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If a professor accepts an office in a university controlled by the State, subject to law, his employment may be terminated at the discretion of the legislature. Head v. University, 19 Wall. 526; S. C. 47 Mo. 220.

A judgment for damages in a proceeding to appropriate private property to public uses, is not a contract, and the State may pass an act to set it aside. Until the property is actually taken and the compensation is made

. or provided, the power of the State over the matter is not ended. Garrison v. Mayor, 21 Wall. 196; In re Broadway, 61 Barb. 483; S. C. 49 N. Y. 150.

A State law discharging a testamentary trustee upon his own request. and appointing a new trustee, is valid, for no matter of contract is involved therein. Williamson v. Suydam, 6 Wall. 723.

A State law imposing a tax on bonds and stocks of foreign corporations owned by citizens of the State, is valid. Worthington v. Sebastian, 25 Ohio St. 1; Great Barrington v. Berkshire, 33 Mass. 572; McKeen v. Northampton, 49 Penn. 519.

A law providing for the distribution of the assets of persons dying insolvent, is valid as to the estate of a person dying after its passage, in the case of a judgment which was not a lien upon the estate, for a general creditor has no right to any particular part of the estate of the debtor. Deichman's Appeal, 2 Whart. 395.

A statute which declares all debts incurred by the State in aid of a rebellion against the Federal Government void, is valid. Leak v. Commissioners, 64 N. C. 132.

A statute providing for the sale of lands held by joint tenants or tenants in common, is valid, although it may have the effect to destroy a prior lease made by one of the tenants. Richardson v. Monson, 23 Conn. 94.

If a license to erect a dam in a navigable river is defeasible by the terms thereof, it may be modified or revoked. Monongahela Nav. Co. v. Coons, 6 W. & S. 101; Sus. Canal Co. v. Wright, 9 W. & S 9; Rundle v. Del. & R. Canal Co. 14 How. 80; S. c. 1 Wall. Jr. 275; Pratt v. Brown, 3 Wis. 603; vide Glover v. Powell, 10 N. J. Eq. 211; Crenshaw v. State River Co. 6 Rand. 245.

A State legislature may authorize an administrator to apply to a court for a sale of the real estate of an intestate to pay his debts. Florentine v. Barton, 2 Wall. 210.

Where a deed of trust authorizes the trustee, upon a default in paying certain notes, to sell the property, the sale can not be suspended for a fixed term. Taylor v. Stearns, 18 Gratt. 244.

A staʻute which releases the sheriff and his sureties from their liability on his official bond, is void. State v. Gatzweiller, 49 Mo. 18.


A statute changing a joint bond into a several bond, and permitting a suit against the representatives of a deceased surety, is void. Fielden v. Lahens, 6 Blatch. 524.

A statute which releases a tenant from his liability to pay rent under a covenant in the l ase where he has been compelled to pay it to the military authorities of the United States, is void. Clark v. Ticknor, 49 Mo. 144.

A statute authorizing a party to surrender the property for which the contract was made in full discharge of his indebtedness, is void. Abercrombie v. Baxter, 44 Geo. 36.

If a mortgage stipulates for priority for a subsequent loan to be made by the State, the State may authorize another to make the loan for a longer term, and without any provision for a sinking fund, without impairing the obligation of the contract, but not at a higher rate of interest. Campbell v. T. & N. O. R. R. Co. 2 Woods, 263.

A statute which provides that all contracts, without regard to the terms of payment made by the parties, shall be payable in instalments, is void. Jacobs v. Smallwood, 63 N. C. 112; Aycock v. Martin, 37 Geo. 124.

A statute authorizing the sale of property free from incumbrances before the maturity of a mortgage, is void if it expedites the payment of the loan. Randolph v. Middleton, 26 N. J. Eq. 543.

A statute allowing the plaintiff to recover damages in addition to the usual interest, enlarges the contract, and is void. Steen v. Finley, 25 Miss. 535.

A statute allowing interest on a debt which did not bear interest before that time, is void. Goggans v. Turnipseed, i Rich. N. S. 80.

An attempt to deprive a creditor of interest on an overdue debt, is an attempt to impair the implied obligation of the contract, and unconstitutional. Bleakley v. Williams, 20 Pitts. L. J. 66.

