1. A state court decree otherwise "final" for purposes of review
by this Court is nonetheless so because it orders also an
accounting of profits, where such accounting cannot give rise to a
federal question. Judicial Code, § 237. P. 326 U. S.
2. This Court will not review a state court decision resting on
an adequate and independent nonfederal ground, even though the
state court may also have summoned to its support an erroneous view
of federal law. P. 326 U. S.
3. In a decree directing a transfer of the facilities of a
federally licensed radio station, the state court exceeded its
power in ordering the parties "to do all things necessary" to
secure a transfer of the license, since this involved restrictions
upon the licensing system which Congress has established.
Communications Act, § 307(a). P. 326 U. S.
4. Although the State has not been deprived by federal
legislation of the practical power to terminate a broadcasting
service by a proper adjudication separating the physical property
from the license, that power will be amply respected, in the
instant case, if it is qualified merely to the extent of requiring
the state court to withhold execution of that portion of the decree
requiring retransfer of the physical properties until steps are
ordered to be taken, with all deliberate speed, to enable the
Communications Commission to deal with new applications in
connection with the station. P. 326 U. S.
5. The question of fraud adjudicated by the state court will no
longer be open insofar as it bears upon the reliability as licensee
of any of the parties. P. 326 U. S.
144 Neb. 406, 14 N.W.2d 666, remanded.
Certiorari, 323 U.S. 705, to review the reversal of a decree
dismissing the complaint in a suit to set aside a lease and an
assignment of a license of a radio station.
Page 326 U. S. 121
MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER delivered the opinion of the Court.
This case concerns the relation of the Federal Communications
Act, 48 Stat. 1064, 47 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.
to the power
of a State to adjudicate conflicting claims to the property used by
a licensed radio station. At the outset, however, our right to
review the decision below is seriously challenged.
The facts relevant to the jurisdictional problem, as well as to
the main issues, are these, summarized as briefly as accuracy
permits. Petitioner, Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, a
fraternal benefit association of Nebraska, owns radio station WOW.
The Society leased this station for fifteen years to petitioner,
Radio Station WOW, Inc., a Nebraska corporation formed to operate
the station as lessee. After the Society and the lessee had jointly
applied to the Federal Communications Commission for consent to
transfer the station license, Johnson, the respondent, a member of
the Society, filed this suit to have the lease and the assignment
of the license set aside for fraud. While this suit was pending,
the Federal Communications Commission consented to assignment of
the license, and the Society transferred both the station
properties and the license to the lessee. Thereafter, the Society
"the Federal Communications Commission . . . has, and concedes
that it has, no jurisdiction over the subject matter of plaintiff's
action except jurisdiction to determine the transfer of the license
to operate said radio station, which jurisdiction, after full and
complete showing and notwithstanding objections filed
Page 326 U. S. 122
thereto, was exercised in the approval of the transfer of said
license to the defendant Radio Station WOW, Inc., and further order
to the Society to execute and perform the provisions of said lease
by virtue of which the possession of said lease property has now
been delivered to the lessee, all as more particularly herein
Respondent's reply admitted
"that the Federal Communications Commission has, and concedes
that it has, no jurisdiction over the subject matter of plaintiff's
action except jurisdiction to determine the transfer of the license
to operate said radio station."
The trial court found no fraud, and dismissed the suit.
The Supreme Court of Nebraska, three Judges dissenting, reversed
and entered judgment for respondent, directing that the lease and
license be set aside and that the original position of the parties
be restored as nearly as possible. 144 Neb. 406, 13 N.W.2d 556. The
judgment further ordered that an accounting be had of the operation
of the station by the lessee since it came into its possession, and
that the income, less operating expenses, be returned to the
Society. [Footnote 1
motions for rehearing, the
Page 326 U. S. 123
petitioners asserted that only the Federal Communications
Commission and the federal courts had jurisdiction over the subject
matter, not the Nebraska courts. These motions were denied in an
opinion in which the Nebraska Supreme Court stated,
"We conclude at the outset that the power to license a radio
station, or to transfer, assign, or annul such a license, is within
the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Communications
Commission. . . . The effect of our former opinion was to vacate
the lease of the radio station and to order a return of the
property to its former status, the question of the federal license
being a question solely for the Federal Communications Commission.
Our former opinion should be so construed."
