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Opinion of the Court.
to be amenable to the suit of an individual without its consent."
The question as to the suability of one government by another government rests upon wholly different grounds. Texas is not called to the bar of this court at the suit of an individual, but at the suit of the government established for the common and equal benefit of the people of all the States. The submission to judicial solution of controversies arising between these two governments, “ each sovereign, with respect to the objects committed to it, and neither sovereign with respect to the objects committed to the other," McCulloch v. State of Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 400, 410, but both subject to the supreme law of the land, does no violence to the inherent nature of sovereignty. The States of the Union have agreed, in the Constitution, that the judicial power of the United States shall extend to all cases arising under the Constitution, laws and treaties of the United States, without regard to the character of the parties, (excluding, of course, suits against a State by its own citizens or by citizens of other States, or by citizens or subjects of foreign States,) and equally to controversies to which the United States shall be a party, without regard to the subject of such controversies, and that this court may exercise original jurisdiction in all such cases, “ in which a State shall be party,” without excluding those in which the United States may be the opposite party. The exercise, therefore, by this court, of such original jurisdiction in a suit brought by one State against another to determine the boundary line between them, or in a suit brought by the United States against a State to determine the boundary between a Territory of the United States and that State, so far from infringing, in either case, upon the sovereignty, is with the consent of the State sued. Such consent was given by Texas when admitted into the Union upon an equal footing in all respects with the other States.
We are of opinion that this court has jurisdiction to determine the disputed question of boundary between the United States and Texas.
It is contended that, even if this court has jurisdiction, the
Opinion of the Court.
dispute as to boundary must be determined in an action at law, and that the act of Congress requiring the institution of this suit in equity is unconstitutional and void as, in effect, declaring that legal rights shall be tried and determined as if they were equitable rights. This is not a new question in this court. It was suggested in argument, though not decided, in Fowler v. Lindsey, 3 Dall. 411, 413. Mr. Justice Washington, in that case, said: "I will not say that a State could sue at law for such an incorporeal right as that of sovereignty and jurisdiction ; but even if a court of law would not afford a remedy, I can see no reason why a remedy should not be obtained in a court of equity. The State of New York might, I think, file a bill against the State of Connecticut, praying to be quieted as to the boundaries of the disputed territory; and this court, in order to effectuate justice, might appoint commissioners to ascertain and report those boundaries.” But the question arose directly in Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 12 Pet. 657, 734, which was a suit in equity in this court involving the boundary line between two States. The court said: “No court acts differently in deciding on boundary between States, than on lines between separate tracts of land ; if there is uncertainty where the line is, if there is a confusion of boundaries by the nature of interlocking grants, the obliteration of marks, the intermixing of possession under different proprietors, the effects of accident, fraud or time or other kindred causes, it is a case appropriate to equity. An issue at law is directed, a commission of boundary awarded ; or, if the court are satisfied without either, they decree what and where the boundary of a farm, a manor, a province or a State is and shall be." When that case was before the court at a subsequent term, Chief Justice Taney, after stating that the case was of peculiar character, involving a question of boundary between two sovereign States, litigated in a court of justice, and that there were no precedents as to forms and modes of proceedings, said: “The subject was however fully considered at January term, 1838, when a motion was made by the defendant to dismiss this bill. Upon that occasion the court determined to frame their proceedings according to those which had been
Dissenting Opinion : Fuller, Lamar, JJ.
