State pays debts w/ paper money
The case of a State which pays off its own debts with paper money, no more resembles this than do those to which we have already adverted. The Courts have no jurisdiction over the contract. They cannot enforce it, nor judge of its violation. Let it be that the act discharging the debt is a mere nullity and that it is still due. Yet the federal Courts have no cognizance of the case. But suppose a State to institute proceedings against an individual, which depended on the validity of an act emitting bills of credit: suppose a State to prosecute one of its citizens for refusing paper money, who should plead the constitution in bar of such prosecution. If his plea should be overruled, and judgment rendered against him, his case would resemble this; and, unless the jurisdiction of this Court might be exercised over it, the constitution would [19 U.S. 264, 404] be violated, and the injured party be unable to bring his case before that tribunal to which the people of the United States have assigned all such cases. Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. 264, 403-404 (1821).
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