The claim that the Nebraska courts had no jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the action was thus dealt with:
"The fact that the property involved was used in a licensed
business was an incident to the suit only. The answer of the
defendants, heretofore quoted, squarely contradicts the position
they now endeavor to assume. Their position is unsound on its
merits, and, in addition thereto, it was eliminated from the case
by the pleadings they filed in their own behalf."
144 Neb. 432, 14 N.W.2d 666, 668. Because of the importance of
the contention that the State court's decision had invaded the
domain of the Federal Communications Commission, we granted
certiorari. In the order allowing certiorari, we directed attention
to the questions whether the judgment is a final one and whether
the federal questions raised by the petition for certiorari are
properly presented by the record. 323 U.S. 705.
Since its establishment, it has been a marked characteristic of
the federal judicial system not to permit an appeal until a
litigation has been concluded in the court of first instance.
See Heike v. United
Page 326 U. S. 124
423; Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.
; Catlin v. United States, 324 U.
. This requirement has the support of
considerations generally applicable to good judicial
administration. It avoids the mischief of economic waste and of
delayed justice. Only in very few situations where intermediate
rulings may carry serious public consequences has there been a
departure from this requirement of finality for federal appellate
jurisdiction. This prerequisite to review derives added force when
the jurisdiction of this Court is invoked to upset the decision of
a State court. Here, we are in the realm of potential conflict
between the courts of two different governments. And so, ever since
1789, Congress has granted this Court the power to intervene in
State litigation only after "the highest court of a State in which
a decision in the suit could be had" has rendered a "final judgment
or decree." Section 237(a) of the Judicial Code, 28 U.S.C. §
344(a). This requirement is not one of those technicalities to be
easily scorned. It is an important factor in the smooth working of
our federal system.
But even so circumscribed a legal concept as appealable finality
has a penumbral area. The problem of determining when a litigation
is concluded so as to be "final" to permit review here arises in
this case because, as has been indicated, the Nebraska Supreme
Court not only directed a transfer of property, but also ordered an
accounting of profits from such property. Considerations of English
usage, as well as those of judicial policy, would readily justify
an interpretation of "final judgment" so as to preclude
reviewability here where anything further remains to be determined
by a State court, no matter how dissociated from the only federal
issue that has finally been adjudicated by the highest court of the
State. Specifically, it might well be held that, even though
definitive rulings on questions otherwise reviewable here have been
made below, such rulings cannot be brought here for
Page 326 U. S. 125
review if the State court calls for the ascertainment by a
master or a lower State court of an account upon which a further
decree is to be entered. See California National Bank v.
Stateler, 171 U. S. 447
171 U. S. 449
Boskey, Finality of State Court Judgments under the Federal
Judicial Code (1943) 43 Col.L.Rev. 1002, 1009; Robertson and
Kirkham, Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (1936) p. 58.
Unfortunately, however, the course of our jurisdictional history
has not run as smoothly as such a mechanical rule would make it. To
enforce it now, or to pronounce it for the future, would involve
disregard of at least two controlling precedents, both of them
expressing the views of unanimous courts, and one of which has
stood on our books for nearly a hundred years in an opinion
carrying the authority, especially weighty in such matters, of
Chief Justice Taney. Leaving to a footnote the details of a
somewhat sinuous story, [Footnote
] it suffices to say that Forgay v.
Page 326 U. S. 126
6 How. 201, and Carondelet Canal Co. v.
Louisiana, 233 U. S. 362
found the requirement of finality to be satisfied by judgments the
characteristics of which cannot be distinguished from those
presented by the Nebraska decree. In short, the rationale of those
cases is that a judgment directing immediate delivery of physical
property is reviewable, and is to be deemed dissociated from a
provision for an accounting, even though that is decreed in the
same order. In effect, such a controversy is a multiple litigation
allowing review of the adjudication which is concluded because it
is independent of, and unaffected by, another litigation with which
it happens to be entangled. Compare Clark v. Williard,
292 U. S. 112
292 U. S.
-119, and see
Note (1934) 48 Harv.L.Rev.
Page 326 U. S. 127
The presupposition in allowing such review is that the federal
questions that could come here have been adjudicated by the State
court, and that the accounting which remains to be taken could not
remotely give rise to a federal question. Of course, where the
remaining litigation may raise other federal questions that may
later come here, such as is true of eminent domain cases, see
Grays Harbor Co. v. Coats-Fordney Co., 243 U.
