Opinion of the Court by MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES, announced by MR. JUSTICE STONE.
In June, 1924, the Congress proposed an amendment to the Constitution, known as the Child Labor Amendment.
This original proceeding in mandamus was then brought in the Supreme Court of Kansas by twenty-one members of the Senate, including the twenty senators who had voted against the resolution, and three members of the House of Representatives, to compel the Secretary of the Senate to erase an endorsement on the resolution to the effect that it had been adopted by the Senate and to endorse thereon the words "was not passed," and to restrain the officers of the Senate and House of Representatives from signing the resolution and the Secretary of State of Kansas from authenticating it and delivering it to the Governor. The petition challenged the right of the Lieutenant Governor to cast the deciding vote in the Senate. The petition also set forth the prior rejection of the proposed amendment and alleged that in the period from June, 1924, to March, 1927, the amendment had been rejected by both houses of the legislatures of twenty-six States, and had been ratified in only five States, and that by reason of that rejection and the failure of ratification within a reasonable time the proposed amendment had lost its vitality.
An alternative writ was issued. Later the Senate passed a resolution directing the Attorney General to enter the appearance of the State and to represent the State as its interests might appear. Answers were filed
The Supreme Court found no dispute as to the facts. The court entertained the action and held that the Lieutenant Governor was authorized to cast the deciding vote, that the proposed amendment retained its original vitality, and that the resolution "having duly passed the house of representatives and the senate, the act of ratification of the proposed amendment by the legislature of Kansas was final and complete." The writ of mandamus was accordingly denied. 146 Kan. 390; 71 P.2d 518. This Court granted certiorari. 303 U.S. 632.
First. The jurisdiction of this Court. — Our authority to issue the writ of certiorari is challenged upon the ground that petitioners have no standing to seek to have the judgment of the state court reviewed, and hence it is urged that the writ of certiorari should be dismissed. We are unable to accept that view.
The state court held that it had jurisdiction; that "the right of the parties to maintain the action is beyond question."
We find the cases cited in support of the contention, that petitioners lack an adequate interest to invoke our jurisdiction to review, to be inapplicable.
The contention to the contrary is answered by our decisions in Hawke v. Smith, supra, and Leser v. Garnett,
In Leser v. Garnett, qualified voters in the State of Maryland brought suit in the state court to have the names of certain women stricken from the list of qualified voters on the ground that the constitution of Maryland limited suffrage to men and that the Nineteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution has not been validly ratified. The state court took jurisdiction and the Court of Appeals of the State affirmed the judgment dismissing the petition. We granted certiorari. On the question of our jurisdiction we said:
"The petitioners contended, on several grounds, that the Amendment had not become part of the Federal Constitution. The trial court overruled the contentions and dismissed the petition. Its judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of the State, 139 Md. 46; and the case comes here on writ of error. That writ must be dismissed; but the petition for a writ of certiorari, also duly filed, is granted. The laws of Maryland authorized such a suit by a qualified voter against the Board of Registry. Whether the Nineteenth Amendment has become
And holding that the official notice to the Secretary of State, duly authenticated, of the action of the legislatures of the States, whose alleged ratifications were assailed, was conclusive upon the Secretary of State and that his proclamation accordingly of ratification was conclusive upon the courts, we affirmed the judgment of the state court.
That the question of our jurisdiction in Leser v. Garnett was decided upon deliberate consideration is sufficiently shown by the fact that there was a motion to dismiss the writ of error for the want of jurisdiction and opposition to the grant of certiorari. The decision is the more striking because on the same day, in an opinion immediately preceding which was prepared for the Court by the same Justice,
The effort to distinguish that case on the ground that the plaintiffs were qualified voters in Maryland, and hence could complain of the admission to the registry of those alleged not to be qualified, is futile. The interest of the plaintiffs in Leser v. Garnett as merely qualified voters at general elections is certainly much less impressive than the interest of the twenty senators in the instant case. This is not a mere intra-parliamentary controversy but the question relates to legislative action deriving its force solely from the provisions of the Federal Constitution, and the twenty senators were not only qualified to vote on the question of ratification but their votes, if the Lieutenant Governor were excluded as not being a part of the legislature for that purpose, would have been decisive in defeating the ratifying resolution.
