North Carolina v. Temple/Opinion of the Court
I dissent from so much of the judgment in this case as holds that this suit cannot be maintained against the auditor of the state of North Carolina. The legislation of which complaint is here made impaired the obligation of the state's contract, and was, therefore, unconstitutional and void. It did not, in law, affect the existence or operation of the previous statutes out of which the contract in question arose. So that the court was at liberty to compel the officer of the state to perform the duties which the statutes, constituting the contract, imposed upon him. A suit against him for such a purpose is not, in my judgment, one against the state. It is a suit to compel the performance of ministerial duties, from the performance of which the state's officer was not, and could not be, relieved by unconstitutional and void legislative enactments.