, to allow review of an intermediate adjudication
would offend the decisive objection to fragmentary reviews. Since,
by awarding an execution, the Nebraska Supreme Court directed
immediate possession of the property to be transferred, the case
comes squarely within Forgay v. Conrad, supra,
Carondelet Canal Co. v. Louisiana, supra,
challenge to our jurisdiction cannot be sustained.
This brings us to consider what federal questions are here. The
court below decreed the transfer of property used as a radio
station. It conceded that it had no jurisdiction over the transfer
of the license under which WOW
Page 326 U. S. 128
was operating. That is a matter which Congress has put in the
keeping of the Federal Communications Commission. Petitioners claim
that the court's decree, in effect, involves an exercise of the
very authority which the court disavowed. This presents a federal
question which was duly made below, and we must consider it.
But it is not open to us to consider independently the claim
that the Federal Communications Act has withdrawn from the State
court jurisdiction over the physical properties of the station, and
given it to the Federal Communications Commission. The Society's
answer admitted that this controversy was outside the jurisdiction
of the Commission except as it related to the transfer of the
license, and respondent joined in this view. Only after the
Nebraska Supreme Court's original opinion did petitioners, by
motions to dismiss the suit and for rehearing, claim that the
Nebraska courts were wholly without jurisdiction over the
controversy. In its opinion on rehearing, the Nebraska Supreme
Court rejected this claim as "contrary to the pleadings filed" in
the trial court, and also denied it on its merits. "The answer of
the defendants, heretofore quoted," that court wrote,
"squarely contradicts the position they now endeavor to assume.
Their position is unsound on its merits, and, in addition thereto,
it was eliminated from the case by the pleadings they filed in
their own behalf."
Questions first presented to the highest State court on a
petition for rehearing come too late for consideration here unless
the State court exerted its jurisdiction in such a way that the
case could have been brought here had the questions been raised
prior to the original disposition. Simmerman v. Nebraska,
116 U. S. 54
Godchaux Co. v. Estopinal, 251 U.
; American Surety Co. v. Baldwin,
287 U. S. 156
Here, the Nebraska Supreme Court held that the federal question had
dropped out as a matter of pleading, and also denied its
Page 326 U. S. 129
This brings the situation clearly within the settled rule
whereby this Court with not review a State court decision resting
on an adequate and independent nonfederal ground, even though the
State court may have also summoned to its support an erroneous view
of federal law.
"Where the judgment of the state court rests on two grounds, one
involving a federal question and the other not . . . , and the
ground independent of a federal question is sufficient in itself to
sustain it, this Court will not take jurisdiction."
Lynch v. New York, 293 U. S. 52
293 U. S. 54
One of the petitioners, Radio Station WOW, Inc., seeks to avoid the
force of this rule by suggesting that its answer did not make the
concession as to the limited jurisdiction of the Federal
Communications Commission upon which the Nebraska court relied. But
it is not for us to consider the correctness of the nonfederal
ground unless it is an obvious subterfuge to evade consideration of
a federal issue. See Neilson v.
12 How. 98, 53 U. S.
-111. It may be Nebraska practice that the answer of
one defendant binds the others, or that failure to raise a question
in the pleadings precludes its consideration on rehearing. These
are matters of State law, and not our concern. Cf. Fair Haven
R. Co. v. New Haven, 203 U. S. 379
203 U. S.
The federal question that remains is whether, although the
Nebraska court clearly recognized that the power to vacate a
license and to authorize its transfer lies exclusively with the
Federal Communications Commission, its decree, in effect, is
inconsistent with such recognition. This is urged on two grounds.
It is asserted that the Nebraska Supreme Court, by ordering the
transfer of the licensed facilities from Radio Station WOW, Inc. to
the Society, although not having power to direct the transfer of
the license, severed the licensed facilities from the license and
therefore nullified the license. Secondly, it is urged that, by
ordering the parties "to do all things necessary" to
Page 326 U. S. 130
secure a return of the license to the defrauded Society, the
State court invaded the Commission's function.
