Zimmerman 278 U.S. 63 (1928) ]
[278 U.S. 63, 65] Messrs. John H. Connaughton and W. F. Zumbrunn, both of Washington, D. C., for plaintiff in error.
Messrs. Walter F. Hofheins and John H. Clogston, both of Buffalo, N. Y., and Albert Ottinger, of New York City, for defendants in error.
Mr. Justice VAN DEVANTER delivered the opinion of the Court.
The relator, Bryant, who was held in custody to answer a charge of violating a statute of New York, brought a proceeding in habeas corpus in a court of that state to obtain his discharge on the ground, as was stated in the petition, that the warrant under which he was arrested and detained was issued without any jurisdiction, in that the statute which he was charged with violating was unconstitutional.
The court sustained the validity of the statute and refused to discharge him, People ex rel. Bryant v. Sheriff of Erie County, 123 Misc. Rep. 859, 206 N. Y. S. 533; and that judgment was affirmed by the Appellate Division, 213 App. Div. 414, 210 N. Y. S. 269; and by the Court of Appeals, 241 N. Y. 405, 150 N. E. 497, 43 A. L. R. 909. He them sued out the present writ of error under section 237(a) of the Judicial Code ( 28 USCA 344)-his assignment of errors presented in obtaining the writ being to the effect that the Court of Appeals erroneously had held the statute valid against a contention made by him that it was invalid, because repugnant to so much of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States as declares:
Both parties treat the case as rightly here and as presenting the question whether the state statute is repugnant to the provisions before quoted from the Fourteenth Amendment. But as consent or acquiescence of the parties does not suffice to establish our appellate jurisdiction, and some of our number have doubted the existence of such jurisdiction in this case, we now take up the question.
Section 237a of the Judicial Code (section 344, title 28, U. S. Code) provides that this court may review upon writ of error1 'a final judgment or decree in any suit' in the [278 U.S. 63, 67] court of last resort of a state 'where is drawn, in question the validity of a statute of any state, on the ground of its being repugnant to the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States, and the decision is in favor of its validity.' It is under this provision that a review is invoked.
There are various ways in which the validity of a state statute may be drawn in question on the ground that it is repugnant to the Constitution of the United States. No particular form of words or phrases is essential, but only that the claim of invalidity and the ground therefor be brought to the attention of the state court with fair precision and in due time. And if the record as a whole shows either expressly or by clear intendment that this was done, the claim is to be regarded as having been adequately presented. 2
Of course the decision must have been against the claim of invalidity, but it is not necessary that the ruling shall have been put in direct terms. If the necessary effect of the judgment has been to deny the claim, that is enough.