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Opinion of the Court.
ing over three thousand inhabitants, for a time sufficient to receive and let off passengers, was held to be, in the absence of legislation by Congress upon the subject, consistent with the Constitution of the United States, when applied to trains engaged in interstate commerce through the State of Ohio. In delivering the opinion of the court, Mr. Justice Harlan observed: "The statute does not stand in the way of the railroad company running as many trains as it may choose between Chicago and Buffalo without stopping at intermediate points, or only at very large cities on the route, if in the contingency named in the statute the required number of trains stop at each place containing three thousand inhabitants long enough to receive and let off passengers. It seems from the evidence that the average time required to stop a train and receive and let off passengers is three minutes. Certainly, the State of Ohio did not endow the plaintiff in error with the rights of a corporation for the purpose simply of subserving the convenience of passengers traveling through the State between points outside of its territory. It was for the State to take into consideration all the circumstances affecting passenger travel within its limits, and as far as practicable make such regulations as were just to all who might pass over the road in question. It was entitled, of course, to provide for the convenience of persons desiring to travel from one point to another in the State on domestic trains. But it was not bound to ignore the convenience of those who desired to travel from places in the State to places beyond its limits, or the convenience of those outside of the State who wished to come into it. Its statute is in aid of interstate commerce of that character. It was not compelled to look only to the convenience of those who wished to pass through the State without stopping." This case is readily distinguishable from the one under consideration in the fact that the statute of Ohio required only that three regular passenger trains should stop at every station containing three thousand inhabitants, leaving the company at liberty to run as many through passenger trains exceeding three per day as it chose, without restriction as to stoppage at particular stations. In other words, it left open the loophole which the statute of Illinois has effectually closed.
Opinion of the Court.
The question broadly presented in this case is this: Whether a state statute is valid which requires every passenger train, regardless of the number of such trains passing each way daily and of the character of the traffic carried by them, to stop at every county seat through which such trains may pass by day or night, and regardless also of the fact whether another train designated especially for local traffic may stop at the same station within a few minutes before or after the arrival of the train in question?
The demurrer to the answer admits that the railway company furnishes a sufficient number of regular passenger trains, (four each way a day,) to accommodate all the local and through business along the line of the road, and that all of such trains stop at Hillsboro; that none of such trains have been taken off, and all of which ran prior to the putting on of the Knickerbocker Special still run and still stop at Hillsboro, and that they furnish ample and sufficient accommodation to all persons desiring to travel to and from that place; that the Knickerbocker Special was put on in response to an urgent demand on the part of the through travelling public from St. Louis to New York and that it was necessary, as the passenger trains theretofore used could not, by reason of stopping at way stations, make the time required for eastern connections, and if compelled to stop at county seats the company will be compelled to abandon the train to the great damage of the travelling public and to the railway company.
It is evident that the power attempted to be exercised under this statute would operate as a serious restriction upon the speed of trains engaged in interstate traffic, and might, in some cases, render it impossible for trunk lines running through the State of Illinois to compete with other lines running through States in which no such restrictions were applied. If such passenger trains may be compelled to stop at county seats it is difficult to see why the legislature may not compel them to stop at every station-a requirement which would be practically destructive of through travel, where there were competing lines unhampered by such regulations. While, as we held in the Lake Shore case, railways are bound to provide primarily and ade
Opinion of the Court.
quately for the accommodation of those to whom they are directly tributary, and who not only have granted to them their franchise but who may have contributed largely to the construction of the road, they are bound to do no more than this, and may then provide special facilities for the accommodation of through traffic. We are not obliged to shut our eyes to the fact that competition among railways for through passenger traffic has become very spirited, and we think they have a right to demand that they shall not be unnecessarily hampered in their efforts to obtain a share of such traffic. It is evident, however, that neither the greater safety of their tracks, the superior comfort of their coaches or sleeping berths or the excellence of their tables would insure them such share, if they were unable to compete with their rivals in the matter of time. The great efforts of modern engineering have been directed to combining safety with the greatest possible speed in transportation, both by land and water. The public demand this; the railway and steamship companies are anxious in their own interests to furnish it, and local legislation ought not to stand in the way of it.