The judgment, following the original opinion, ordered that "the
transfer of the license to operate the station be vacated and set
aside." On rehearing, the court made it quite plain that it was
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Communications Commission
to vacate radio licenses, and declared that its former opinion
should be so construed. While it did not formally modify its
judgment, it is reasonable to assume that the view which it
unambiguously rejected in its opinion it did not mean to assert
through its judgment. Hotel Employees' Local v. Board,
315 U. S. 437
315 U. S.
-441; Burke v. Unique Printing Co.,
264, 88 N.W. 488. But, in matters of potential conflict between
State and federal authorities, avoidance of needless friction, no
less than good draftsmanship, counsels explicit, and not merely
argumentative, restriction of a State court's judgment within its
In any event, we think the court went outside its bounds when it
ordered the parties "to do all things necessary" to secure a return
of the license. Plainly, that requires the Society to ask the
Commission for a retransfer of the license to it, and requires WOW
not to oppose such transfer. The United States, in a brief filed at
our request, suggests that this provision of the decree would
probably also disqualify WOW from "applying for a new license to
operate a radio station in Omaha on the same frequency, should it
become equipped to do so." To be sure, the Communications
Commission's power of granting, revoking, and transferring licenses
involves proper application of those criteria that determine
"public convenience, interest, or necessity." Section 307(a), 48
Stat. 1064, 1083, 47 U.S.C. § 307(a). But, insofar as the Nebraska
decree orders the parties "to do all things necessary" to secure
the return of the license, it hampers the freedom of the Society
not to continue in broadcasting and to restrict itself, as it
Page 326 U. S. 131
may, to its insurance business. Equally does it prevent WOW from
opposing a return to the Society, or, as the United States
suggests, from seeking another license of its own. These are
restrictions not merely upon the private rights of parties as to
whom a State court may make appropriate findings of fraud. They are
restrictions upon the licensing system which Congress established.
It disregards practicalities to deny that, by controlling the
conduct of parties before the Communications Commission, the court
below reached beyond the immediate controversy, and into matters
that do not belong to it.
The most troublesome question raised by this case remains. While
the decree of the State court concerning the transfer of the
leasehold is, in view of the pleadings, not here as an independent
question, due consideration of the federal question relating to the
transfer of the license makes it proper to consider the bearing of
a decree ordering an immediate transfer of the leasehold upon the
status of the radio license. A proper regard for the implications
of the policy that permeates the Communications Act makes
disposition of licensed facilities prior to action by the
Communications Commission a subsidiary issue to the license
question. We have no doubt of the power of the Nebraska court to
adjudicate, and conclusively, the claim of fraud in the transfer of
the station by the Society to WOW and, upon finding fraud, to
direct a reconveyance of the lease to the Society. And this even
though the property consists of licensed facilities and the Society
chooses not to apply for retransfer of the radio license to it, or
the Commission, upon such application, refuses the retransfer. The
result may well be the termination of a broadcasting station. The
Communications Act does not explicitly deal with this problem, and
we find nothing in its interstices that dislodges the power of the
States to deal with fraud merely because licensed facilities are
involved. The "public interest" with which the Commission is
Page 326 U. S. 132
charged is that involved in granting licenses. Safeguarding of
that interest can hardly imply that the interest of States in
enforcing their laws against fraud have been nullified insofar as
licensed facilities may be the instruments of fraud.
On the other hand, if the State's power over fraud can be
effectively respected while, at the same time, reasonable
opportunity is afforded for the protection of that public interest
which led to the granting of a license, the principle of fair
accommodation between State and federal authority, where the powers
of the two intersect, should be observed. Severance of the licensed
facilities from the license so precipitously that the Federal
Communications Commission is deprived of the opportunity of
enabling the two to be kept together needlessly disables the
Commission from protecting the public interest committed to its
charge. This presents a practical, and not a hypothetical,
situation. To carry out abruptly a State decree separating licensed
facilities from the license deprives the public of those advantages
of broadcasting which presumably led the Commission to grant a
license. To be sure, such a license is merely a permit to serve the
public, and not a duty to do so. Therefore, as we have concluded,
the State has not been deprived by federal legislation of the
practical power to terminate the broadcasting service by a proper
adjudication separating the physical property from the license. We
think that State power is amply respected if it is qualified merely
to the extent of requiring it to withhold execution of that portion
of its decree requiring retransfer of the physical properties until
steps are ordered to be taken, with all deliberate speed, to enable
the Commission to deal with new applications in connection with the
station. Of course, the question of fraud adjudicated by the State
court will no longer be open insofar as it bears upon the
reliability as licensee of any of the parties.
