MR. JUSTICE BREWER, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.
At the outset we are met with the question whether this court has jurisdiction. In Eustis v. Bolles, 150 U.S. 361, 366, it was held:
Plaintiff in error does not challenge the rule as thus laid down, but insists that the single question decided by the Supreme Court of the State was that of usury under the Federal statute; that such decision was that a national bank could not recover from a corporation interest in excess of the statutory rate, although an individual could; or, in other words, that the decision was one making a discrimination against national banks in Illinois.
With this construction of that decision we are unable to concur. If language has any force the opinion of the Supreme Court is a clear declaration that the statutes of Illinois contain both a prohibition and a penalty; that the prohibition makes void pro tanto every contract in violation thereof, and that while section 11, prohibiting corporations from pleading the defence of usury, may prevent any claim to the benefits of the penalty, it does not give to the other party a right to enforce a contract made in violation of the prohibition. Counsel for plaintiff insists that prior decisions of that court in the case of individual creditors are inconsistent with this, and that the language of the court in this opinion is not clear. Even if it be true that a different opinion has been expressed heretofore by that court in reference to individual creditors, (and in respect to that matter we have no comments to make,) it is obvious that the present decision is that under and by virtue of the statutes of that State the plaintiff, whoever he or it may be, cannot enforce a contract forbidden by the terms of those statutes, and this irrespective of any rights that the defendant may have in respect thereto. Such a decision is one depending solely upon the statutes of the State.
The writ of error is