Clearfield Trust Co. v. United States
318 U.S. 363 (1943)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Clearfield Trust Co. v. United States, 318 U.S. 363 (1943)

Clearfield Trust Co. v. United States

No. 490

Argued February 5, 1943

Decided March 1, 1943

318 U.S. 363



1. When the United States disburses its funds or pays its debts, it is exercising a constitutional function or power; and its rights and duties on commercial paper so issued are governed by federal, rather than local, law. United State v. Guaranty Trust Co.,293 U. S. 340, distinguished. P. 318 U. S. 366.

2. In the absence of an applicable Act of Congress, it is for the federal courts to fashion the governing rule of federal law according to their own standards. P. 318 U. S. 367.

3. Reasons which at times may make state law an appropriate federal rule are singularly inappropriate in determining the rights and duties of the United States on commercial paper which it issues, since the desirability of a uniform rule in such cases is plain. P. 318 U. S. 367.

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