New situations call for new adaptation of judicial remedies. We
have had occasion to limit the conceded jurisdiction
Page 326 U. S. 133
of the federal courts in order to give State courts opportunity
to pass authoritatively on State issues involved in federal
litigation. See, e.g., Spector Motor Service v.
McLaughlin, 323 U. S. 101
will give full play both to the powers that belong to the States
and to those that are entrusted to the Federal Communications
Commission, where the two are intertwined as they are here, to
enforce the accommodation we have formulated.
Accordingly, the judgment is reversed, and the cause remanded
for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS concurs in the result.
MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS is of the opinion that the judgment should
MR. JUSTICE BLACK took no part in the consideration or decision
of this case.
The judgment directed
"that said judgment of the district court be, and hereby is,
reversed, and cause is remanded, with directions that the lease to
the station, the lease to the space occupied by the station and the
transfer of the license to operate the station be vacated and set
aside; that the $25,000 of accounts turned over by the society to
lessee be returned; that an accounting be had of the operation of
the station by lessee since it took possession thereof on January
14, 1943, and that the income thereof, less operating expenses, be
returned to the society; that the license to operate the station be
returned, and that lessee be directed to do all things necessary
for that purpose; that, generally, everything be done to restore
the parties to their original position prior to the entering into
the lease; that all expenses had by the society in connection with
the transfer of the station and license to the lessee and the
expense had in connection with returning same to the society
pursuant hereto are to be paid by the lessee. It is further ordered
and adjudged that all costs, both in this court and in the district
court, shall be paid by the defendants, except the Woodmen of the
World Life Insurance Society, costs in this court being taxed at $
___, for all of which execution is hereby awarded, and that a
mandate issue accordingly."
Most of the cases cited which involve an accounting have come
from federal courts. In this category are Forgay v.
6 How. 201; Thomson v.
7 Wall. 342; Winthrop Iron Co. v.
Meeker, 109 U. S. 180
Keystone Manganese & Iron Co. v. Martin, 132 U. S.
; McGourkey v. Toledo & Ohio R. Co.,
146 U. S. 536
Gulf Refining Co. v. United States, 269 U.
In the Forgay
case, the court below set aside a
conveyance of land and slaves and ordered a master to take an
accounting of the rents and profits. This Court held the decree to
be appealable, since immediate delivery of the property was
ordered, although the decree was "not final, in the strict,
technical sense of that term." The Court said of the lower court
"the bill is retained merely for the purpose of adjusting the
accounts referred to the master. In all other respects, the whole
of the matters brought into controversy by the bill are finally
disposed of as to all of the defendants."
6 How. 47 U. S. 201
47 U. S.
-204. It was suggested that, if appellants had to
wait, they would be subjected to irremediable injury, for execution
had been awarded. Also held final was the decree in Thomson v.
where the court ordered immediate transfer of
stock and an accounting to determine the amounts paid and to be
paid and the dividends accrued. In Gulf Refining Co. v. United
a judgment was held to be final where the
original decrees enjoined defendants from taking oil from
Government property and confirmed an accounting to January 1, 1918,
although the decree appealed from ordered a further accounting for
oil extracted pendente lite.
The Court observed that the
decrees were final for the purpose of the original appeals. All of
these cases rely on the fact that there had been a conclusive
adjudication of the rights and liabilities of the parties with
immediate delivery of possession of the subject matter of the suit.
This consideration was emphasized in Grant v. Phoenix Ins.
Co., 106 U. S. 429
106 U. S.
-432, and in Collins v. Miller, 252 U.
, 252 U. S.
Another line of cases starts with Winthrop Iron Co. v.
where a decree was held final although an
accounting was ordered, because no accounting had been prayed for
in the bill. This unsubstantial distinction was seized upon in
Keystone Manganese & Iron Co. v. Martin, supra,
McGourkey v. Toledo & Ohio Railway, supra,
to hold not
final decrees in cases where an accounting had been sought.
