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National Council v. State Council, 203 U.S. 151 (1906)

National Council of Junior Order of United American Mechanics

of United States v. State Council of Virginia, Junior Order of


A benefit association incorporated under a state law and styling itself a National Council granted charters to various voluntary organizations in other states, styled State Councils, for similar purposes under conditions expressed in the charters. A dominant portion of the members of a State Council procured a charter from the state legislature granting the corporation so formed under the same name powers in some respects exclusive in that state to carry on a similar work, but saving any rights of property possessed by the National Council. In a suit, brought by the latter, held that:

Whatever relations may have existed between the National Council and the voluntary State Council, there was no contract between the former and the incorporated State Council which was impaired, and the act of incorporation was not void within the impairment clause of the federal Constitution.

A state has the right to exclude a foreign corporation and forbid it from constituting branches within its boundaries, and this power extends to a corporation already within its jurisdiction. A single foreign corporation may be expelled from a state by a special act if the act does not deprive it of property without due process of law.

The property of which a corporation cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment does not include the mere right of a foreign corporation to extend its business and membership in a state which otherwise may exclude it from its boundaries.

104 Va. 197 affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 203 U. S. 158

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