We are of the opinion that Hawke v. Smith and Leser v. Garnett are controlling authorities, but in view of the wide range the discussion has taken we may refer to some other instances in which the question of what constitutes a sufficient interest to enable one to invoke our appellate jurisdiction has been involved. The principle that the applicant must show a legal interest in the controversy has been maintained. It has been applied repeatedly in cases where municipal corporations have challenged state legislation affecting their alleged rights and obligations. Being but creatures of the State, municipal corporations have no standing to invoke the contract clause or the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution in opposition to the will of their creator.
The question of our authority to grant certiorari, on the application of state officers, to review decisions of state courts declaring state statutes, which these officers
In Blodgett v. Silberman, 277 U.S. 1, 7, the Court granted certiorari on the application of the State Tax Commissioner of Connecticut who sought review of the decision of the Supreme Court of Errors of the State so far as it denied the right created by its statute to tax the transfer of certain securities, which had been placed for safekeeping in New York, on the ground that they
The question received most careful consideration in the case of Boynton v. Hutchinson Gas Co., 291 U.S. 656, where the Supreme Court of Kansas had held a state statute to be repugnant to the Federal Constitution, and the Attorney General of the State applied for certiorari. His application was opposed upon the ground that he had merely an official interest in the controversy and the decisions were invoked upon which the Government relies in challenging our jurisdiction in the instant case.
This class of cases in which we have exercised our appellate jurisdiction on the application of state officers may be said to recognize that they have an adequate interest in the controversy by reason of their duty to enforce the state statutes the validity of which has been drawn in question. In none of these cases could it be said that the state officers invoking our jurisdiction were sustaining any "private damage."
While one who asserts the mere right of a citizen and taxpayer of the United States to complain of the alleged invalid outlay of public moneys has no standing to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts (Frothingham v. Mellon, 262 U.S. 447, 480, 486, 487), the Court has sustained the more immediate and substantial right of a resident taxpayer to invoke the interposition of a court of equity to enjoin an illegal use of moneys by a municipal corporation. Crampton v. Zabriskie, 101 U.S. 601, 609; Frothingham v. Mellon, supra. In Heim v. McCall, 239 U.S. 175, we took jurisdiction on a writ of error sued out by a property owner and taxpayer, who had been given standing in the state court, for the purpose of reviewing its decision sustaining the validity under the Federal Constitution, of a state statute as applied to contracts for the construction of public works in the City of New York, the enforcement of which was alleged to involve irreparable loss to the city and hence to be inimical to the interests of the taxpayer.
In Smiley v. Holm, 285 U.S. 355, we granted certiorari on the application of one who was an "elector," as well as a "citizen" and "taxpayer," and who assailed under the Federal Constitution a state statute establishing congressional districts. Passing upon the merits we held that the function of a state legislature in prescribing the time, place and manner of holding elections for representatives
In the light of this course of decisions, we find no departure from principle in recognizing in the instant case that at least the twenty senators whose votes, if their contention were sustained, would have been sufficient to defeat the resolution ratifying the proposed constitutional amendment, have an interest in the controversy which, treated by the state court as a basis for entertaining and deciding the federal questions, is sufficient to give the court jurisdiction to review that decision.
Second. The participation of the Lieutenant Governor. — Petitioners contend that, in the light of the powers and duties of the Lieutenant Governor and his relation to the Senate under the state constitution, as construed by the supreme court of the state, the Lieutenant Governor was not a part of the "legislature" so that under Article V of the Federal Constitution, he could be permitted to have a deciding vote on the ratification of the
Whether this contention presents a justiciable controversy, or a question which is political in its nature and hence not justiciable, is a question upon which the Court is equally divided and therefore the Court expresses no opinion upon that point.
Third. The effect of the previous rejection of the amendment and of the lapse of time since its submission.
