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Opinion of the Court.
SHOSHONE MINING COMPANY v. RUTTER.
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH
No. 208. Argued March 21, 1900. — Decided April 30, 1900.
A suit brought in support of an adverse claim under Rev. Stat. §§ 2325, 2326, is not a suit arising under the laws of the United States in such a sense as to confer jurisdiction on a Federal court, regardless of the citizenship of the parties.
Blackburn v. Portland Gold Mining Co., 175 U. S. 571, reëxamined and affirmed to this point.
Although suits like the present one may sometimes so present questions arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States that a Federal court will have jurisdiction, yet the mere fact that a suit is an adverse suit, authorized by the statutes of Congress, is not, in and of itself, sufficient to vest jurisdiction in the Federal courts.
THE case is stated in the opinion.
Mr. W. B. Heyburn for appellant. Mr. Lyttleton Price was on his brief.
Mr. Curtis H. Lindley for appellees.
MR. JUSTICE BREWER delivered the opinion of the court.
In Blackburn v. Portland Gold Mining Company, 175 U. S. 571, decided January 8, 1900, we held that a suit brought in support of an adverse claim under sections 2325 and 2326 of the Revised Statutes was not a suit arising under the laws of the United States in such a sense as to confer jurisdiction on a Federal court, regardless of the citizenship of the parties. In this case the same question is again presented, and has been elaborately argued by counsel against the opinion we then announced. Its importance, as well as the great ability with which it was argued by counsel for appellee, have induced a careful reëxamination of the question. While it may be con
Opinion of the Court.
'ceded that the matter is not free from doubt, nevertheless our reëxamination has not led us to change our former views. We deem it unnecessary to restate all the reasons given in the opinion then delivered, and yet some matters may appropriately be noticed.
By the Constitution (art. 3, sec. 2) the judicial power of the United States extends "to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States" and to controversies "between citizens of different States." By article 4, s. 3, cl. 2, Congress is given "power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States." Under these clauses Congress might doubtless provide that any controversy of a judicial nature arising in or growing out of the disposal of the public lands should be litigated only in the courts of the United States. The question, therefore, is not one of the power of Congress, but of its intent. It has so constructed the judicial system of the United States that the great bulk of litigation respecting rights of property, although those rights may in their inception go back to some law of the United States, is in fact carried on in the courts of the several States. It has provided that the Federal courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction of admiralty and patent litigation, and jurisdiction concurrent with the state courts of suits arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States. Rev. Stat. § 629; 25 Stat. 433, c. 866.
When in section 2326, Rev. Stat., Congress authorized that which is familiarly known in the mining regions as an "adverse suit," it simply declared that the adverse claimant should commence proceedings "in a court of competent jurisdiction." It did not in express language prescribe either a Federal or a state court, and did not provide for exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction. If it had intended that the jurisdiction should be vested only in the Federal courts, it would undoubtedly have said so. If it had intended that any new rule of demarcation between the jurisdiction of the Federal and state courts should apply, it would likewise undoubtedly have said so. Leaving the matter as it did, it unquestionably meant that the competency of
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the court should be determined by rules theretofore prescribed in respect to the jurisdiction of the Federal courts. In that view, if the adverse suit were between citizens of different States, and the value of the thing in controversy exceeded $2000, then by virtue of the general provisions of the statutes the Federal courts might take jurisdiction, or, if the suit was one arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States, and the amount in controversy was over $2000, then also the Federal courts might take jurisdiction. Conversely, it would be true that if the amount in controversy was not in excess of $2000, or if the parties were not citizens of different States, and the suit was not one arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States, the Federal courts could not take jurisdiction.
In the present case diverse citizenship does not exist. Jurisdiction must, therefore, depend upon the question whether the suit is one arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States.
