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U.S. Supreme Court

Porter v. Investors Syndicate, 286 U.S. 461 (1932)

Porter v. Investors Syndicate

No. 627

Argued April 22, 1932

Decided May 23, 1932

286 U.S. 461


1. The power conferred by the Montana "Blue Sky Law" upon the Investment Commissioner to regulate investment companies and revoke their permits to do business if they fail to comply is legislative, and the power that the statute grants to the state courts in actions brought within thirty days by any interested person against the Commissioner, "to set aside, modify or confirm" his decisions "as the evidence and the rules of equity may require," is likewise legislative. P. 286 U. S. 468.

Page 286 U. S. 462

2. The capacity of the state court under this statute is nonetheless administrative, because the proceeding is by suit in equity, instead of an appeal from the Commissioner. P. 286 U. S. 468.

3. In providing that, "pending any such action" for review in the state court, the findings and decision of the Commissioner shall remain in full force and effect, the statute does not mean that the state court may not stay the enforcement of his decision by interlocutory order. Pp. 286 U. S. 469-470.

4. The word "pending," in this connection, is to be interpreted as meaning "until," or while the time is running for bringing the action. Id.

5. In construing a statute, unconstitutionality must be avoided if possible. P. 286 U. S. 470.

6. One who would attack a decision and order of the Commissioner, upon the ground that the statute is unconstitutional, must exhaust the administrative remedy provided in the state courts before seeking an injunction from a federal court. Pp. 286 U. S. 468, 286 U. S. 471.

52 F.2d 189 reversed.

Appeal from a decree enjoining the appellant, as Investment Commissioner, from revoking the appellee's permit to do business as an "investment company" for failure to obey a rule regulating the substance and form of its certificates.

Page 286 U. S. 463

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