1. The state court adopted the view expressed by text-writers that a state legislature which has rejected an amendment proposed by the Congress may later ratify.
Thus the political departments of the Government dealt with the effect both of previous rejection and of attempted withdrawal and determined that both were ineffectual in the presence of an actual ratification.
We think that in accordance with this historic precedent the question of the efficacy of ratifications by state legislatures, in the light of previous rejection or attempted withdrawal, should be regarded as a political question pertaining to the political departments, with the ultimate authority in the Congress in the exercise of its control over the promulgation of the adoption of the amendment.
The precise question as now raised is whether, when the legislature of the State, as we have found, has actually ratified the proposed amendment, the Court should restrain the state officers from certifying the ratification to the Secretary of State, because of an earlier rejection, and thus prevent the question from coming before the political departments. We find no basis in either Constitution or statute for such judicial action. Article V, speaking solely of ratification, contains no provision as to rejection.
"Whenever official notice is received at the Department of State that any amendment proposed to the Constitution of the United States has been adopted, according to the provisions of the Constitution, the Secretary of State shall forthwith cause the amendment to be published, with his certificate, specifying the States by which the same may have been adopted, and that the same has become valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the Constitution of the United States."
2. The more serious question is whether the proposal by the Congress of the amendment had lost its vitality through lapse of time and hence it could not be ratified by the Kansas legislature in 1937. The argument of petitioners stresses the fact that nearly thirteen years elapsed between the proposal in 1924 and the ratification in question. It is said that when the amendment was proposed there was a definitely adverse popular sentiment and that at the end of 1925 there had been rejection by both houses of the legislatures of sixteen States and ratification by only four States, and that it was not until about 1933 that an aggressive campaign was started in favor of the amendment. In reply, it is urged that Congress did not fix a limit of time for ratification and that an unreasonably long time had not elapsed since the submission; that the conditions which gave rise to the amendment had not been eliminated; that the prevalence of child labor, the diversity of state laws and the disparity in their administration, with the resulting competitive inequalities, continued to exist. Reference is also made to the fact that a number of the States have treated the amendment as still pending and that in the proceedings of the national government there have been indications of the same view.
It is true that in Dillon v. Gloss the Court said that nothing was found in Article V which suggested that an amendment once proposed was to be open to ratification for all time, or that ratification in some States might be separated from that in others by many years and yet be effective; that there was a strong suggestion to the contrary in that proposal and ratification were but succeeding steps in a single endeavor; that as amendments were deemed to be prompted by necessity, they should be considered and disposed of presently; and that there is a fair implication that ratification must be sufficiently contemporaneous in the required number of States to reflect the will of the people in all sections at relatively the same period; and hence that ratification must be within some reasonable time after the proposal. These considerations were cogent reasons for the decision in Dillon v. Gloss that the Congress had the power to fix a reasonable time for ratification. But it does not follow that, whenever Congress has not exercised that power, the Court should take upon itself the responsibility of deciding what constitutes
Where are to be found the criteria for such a judicial determination? None are to be found in Constitution or statute. In their endeavor to answer this question petitioners' counsel have suggested that at least two years should be allowed; that six years would not seem to be unreasonably long; that seven years had been used by the Congress as a reasonable period; that one year, six months and thirteen days was the average time used in passing upon amendments which have been ratified since the first ten amendments; that three years, six months and twenty-five days has been the longest time used in ratifying. To this list of variables, counsel add that "the nature and extent of publicity and the activity of the public and of the legislatures of the several States in relation to any particular proposal should be taken into consideration." That statement is pertinent, but there are additional matters to be examined and weighed. When a proposed amendment springs from a conception of economic needs, it would be necessary, in determining whether a reasonable time had elapsed since its submission, to consider the economic conditions prevailing in the country, whether these had so far changed since the submission as to make the proposal no longer responsive to the conception which inspired it or whether conditions were such as to intensify the feeling of need and the appropriateness of the proposed remedial action. In short, the question of a reasonable time in many cases would involve, as in this case it does involve, an appraisal of a great variety of relevant conditions, political, social and economic, which can hardly be said to be within the appropriate range of evidence receivable in a court of justice
Our decision that the Congress has the power under Article V to fix a reasonable limit of time for ratification in proposing an amendment proceeds upon the assumption that the question, what is a reasonable time, lies within the congressional province. If it be deemed that such a question is an open one when the limit has not been fixed in advance, we think that it should also be regarded as an open one for the consideration of the Congress when, in the presence of certified ratifications by three-fourths of the States, the time arrives for the promulgation of the adoption of the amendment. The decision by the Congress, in its control of the action of the Secretary of State, of the question whether the amendment had been adopted within a reasonable time would not be subject to review by the courts.
