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♦ APPENDIX A ♦SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

TRUSTEES OF DARTMOUTH COLLEGE V. WOODWARD (1819)

New Hampshire had enacted legislation converting Dartmouth College from a private college into a public one. The trustees appealed the action, and the Supreme Court ruled in their favor. According to the decision of the Court, the charter that the trustees of Dartmouth had received from King George in 1769 qualified as a contract entitled to protection under the contracts clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 10), which prohibits states from “impairing the obligations of contracts.” This decision, Justice Story later wrote, was intended to protect the rights of property owners against “the passions of the popular doctrines of the day.” Its effect ...

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