estate, and expressly covering suiCo. v. Munson, Tex. Civ. App.

cide committed by him when sane, would 202 S. W. 987.

be against public policy. The point deMr. S. F. Prouty submitted the causs ed was only that, when the contract for A. M. Miller.

was silent, there was an implied excep

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tion of such a death. There was evidence, insurance companies now generally isthat the insurance was taken out with sue policies with such a clause. The intent to commit suicide, and it plainly state decisions, so far as we know, appeared [101] that the act was have upheld it. Unless it appears done by the insured for the purpose that the state concerned adopts a difof enabling his estate to pay his ferent attitude, we should uphold it debts. The application, although ex- here. Simpson v. Life Ins. Co. 115 N. eluded below, warranted against sui- C. 393, 20 S. E. 517; Mareck v. Mutual eide within two years, within which Reserve Fund Life Asso. 62 Minn. 39, 54 time the death took place. So that Am. St. Rep. 613, 64 N. W. 68; Goodwin all the circumstances gave moral sup- v. Provident Sav. Life Assur. Asso. 97 port to the construction of the policy Iowa, 226, 32 L.R.A. 473, 59 Am. St. Rep. adopted by the court in accordance with 411, 66 N. W. 157; Patterson v. Natural the view that has prevailed in some juris- Premium Mut. L. Ins. Co. 100 Wis. 118, dictions as to the general rule. In Burt 42 L.R.A. 253, 69 Am. St. Rep. 899, 75 v. Union Cent. L. Ins. Co. 187 U. S. 362, N. W. 980. 47 L. ed. 216, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 139, it was held that there was a similar tacit exclusion from the risk assumed of the death of the insured by execution for murder, and the same decision was reached in Northwestern Mut. L. Ins. Co. v. McCue, 223 U. S. 234, 56 L. ed. 419, 38 L.R.A. (N.S.) 57, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 220. But the question here does not concern implied exceptions, it concerns the effect of express undertakings, which, as we have said, depends upon the policy of the state.

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We are of opinion that the provision in the first-mentioned document, avoiding the policy if the insured should die by his own hand within two years from the date, is an inverted expression of the same general intent as that of the clause in the second, making the policy incontestable after one year, and that both equally mean that suicide of the insured, insane or sane, after the specified time, shall not be a defense. It seems to us that that would be the natural interpretation of the words by the people to whom they are addressed, and that the language of each policy makes the company issuing it liable in the event that happened. We answer the first question in each certificate, yes. The other questions are disposed of by our answer to the first.

Answer to question 1 in No. 70, Yes.
Answer to question 1 in No. 71, Yes.

Mr. Justice Day took no part in the decision of these cases.

[103] ANNIE HARRIS et al., Appts.,

V.

HARRY H. BELL et al.

The certificates do not disclose in what states these contracts were made, but it is not necessary to postpone our answer on that account. It appears from Whitfield v. Ætna L. Ins. Co. supra, that some legislatures have thought it best to insist that life insurance should cover suicide unless taken out in contemplation of the deed. But the case is much stronger when a considerable time is to elapse before the fact that the death was by the insured's own hand ceases to be a defense. The danger is less sinister and probably a good deal smaller than the danger of murder when the insurance is held by a third person, having no interest in the continuance of the life insured, yet insurance on the life of a third person does not become void by assignment to one who has no interest in the life. Grigsby v. Russell, 222 U. S. 149. 56 L. ed. 133, 36 L.R.A. (N.S.) 642, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 58, Ann. Cas. 1913B, 863. When a clause makes a policy indisputable after one or two years, the mere evocation of a possible motive for self-slaughter is at least not more objectionable than the creation of a possible motive for murder. The object of the clause is plain and laudable,-to create an absolute assurance of the ben-[For other cases, see Indians, VIII. in Digest efit, [102] as free as may be from any dispute of fact except the fact of death, and as soon as it reasonably can be done. It is said that the

(See S. C. Reporter's ed. 103-113.)

Indian allotments - deceased allottee –

heirs.

1. Lands allotted in the right of a de

ceased enrolled member of the Creek Na1901, June 30, 1902, and April 26, 1906, tion, conformably to the Acts of March 1, were received by his heirs as an inheritance, and not as a direct allotment to them, and such heirs are therefore not govcrned by restrictions on alienation applicable to living allottees.

Sup. Ct. 1908.]

Courts - relation to other departments of government — administrative construction of statute.

2. The administrative construction of

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