It would unduly lengthen this opinion to attempt to review our decisions as to the class of questions deemed to be political and not justiciable. In determining whether a question falls within that category, the appropriateness under our system of government of attributing finality to the action of the political departments and also the lack of satisfactory criteria for a judicial determination
For the reasons we have stated, which we think to be as compelling as those which underlay the cited decisions, we think that the Congress in controlling the promulgation of the adoption of a constitutional amendment has the final determination of the question whether by lapse of time its proposal of the amendment had lost its vitality prior to the required ratifications. The state officials should not be restrained from certifying to the Secretary of State the adoption by the legislature of Kansas of the resolution of ratification.
As we find no reason for disturbing the decision of the Supreme Court of Kansas in denying the mandamus sought by petitioners, its judgment is affirmed but upon the grounds stated in this opinion.
Concurring opinion by MR. JUSTICE BLACK, in which MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS, MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER and MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS join.
Although, for reasons to be stated by MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER, we believe this cause should be dismissed, the ruling of the Court just announced removes from the case the question of petitioners' standing to sue. Under the compulsion of that ruling,
The Constitution grants Congress exclusive power to control submission of constitutional amendments. Final determination by Congress that ratification by three-fourths of the States has taken place "is conclusive upon the courts."
The state court below assumed jurisdiction to determine whether the proper procedure is being followed between submission and final adoption. However, it is apparent that judicial review of or pronouncements upon a supposed limitation of a "reasonable time" within which Congress may accept ratification; as to whether duly authorized state officials have proceeded properly in ratifying or voting for ratification; or whether a State may reverse its action once taken upon a proposed amendment; and kindred questions, are all consistent only with an ultimate control over the amending process in the courts. And this must inevitably embarrass the course of amendment by subjecting to judicial interference matters that we believe were intrusted by the Constitution solely to the political branch of government.
The Court here treats the amending process of the Constitution in some respects as subject to judicial construction, in others as subject to the final authority of the Congress. There is no disapproval of the conclusion arrived at in Dillon v. Gloss,
Since Congress has sole and complete control over the amending process, subject to no judicial review, the views of any court upon this process cannot be binding upon Congress, and insofar as Dillon v. Gloss attempts judicially to impose a limitation upon the right of Congress to determine final adoption of an amendment, it should be disapproved. If Congressional determination that an amendment has been completed and become a part of the Constitution is final and removed from examination by the courts, as the Court's present opinion recognizes, surely the steps leading to that condition must be subject to the scrutiny, control and appraisal of none save the Congress, the body having exclusive power to make that final determination.
Congress, possessing exclusive power over the amending process, cannot be bound by and is under no duty to accept the pronouncements upon that exclusive power by this Court or by the Kansas courts. Neither state nor federal courts can review that power. Therefore, any judicial expression amounting to more than mere acknowledgment of exclusive Congressional power over the political process of amendment is a mere admonition to
Opinion of MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER.
It is the view of MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS, MR. JUSTICE BLACK, MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS and myself that the petitioners have no standing in this Court.
