American Railway Express Co. v. Kentucky,
273 U.S. 269 (1927)

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U.S. Supreme Court

American Railway Express Co. v. Kentucky, 273 U.S. 269 (1927)

American Railway Express Co. v. Kentucky

No. 5

Argued January 29, 1925

Reargued November 17, 18, 1925

Decided February 21, 1927

273 U.S. 269


1. Upon review of a judgment of a state court, not explained by any opinion, grounds of decision involving constitutional questions but not appearing in the record cannot be merely assumed. P. 273 U. S. 272.

2. Save in exceptional circumstances, decisions of state courts on questions of common law as locally applicable are binding in this Court. P. 273 U. S. 272.

3. A judgment pronounced by a state court, with jurisdiction, after a fair hearing, is not violative of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment, even if erroneous, if it is not evasive of a constitutional issue or a result of arbitrary or capricious action. P. 273 U. S. 273.

4. Petitioner, a Delaware corporation, was organized under agreement of the interested parties, during the War, to take over the business and operative properties of all the principal express companies; which it did, paying them with shares of its capital stock issued for the purpose. No provision was made for paying obligations of the old companies. Held that indebtedness in Kentucky of one of the old companies, which arose previously from its express business there, could constitutionally be enforced by the Kentucky

Page 273 U. S. 270

courts against the new company, the old one not being dissolved or insolvent but retired to another state where it still had the stock received from the new company and other valuable property. P. 273 U. S. 274.


Certiorari (264 U.S. 579) to a judgment of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky which affirmed a judgment against the American Railway Express Company for the aggregate of numerous judgments previously recovered against the Adams Express Company by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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