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Law School Case Brief

Hunter v. Pittsburgh - 207 U.S. 161, 28 S. Ct. 40 (1907)


Questions respecting the impairment of contract obligations and the denial of due process of law because of the additional burden of taxation to which the citizens and taxpayers of a lesser city annexed under the authority of Pa. act of February 7, 1906, to an adjoining and larger city, will be subjected, are not so unsubstantial and devoid of all color of merit as to require the dismissal of a writ of error from the Supreme Court of the United States to a state court.


The City of Pittsburg filed a petition asking for the union of Allegheny with Pittsburgh pursuant to a state law that provides for the union of contiguous cities by the annexation of the lesser to the larger. A majority of all voters of the two cities voted in favor of the consolidation, but the majority of voters in Allegheny voted against it. The lower courts overruled assignments of error and affirmed the consolidation decree. On review, the court affirmed. Plaintiff citizens sought review of the decision, which dismissed their assignments of error, in the United States Supreme Court.


Does the consolidation of two cities result to the impairment of contract between the taxpaying citizens and the smaller city?




The decree directing the consolidation of the cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny was affirmed. There is no contract between the citizens and taxpayers of Allegheny and the municipal corporation itself, that the former shall be taxed only for the uses of that corporation. Thus, there is no impairment of contract or violation of Constitutional rights when they are subjected to taxation for the uses of the enlarged municipality formed by annexation.

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