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Southern Pacific Railroad Company v. California, 118 U.S. 109 (1886)

Southern Pacific Railroad Company v. California

Submitted December 11, 1885

Decided April 26, 1886

118 U.S. 109


The question whether a state has power to tax franchises of a corporation derived from acts of Congress, and property used in connection therewith, and the question whether a statute of California under the operation of which the railroad of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company is subjected to taxation in California without deduction of its mortgage encumbrances, while in the valuation of the property of other corporations not railroad corporations, and of individuals for taxation in the state, the mortgage encumbrances are deducted is repugnant to the XIVth Amendment of the Constitution, are questions arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States, which, when properly raised in a suit at law or in equity of a civil nature pending in a state court, authorize its removal into a circuit court of the United States, and this although other issues, not federal, are raised by the pleadings in the case.

A suit brought by the State pf California in one of its own courts against the Southern Pacific Railroad Company to recover an amount claimed to be due for taxes is a suit at law of a civil nature within the meaning of the removal clauses in the Act of March 3, 1875.

Railroad Co. v. Mississippi, 102 U. S. 135, affirmed and applied.

Starin v. New York, 115 U. S. 248, affirmed and applied.

Page 118 U. S. 110

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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