In endowing this Court with "judicial Power" the Constitution presupposed an historic content for that phrase and relied on assumption by the judiciary of authority only over issues which are appropriate for disposition by judges. The Constitution further explicitly indicated the limited area within which judicial action was to move — however far-reaching the consequences of action within that area — by extending "judicial Power" only to "Cases" and "Controversies." Both by what they said and by what they implied, the framers of the Judiciary Article gave merely the outlines of what were to them the familiar operations of the English judicial system and its manifestations on this side of the ocean before the Union. Judicial power could come into play only in matters that were the traditional concern of the courts at Westminster and only if they arose in ways that to the expert feel of lawyers constituted "Cases" or "Controversies." It was not for courts to meddle with matters that required no subtlety to be identified as political issues.
As abstractions, these generalities represent common ground among judges. Since, however, considerations governing the exercise of judicial power are not mechanical criteria but derive from conceptions regarding the distribution of governmental powers in their manifold, changing guises, differences in the application of canons of jurisdiction have arisen from the beginning of the Court's history.
Of all this, the present controversy furnishes abundant illustration. Twenty-one members of the Kansas Senate and three members of its House of Representatives brought an original mandamus proceeding in the Supreme Court of that State to compel the Secretary of its Senate to erase an endorsement on Kansas "Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3" of January 1937, to the effect that it had been passed by the Senate, and instead to endorse thereon the words "not passed." They also sought to restrain the officers of both Senate and House from authenticating and delivering it to the Governor of the State for transmission to the Secretary of State of the United States. These Kansas legislators resorted to their Supreme Court claiming that there was no longer an amendment open for ratification by Kansas and that, in any event, it had not been ratified by the "legislature" of
Our power to do so is explicitly challenged by the United States as amicus curiae, but would in any event have to be faced. See Mansfield, C. & L.M. Ry. Co. v. Swan, 111 U.S. 379, 382. To whom and for what causes the courts of Kansas are open are matters for Kansas to determine.
It is not our function, and it is beyond our power, to write legal essays or to give legal opinions, however solemnly requested and however great the national emergency. See the correspondence between Secretary of State Jefferson and Chief Justice Jay, 3 Johnson, Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 486-89. Unlike the role allowed to judges in a few state courts and to the Supreme Court of Canada, our exclusive business is litigation.
In the familiar language of jurisdiction, these Kansas legislators must have standing in this Court. What is their distinctive claim to be here, not possessed by every Kansan? What is it that they complain of, which could not be complained of here by all their fellow citizens? The answer requires analysis of the grievances which they urge.
They say that it was beyond the power of the Kansas legislature, no matter who voted or how, to ratify the Child Labor Amendment because for Kansas there was no Child Labor Amendment to ratify. Assuming that an amendment proposed by the Congress dies of inanition after what is to be deemed a "reasonable" time, they claim that, having been submitted in 1924, the proposed Child Labor Amendment was no longer alive in 1937. Or, if alive, it was no longer so for Kansas because, by a prior resolution of rejection in 1925, Kansas had exhausted her power. In no respect, however, do these objections relate to any secular interest that pertains to these Kansas legislators apart from interests that belong to the entire commonalty of Kansas. The fact that these legislators are part of the ratifying mechanism while the ordinary citizen of Kansas is not, is wholly irrelevant to this issue. On this aspect of the case the problem would be exactly the same if all but one legislator had voted for ratification.
These legislators have no more standing on these claims of unconstitutionality to attack "Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3" than they would have standing here to attack some Kansas statute claimed by them to offend the Commerce Clause. By as much right could a member of the Congress who had voted against the passage of a bill because moved by constitutional scruples urge before this Court our duty to consider his arguments of unconstitutionality.
Clearly a Kansan legislator would have no standing had he brought suit in a federal court. Can the Kansas Supreme Court transmute the general interest in these constitutional claims into the individualized legal interest indispensable here? No doubt the bounds of such legal interest have a penumbra which gives some freedom in judging fulfilment of our jurisdictional requirements. The doctrines affecting standing to sue in the federal courts will not be treated as mechanical yardsticks in assessing state court ascertainments of legal interest brought here for review. For the creation of a vast domain of legal interests is in the keeping of the states, and from time to time state courts and legislators give legal protection to new individual interests. Thus, while the ordinary state taxpayer's suit is not recognized in the federal courts, it affords adequate standing for review of state decisions when so recognized by state courts. Coyle v. Smith, 221 U.S. 559; Heim v. McCall, 239 U.S. 175.