We pointed out in the former opinion that it was well settled that a suit to enforce a right which takes its origin in the laws of the United States is not necessarily one arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States, within the meaning of the jurisdiction clauses, for if it did every action to establish title to real estate (at least in the newer States) would be such a one, as all titles in those States come from the United States or by virtue of its laws. As said by Mr. Chief Justice Waite, in Gold Washing & Water Co. v. Keyes, 96 U. S. 199, 203:
"The suit must, in part at least, arise out of a controversy between the parties in regard to the operation and effect of the Constitution or laws upon the facts involved. Before, therefore, a Circuit Court can be required to retain a cause under this jurisdiction, it must in some form appear upon the record, by a statement of facts, in legal and logical form, such as is required in good pleading, that the suit is one which 'really and substantially involves a dispute or controversy' as to a right which depends upon the construction or effect of the Constitution or some law or treaty of the United States.”
The adverse suit (Rev. Stat. sec. 2326) is "to determine the question of the right of possession." That right may or may
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not involve the construction or effect of the Constitution or a law or treaty of the United States. By sections 2319, 2324 and 2332, Revised Statutes, it is expressly provided that this right of possession may be determined by "local customs or rules of miners in the several mining districts, so far as the same are applicable and not inconsistent with the laws of the United States;" or "by the statute of limitations for mining claims of the. State or Territory where the same may be situated." So that in a given case the right of possession may not involve any question under the Constitution or laws of the United States, but simply a determination of local rules and customs, or state statutes, or even only a mere matter of fact.
The recognition by Congress of local customs and statutory provisions as at times controlling the right of possession does not incorporate them into the body of Federal law. Section 2 of article I of the Constitution provides that the electors in each State of members of the House of Representatives "shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature," but this does not make the statutes and constitutional provisions of the various States in reference to the qualifications of electors parts of the Constitution or laws of the United States.
On August 8, 1890, Congress enacted (26 Stat. 313, c. 728) that intoxicating liquors transported into any State or Territory “shall upon arrival in such State or Territory be subject to the operation and effect of the laws of such State or Territory," etc., and in In re Rahrer, 140 U. S. 545, 561, this court said:
"Congress has not attempted to delegate the power to regulate commerce, or to exercise any power reserved to the States, or to grant a power not possessed by the States, or to adopt state laws."
In Miller's Executors v. Swann, 150 U. S. 132, 136, it appeared that the State of Alabama had passed an act containing this provision: "The said Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad Company shall have the privilege and right of selling said lands or any part thereof in accordance with the acts of Congress granting the same," and it was held:
"The question is not what rights passed to the State under
Opinion of the Court.
the acts of Congress, but what authority the railroad company had under the statute of the State. The construction of such a statute is a matter for the state court, and its determination thereof is binding on this court. The fact that the state statute and the mortgage refer to certain acts of Congress as prescribing the rule and measure of the rights granted by the State, does not make the determination of such rights a Federal question. A State may prescribe the procedure in the Federal courts as the rule of practice in its own tribunals; it may authorize the disposal of its own lands in accordance with the provisions for the sale of the public lands of the United States; and in such cases an examination may be necessary of the acts of Congress, the rules of the Federal courts, and the practices of the land department, and yet the questions for decision would not be of a Federal character. The inquiry along Federal lines is only incidental to a determination of the local question of what the State has required and prescribed. The matter decided is one of state rule and practice. The facts by which that state rule and practice are determined may be of a Federal origin."
Inasmuch, therefore, as the "adverse suit" to determine the right of possession may not involve any question as to the construction or effect of the Constitution or laws of the United States, but may present simply a question of fact as to the time of the discovery of mineral, the location of the claim on the ground, or a determination of the meaning and effect of certain local rules and customs prescribed by the miners of the district, or the effect of state statutes, it would seem to follow that it is not one which necessarily arises under the Constitution and laws of the United States.
As against this we are met by these suggestions: First, that a corporation created by Congress has a right to invoke the jurisdiction of the Federal courts in respect to any litigation. which it may have, except as specifically restricted by some act of Congress. Osborn v. Bank of United States, 9 Wheat. 738; Pacific Railroad Removal Cases, 115 U. S. 1. The argument of Chief Justice Marshall in support of this was, briefly, that a corporation has no powers and can incur no obligations except as authorized or provided for in its charter. Its power to do