Great Northern Life Ins. Co. v. Read,
322 U.S. 47 (1944)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Great Northern Life Ins. Co. v. Read, 322 U.S. 47 (1944)

Great Northern Life Insurance Co. v. Read

No. 235

Argued January 31, 1944

Decided April 24, 1944

322 U.S. 47


1. On review by certiorari of a judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals, the respondent may urge in support of the judgment a contention which was sustained by the District Court. P. 322 U. S. 49.

2. A foreign insurance company brought suit in the federal district court of Oklahoma against the Insurance Commissioner of Oklahoma, to recover payments made to him pursuant to a state statute which levied a tax of four percent on premiums received by foreign insurance companies in the State. Section 12665, Oklahoma Statutes of 1931, prescribed a judicial procedure for recovery of money wrongfully collected as taxes.


(1) The suit was a suit against the State, and not maintainable without its consent. Eleventh Amendment; Smith v. Reeves, 178 U. S. 436. P. 322 U. S. 53.

(2) The State had consented to its being sued only in its own courts, and the suit was therefore not maintainable in the federal court. P. 322 U. S. 55.

3. A State may limit to its own courts suits against it to recover taxes, and its intent in respect of such suits to submit to the jurisdiction of courts other than those of its own creation must clearly appear. P. 322 U. S. 54.

4. Smyth v. Ames, 169 U. S. 466; Reagan v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co., 154 U. S. 362, and Gunter v. Atlantic Coast Line, 200 U. S. 273, distinguished. P. 322 U. S. 55.

136 F.2d 44 vacated.

Certiorari, 320 U.S. 726, to review the affirmance of a judgment dismissing on the merits a suit to recover sums alleged to have been illegally exacted as taxes.

Page 322 U. S. 48

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