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SELOVER, BATES & CO. V. WALSH, 226 U. S. 112 (1912)

U.S. Supreme Court

Selover, Bates & Co. v. Walsh, 226 U.S. 112 (1912)

Selover, Bates & Co. v. Walsh

No. 22

Submitted October 29, 1912

Decided December 2, 1912

226 U.S. 112


With the ruling of the state court as to the applicability of a state statute to a particular contract this Court has nothing to do. It is concerned only with the question of whether, as so applied, the law violated the federal Constitution.

The court may, through action upon or constraint of the person within its jurisdiction, affect property in other states.

The obligation of a contract is the law under which it was made, even though it may affect lands in another state, and, in an action which

Page 226 U. S. 113

does not affect the land itself but which is strictly personal, the law of the state where the contract is made gives the right and measure of recovery.

A contract made in one state for the sale of land in another can be enforced in the former according to the lex loci contractu, and not according to the lex rei sitae. Polson v. Stewart, 167 Mass. 211, approved.

Where the state court has construed a state law as applied to the case at bar, this Court will presume that the state court will make the statute effective as so construed in other cases. This Court will not anticipate the ruling of the state court.

A state statute providing that the vendor of lands cannot cancel the contract without reasonable written notice with opportunity to the vendee to comply with the terms is within the police power of the state, and so held that Chapter 223 of the Laws of 1897 of Minnesota is not unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment as depriving a vendor of his property without due process of law or denying him the equal protection of the law.

The test of equal protection of the law is whether all parties are treated alike in the same situation.

Contentions as to unconstitutionality of a state statute not made in the court below cannot be made in this Court.

A corporation cannot claim the protection of the clause of the Fourteenth Amendment which secures the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States against abridgment or impairment by the laws of a state. Western Turf Association v. Greenberg, 204 U. S. 359.

109 Minn. 136 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of a contract made in Minnesota for sale of land situated in Colorado, and the application thereto of a statute of Minnesota, are stated in the opinion.

Page 226 U. S. 120

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