provision denying to any state the right to court jurisdiction, the state court must in pass any law impairing the obligation of a words allude to the subsequent legislation contract.

and in terms give effect to it. It may be as. In all the litigation arising in the state sumed that if the real substance and neces. courts, by reason of the subsequent legisla- sary effect of the judgment of the state court tion by Virginia upon the subject, the claim was the determination of a Federal question was made, on a review of the judgments in or the giving effect to subsequent legislation, this court, that the judgments of the state this court would have jurisdiction to review courts had given effect to statutes which that judgment, notwithstanding the particuwere passed subsequently to the original cou- lar language used in the opinion. But when pon statutes, and that the original contract the case before the state court could have made by those statutes had been impaired been decided upon two distinct grounds, one by reason of those subsequent statutes to only of which embraced a Federal question, which effect was given by the judgments the sole way of determining upon which of of the state courts. It was the giving ef- those grounds the judgment was rested fect by the judgment of the court to the would be to examine the language used in subsequent statutes, which it was alleged the opinion of the state court. If that impaired the contract, that gave jurisdiction language showed the judgment was founded to this court to decide for itself whether wholly upon a non-Federal question, this there was a contract, and, if so, what the court would be without power to review it. contract was, as a preliminary to the deci. Whether the state court has decided this sion of the question whether the subsequent case wholly without reference to subsequent statutes impaired the contract as construed legislation can only be learned from its opin. by this court. The cases in which this court ion. To this extent it has always been decides for itself, without reference to the within the power of the state court to de. decision of the state court, what the contract termine the jurisdiction *of this court. If[128] was, are cases where there has been, not only the former court chooses to decide a case upsubsequent legislation which is alleged to on a non-Federal question, when it might impair the contract, but also legislation have decided it upon one which was Federal which has been given some effect to by the in its nature, the effect of such choice is to judgment of the state court. Such is the deprive this court of jurisdiction, no matter case of Jefferson Branch Bank v. Skelly, 1 low erroneous we may regard the decision Black, 436, 443 [17:173, 177), and such are of the state tribunal. The power is with all the other cases decided in this court upon the state court in such cases to deprive us that subject.

of jurisdiction to review its determination, If by the judgment of the state court in and we are wholly without any power to this case no effect has been given to any control its action in that respect. This is statute passed subsequently to either of the what has been done, and all that has been coupon acts, this court is without jurisdic- done in this case. The opinion of the state tion to review that judgment. Lehigh court shows that the judgment went upon Water Company v. Easton, 121 U. S. 388 the original and inherent invalidity of the [30: 1059); New Orleans Waterworks Com coupon statutes and its judgment in that pany v. Louisiana Sugar Ref. Company, 125 respect, as I shall hereafter attempt to show, U. Š. 18 (31: 607]; $t. Paul, M. & M. Rail- gave no effect to any subsequent legislation. way Co. v. Todd County, 142 U. S. 282 [35: That is the material question in this case 1014); Central Land Company v. Laidley, upon which the jurisdiction of this court 159 Ú. S. 103 [40: 91); Bacon v. Texas, 163 hangs. Prior decisions of this court in U. S. 207 [41: 132].

other cases holding the contract valid, where (127) *If there had never been any subsequent we had jurisdiction to determine such cases,

legislation regarding these coupon acts, and can have no effect upon the question of our
tjie highest court of the state had adjudged jurisdiction to review the judgment in the
that they were void as being in violation of case at bar. Prior decisions in such event
the Constitution of the state existing at the constitute no ground of jurisdiction.
time of their passage, of course there would I concede, plainly and fully, the power of
be no jurisdiction in this court to review this court to review a judgment of the state
that judgment. And the state court might court when effect has been given by that
have decided the case in different ways, at judgment to subsequent legislation claimed
one time holding the acts valid and subse to impair the validity of a contract. But
quently holding them void, and still this that vital fact must appear in order to sup-
court would have no jurisdiction to re-export the jurisdiction, and without it the ju-
amine the judgments of that court. This risdiction does not exist, no matter how im-
would be true even if millions of dollars had portant the question may be or how many
been invested in the bonds upon the strength times it may have been heretofore decided.
of the judgment of the state court first giv- To say that the duty is cast upon this
en holding the acts valid.

court to inquire whether a state has passed The cases above cited show that even if a law impairing the obligations of a prior there has been subsequent legislation, if the contract is but to half state the case. The judgment of the state court does not give inquiry must be further prosecuted to the that legislation any effect, and decides the extent of learning whether the state court case without reference thereto, this court is has, by its judgment, given effect to such also without jurisdiction to review that subsequent legislation, and, if it has not, judgment.

then no duty or right rests upon this court I do not say that in order to give this' to review the judgment.


