West Virginia Law Review

Article Title

Swift v. Tyson and the Construction of State Statutes


So much has been written for the law reviews about the doctrine of Swift v. Tyson that it has become a part of the etiquette of the business to explain oneself before adding to the overgrown literature of the subject. It is now nearly a century since this nationalistic doctrine was written into our case law. There has been some vacillation and even more confusion in its exposition but in the large it has steadily become more deeply entrenched and more widely applied in the teeth of the persistent and highly critical opposition of legal writers. But now, in a day of unparalleled nationalism, the Supreme Court has had occasion to impose a definite check upon the further extension of the doctrine. That event calls for comment. It is not the purpose of, this note to consider all of the ramifications of Swift v. Tyson. A brief review of its major implications will suffice.