Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Wilson - 213 U.S. 52 (1909)
U.S. Supreme Court
Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Wilson, 213 U.S. 52 (1909)
Western Union Telegraph Company v. Wilson
Argued January 11, 1909
Decided March 1, 1909
213 U.S. 52
To give this Court jurisdiction under § 709, Rev.Stat., not only must a right under the Constitution of the United States be specially set up, but it must appear that the right was denied in fact or that the judgment could not have been rendered without denying it.
Where the constitutional right was not set up in the original plea, and the record does not disclose the reasons of the state court for refusing to allow a new plea setting up the constitutional right, and the record shows that the refusal might have been sufficiently based on nonfederal grounds, this Court cannot review the judgment under § 709, Rev.Stat.
In the absence of action on the part of Congress, a state may regulate the conduct of local delivery of telegraph messages after the interstate transit by wire is completed.
Where it does not appear in the record that a telegraph message between two points in the same state had to be transmitted partly through another state, except by a plea which the state court refused, on nonfederal grounds, to allow to be filed, no federal question is involved, and this Court cannot review the judgment under § 709, Rev.Stat.
The facts are stated in the opinion.