What the proper construction of the state" law is, which they are to apply, the Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly declared is, subject to the exceptions hereinafter to be described, to be determined by the interpretation that has been given to it by the State that has enacted it. In Elmendorf v. Tyler12 Marshall says: "The judicial department of every government, where such department exists, is the appropriate organ for construing the legislative acts of that government. On this principle the construction given by this court to the Constitution and laws of the United States is received by all as the true construction; and on the same principle the construction given by the courts of the several States to the legislative acts of those States is received as true, unless they come in conflict with the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States." Again, in Shelby County v. Guy,13 the Supreme Court declare: "Nor is it questionable that a fixed and received construction of their respective statute laws in their own courts makes, in fact, a part of the statute law of the country, however we may doubt the propriety of that construction. It is obvious that this admission may at times involve us in seeming inconsistencies, as when States have adopted the same statutes and their courts differ in their construction. Yet that course is necessarily indicated by the duty laid on us to administer, as between certain individuals, the laws of their respective States according to the best lights we possess of what those laws are."
12 10 Wh. 152; 6 L. ed. 289. 13 11 Wh. 361; 6 L. ed. 495.
Again, in Polk's Lessee v. Wendell14 the court say: "The sole object for which jurisdiction of cases between citizens of different States is vested in courts of the United States, is to secure to all the administration of justice upon the same principles on which it is administered between citizens of the same State. Hence, this court has never hesitated to conform to the settled doctrines of the States on landed property, where they are fixed, and can be satisfactorily ascertained; nor would it ever be led to deviate from them in any case that bore the semblance of impartial justice." 15
14 5 Wh. 293; 5 L. ed. 92.
15 In Re Duncan (139 U. S. 449; 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 573; 35 L. ed. 219) the contention was raised that a certain law appearing upon the statute books had not been constitutionally passed and was, therefore, not valid. As to this the Supreme Court of the United States said: "It is unnecessary to enter upon an examination of the rulings in the different States upon the question whether a statute duly authenticated, approved and enrolled can be impeached by resort to the journals of the legislature or other evidence for the purpose of establishing that it was not passed in the manner prescribed by the state Constitution. The decisions are numerous, and the results reached fail of uniformity. The courts of the United States necessarily adopt the adjudication of the state courts on the subject." Citing South Ottawa v. Perkins, 94 U. S. 260; 24 L. ed. 154; Post v. Supervisors, 105 U. S. 667; 26 L. ed. 1204; Railroad Co. v. Georgia, 98 U. S. 359; 25 L. ed. 185.
In Daly v. James (8 Wh. 495; 5 L. ed. 670) Justice Johnson in a dissenting opinion says: "Upon the question so solemnly pressed upon this court in the argument how far the decision of the court of Pennsylvania ought to have been considered as obligatory in this court, I would be understood as entertaining the following views: As precedents entitled to the highest respect the decisions of the state courts will always be considered; and in all cases of local law we acknowledge an established and uniform course of decisions of the state courts in the respective States as the law of this court; that is to say, that such decisions will be as obligatory upon this court as they would be acknowledged to be in their own courts."
In a dissenting opinion Justice Field in B. & O. R. R. Co. v. Baugh (149 U. S. 368; 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 914; 37 L. ed. 772) declares: "The theory upon which inferior courts of the United States take jurisdiction within the several States is, when a right is not claimed under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States, that they are bound to enforce as between the parties the law of the State. It was never supposed that upon matters arising within the State any law other than that of the State would be enforced, or that any attempt would be made to enforce any other law. It was never supposed that the law of the State would be enforced