The Supreme Court showed a lack of respect for state judiciaries in deciding that it would not be bound by state supreme court decisions.
Dubuque, Iowa, railroad promoters issued potentially questionable bonds exceeding the state’s debt limit. Reformers on the new Iowa supreme court overturned earlier Iowa supreme court rulings that accepted the bond’s validity. An 8-1 majority on the Supreme Court overturned the Iowa court and its own 1862 ruling that the Court should follow the state supreme court’s most recent interpretation of the state constitution. The Court stated it could not be bound by the oscillations of state supreme courts. In dissent, Justice Samuel F. Miller argued that the state supreme court should be the final arbiter of its own state’s constitution. In its lack of respect for state courts, the Court foreshadowed its later substantial due process interpretation.
Due process, substantive
Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins
States’ rights and state sovereignty
Swift v. Tyson