307 U.S. 433, 59 S.Ct. 972, 83 L.Ed. 1385 ( 1939)
In 1937, twelve years after it had rejected the Child Labor Amendment proposed by Congress in 1924, the legislature of Kansas, by the deciding vote of the Lieutenant Governor, ratified the Amendment. The twenty senators who had voted adversely then sought a writ of mandamus to compel the Secretary of the Kansas Senate to change the notation on the Amendment to show that it had not passed. The previous rejection in the legislative was effective, the senators contended, since the Amendment had not been ratified by the requisite number of states within a reasonable time. The Supreme Court of Kansas denied the writ and the senators brought the case to the Supreme Court on a writ of certiorari. The United States Supreme Court held 5-4 that it had jurisdiction to review the state court decision. The Court, being equally divided, expressed no opinion of the power of the Lieutenant 3Governor to cast the deciding vote. Excerpts discussing the other contentions are given below.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court. . . .
The effect of the previous rejection of the amendment and of the lapse of time since its submission.
1. The state court adopted the view expressed by text-writers that a state legislature which has rejected an amendment proposed by the Congress may later ratify. The argument in support of that view is that Article V says nothing of rejection but speaks only of ratification and provides that a proposed amendment shall be valid as part of the Constitution when ratified by three-fourths of the States; that the power to ratify is thus conferred upon the State by the Constitution and, as a ratifying power, persists despite a previous rejection. The opposing view proceeds on an assumption that if ratification by "Conventions" were prescribed by the Congress, a convention could not reject and, having adjourned sine die, be reassembled and ratify. It is also premised, in accordance with views expressed by text-writers, that ratification if once given cannot afterwards be rescinded and the amendment rejected, and it is urged that the same effect in the exhaustion of the State's power to act should be ascribed to rejection; that a State can act "but once, either by convention or through its legislature."
Historic instances are cited. In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was rejected by the legislature of New Jersey which subsequently ratified it, but the question did not become important as ratification by the requisite number of States had already been proclaimed. The question did arise in connection with the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. The legislatures of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina had rejected the amendment in November and December, 1866. New