POST V. SUPERVISORS, 105 U. S. 667 (1881)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Post v. Supervisors, 105 U.S. 667 (1881)

Post v. Supervisors

105 U.S. 667


1. Whether a seeming act of the legislature is or is not a law is a judicial question to be determined by the court, and not a question of fact to be tried by a jury.

2. The construction uniformly given to the constitution of a state by its highest court is binding on the courts of the United States as a rule of decision.

3. An act of the legislature of a state which has been held by its highest court not to be a statute of that state because never passed as its constitution requires cannot be held by the courts of the United States, upon the same evidence between different parties, to be a law of the state, although referred to in later statutes of the state as an existing law and assumed to be such in earlier cases in the state court in which its validity was not, and by the settled practice of that court could not be, controverted.

4. The act of the General Assembly of Illinois of Feb. 18, 1857, purporting to authorize the issue of certain municipal bonds is of no force or effect by reason of its not appearing by the legislative journals to have been passed as required by the Constitution of 1848.

5. Under the statute of Illinois of Feb. 12, 1849, copies of the original daily journals kept by the clerks of each house of the legislature, made by persons contracted with or employed for the purpose, in well bound books furnished

Page 105 U. S. 668

by the secretary of state and afterwards deposited and kept in his office, are official records, copies of which certified by him are competent evidence.

6. The printed journals of either house of a legislature, published in obedience to law, are competent evidence of its proceedings.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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