This disposes of the standing of the three members of the lower house who seek to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court. They have no standing here. Equally without
The reasoning of Ashby v. White and the practice which has followed it leave intra-parliamentary controversies to parliaments and outside the scrutiny of law courts. The procedures for voting in legislative assemblies
MR. JUSTICE BUTLER, dissenting.
The Child Labor Amendment was proposed in 1924; more than 13 years elapsed before the Kansas legislature voted, as the decision just announced holds, to ratify it. Petitioners insist that more than a reasonable time had elapsed and that, therefore, the action of the state legislature is without force. But this Court now holds that the question is not justiciable, relegates it to the "consideration of the Congress when, in the presence of certified ratifications by three-fourths of the States the time arrives for the promulgation of the adoption of the amendment" and declares that the decision by Congress would not be subject to review by the courts.
"It will be seen that this article says nothing about the time within which ratification may be had — neither that it shall be unlimited nor that it shall be fixed by Congress. What, then, is the reasonable inference or implication? Is it that ratification may be had at any time, as within a few years, a century or even a longer period; or that it must be had within some reasonable period which Congress is left free to define?
"We do not find anything in the Article which suggests that an amendment once proposed is to be open to ratification for all time, or that ratification in some of the States may be separated from that in others by many years and yet be effective. We do find that which strongly suggests the contrary. First, proposal and ratification are not treated as unrelated acts, but as succeeding steps in a single endeavor, the natural inference being that they are not to be widely separated in time. Secondly, it is only when there is deemed to be a necessity therefor that amendments are to be proposed, the reasonable implication being that when proposed they are to be considered and disposed of presently. Thirdly, as ratification is but the expression of the approbation of the people and is to be effective when had in three-fourths of the
"Of the power of Congress, keeping within reasonable limits, to fix a definite period for the ratification we entertain no doubt. . . . Whether a definite period for ratification shall be fixed so that all may know what it is and speculation on what is a reasonable time may be avoided, is, in our opinion, a matter of detail which Congress may determine as an incident of its power to designate the mode of ratification. It is not questioned that seven years, the period fixed in this instance, was reasonable,
Upon the reasoning of our opinion in that case, I would hold that more than a reasonable time had elapsed
The point that the question — whether more than a reasonable time had elapsed — is not justiciable but one for Congress after attempted ratification by the requisite number of States, was not raised by the parties or by the United States appearing as amicus curiae; it was not suggested by us when ordering reargument. As the Court, in the Dillon case, did directly decide upon the reasonableness of the seven years fixed by the Congress, it ought not now, without hearing argument upon the point, hold itself to lack power to decide whether more than 13 years between proposal by Congress and attempted ratification by Kansas is reasonable.
MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS joins in this opinion.
"Section 1. The Congress shall have power to limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons under eighteen years of age.
"Sec. 2. The power of the several States is unimpaired by this article except that the operation of State laws shall be suspended to the extent necessary to give effect to legislation enacted by the Congress."
"At the threshold we are confronted with the question raised by the defendants as to the right of the plaintiffs to maintain this action. It appears that on March 30, 1937, the state senate adopted a resolution directing the attorney general to appear for the state of Kansas in this action. It further appears that on April 3, 1937, on application of the attorney general, an order was entered making the state of Kansas a party defendant. The state being a party to the proceedings, we think the right of the parties to maintain the action is beyond question. (G.S. 1935, 75-702; State, ex rel. v. Public Service Comn., 135 Kan. 491, 11 P.2d 999.)"
