Oxley Stave Co. v. Butler County
166 U.S. 648 (1897)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Oxley Stave Co. v. Butler County, 166 U.S. 648 (1897)

Oxley Stave Company v. Butler County

No. 221

Argued March 19, 1897

Decided April 19, 1897

166 U.S. 648

Syllabus

This Court cannot review the final judgment of the highest court of a state even if it denied some title, right, privilege or immunity of the unsuccessful party, unless it appear from the record that such title, right, privilege or immunity was "specially set up or claimed" in the state court as belonging

Page 166 U. S. 649

to such party under the Constitution or some treaty, statute, commission or authority of the United States. Rev.Stat. § 709.

The words "specially set up or claimed" in that section imply that if a party in a suit in a state court intends to invoke for the protection of his rights the Constitution of the United States or some treaty, statute, commission or authority of the United States, he must so declare, and unless he does so declare "specially" -- that is, unmistakable -- this Court is without authority to reexamine the final judgment of the state court. This statutory requirement is not met if such declaration is so general in its character that the purpose of the party to assert a federal right is left to mere inference.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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