APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON.
MR. JUSTICE BROWN, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court.
This case is appealed directly from the District Court to this court under that clause of section 5 of the Court of Appeals Act, which permits such appeal "in any case in which the constitution or law of a State is claimed to be in contravention of the Constitution of the United States." No additional significance is given to the appeal by certain questions certified by the District Court, as the power to certify is only given in cases appealed upon questions of jurisdiction. But as the case is properly before us upon direct appeal from the District Court, we proceed to dispose of the question of the constitutionality of the law of Washington, under which these proceedings were taken.
By that law, 2 Ballinger's Code, secs. 5953 and 5954 --
"5953. All steamers, vessels, and boats, their tackle, apparel, and furniture, are liable, --
"3. For work done or material furnished in this State, for their construction, repair, or equipment, at the request of their respective owners, masters, agents, consignees, contractors, sub-contractors, or other person or persons having charge in whole or in part of their construction, alteration, repair, or equipment; and every contractor, sub-contractor, builder, or person having charge, either in whole or in part, of the construction, alteration, repair, or equipment of any vessel shall be held to be the agent of the owner, for the purposes of this chapter;
"Demands for these several causes constitute liens upon all steamers, vessels, and boats, and their tackle, apparel, and furniture, and have priority in their order herein enumerated, and have preference over all other demands; but such liens only continue in force for the period of three years from the time the cause of action accrued.
"5954. Such liens may be enforced, in all cases of maritime contracts or service, by a suit in admiralty, in rem, and the law regulating proceedings in admiralty shall govern in all such suits; and in all cases of contracts or service not maritime, by a civil action in any District Court of this Territory."
In this connection the following propositions may be considered as settled:
1. That by the maritime law, as administered in England and in this country, a lien is given for necessaries furnished a foreign vessel upon the credit of such vessel; The General Smith, 4 Wheat. 438; The Grapeshot, 9 Wall. 129; Gen. Admiralty Rule 12, and that in this particular the several States of this Union are treated as foreign to each other. The General Smith, 4 Wheat. 438; The Kalorama, 10 Wall. 204, 212.
2. That no such lien is given for necessaries furnished in the home port of the vessel, or in the port in which the vessel is owned, registered, ...