David Kaufman & Sons Co. v. Smith
216 U.S. 610 (1910)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

David Kaufman & Sons Co. v. Smith, 216 U.S. 610 (1910)

David Kaufman & Sons Company v. Smith

No. 668

Motion to dismiss or affirm submitted February 28, 1910

Decided March 7, 1910

216 U.S. 610

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY

Syllabus

To give this Court jurisdiction on a direct appeal from, or writ of error to, a court of appeals on the ground of a constitutional question, such question must be real and substantial, and not a mere claim in words.

The questions involved in this case as to the right of the government to collect duties on merchandise coming into the United States from the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, under the Act of March 2, 1905, c. 1311, 33 Stat. 843, have already been settled by the case of Downes v. Bidwell,182 U. S. 244, and the writ of error is dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

PER CURIAM.

It is established that to give this Court jurisdiction on a direct appeal from, or writ of error to, a circuit court, on the ground of a constitutional question, such question must be real and substantial, and not a mere claim in words.

This was an action brought against the collector of customs for the recovery of duties paid under the Act of March 2, 1905, 33 Stat. 843, c. 1311, entitled, "An Act Fixing the Status of Merchandise

Page 216 U. S. 611

Coming into the United States from the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama," providing

"that all laws affecting imports of articles, goods, wares, and merchandise, and entry of persons into the United States from foreign countries, shall apply to articles, goods, wares, and merchandise, and persons coming from the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, and seeking entry into any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia."

Plaintiff claimed that the merchandise in question was not liable to the duties thus paid, but the circuit court ruled that, in view of the treaty between the Republic of Panama and the United States, and the various acts of Congress relating to such zone, the principles laid down in Downes v. Bidwell,182 U. S. 244, were decisive of the questions raised herein. We concur in that conclusion, and dismiss the writ of error for want of jurisdiction.

Writ of error dismissed.

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