MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.
This is a suit by one whose business is getting contracts for vaudeville performers to perform in theatres all over the United States and acting as their manager and personal representative. It is brought against a combination of corporations engaged in similar business, and the owners of a large number of theatres known as the Keith Circuit, the owners of others known as the Orpheum Circuit, and some other persons not needing special mention here, who it is alleged are ruining the plaintiff's business by a conspiracy forbidden by the Anti-Trust Act of July 2, 1890, c. 647, 26 Stat. 209. An injunction and enormous damages are asked. The bill was dismissed for want of jurisdiction by the District Court on the ground that it did not state a cause of action arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States.
The bill sets out at superfluous length a combination of the defendants to exclude actors from the theatres controlled by them, being practically all the theatres in the United States and in Canada in which high class vaudeville entertainments are produced, and to exclude the managers and personal representatives of actors from the defendants' booking exchange in New York and from business, unless they respectively comply with the defendants' requirements, including the payment of considerable sums. It is alleged that a part of the defendants' business is making contracts that call on performers to travel between the States and from abroad and in connection
The jurisdiction of the District Court is the only matter to be considered on this appeal. That is determined by the allegations of the bill, and usually if the bill or declaration makes a claim that if well founded is within the jurisdiction of the Court it is within that jurisdiction whether well founded or not. Louisville & Nashville R.R. Co. v. Rice, 247 U.S. 201, 203. Lamar v. United States, 240 U.S. 60. Geneva Furniture Manufacturing Co. v. S. Karpen & Bros., 238 U.S. 254, 258. The Fair v. Kohler Die & Specialty Co., 228 U.S. 22, 25. While appeals to this Court often are dismissed as frivolous, Equitable Life Assurance Society v. Brown, 187 U.S. 308, 311; Deming v. Carlisle Packing Co., 226 U.S. 102, 109, 110, the former case expressly and the latter by implication follow and reaffirm Swafford v. Templeton, 185 U.S. 487, 493, to the effect that when a suit is brought in a federal court and the very matter of the controversy is federal it cannot be dismissed for want of jurisdiction "however wanting in merit" may be the averments intended to