In Boyd v. Nebraska,18 decided in 1892, the Supreme Court took the extreme view, that, in the case of a state law or constitution which demanded as one of the qualifications for office, that the incumbent should have been for two years next preceding his election a citizen of the United States, it did not lie with the tribunals of that State finally to determine in any given case when such citizenship existed; and, in the case at bar, which was a proceeding in quo warranto, the federal court declared entitled to the office of governor of the State one who the court of that State had declared ineligible because, as it held, he was not a citizen of the United States. In other words, the federal Supreme Court substituted its judgment for that of the State's supreme tribunal as to the existence of a qualification for a state office prescribed by the Constitution of that State. In so doing, to the author's mind, the court exceeded its proper powers. Had there been involved the exercise of a right, or the recognition of a privilege or immunity attached by the federal Constitution or laws to federal citizenship, there can be no question but that the state tribunals should not have been given final authority to determine as to the existence of this federal citizenship, any more than they are permitted in the case of a state law alleged to impair the obligation of a contract to determine whether a contract exists to be impaired, or, if it exists, whether it has in fact been impaired. But in Boyd v. Nebraska the real question was as to the existence of a qualification for a state office - the qualifications for which, it was undisputed, the State might determine as it should see fit. The reasoning of Justice Field in his dissenting opinion upon this point seems incontrovertible.19

15 Rev. Stat., Sec. 2108; and Act June 29, 1906. Cf. Boyd v. Nebraska, 143 U. S. 135; 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 375; 36 L. ed. 103.

16 Act March 3.. 1863.

17 Hepburn v. Ellzey. 2 Cr. 445; 2 L. ed. 332: Reilly v. Lamar, 2 Cr. 344; 2 L. ed. 300; Barney v. Baltimore City, 6 Wall. 280; 18 L. ed. 825: New Orleans v. Winter, 1 Wh. 01; 4 L. ed. 44; American Insurance Co. v. Canter, 1 Pet. 511; 7 L. ed. 242.

18 143 U. S. 135; 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 375; 36 L. ed. 103.