PARKER V. ILLINOIS, 333 U. S. 571 (1948)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Parker v. Illinois, 333 U.S. 571 (1948)

Parker v. Illinois

No. 270

Argued February 13, 1948

Decided April 5, 1948

333 U.S. 571


Petitioner was sentenced by an Illinois court to 90 days in jail for contempt. The State Supreme Court denied a direct review. The trial court then issued an amended order adjudging petitioner guilty of contempt and sentencing him to jail for 90 days. Petitioner appealed from this order to an intermediate state court, which sustained it on state grounds. The State Supreme Court affirmed. Neither the intermediate court nor the State Supreme Court considered petitioner's claimed denial of rights under the Federal Constitution. Under Illinois practice, a case involving a claim of federal right must be taken directly from the trial court to the State Supreme Court, else the federal question is deemed waived.


1. In appealing the amended order to the intermediate state court, rather than directly to the State Supreme Court, petitioner waived his claim of rights under the Federal Constitution. Central Union Co. v. Edwardsville, 269 U. S. 190. Pp. 333 U. S. 572-576.

2. When federal rights are involved, it is for this Court to determine whether a claimant's failure to follow the procedure designed by a State for their protection constitutes a waiver of them. P. 333 U. S. 574.

3. The Illinois practice of requiring constitutional questions to be taken directly to the State Supreme Court, and refusing to review them if review is first sought in an intermediate state court, affords litigants a reasonable opportunity to have constitutional questions heard and determined by the state court, and is valid. Pp. 333 U. S. 574-575.

4. The fact that a petition to the State Supreme Court for review of the amended order may have seemed futile, in view of that court's denial of direct review of the original order, does not excuse petitioner's failure to proceed in the prescribed manner. Pp. 333 U. S. 575-576.

5. If the petition to this Court for certiorari be considered as involving only the original order, it is out of time; if it involves the amended order, it presents federal questions which have been waived. Pp. 333 U. S. 575-576.

Page 333 U. S. 572

6. The result in this case is no different if the original and amended orders are regarded as the same in substance, though separate in point of time and form, since it is not unreasonable for Illinois to refuse a second appeal. P. 333 U. S. 576.

396 Ill. 583, 72 N.E.2d 848, affirmed.

The State Supreme Court denied direct review of an order of a trial court sentencing petitioner to imprisonment for contempt. An amended order of the trial court was affirmed by an appellate court, 328 Ill.App. 46, and by the State Supreme Court, 396 Ill. 583, 72 N.E.2d 848. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U.S. 846. Affirmed, p. 333 U. S. 577.

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