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Minnesota Company v. National Company, 70 U.S. 3 Wall. 332 332 (1865)

Minnesota Company v. National Company

70 U.S. (3 Wall.) 332


The Court, deciding that the present case is the same in fact as one already twice before it and already twice decided in the same way, rebukes with some asperity the practice of counsel who attempt to make the judges bear the "infliction of repeated arguments" challenging the justice of their well considered and solemn decrees, and sends the case represented by them out of court with affirmance and costs.

This case came here by writ of error to the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, and under the name of The Minnesota Mining Company, Plaintiff in Error, versus The National Mining Company and J. M. Cooper, Defendants in Error, the action below being for the recovery of real property. Though nominally different, the parties were in fact the same parties who litigated the case of Cooper v. Roberts, adjudged by this Court at December Term 1855. [Footnote 1] The same title was again, as the court declared, brought in issue, and the same question

Page 70 U. S. 333

again agitated. [Footnote 2] When the question was heard at December Term 1855, it was elaborately discussed by counsel and deliberately considered by the Court, and a unanimous decision given in favor of the party claiming, as the present defendant in error now in fact claimed. Nevertheless, the losing party, unwilling to acquiesce in a single decision, brought the case again before the Court by a second writ of error. This second writ was heard at December Term 1857. [Footnote 3] The counsel on that occasion labored with great zeal and ability to convince the Court that its first decision was erroneous, but were unsuccessful.

In both the cases last referred to, the controversy came before this Court on writs of error in ejectment to the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Michigan.

Veiled under the new forms stated at the beginning of the case, to-wit, the forms of a writ of error to the highest state court of Michigan, and with the names of mining companies for parties, and with some other unimportant variations, the matter was now brought for a third time before this tribunal, no counsel presenting himself to argue the case for the plaintiff in error, and the argument on that side being by brief of nonappearing counsel only.

Mr. Buel, for the defendants in error, after protesting against what he declared to be an abuse of the suitor's privilege and of this Court's well known magnanimity, was beginning to argue the case on merits when certain of the older associates, who recognized the case as an old one, interposing, he was stopped by THE CHIEF JUSTICE with an intimation that the Court, as at present advised, thought argument on them unnecessary and that he might consider himself as relieved.

Page 70 U. S. 334

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