Kidd v. Pearson , 128 U.S. 1 ( 1888 )

  • 128 U.S. 1 (1888)


    No. 779.

    Supreme Court of United States.

    Argued and submitted April 4, 1888.
    Decided October 22, 1888.

    *5 Mr. F.W. Lehmann for plaintiff in error. Mr. Benjamin Harris Brewster was with him on the brief.

    Mr. C.C. Cole and Mr. John S. Runnells, for defendants in error, submitted on their brief.

    *15 MR. JUSTICE LAMAR, having stated the case as above reported, delivered the opinion of the court.

    The Supreme Court of Iowa, in its opinion, a copy of which, duly authenticated, is found in the record, having been transmitted according to our 8th Rule of Practice, held the sections in question to mean: (1) That foreign intoxicating liquors might be imported into the State, and there kept for sale by the importer, in the original packages (or for transportation in such packages and sale beyond the limits of the State); (2) That intoxicating liquors might be manufactured and sold within the State for mechanical, medicinal, culinary, and sacramental purposes, but for no other — not even for the purpose of transportation beyond the limits of the State; (3) That the statute thus construed raised no conflict with the Constitution of the United States, and was therefore valid.

    As the record presents none of the exceptional conditions which sometimes impel this court to disregard inadmissible constructions given by State courts to even their own State statutes and State constitutions, we shall adopt the construction of the statute of Iowa under consideration, which has been given it by the Supreme Court of that State.

    The questions then, for this court to determine are: (1) Does the statute as thus construed conflict with Section 8, Article 1, of the Constitution of the United States by undertaking to regulate commerce between the States; and (2) Does it conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment to that Constitution by depriving the owners of the distillery of their property therein without "due process of law." All of the assignments of error offered are but variant statements of one or the other of these two propositions.

    The second of the propositions has been disposed of by this *16 court in the case of Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, wherein this very question was raised upon a statute similar, in all essential respects, to the provisions of the Iowa code whose validity is contested. The court decided that a State has the right to prohibit or restrict the manufacture of intoxicating liquors within her limits; to prohibit all sale and traffic in them in said State; to inflict penalties for such manufacture and sale, and to provide regulations for the abatement as a common nuisance of the property used for such forbidden purposes; and that such legislation by a State is a clear exercise of her undisputed police power, which does not abridge the liberties or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor deprive any person of property without due process of law, nor in any way contravenes any provision of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Upon the authority of that case and of the numerous cases cited in the opinion of the court, we concur in the decision of the Iowa courts that the provisions here in question are not in conflict with the said amendment. The only question before us, therefore, is as to the relation of the Iowa statutes to the regulation of commerce among the States.

    The line which separates the province of federal authority, over the regulation of commerce, from the powers reserved to the States, has engaged the attention of this court in a great number and variety of cases. The decisions in these cases, though they do not in a single instance assume to trace that line throughout its entire extent, or to state any rule further than to locate the line in each particular case as it arises, have almost uniformly adhered to the fundamental principles which Chief Justice Marshall, in the case of Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, laid down as to the nature and extent of the grant of power to Congress on this subject, and also of the limitations, express and implied, which it imposes upon state legislation with regard to taxation, to the control of domestic commerce, and to all persons and things within its limits, of purely internal concern.

    According to the theory of that great opinion, the supreme authority in this country is divided between the government *17 of the United States, whose action extends over the whole Union, but which possesses only certain powers enumerated in its written Constitution, and the separate governments of the several States, which retain all powers not delegated to the Union. The power expressly conferred upon Congress to regulate commerce is absolute and complete in itself, with no limitations other than are prescribed in the Constitution; is to a certain extent exclusively vested in Congress, so far free from state action; is co-extensive with the subject on which it acts, and cannot stop at the external boundary of a State, but must enter into the interior of every State whenever required by the interests of commerce with foreign nations, or among the several States. This power, however, does not comprehend the purely internal domestic commerce of a State which is carried on between man and man within a State or between different parts of the same State.

    The distinction is stated in the following comprehensive language:

    "The genius and character of the whole government seem to be that its action is to be applied to all the external concerns of the nation, and to those internal concerns which affect the States generally; but not to those which are completely within a particular State, which do not affect other States, and with which it is not necessary to interfere for the purpose of executing some of the general powers of the government. The completely internal commerce of a State, then, may be considered as reserved for the State itself." p. 195.

    Referring to certain laws of state legislatures which had a remote and considerable influence on commerce, the court said that the acknowledged power of the State to regulate its police, its domestic trade, and to govern its own people may enable it to legislate over this subject to a great extent; but these and other state laws of the same kind are not considered as an exercise of the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States, or enacted with a view to it; but, on the contrary, are considered as flowing from the acknowledged power of a State to provide for the safety and welfare of its people, and form a part of that legislation which *18 embraces everything within the territory of a State not surrendered to the general government. Sacred, however, as these reserved powers are regarded, the court is particular to declare with emphasis the supreme and paramount authority of the Constitution and laws of the United States, relating to the regulation of commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States; and that whenever these reserved powers, or any of them, are so exercised as to come in conflict with the free course of the powers vested in Congress, the law of the State must yield to the supremacy of the Federal authority, though such law may have been enacted in the exercise of a power undelegated and indisputably reserved to the States.

