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Congdon v. Goodman and Bledsoe, 67 U.S. 2 Black 574 574 (1862)

Congdon v. Goodman and Bledsoe

67 U.S. (2 Black) 574


A controversy in which no right is claimed under the Constitution or laws of the United States, but which turns entirely upon the validity or interpretation of state laws, is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the state court, and this Court has no appellate power over its judgment.

The defendants in error in this cause were the Common School Commissioners of the Eighth Civil District of Polk County, Tennessee, who in that character filed their bill on the 13th of February, 1856, in the Chancery Court at Benton, to impeach and set aside a lease for ninety-nine years, made by their predecessors, of the common school section of land in that district, and a sale made of the same land under an order of the circuit court of the county. The validity of the sale and lease was impeached and maintained upon the authority of state laws. The chancery court dismissed the bill. On appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee, the decree was reversed and the case remanded for final proceedings. Defendants below thereupon sued out their writ of error in the Supreme Court of the United States.

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