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DAVID KAUFMAN & SONS CO v. SMITH , 216 U.S. 610 (1910)

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United States Supreme Court


No. 668

Argued: Decided: March 7, 1910

Messrs. Frederick B. Campbell, George Whitefield Betts, Jr., George W. Hinckley, and Wallace, Butler, & Brown for plaintiff in error.

Solicitor General Bowers and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Lloyd for defendant in error.

Per Curiam:

It is established that to give this court jurisdiction on a direct appeal from, or writ of error to, a circuit court, on the ground of a constitutional question, such question must be real and substantial, and not a mere claim in words.

This was an action brought against the collector of customs for the recovery of duties paid under the act of March 2, 1905, 33 Stat. at L. 843, chap. 1311, entitled, 'An Act Fixing the Status of Merchan- [216 U.S. 610, 611]   dise Coming into the United States from the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama,' providing 'that all laws affecting imports of articles, goods, wares, and merchandise, and entry of persons into the United States from foreign countries, shall apply to articles, goods, wares, and merchandise, and persons coming from the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, and seeking entry into any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.'

Plaintiff claimed that the merchandise in question was not liable to the duties thus paid, but the circuit court ruled that, in view of the treaty between the Republic of Panama and the United States [33 Stat. at L. 2234], and the various acts of Congress relating to such zone, the principles laid down in Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244 , 45 L. ed. 1088, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 770, were decisive of the questions raised herein. We concur in that conclusion, and dismiss the writ of error for want of jurisdiction.

Writ of error dismissed.

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