Bowe v. Scott
233 U.S. 658 (1914)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bowe v. Scott, 233 U.S. 658 (1914)

Bowe v. Scott

No. 360

Argued May 6, 1914

Decided May 25, 1914

233 U.S. 658

Syllabus

Where complainants duly asserted federal rights in opposition to contemplated municipal action, the decision of the court below that they had no right to prevent such action because it was a public wrong which private parties had no right to redress, the federal right asserted was denied, and this Court has jurisdiction to review the judgment.

A mere assertion in a state court of a right under the Constitution of the United States, in a petition for rehearing, affords no ground for invoking the jurisdiction of this Court unless the court below, in dealing with the petition, considers and passes upon the federal ground therein relied upon.

A mere allegation in the bill in a suit to enjoin enforcement of an ordinance that the latter is unconstitutional because impairing the

Page 233 U. S. 659

obligation of a contract between the municipality and a third person not a party to the suit is not such an assertion of federal rights as will afford a basis for jurisdiction of this Court under § 237, Judicial Code, to review the judgment dismissing the bill.

Where the state constitution contains a due process of law clause, an averment that contemplated action of a municipality would deprive complainant of his property without due process of law, without making reference to the Constitution of the United States or asserting express rights thereunder, is referable to the state constitution alone, and affords no basis for invoking the jurisdiction of this Court under § 237, Judicial Code.

Writ of error to review 113 Va. 499 dismissed.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of this Court under § 237, Judicial Code, and what constitutes raising the federal question in the state court, are stated in the opinion.

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