Williams v. Norris
25 U.S. 117 (1827)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Williams v. Norris, 25 U.S. 12 Wheat. 117 117 (1827)

Williams v. Norris

25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 117

Syllabus

Under the twenty-fifth section of the Judiciary Act of 1789, ch. 20, where the construction of any clause in the Constitution or any statute of the United States is drawn in question in any suit in a state court, the decision must be against the title or right set up by the party under such clause of the Constitution or statute or this Court has no appellate jurisdiction in the case.

It is not sufficient that the construction of the statute was drawn in question and that the decision was against the title of the party; it must appear that his title depended upon this statute.

Where in such a case the validity of a statute of any state is drawn in question upon the ground of its being repugnant to the Constitution of the United States and the decision has been in favor of its validity, it is necessary to the exercise of the appellate jurisdiction of this Court that it should distinctly appear that the title or right of the party depended upon the statute.

The opinion of the court, or the reasons given for its judgment (unless in the case of instruction to the jury spread upon the record by a bill of exceptions) form no part of the record within the meaning of the above twenty-fifth section. Nor are they made a part of the record in Tennessee by the local law of that state requiring the judges to file their opinions in writing among the papers in the cause.

No orders in the state court after the removal of the record into this Court (not made by way of amendment, but introducing new matter) can be brought into the record here. The cause must be heard and determined upon the record as it stood when removed.

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