Stearns v. Wood,
236 U.S. 75 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Stearns v. Wood, 236 U.S. 75 (1915)

Stearns v. Wood

No. 647

Argued December 18, 1914

Decided January I8, 1915

236 U.S. 75


The province of courts is to decide real controversies, and not to discuss abstract propositions, and this Court cannot be called upon to construe orders, acts of Congress, and provisions of the Constitution for the information of persons whose rights are not directly affected or threatened, notwithstanding their laudable feeling of deep interest in the general subject.

Page 236 U. S. 76

An officer of the National Guard whose personal rights are not directly violated or interfered with and whose present rank remains unchanged thereby cannot, in this Court, question the validity and constitutionality of the General Order contained in Circular No. 8 issued by the Secretary of War pursuant to § 3 of the Military Law, Act of January 21, 1903, c.196, 32 Stat. 775, as amended by Act of May 27, 1908, c. 204, 35 Stat. 399, relative to the organization, armament, and discipline of the organized militia and orders of the Adjutant General of Ohio with respect to the mobilization of the National Guard of that state and commanding that, upon any declaration of war, all furloughs be revoked and the officers and soldiers shall assemble and proceed wherever directed by the President of the United States, whether within or without the United States.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of this Court on a direct appeal from the district court, are stated in the opinion.

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