The Tungus v. Skovgaard/Concurrence Frankfurter

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United States Supreme Court

358 U.S. 588

The Tungus  v.  Skovgaard

 Argued: Oct. 23, 1958. --- Decided: Feb 24, 1959

Mr. Justice FRANKFURTER, concurring in the opinion of the Court.*

Deeming the proper determination of the substantive issues of admiralty law of such controlling importance, I abstain from stating my strong conviction, heretofore expressed, that in situations like the present, the construction of state law should not, as a matter of the wise administration of law, be made independently by the lower federal courts, but its authoritative construction should be sought, under readily available state procedure, from the state court, while the case is held in the federal court. See my opinions in Sutton v. Leib, 342 U.S. 402, 412-414 (concurring opinion), and Propper v. Clark, 337 U.S. 472, 493-497 (dissenting opinion), in connection with Railroad Comm'n v. Pullman Co., 312 U.S. 496, 500; Thompson v. Magnolia Petroleum Co., 309 U.S. 478, 484.

Where an issue is solely concerned with diversity jurisdiction, as was the situation in Meredith v. Winter Haven, 320 U.S. 228, a different consideration may become relevant. "For purposes of diversity jurisdiction a federal court is, 'in effect, only another court of the State.'" Angel v. Bullington, 330 U.S. 183, 187.

Mr. Justice BRENNAN, with whom The Chief Justice, Mr. Justice BLACK, and Mr. Justice DOUGLAS join, concurring in part and dissenting in part.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).