A case is not within the 25th section of the Judiciary Act when
the judgment below is founded on a matter which is not within the
section, even though it be founded also, for an independent base,
on other matter which it is asserted is within it.
MR. JUSTICE SWAYNE stated the case, and delivered the opinion of
The plaintiff in error brought suit against the defendant in
error, in the Fifth District Court of New Orleans, to recover the
sum of $93,380.97, for moneys deposited by the plaintiff with the
defendant, and moneys collected by the latter for the former. All
the so-called moneys received by
Page 80 U. S. 433
the defendant were the notes of the rebel government. The
district court, on the 27th of March, 1867, gave judgment for the
plaintiff. The case was thereupon taken by appeal to the supreme
court of the state. That court, on the 14th of December, 1869,
reversed the judgment of the court below and dismissed the case. In
the opinion delivered, it was said:
"Under the Constitution of 1868, the courts of this state cannot
entertain an action based upon transactions in Confederate Treasury
notes. We think the evidence discloses that this case is founded
upon dealings in unlawful currency, and the court has often refused
to lend its aid to transactions reprobated by law."
The Constitution of 1868 was not in existence when the case was
decided by the district court.
The supreme court founded its judgment alike upon the
constitutional provision and prior adjudications. Those
adjudications are numerous and conclusive upon the subject.
] The constitution
only declared a settled preexisting rule of jurisprudence in that
state. The result in this case would have been necessarily the same
if the constitution had not contained the provision in question.
This brings the case within the authority of Bethell v.
such a state of facts, this Court cannot take jurisdiction under
the section of the Judiciary Act upon which the writ of error is
founded. The motion must, therefore, be sustained, and the case
Hunley v. Scott,
19 La.Ann. 161; King v. Huston,
Hubbell & Co., ib.,
288; McCracken v. Poole, ib.,
359; Norton v. Dawson, ib.,
77 U. S. 10