However true it may be that in many prior | ers when reviewing a judgment of a state cases this court has held there was a valid court. contract created by the coupon statutes, so In this class of cases the absolutely un.

called, which could not be impaired by any bending and essential fact which must exist, (129]subsequent *legislation, the fact remains that in order to give jurisdiction to review a judg

unless such subsequent legislation has been ment of a state court, is subsequent legisla-
given effect to by the judgment in this case, tion to which effect has been given by the
there is not the slightest shadow of a claim judgment of the state court. This court is
for jurisdiction in this court to review that not the Mecca to which all dissatisfied suit.
judgment. Millions or hundreds of millions ors in the state courts may turn for the cor-
of dollars may have been invested in reliance rection of all the errors said to have been
upon a judgment of this court declaring the committed by the state tribunals. Nor is it
law to be that there was a valid contract, and confided to this court to supervise the judg.
yet a state court might in a subsequent ac- ments of a state court in all cases where we
tion adjudge that there never was a valid may think that court has by its later deci.
contract, because the statute which it was sion invalidated a contract which it had once
claimed created it was in violation of the held to be lawful, and the judgment in which
state Constitution. If that judgment did this court had upheld. The right of the
not, in effect, put in operation any subse- state court in another case to reverse its
quent legislation, the solemn adjudications former ruling is wholly unaffected by the fact
of this court in some former cases that the that its former judgment had been affirmed
contract was valid, could not affect the judg. here. Unless the Federal question exists in
ment in question nor furnish ground for the this case there is no ground of jurisdiction
jurisdiction of this court to review that judg. founded upon any prior decisions.
ment. This court is not intrusted with the Now, has this judgment of the state court
duty of supervising all decisions of state given effect to any subsequent legislation !
courts to the end that we may see to it that At the time of the passage of the coupon acts
such decisions are never inconsistent, contra- there was no prior statute in Virginia per-
dictory, or conflicting. We supervise those mitting taxes to be paid in coupons of any
decisions only when a Federal question aris- kind whatever. The sole authority for such

It is said this court is not bound to fol. attempted payment of taxes rested in the low the last decision of a state court revers-coupon statutes under consideration. If they ing its prior rulings upon a question of the gave no such authority, then none existed, validity of a contract, when bonds have been and no payment of taxes by means of coupons issued and taken in reliance upon the deci. was valid. This is wholly irrespective of the sion of the state court adjudging the validity subsequent acts. The state court has held of the law under which the bonds were issued. the coupon *acts to be entirely void, because[131] I do not dispute the proposition, but it has in violation of the state Constitution in exnothing to do with this case. Where an ac- istence when they were passed. Under that tion has been brought under such circum- decision those acts are to all intents and stances in a Federal court, it has been fre- purposes as if they never had been passed. quently held that such court was not bound They therefore furnished not the slightest to follow the latest decision of the state form of legality to a payment of taxes in cou. court which invalidated the law under which pons. It was not a statute to forbid paying bonds had been issued, at a time when the taxes in coupons that was necessary in order state court had held the law valid. In such to deprive such payments of legality. A case the Federal court would follow the prior statute, a valid statute authorizing such pay. decision of the state court and apply it to all ment, was necessary in the first instance, and the securities which had been issued prior to if there were no such statute there was no the time when the state court changed its de authority existing to receive coupons in pay. cision. But such a case raises no question ment of taxes. The supreme court of ap; of jurisdiction in this court to review the peals of Virginia, in a case in which it had judgment of a state court. When that ques. jurisdiction, decided there was no such stattion of jurisdiction does arise, the right of ute, and consequently no such authority, bereview cannot rest upon the fact that the cause the statute purporting to confer that state court has refused to follow its former authority was void, as in violation of the

decision, and, on the contrary, has directly Constitution of the state. This judgment [180]*overruled it. The jurisdiction of this court did not give the slightest effect to the legis

to review the state court in this class of cases lation subsequent to the coupon statutes. It is confined in the first instance to an inquiry simply held there were no coupon statutes, as to the existence of subsequent legislation because those which purported to be such upon the subject, and if none has been en- were totally void. No subsequent statute acted to which any effect has been given by was necessary, and none such was given efthe state court, this court cannot review the fect to. Striking down the coupon statutes decision of the state tribunal, even though effectually destroyed any assumed right to that decision makes worthless a contract pay taxes in coupons, and the subsequent leg. which it had prior thereto held valid. islation was needless and ineffectual. Thus