Interest, though an incident to the debt, is impliedly a part of the contract, and the contracting parties are to be presumed to have had reference to the law as it existed at the time the contract was made, and as a consequence no statute altering the rate of interest, can be made to affect contracts entered into before its passage. Myrick v. Battle, 5 Fla. 345 ; Lee 7. Davis, i A. K. Marsh. 397; Bryan v. Moore, 1 Minor, 377; Hubbard v. Callahan, 42 Conn. 524.

A statute requiring an officer of the State to pay a higher rate of interest on moneys detained by him, than was allowed at the time the obligation arose, is void. Woodruff v. State, 3 Ark. 285.

A State law depriving a lessee of an action for forcible entry and detainer against the lessor is valid, if the action does not permit an inquiry into the title, although the lease stipulates for quiet possession. Drehman V. Stifle, 8 Wall. 595; S. C. 41 Mo. 184.

A State law which requires the plaintiff to prove the consideration where the defendant files a plea under oath, alleging that the obligation in whole or in part has been used for an illegal purpose, is void. Edwards v. Dixon, 53 Geo. 334.

A statute requiring a party to establi -h the genuineness of his certificate, in order to be entitled to a survey and a patent under it, is valid. League v. De Young, 11 How. 185.

The sureties upon the bond of a public officer.can not be made liable for his failure to discharge the duties of another additional office imposed upon him by an act passed after the execution of the bond. Reynolds v. Hall, 2 Ill. 35.

A statute prohibiting a hazardous or pernicious business is valid, although it affects prior contracts. People v. Hawley, 3 Mich. 330.

If the legislature passes a law which declares that all contracts entered into after its passage shall be subject to the power of future legislatures, to make such changes in the obligations created by them as they may see fit, it is void. Goenen v. Schroeder, 8 Minn. 387.

If a scholarship, which is a contract for tuition in consideration of a prepaid subscription, does not name the place where the tuition is to be given, the locality of the college may be changed. Houston v. Jefferson College, 63 Penn. 428.

The legislature may remove the seat of justice from one place to any other place in the county, although the commissioners appointed to select the place have made a contract for the purchase of lands for the site, or received donations from those interested in the location. The designation of a place in which the courts of a county shall be held, the mode of making the selection, and of appointing the persons to act on behalf of the public in procuring or disposing of land for these purposes, or erecting the requisite buildings, are matters of political arrangement and expediency, and necessarily the subjects of legislative discretion. Alley v. Denson, 8 Tex. 297; Adams v. Logan, 11 III. 336; Harris v. Shaw, 13 III. 456; State v. Jones, i Ired. 414; Elwell v. Tucker, 1 Blackf. 285; Hamrick v. House, 17 Geo. 56; Newton v. Commissioners, 26 Ohio St. 618; Armstrong v. Commissioners. 4 Blacks. 208; Moses v. Kearney, 31 Ark. 261; contra, State v. Perry Co. 5 Ohio St. 497.

A statute requiring a party who has a contract with the State to submit his claim to a board of examiners for approval, is void. McCauley v. Brooks, 16 Cal. 11.

A statute mitigating the severity of the penalty in bonds, and allowing the party injured to recover as much as he deserves in equity and good conscience to receive, is valid, although it operates upon penalties and forfeitures previously incurred. Potter v. Sturdevant, 4 Me. 154.

The legislature can not make the opinion of the attorney general that a contract is illegal, conclusive upon the contractor. Young v. Beardsley, 11 Paige, 93.

A statute declaring contracts made during the war, the consideration whereof was slaves, void, impairs the obligation of contracts, and is void. Roach v. Gunter, 44 Ala. 209; McElvain v. Mudd, 44 Ala. 48; Fitzpatrick v. Hearne, 44 Ala. 171; Curry v. Davis, 44 Ala. 281; Osborn v. Nicholson, 13 Wall. 654; Boyce v. Tabb, 18 Wall. 546.

A provision in a State Constitution that prohibits the enforcement of contracts for slaves is void. Jacoway v. Denton, 25 Ark. 625; Calhoun v. Calhoun, 2 Rich. N. S. 283; McNealy v. Gregory, 13 Fla. 417; French v. Tomlin, 19 A. L. Reg. 641 ; White v. Hart, 13 Wall. 646; S. C. 39 Geo. 306; contra, Shorter v. Cobb, 39 Geo. 285; Armstrong v. Lecompte, 21 La. Ann. 528; Dranguet v. Rost, 21 La. Ann. 538.

