HERNDON V. CHICAGO, R.I. & PAC. RY. CO., 218 U. S. 135 (1910)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Herndon v. Chicago, R.I. & Pac. Ry. Co., 218 U.S. 135 (1910)

Herndon v. Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company

No. 150

Argued April 14, 1910

Decided May 31, 1910

218 U.S. 135


Objections to a bill for multifariousness and improper joinder of parties must be promptly made, and properly by special demurrer specifically directed to the objection, and so held that, in the absence of specific objection properly raised at the outset, the court can determine in the same action, as against the prosecuting attorney of a state, whether a statute is enforceable under the Constitution of the United States, and, as against the secretary of state, whether the bringing of the action in the federal court will, under another statute, forfeit complainant's right to do business in the state.

Ex Parte Young, 209 U. S. 1, and West. Un. Tel. Co. v. Andrews, 216 U. S. 165, followed, to effect that an action brought to enjoin state officers charged with the execution of a state statute from enforcing the same on the ground that such statute violates the federal Constitution is not an action against the state within the prohibition of the Eleventh Amendment.

Where a railroad company has already provided adequate accommodation at any point, a state regulation requiring interstate trains to stop at such point is an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce and void under the commerce clause of the federal Constitution, and this rule equally applies to junction as to other points, and so held as to the Act of March 19, 1907, amending § 1075, Rev.Stat. of Missouri.

A statute requiring interstate trains to stop at junction points for the convenience of passengers should be construed as a regulation of commerce, and not as a police statute for the protection of life and limb.

While the right to do local business within a state may not be derived from the federal Constitution, the right to resort to federal courts is one created by that Constitution and, as against a foreign corporation

Page 218 U. S. 136

already established within it border, a state cannot forfeit the right to do business because of the bringing of an action in the federal court, and so held that the Act of March 1, 1907, of Missouri imposing such a penalty is unconstitutional and void as to a foreign corporation already in the state at that time.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality of certain statutes of the State of Missouri, are stated in the opinion.

Page 218 U. S. 146

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