The cases from State courts are less numerous. California
National Bank v. Stateler, supra,
stated broadly that a
judgment remanding for an accounting is not final. In that case, an
intervening party, appointed pursuant to State law as agent for
bank stockholders, secured an order directing that money be turned
over to him less the holder's costs, disbursements, and attorney's
fees. In addition, if it should be found that the holder had
received certain stock, as alleged, then the stock also should be
turned over. But there was no immediate delivery of anything, since
the amount of money to be turned over remained to be ascertained,
as did the existence of the stock. And, in Sand Springs Home v.
299 U.S. 588, the Court denied certiorari "for the
want of a final judgment" in a case where the plaintiff's right to
an undivided one-sixth interest in land was decreed, plus an
accounting for profits from the gas taken out of the land. I n the
absence of a partition, there could, of course, be no delivery of
the property itself.
Opposed to the general observations in the Stateler
case is the square ruling in Carondelet Canal Co. v.
Louisiana, 233 U. S. 362
State Supreme Court ordered that judgment be entered requiring
delivery of a canal to Louisiana. Certain claims with respect to a
small additional plot of ground were reserved, and an accounting of
receipts and disbursements in the management of the property was
ordered. This Court denied a motion to dismiss for want of a final
judgment. It noted that the decree required immediate delivery of
the property to the State, so that the decree possessed
definiteness as to the matter decided. "In the case at bar, there
is distinct and explicit finality, and the further proceedings are
directed to apply only to the questions reserved.'"
233 U. S. 233 U.S.
362, 233 U. S.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON, dissenting.
I am unable to agree with the Court's disposition of this case,
and will indicate briefly the reason.
Petitioner is incorporated under the laws of Nebraska, and
operates a radio station owned by the Woodmen of the World, an
insurance society also organized under the laws of Nebraska. It is
clear that the Nebraska has plenary power over the internal affairs
of both of these corporations.
The Woodmen of the World, in addition to its insurance business,
went into the radio business through radio station WOW. It became
involved in controversies, and eventually decided that it ought to
get out of the radio operation.
From 1923 to 1928, it had carried the radio station at a loss,
but its net average earnings from 1936 to 1942 were $194,724.14 per
year. The property and facilities of the
Page 326 U. S. 134
corporation were leased to a new corporation in 1942 for
$74,000.00 per year. The new corporation consisted of organizers
whom the Court found sustained such a relation to the President of
the insurance company, who managed the negotiations on its behalf,
that the transfer constituted a constructive fraud on policy
holders. It ordered that the transaction be undone, and complete
restitution be made. I take it that this judgment was fully within
the competence of the State.
Meanwhile, the transferees had obtained approval of the Federal
Communications Commission of the transfer of the license to them.
Because of this, it is claimed that, in some way, the power of the
State to undo this transaction is limited. Certainly no power has
been conferred on the Federal Communications Commission to hear,
try, or determine the case of fraud between Nebraska stockholders
and the officers of Nebraska corporations. The Commission has, of
course, powers to look after the public interest in the transfer of
There is possibility of conflict between the judgment rendered
by the state court of Nebraska and the Federal Communications
Commission, and this possibility of conflict leads to the decision
of the Court today. That conflict can occur only if the Federal
Communications Commission shall hold that the federal public
interest requires this radio station to be kept in the hands of
those who are adjudged to be guilty of fraud, and that the public
interest cannot be served by those who have been adjudged to have
been victims of that fraud, although they had operated the station
for many years with success and without any question as to the
public interest. If the Communications Commission should render
such a decision by refusing to retransfer the license in accordance
with the judgment, we would then have a question as to the faith
and credit due the state court judgment, and its effects in an
administrative tribunal. I would deal with that sort
Page 326 U. S. 135
of question not hypothetically, but when it arises, and upon the
record which is made before the Communications Commission.
But, even if the Commission should decide that the federal
interest requires this station to be operated by those who have
obtained it by constructive fraud, I think the judgment of the
state court of Nebraska would still be good. It has the power not
only to compel restitution of property obtained from its
corporations in violation of its laws, but if, by federal
proceedings or otherwise, the wrongdoers have put some part of the
value of this station beyond their power to recapture, the State
has the right to compel them to account for its value. The State,
it seems to me, has the right to strip the wrongdoers of every
fruit of the wrong, including the value of the federal license even
if the license itself cannot be obtained.
For these reasons, I would affirm the judgment of the Nebraska
courts, and leave the problem of conflict to be dealt with when and
if it arises.