The cases of Gelpcke v. City of Dubuque, the whole groundwork upon which to base 1 Wall. 175 [17: 520), and Ohio & M. Rail. our jurisdiction in this case falls to the road Company v. McClure, 10 Wall. 511 (19: ground, and we are left to maintain it upon 997), illustrate this difference between the the insufficient claim of prior decisions of this powers of this court when reviewing a judg-court. ment of a lower Federal court and its pow- In truth, the particular question decided


in this case has never been before this court. affirmed, as to that point, by this court. In
In some of the former cases this court de- this decision now before us it has given no
cided the general proposition that the coupon effect to subsequent legislation, and not have
legislation was valid and created a contract. ing done so, but simply decided a question
After it had thus decided, a case came before of local law regarding its own Constitution,
it where a subsequent statute provided that, the state court has given no decision which
in the case of the school tax, coupons should raises a Federal question, and therefore none
not be received in payment thereof. The that this court can review.
state court had decided that the coupon stat- Under all the circumstances I can only see
ute was invalid so far as it related to the a determination to take jurisdiction in this
school tax, because the Constitution in exist- case simply because this court, as it is said,
ence when the coupon acts were passed re- has in cases in which it had jurisdiction de-
quired in substance that such tax must be cided the question differently from the deci-
paid in lawful money, and consequently the sion in this case by the state court. That

coupon act was unconstitutional as to such ground does not give jurisdiction, and that (132]tax. This court *affirmed that judgment. is the only ground that does exist.

Vashon v. Greenhow, 135 U. S. 662, 713 [34: The writ of error should be dismissed for
304, 320). Part of the coupon statute was want of jurisdiction.
thus held invalid by the state court and also
by this court.

The state had also passed a subsequent
statute providing that the tax for a license

to retail liquor should be paid in lawful
money. This court (affirming in that re-

spect the court below) held that act valid, be-
cause it was in effect a regulation of the li- (See S. C. Reporter's ed. 133–148.)
quor traffic, and the state could at all times
legislate upon that subject, notwithstanding Appraiser of imported goodswhen ap-
the coupon acts and the alleged contract praisement is valid-duty on American
therein created. Hucless v. Childrey, 135 U.

bags-foreign-made bags. S. 662, 709 (34: 304, 319]. Both of these decisions were made subsequently to the time 1. The Judgment of an appraiser after actual when this court had held the coupon statute

examination, that imported goods are not as

described, but fall within a different classifi. valid, and that a valid contract was therein

cation, must stand as against the importer, created.

nnless reversed on reappraisement, or by the The state court has now decided in this

board of general appraisers on protest filed. case that as the coupon acts were invalid 2. An appraisement is not invalid as against as to the payment of the school tax in cou. the importer because the examination was not pons (a proposition concurred in by this made in accordance with U. S. Rev. Stat. $ court), the result was that the whole acts 2901, which is intended for the benefit of the were invalid, that they could not stand part- government. ly valid and partly void, and that the whole 3. The separation of American-made bags, coupon scheme was unconstitutional. This which are free from duty, from foreign-made phase of the controversy has never before

bags imported in the same bales, should be reached this court, and the court has there

made by the importer if he wishes to obtain

the exemptions on the former, and he cannot fore never before decided this particular point.

require the separation to be made by the gov. It has said, generally, that

ernment. the legislation

valid, but it

4. The prima facie showing that bags imported said only in



are of American manufacture is overturned general power of the legislature to enact the when it appears that foreign bags in large coupon statutes was in question, and it has numbers are included in the same bales witb never decided squarely the point that if the those of American make. coupon acts be unconstitutional in some

[No. 20.) particulars they are nevertheless valid in all others. The fact is alluded to simply as Argued and submitted April 20, 1898. Pie matter of history.

stored to docket, and certiorari to bring up But even if it had, that fact confers no

entire record ordered April 25, 1898. Subjurisdiction upon this court to review this

mitted October 11, 1898. Decided December judgment, if it otherwise is without it. In

5, 1898. other words, because this court has heretofore decided the question of the validity of States Circuit Court of Appeals for the

