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Fox River Paper Co. v. Railroad Comm'n, 274 U.S. 651 (1927)

Fox River Paper Company v. Railroad Commission of Wisconsin

No. 492

Argued April 11, 12, 1927

Decided May 31, 1927

274 U.S. 651


1 The jurisdiction of this Court to review a judgment of a state court is not affected by the circumstance that the right for which constitutional protection is claimed depends on the state law. P. 274 U. S. 654.

2. When there is no question of evasion of the constitutional issue furnishing the basis for review of the judgment of a state court of last resort, this Court must accept a final the rulings of that court on all matters of state law. P. 274 U. S. 655.

3. The nature and extent of the rights of the state and of riparian owners in navigable waters within the state, and to the soil beneath, are matters of state law to be determined by the statutes and judicial decisions of the state. P. 274 U. S. 655.

4. Where, by the law of the state, a riparian owner on a navigable river, though having title to the bed of the stream, can gain no right in the water power created by erecting a dam without the consent of the state, a refusal by the state to permit maintenance and repair of a dam so erected except upon conditions giving the state an option to acquire in the future, at a noncompensatory price, all the property used and useful under the permit, does not deprive the owner of property in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 274 U. S. 656.

189 Wis. 626, affirmed.

Error to a judgment o the Supreme Court of Wisconsin which sustained, by an equally divided court, dismissal of a suit, in the nature of mandamus, to compel the Railroad Commission to issue to the plaintiffs, permits to repair and maintain a dam under § 31.09 Wis.Stats., 1925.

Page 274 U. S. 652

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