Home Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Los Angeles - 227 U.S. 278 (1913)
U.S. Supreme Court
Home Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Los Angeles, 227 U.S. 278 (1913)
Home Telephone and Telegraph Company v. Los Angeles
Submitted October 28, 1912
Decided February 24, 1913
227 U.S. 278
One whose rights protected by a provision of the federal Constitution which is identical with a provision of the state constitution are invaded by state officers claiming to act under a state statute is not debarred from seeking relief in the federal court under the federal Constitution until after the state court has declared that the acts were authorized by the statute.
The provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment are generic in terms, and are addressed not only to the states but to every person, whether natural or judicial, who is the repository of state power.
The reach of the Fourteenth Amendment is coextensive with any exercise by a power, in whatever form exerted.
Under the Fourteenth Amendment, the federal judicial power can redress the wrong done by a state officer misusing the authority of the state with which he is clothed; under such circumstances, inquiry whether the state has authorized the wrong is irrelevant. Ex Parte Young, 209 U. S. 123, followed. Barney v. New York, 193 U. S. 430, distinguished.
Acts done under the authority of a municipal ordinance passed in virtue of power conferred by the state are embraced by the Fourteenth Amendment.
The power which exists to enforce the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment is typified by the immediate and efficient federal right to enforce the contract clause of the Constitution as against those violating or attempting to violate its provision.
The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of the District Court of a suit arising under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the validity of an ordinance of Los Angeles, California, establishing telephone rates, are stated in the opinion.