A judgment holding certain shares of such a character as to come
within the general succession tax of the state, though the tax was
opposed as reaching real property outside of the state,
not to involve the validity of the tax statute or of
an authority exercised under the state, and hence not to be
reviewable by writ of error under Jud.Code, § 237, as amended in
Writ of error to review 227 Mass. 562, dismissed.
Page 250 U. S. 221
The case is stated in the opinion.
MR. JUSTICE DAY delivered the memorandum opinion of the
This is a writ of error seeking to review in this Court a decree
of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. The controversy
concerned the right to tax under the Massachusetts Statutes of
1909, c. 490, Part IV, § 1, as amended by Stats. 1912, c. 678, the
passing of certain interests under the will of Edith L. Dana, in
the Duluth and Gladstone Real Estate Trust, in thirty preferred
shares and forty-five common shares of the Amoskeag Manufacturing
Company and in one hundred thirty shares of the Boston Ground Rent
The probate court held in favor of the Treasurer and Receiver
General -- that all of the interests of the testatrix in the
several trusts and companies named were taxable under the
Massachusetts statute. The case was decided in the Supreme Judicial
Court of Massachusetts on June 29, 1917, and final decree entered
July 23, 1917. 227 Mass. 562. The ground upon which it is sought to
bring the case here on writ of error rests upon the assertion that
the Supreme Judicial Court erred in sustaining the succession tax
because it was imposed on or on account of real estate situated
outside of Massachusetts, therefore rendering the assessment of the
tax a violation of rights secured by the Fourteenth Amendment
Page 250 U. S. 222
the Constitution of the United States in that it took the
property of the plaintiff in error without due process of law.
The case was decided, and the decree entered in the Supreme
Judicial Court, since the passage of Act Sept. 6, 1916, c. 448, 39
Stat. 726, amending § 237 of the Judicial Code. Since the passage
of the amendment, cases brought within its effect, of the character
of this one, cannot be brought here by writ of error unless there
is drawn in question the validity of a statute of or an authority
exercised under the state on the ground of their being repugnant to
the federal Constitution, treaties, or laws. Other cases of alleged
denial of federal rights, as specified in the statute, can be
reviewed in this Court only upon writ of certiorari.
An examination of the record in the case and the opinion of the
Supreme Judicial Court shows that neither the validity of the
statute nor the validity of any authority exercised under the state
was drawn in question. The case was decided on the view which the
Supreme Judicial Court entertained of the character of the property
involved, and neither in the record nor in the opinion of the court
does it appear that any question was raised or decided which
involved the validity of the statute of the state, or of an
authority exercised under the state, on the ground of their
repugnancy to the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United
States. It follows that the only right of review in this Court of
the decree of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts was by
writ of certiorari. It is only necessary to refer to our decisions
construing the amendment of September 6, 1916. Philadelphia
& Reading Coal & Iron Co. v. Gilbert, 245 U.
; Ireland v. Woods, 246 U.
; Stadelman v. Miner, 246 U.
; Northern Pacific Ry. Co. v. Solum,
247 U. S. 477
247 U. S.
The writ of error must be dismissed for want of