N WRIT of certiorari to the United the contract, in cases where it had jurisdiction, that fact furnishes no foundation for Fifth Circuit, after certification of questions its jurisdiction in this case, where the state to this court, to review a decree of the Cir. court has given no effect to any subsequent cuit Court of the United States for the Fifth legislation. Prior decision is not the Circuit reversing the decision of the board foundation of jurisdiction. What I say is, of general appraisers and decreeing that that whether there have been two or more certain duties paid by Ranlett & Stone decisions, is wholly immaterial; jurisdiction on imported bags be refunded and that cannot be taken because it is said that in a the liquidation of duties before made be set

second or subsequent decision the state court aside and the duties reliquidated. Reversed, (133]did not follow its first decision "in regard to with directions to enter a decree for the re

the contract, although that decision had been funding of one fourth of the duties paid.




Statement by Mr. Chief Justice Fuller: [134] *Ranlett & Stone imported at the port of New Orleans, from Liverpool, England, 2,925 bales of grain bags, known as cental bags, each bale containing one thousand bags, or 2,925,000 in all, by several vessels, the entries running from August 14, 1893, to January 15, 1894.

The bags were entered free of duty under paragraph 493 of the act of October 1, 1890 (26 Stat. chap. 1244, p. 603), as bags of American manufacture returned to the United States.

That paragraph is as follows: "Articles the growth, produce, and manufacture of the United States, when returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means; casks, barrels, carboys, bags, and

other vessels of American manufacture exported filled with American products, or exported empty and returned filled with foreign products, including shooks when returned as barrels or boxes; but proof of the identity of such articles shall be made, under general regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury; and if any such articles are subject to internal tax at the time of exportation such tax shall be proved to have been paid before exportation and not refunded: Provided, That this paragraph shall not apply to any article upon which an allowance of drawback has been made, the reimportation of which is hereby prohibited except upon payment of duties equal to the drawbacks allowed. [135] *The general regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury under this paragraph contained the following provisions: "Art. 331. Articles of the growth, produce, and manufacture of the United States, exported to a foreign country and returned without having been advanced in value or improved in condition, by any process of manufacture or other means, and upon which no drawback or bounty has been allowed, are entitled to entry free of duty, but this privilege does not extend to articles exported in bond from a manufacturing warehouse and afterward returned to this country. The exportation must be bona fide, and not for the purpose of evading any revenue law.

"If returned to the port of original exportation, the fact of regular clearance for a foreign destination must be shown by the records of the customs, and by the declaration of the person making the entry. But when the reimportation is made into a port other than that of original exportation, there shall be required, in addition to the declaration, a certificate from the collector and the naval officer, if any, of the port, where the exportation was made, showing the fact of exportation from that port.

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"Art. 335. Casks, barrels, carboys, bags, and vessels of American manufacture, exported filled with American products, or exported empty and returned filled with foreign products, including shooks when returned as barrels or boxes, *are free of duties,[136] but in case drawback has been allowed upon the exportation of any such articles, they shall on importation be subject to a duty equal to the drawback. Proof of the identity of such articles must be made, and if any of them were subject to internal tax at the time of exportation, such tax shall be proved to have been paid before exportation and not refunded, or duty will accrue.

"Art. 336. Before entry, the following proof shall be required by the collector:

"First. A certificate as follows from the shipper in triplicate, attested by a consul or other proper officer authorized to take affidavits, as follows:

-or were


"I hereby certify, under oath, that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the thereinafter specified, are truly of the manufacture of the United States, exported from the United States, filled with t —, and that it is intended to reship the same to the port of in the United States, § -on board the " now lv. ing in the port of I further certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the actual market value of the articles herein named, at this time and in the form in which the same are to be exported to the United States, is as follows t

day of

"Sworn to before me, this 18-.

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"Second. A declaration in the entry by the importer of the name of the exporting vessel, the date of the ship's manifest, and the marks and numbers on the articles for which free entry is sought. If the exportation was[137] made by railroad, the way bill may be substituted as evidence for the manifest. The mark and numbers should be such as to prove beyond any reasonable doubt the identity of the articles with those entered on the outward manifest.

"Name the articles.

"If the packages are empty, Insert statement of the facts, as 'and were exported from the United States filled with the produce of that country.'

"If the packages contain foreign merchan

"Art. 332. To guard against fraud, and to dise, insert filled with' and a description of the insure identity, the collector shall require, in addition to proof of clearance, the production of a statement, certified by the

merchandise they contain.