adopted in the English courts, in cases most analogous to this, where the boundaries of great political bodies had been brought into question. And, acting upon this principle, it was then decided, that the rules and practice of the Court of Chancery should govern in conducting this suit to a final issue. The reasoning upon which that decision was founded is fully stated in the opinion then delivered; and upon reëxamining the subject, we are quite satisfied as to the correctness of this decision.” 14 Pet. 210, 256. The above cases, New Jersey v. New York, Missouri v. Iowa, Florida v. Georgia, Alabama v. Georgia, Virginia v. West Virginia, Missouri v. Kentucky, Indiana v. Kentucky, and Nebraska v. Iowa, were all original suits in equity in this court, involving the boundary of States. In view of these precedents, it is scarcely necessary for the court to examine this question anew. Of course, if a suit in equity is appropriate for determining the boundary between two States, there can be no objection to the present suit as being in equity and not at law. It is not a suit simply to determine the legal title to, and the ownership of, the lands constituting Greer County. It involves the larger question of governmental authority and jurisdiction over that territory. The United States, in effect, asks the specific execution of the terms of the treaty of 1819, to the end that the disorder and public mischiefs that will ensue from a continuance of the present condition of things may be prevented. The agreement, embodied in the treaty, to fix the lines with precision, and to place landmarks to designate the limits of the two contracting nations, could not well be enforced by an action at law. The bill and amended bill make a case for the interposition of a court of equity.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, with whom concurred MR. JUSTICE LAMAR, dissenting.
MR. JUSTICE LAMAR and myself are unable to concur in the decision just announced.
This court has original jurisdiction of two classes of cases
only, those affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party.
The judicial power extends to “controversies between two or more States;” “ between a State and citizens of another State;” and “between a . State or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, citizens or subjects.” Our original jurisdiction, which depends solely upon the character of the parties, is confined to the cases enumerated, in which a State may be a party, and this is not one of them.
The judicial power also extends to controversies to which the United States shall be a party, but such controversies are not included in the grant of original jurisdiction. To the controversy here the United States is a party.
We are of opinion, therefore, that this case is not within the original jurisdiction of the court.
Nos. 1052, 1049, 1050. Argued November 30, December 1, 2, 1891. – Decided February 29, 1892.
The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and by the
President of the Senate, in open session, of an enrolled bill, is an official attestation by the two Houses of such bill as one that has passed Congress; and when the bill thus attested receives the approval of the President, and is deposited in the Department of State according to law, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress is complete and unimpeachable.
Statement of the Case.
It is not competent to show from the journals of either House of Congress,
that an act so authenticated, approved and deposited, did not pass in the precise form in which it was signed by the presiding officers of the two
Houses and approved by the President. Congress cannot, under the Constitution, delegate its legislative power to
the President. The authority conferred upon the President by section 3 of the act of
October 1, 1890, to reduce the revenue and equalize duties on imports, and for other purposes, 26 Stat. c. 1244, pp. 567, 612, to suspend by proclamation the free introduction of sugar, molasses, coffee, tea and hides, when he is satisfied that any country producing such articles imposes duties or other exactions upon the agricultural or other products of the United States, which he may deem to be reciprocally unequal or unreasonable, is not open to the objection that it unconstitutionally transfers 'legislative power to the President, (FULLER, C. J., and LAMAR, J., dissenting;) but even if it were it does not follow that other parts of the act
imposing duties upon imported articles, are inoperative. The court does not decide whether the provision in that act respecting
bounties upon sugar (schedule E, Sugar, 26 Stat. 583) is or is not constitutional, because it is plain from the act that these bounties do not constitute a part of the system of customs duties imposed by the act, and it is clear that the parts of the act imposing such duties would remain in
force even if these bounties were held to be unconstitutionally imposed. Unless it be impossible to avoid it, a general revenue statute should never
be declared inoperative in all its parts because a particular part, relating to a distinct subject, may be invalid.
These were suits by importers to obtain a refund of duties claimed to have been illegally exacted on imported merchandise under the tariff act approved October 1, 1890, 26 Stat. 567, c. 1244.
Marshall Field & Co. proceeded against John M. Clark, the collector of the port of Chicago, to recover duties paid on woollen dress goods, woollen wearing apparel and silk embroideries.
Boyd, Sutton & Co. proceeded against the United States and J. B. Erhardt, collector of the port of New York, to recover duties paid upon an importation of silk and cotton laces.
11. Herrman, Sternbach and Co. proceeded against the United States to recover duties paid upon colored cotton cloths.
The main issue in all the cases was, whether that act, which purports to repeal the previous tariff act of March 3, 1883, 22 Stat. 488, c. 121, had itself the force of law.