With no disposition whatever to vary or qualify the cases above cited, neither the conclusions of the court nor the tenor of the opinions are opposed to the principle we hold to in this case, that, after all local conditions have been adequately met, railways have the legal right to adopt special provisions for through traffic, and legislative interference therewith is unreasonable, and an infringement upon that provision of the Constitution which we have held requires that commerce between the States shall be free and unobstructed.
While the statute in question is operative only in the State of Illinois, it is obnoxious to the criticism made of the Louisiana statute in Hall v. DeCuir, 95 U. S. 485, that "while it purports only to control the carrier when engaged within the State, it must necessarily influence his conduct, to some extent, in the management of his business throughout his entire voyage.
If each State was at liberty to regulate the conduct of carriers while within its jurisdiction, the confusion likely to follow could not but be productive of great inconvenience and unnecessary hardship. Each State could provide for its own
passengers and regulate the transportation of its own freight regardless of the interests of others." The distinction between this statute and regulations requiring passenger trains to stop at railroad crossings and drawbridges, and to reduce the speed of trains when running through crowded thoroughfares; requiring its tracks to be fenced, and a bell and whistle to be attached to each engine, signal lights to be carried at night, and tariff and time tables to be posted at proper places, and other similar requirements contributing to the safety, comfort and convenience of their patrons, is too obvious to require discussion. Railroad Commission Cases, 116 U. S. 307, 334.
We are of opinion that the act in question is a direct burden upon interstate commerce, and the judgment of the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois must therefore be reversed, and the case remanded to that court for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
MR. JUSTICE BREWER and MR. JUSTICE SHIRAS concurring:
We concur in this judgment on the proposition that the act of the legislature of Illinois whether reasonable or unreasonable, wise or foolish, is, as applied to the facts of this case, an attempt by the State to directly regulate interstate commerce, and as such attempt, is beyond the power of the State.
DE LAMAR'S NEVADA GOLD MINING COMPANY v. NESBITT.
ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
No. 152. Argued March 1, 1900.- Decided April 30, 1900.
The fact that in a state court plaintiff and defendant make adverse claims to a mining location under the mining laws of the United States (Rev. Stat. § 2325), does not of itself present a federal question within the meaning of Rev. Stat. § 709.
Statement of the Case.
Where the plaintiff based his right to recover upon an act of Congress suspending the forfeiture of mining claims for failure to do the required amount of work, and the decision of the court was in favor of the right claimed by him under this statute, the defendant is not entitled to a writ of error from this court to review such finding.
THIS was a suit begun in the District Court for the Fourth Judicial District of Nevada by Nesbitt as part owner of the Fraction mine, against one William Davidson, the alleged locator of the Sleeper mining claim, covering the same ground as the Fraction mine, to quiet plaintiff's title and that of his co-tenants to the Fraction mine, and to recover a money judgment against the defendant.
The complaint alleged that the plaintiff and his coöwners were tenants in common, and since May 15, 1892, had been in possession of the Fraction mining claim, pursuant to the laws of the United States, and that the defendant also claimed a right to possession upon the alleged location of a certain mining claim called by him the Sleeper mine; that such location was made subsequent to the location of the Fraction mine, and that the plaintiff had protested in the land office at Carson City against the issuance of a patent to the defendant.
The answer denied the ownership and possession of the plaintiff of the Fraction mine, and alleged as a defence the invalidity of the proceedings under which Nesbitt and his co-tenants had acquired the titles of the original locators to the Fraction mine.
The case came on for trial before the court without a jury, and resulted in a judgment for the plaintiff, whereby it was decreed that the title of plaintiff and his co-tenants to the Fraction mine be quieted, and the claim of the defendant to that portion of the Sleeper mine embraced within the boundary lines of the Fraction mine, be rejected; with a further decree for the recovery of certain incidental fees and costs. Upon motion for a new trial, it was ordered that De Lamar's Nevada Gold Mining Company be substituted as defendant in the place of Davidson, deceased, and that the motion for a new trial be overruled. Defendant appealed to the Supreme Court of the State, which affirmed the judgment. 52 Pac. Rep. 609. Whereupon it sued out a writ of error from this court.