"This blank is to be filled only when the merchandise contained in the packages is subject to a duty ad valorem."

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did not come under the provisions of section
2910 of the Revised Statutes.

The Board of General Appraisers sustained the action of the collector. General Appraisers' Decisions, No. 2623.

The importers applied for a review of this decision to the circuit court of the United States for the fifth circuit, which, without taking any additional testimony, reversed the decision of the board, and entered a decree that the duties paid by Ranlett & Stone, namely, two cents per pound on the several consignments of bags, enumerating them, be refunded; "that the examination heretofore made of said bales of bags is void and not in conformity to law or the regulations of the Treasury Department, and any liquidation of duties based on said examination is illegal and void, and the liquidation of duties heretofore made be set aside, and the money received from Ranlett & Stone[139] as duties be refunded as aforesaid; and the court doth further order and decree that the collector direct a re-examination of said bales of bags to be made according to law, and on such re-examination to reliquidate the duties which may be lawfully due thereon."

"Fifth. Verification after examination, by the appraiser, with an indorsement stating whether the articles are of domestic or of for eign manufacture.

"Such bags and other coverings exported to be returned should, when practicable, be marked or numbered, in order that they may be identified on their return; and the marks or numbers should appear on the shipper's manifest upon which they are exported.

When the respective shipments arrived in this country free entry was made by the importer and evidence furnished regarding the right to free entry and the character of the goods. Samples of the respective invoices were then sent to the appraiser's office and examined as follows:

From one entry of 600 bales, 70 were ordered to the appraiser's store and 18 of that number were opened by him;

Of another entry of 650 bales, 43 were ordered to the store and 19 were opened;

Of a third entry of 325 bales, 38 were ordered to the store and 13 were opened;

Of a fourth entry of 850 bales, 85 were ordered to the store and 16 were opened;

Of a fifth entry of 300 bales, 21 were ordered to the store and 14 were opened;

The United States appealed from the decree to the circuit court of appeals, which certified certain questions to this court, whereupon a writ of certiorari was issued and the entire record brought up.

Messrs. Henry M. Hoyt, Assistant Attorney General, and W. J. Hughes for appellant on first and second argument and submission.

Mr. William A. Maury for appellees on first argument and submission.

Messrs. Thomas J. Semmes and William A. Maury for appellees on second submission.

Of a sixth entry of 100 bales, 100 were ordered to the store and 10 were opened;

Mr. Chief Justice Fuller delivered the

opinion of the court:

*In respect of these importations, it must[139]

And of a seventh entry of 100 bales, 100 were ordered to the store and 10 were opened. [138] *The examination of the bales was made by the appraiser, assisted by an examiner. The appraiser reported as to each importation that the bales contained bags of foreign manufacture, subject to duty, and thereupon the collector, by direction of the Treasury Department, at the request of the importers, in order to obtain possession of the goods, be assumed that the bags were not in fact made impost entries, assessing duties at the all of American manufacture or substantialrate of two cents per pound on the entirely so. consignment, under paragraph 365 of the act The opinion of the General Appraisers of 1890, 26 Stat. at L. 593, as "bags for grain stated that "it was admitted that there were made of burlaps.". The importers protested bags of foreign manufacture and of Ameriagainst the "decision, liquidation, and rate can manufacture, all indiscriminately minand amount of duties assessed," on the gled together, no attempt being made on engrounds: That the bags were entitled to try or afterwards to separate from these free entry under paragraph 493 of the free enormous totals of goods of the same class list as bags of American manufacture, ex- those claimed to be relieved from duty acported filled with American products; that, companied by the proof establishing such inif not free under that paragraph, they were "in some cases examined every bale of the dulgence." The examiner testified that he entitled to free entry under the provisions whole entire invoice;" that he used his judgof section seven of the act of February 8, ment "to try to open sufficient to get at the 1875, and the regulations for the free entry classification of the goods;" and that where of bags other than of American manufacture, he opened the bales and examined them he prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury found of foreign make in general "from sev thereunder; and that the goods were not enty-five to eighty per cent." Indeed we do fairly and faithfully examined by the ap-not understand the importers to deny that praisers; that the assessment of two cents these importations contained foreign-made per pound because the bales contained a mix-bags. ture of foreign and American bags was incorrect, and that the goods being all of one value, whether of foreign or American make,

Under title 33 of the Revised Statutes a duty was imposed on grain bags, except those manufactured in the United

States [140]

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