A statute declaring contracts, the consideration whereof was confederate currency, void, impairs the obligation of the contract, and is null.

Roach v. Gunter, 44 Ala. 209; Delmas v. Ins. Co. 14 Wall. 661; --Forscheimer v. Holly, 14 Fla. 239; Marsh v. Burroughs, i Woods, 463; Hatch v. Burroughs, 1 Woods, 439.

A provision in a State Constitution declaring that all contracts, the consideration of which was confederate money, notes or bonds, are void, is invalid. Delmas v. Ins. Co. 14 Wall. 661.

A statute which declares that a certain consideration shall be deemed to be void, impairs the obligation of contracts based thereon. McNealy v. Gregory, 13 Fla. 417.

A statute which enacts that a party holding a contract which was intended to be paid in confederate money, or other paper currency, shall only recover the value of the confederate money or other paper at the time of the making of the contract, with interest, is void, for it allows a party by parol to set up another and different contract from that which the writing imports. Leach v. Smith, 25 Ark. 246; Woodruff v. Tilly, 25 Ark. 309.

If a contract is made payable in confederate notes, a statute which permits the jury to render a verdict according to the value of the consideration, and not according to the value of the currency, is void, for it substitutes the judgment of the jury upon the value of the contract for the value stipulated by the parties. Wilmington & Weldon R. R. Co. v. King, 91 U. S. 3.



A State law requiring the plaintiff to prove the consideration, when the defendant files a plea alleging that the obligation, in whole or in part, has been used for an illegal purpose, is void, when applied to a suit by the holder of a bank bill against a stockholder under a charter granted prior to the act. Branch v. Baker, 53 Geo. 502.

A statute allowing a guardian to sell his real estate and invest the proceeds in other securities for the protection of the infants, is valid, although a prior statute made their claim a lien on the land. Lobrano v. Nelligan, 9 Wall. 295.

A statute repealing a law imposing a personal liability upon the stockholders for the debts of the corporation, can not affect debts contracted before its passage. Conant v. Van Shaick, 24 Barb. 87; Hawthorne v. Calif, 2 Wall. 10; contra, Coffin v. Rich, 45 Me. 507.

A statute may relieve stockholders who subsequently subscribe from personal liability for the debts of the corporation, although the debts were contracted under a law which made stockholders personally liable. Ochiltree v. Railroad Company, 21 Wall. 249.




313; 5 Hall

State Insolvent Laws. An insolvent law which releases the debtor from a debt contracted prior to its enactment, impairs the obligation of the contract, and is unconstitutional. Sturges v. Crowninshield, 4 Wheat. 122 ; Oldens v. Hallet, 5 N. J. 466; Boardman v. De Forrest, 5 Conn. 1; Farmers' Bank v. Smith, 6 Wheat. 131; S. C. 3 S. & R. 63; Roosevelt v. Cebra, 17 Johns. 108; Post v. Riley, 18 Johns. 54; Golden v. Prince, 3 Wash. L. J. 502; In re Wendell, 19 Johns. 153; contra, Adams v. Storey, 1 Paine, 79; Barber v. Minturn, 1 Day, 136.

If the law of the State at the time the contract was made in effect provided that the obligation of the contract should not be absolute, but qualified by the condition that the party should be discharged upon his becoming insolvent and complying with the requisitions of the insolvent law, the qualification attached to the contract by law the moment the contract was made, became inseparable from it, and traveled with it through all the stages of its existence, until the condition was consummated by the final certificate of discharge. Ogden v. Saunders, 12 Wheat. 213.

A discharge under a State insolvent law is valid where the contract was made between citizens of the State under whose law the discharge was obtained after the enactment of the law. Ogden v. Saunders, 12 Wheat. 213; Mather v. Bush, 16 Johns. 233; Blanchard v. Russell, 13 Mass. I ; Baker v. Wheaton, 5 Mass. 509 ; Smith v. Parsons, i Ohio, 236; Walsh v. Farrand, 13 Mass. 19; Pugh v. Bussel, 2 Blackf. 366; Wilson v. Matthews, 32 Ala. 332; Alexander v. Gibson, i N. & McC. 480; Jacques v. Marchand,


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