Cardinale v. Louisiana

In Cardinale v. Louisiana, 394 U.S. 437 (1969), certiorari was granted to consider the constitutionality of a Louisiana statute, but at oral argument it developed that the federal question had never been raised, preserved, or passed upon in the state courts. Relying on a long line of cases, the Court dismissed the writ for want of jurisdiction. 394 U.S., at 439. In addition, the Court stated that there were sound policy reasons for adhering to such a rule. In the context of that case, the Court indicated the desirability of allowing state courts to pass first on the constitutionality of state statutes in light of a federal constitutional challenge; this assures both an adequate record and that the States have first opportunity to provide a definitive interpretation of their statutes. The Court also indicated that a federal habeas corpus remedy might remain if no state procedure for raising the issue was available following dismissal of the writ.