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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Lodge, Knights of Pythias v. Meyer, 265 U.S. 30 (1924)

Supreme Lodge, Knights of Pythias v. Meyer

No. 214

Argued March 12, 1924

Decided April 28, 1924

265 U.S. 30


1. While proceedings in the federal courts are not within the terms of Art. IV, § 1, of the Constitution, they nevertheless must be accorded the same full faith and credit by state courts as would be required in respect of the judicial proceedings of another state. P. 265 U. S. 33.

2. Where statutes of two states, couched in the same terms, receive different constructions by the courts of their respective localities, the constructions become parts of the respective statutes, which are to be treated accordingly as different laws. P. 265 U. S. 34.

3. In an action to recover insurance under a benefit certificate, issued by a fraternal order created by an act of Congress which provided that its constitution, and the amendments thereof, should not conflict with the laws of any state, a defense based on the refusal of the insured to pay increased dues, as required by an amendment adopted by the order, was overruled by the Supreme Court of Nebraska upon the ground that the order had not a "representative form of government" within the meaning of a statute of Nebraska in force when the new rates were adopted.


(a) The meaning attributed by the Nebraska Supreme Court to the Nebraska statute must be accepted by this Court, on review, as though it had been specifically expressed in the statute. P. 265 U. S. 32.

(b) A decree of the federal court in Indiana holding that the order had a "representative form of government" within the meaning of a similar statute of that state was not binding in the Nebraska litigation, because the two issues -- the meaning of the Nebraska statute and the meaning of the Indiana statute -- were not the same. P. 265 U. S. 33.

4. Under Jud.Code § 237, as amended by the Act of September 6, 1916, certiorari, and not error, is the remedy to review a state decision on a right claimed under a federal statute or authority where the validity of the statute or authority itself is not in question. P. 265 U. S. 36.

109 Neb. 108 affirmed.

Page 265 U. S. 31

Error and certiorari to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Nebraska affirming a judgment for the plaintiff, Meyer, in an action to recover insurance under a benefit certificate issued by the plaintiff in error.

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