Rice v. Sioux City Mem. Park Cemetery, Inc.
349 U.S. 70 (1955)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Rice v. Sioux City Mem. Park Cemetery, Inc., 349 U.S. 70 (1955)

Rice v. Sioux City Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc.

No. 28

Decided May 9, 1955

349 U.S. 70

Syllabus

In a case involving questions arising under the Constitution of the United States which had been decided adversely to petitioner by the Supreme Court of Iowa and which apparently were of public importance, this Court granted a writ of certiorari. After argument, the decision of the Supreme Court of Iowa was affirmed by an equally divided Court. Upon consideration of a petition for rehearing before a full Court, it appeared that an Iowa statute enacted since the commencement of this litigation bars the ultimate question presented in this case from again arising in that State, though the statute is inapplicable to petitioner's case.

Held: the petition for rehearing is granted, the judgment of affirmance is vacated, and the writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted, since this case is not one in which "there are special and important reasons" for granting a writ of certiorari, as required by Rule 19 of the Rules of this Court. Pp. 349 U. S. 71-80.

(a) This Court does not sit for the benefit of the particular litigants. P. 349 U. S. 74.

(b) "Special and important reasons" imply a reach to a problem beyond the academic or the episodic. P. 349 U. S. 74.

(c) This is especially true in cases involving constitutional questions. P. 349 U. S. 74.

(d) It is very important that this Court be consistent in not granting the writ of certiorari except in cases involving principles the settlement of which is of importance to the public, as distinguished from that of the parties. P. 349 U. S. 79.

Rehearing granted; judgment, 348 U.S. 880, vacated; and certiorari dismissed.

Page 349 U. S. 71

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