Australia followed our Constitutional practice in restricting her courts to litigious business. The experience of English history which lay behind it was thus put in the Australian Constitutional Convention by Mr. (later Mr. Justice) Higgins: "I feel strongly that it is most inexpedient to break in on the established practice of the English law, and secure decisions on facts which have not arisen yet. Of course, it is a matter that lawyers have experience of every day, that a judge does not give the same attention, he can not give that same attention, to a suppositious case as when he feels the pressure of the consequences to a litigant before him. . . . But here is an attempt to allow this High Court, before cases have arisen, to make a pronouncement upon the law that will be binding. I think the imagination of judges, like that of other persons, is limited, and they are not able to put before their minds all the complex circumstances which may arise and which they ought to have in their minds when giving a decision. If there is one thing more than another which is recognized in British jurisprudence it is that a judge never gives a decision until the facts necessary for that decision have arisen." Rep. Nat. Austral. Conv. Deb. (1897) 966-67.
Nor does the Act of December 23, 1914, 38 Stat. 790, touch the present problem. By that Act, Congress for the first time gave this Court power to review state court decisions sustaining a federal right. For this purpose it made certiorari available. The Committee reports and the debates on this Act prove that its purpose was merely to remove the unilateral quality of Supreme Court review of state court decisions on constitutional questions as to which this Court has the ultimate say. The Act did not create a new legal interest as a basis of review here; it built on the settled doctrine that an official has a legally recognizable duty to carry out a statute which he is supposed to enforce.
Thus, prior to the Act of 1914, the Kentucky case, post, p. 474, could not have come here at all, and prior to 1916, the Kansas case would have come here, if at all, by writ of error. By allowing cases from state courts which previously could not have come here at all to come here on certiorari the Act of 1914 merely lifted the previous bar — that a federal claim had been sustained — but left every other requisite of jurisdiction unchanged. Similarly, no change in these requisites was affected by the Acts of 1916 and 1925 in confining certain categories of litigation from the state courts to our discretionary instead of obligatory reviewing power.
CHRONOLOGY OF CHILD LABOR AMENDMENT.
[A State is said to have "rejected" when both Houses of its legislature passed resolutions of rejection, and to have "refused to ratify" when both Houses defeated resolution for ratification.]
June 2, 1924, Joint Resolution deposited in State Department. In that year, Arkansas ratified; North Carolina rejected. Ratification, 1; rejection, 1.
1925, Arizona, California and Wisconsin ratified; Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Vermont rejected; Connecticut, Delaware and South Dakota refused to ratify. Ratifications, 4; rejections, 16; refusals to ratify, 3.
1926, Kentucky and Virginia rejected. Ratifications, 4; rejections, 18; refusals to ratify, 3.
1927, Montana, ratified; Maryland rejected. Ratifications, 5; rejections, 19; refusals to ratify, 3.
1931, Colorado ratified. Ratifications, 6; rejections, 19; refusals to ratify, 3.
1933, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia ratified as did also Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, which had rejected in 1925. Ratifications, 20; rejections, (eliminating States subsequently ratifying) 15; refusals to ratify, 3.
1935, Idaho and Wyoming ratified, as did Utah and Indiana, which had rejected in 1925. As in 1925, Connecticut refused to ratify. Ratifications, 24; rejections, 13; refusals to ratify, 3.
1936, Kentucky, which had rejected in 1926, ratified. Ratifications, 25; rejections, 12; refusals to ratify, 3.
1937, Nevada and New Mexico ratified, as did Kansas, which had rejected in 1925. Massachusetts, which had rejected in 1925, refused to ratify. Ratifications, 28; rejections, 11; refusals to ratify, 3.
Six States are not included in this list: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebaska, New York and Rhode Island. It appears that there has never been a vote in Alabama or Rhode Island. Louisiana house of representatives has three times (1924, 1934 and 1936) defeated resolutions for ratification. In Mississippi, the Senate adopted resolution for ratification in 1934, but in 1936 another Senate resolution for ratification was adversely reported. In Nebraska, the House defeated ratification resolutions in 1927 and 1935, but the Senate passed such a resolution in 1929. In New York, ratification was defeated in the House in 1935 and 1937, and in the latter year, the Senate passed such a resolution.