    In the light of these principles, and those which this court in its numerous decisions has added in illustration and more explicit development, it will not be difficult to determine whether the law of Iowa under consideration invades, either in purpose or effect, the domain of Federal authority.

    To support the affirmative, the plaintiff in error maintains that alcohol is, in itself, a useful commodity, not necessarily noxious, and is a subject of property; that the very statute under consideration, by various provisions, and especially by those which permit, in express terms, the manufacture of intoxicating liquors for mechanical, medicinal, culinary, or sacramental purposes, recognizes those qualities, and expressly authorizes the manufacture; that the manufacture being thus legalized, alcohol not being per se a nuisance, but recognized as property and the subject of lawful commerce, the State had no power to prohibit the manufacture of it for foreign sales.

    The main vice in this argument consists in the unqualified assumption that the statute legalizes the manufacture. The proposition that, supposing the goods were once lawfully called into existence, it would then be beyond the power of the State either to forbid or impede their exportation, may be conceded. Here, however, the very question underlying the case is whether the goods ever came lawfully into existence. It is a grave error to say that the statute "expressly authorized" the manufacture, for it did not; to say that it had not prohibited the manufacture, for it had done so; to say that the goods were *19 of Iowa's lawful manufactures, for that is substantially the very point at issue. The exact statute is this: "No person shall manufacture or sell, ... directly or indirectly, any intoxicating liquors, except as hereinafter provided." In a subsequent section it is provided further, that "nothing contained in this law shall prevent any persons from manufacturing in this State liquors for the purpose of being sold according to the provisions of this chapter, to be used for mechanical, medicinal, culinary, or sacramental purposes." Here then is, first, a sweeping prohibition against, not the manufacture and sale; not a dealing which is composed of both steps, and consequently must include manufacture as well as sale, or, e converso, sale as well as manufacture, in order to incur the denunciation of the statute, but against either the sale or the manufacture. The conjunction is disjunctive. The sale is forbidden, the manufacture is forbidden; and each is forbidden independently of the other. Such being the case, on the subject of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of the manufacture (which is the point before the court), it is useless to argue as to the conditions under which it is permissible to hold intoxicating liquors in possession, or to sell them.

    Looking again to the statute, we find that the unqualified prohibition of any and all manufacture made by § 1523 is by the joint operation of a proviso in § 1524 and of §§ 1526 and 1530, modified by four exceptions, viz.: Sale for mechanical purposes, to an extent limited by the wants of the particular locality of the seller; sale for medicinal purposes, to the same extent; sale for culinary purposes, to the same extent; and sale for sacramental purposes, to the same extent. The Supreme Court of the State held (and we agree with it) that these exceptions do not include sales outside of the State. The effect of the statute, then, is simply and clearly to prohibit all manufacture of intoxicating liquors except for one or more of the four purposes specified. "For the purpose," says the statute. The excepted purpose is all that saves it from being ab initio and, through each and every step of its progress, unlawful.

    It is a mistake to say, as to this case, that the act of transporting *20 the alcohol from the State in the course of lawful commerce with other States not being a crime, to perform that act was not a criminal intent, no matter when formed, whether before or after the alcohol was manufactured. It is not the criminality of the intent to export that is here the question, but it is the innocence or criminality, under the statute of the manufacture, in the absence of all four of the specific exceptions to the prohibition, the actual and controlling and bona fide presence of at least one of which was indispensable to the legality of the manufacture.

    We think the construction contended for by plaintiff in error would extend the words of the grant to Congress, in the Constitution, beyond their obvious import, and is inconsistent with its objects and scope. The language of the grant is, "Congress shall have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States," etc. These words are used without any veiled or obscure signification. "As men whose intentions require no concealment generally employ the words which most directly and aptly express the ideas they intend to convey, the enlightened patriots who framed our Constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have employed words in their natural sense and to have intended what they have said." Gibbons v. Ogden, supra, at page 188.

    No distinction is more popular to the common mind, or more clearly expressed in economic and political literature, than that between manufactures and commerce. Manufacture is transformation — the fashioning of raw materials into a change of form for use. The functions of commerce are different. The buying and selling and the transportation incidental thereto constitute commerce; and the regulation of commerce in the constitutional sense embraces the regulation at least of such transportation. The legal definition of the term, as given by this court in County of Mobile v. Kimball, 102 U.S. 691, 702, is as follows: "Commerce with foreign countries, and among the States, strictly considered, consists in intercourse and traffic, including in these terms navigation, and the transportation and transit of persons and property, *21 as well as the purchase, sale, and exchange of commodities." If it be held that the term includes the regulation of all such manufactures as are intended to be the subject of commercial transactions in the future, it is impossible to deny that it would also include all productive industries that contemplate the same thing. The result would be that Congress would be invested, to the exclusion of the States, with the power to regulate, not only manufactures, but also agriculture, horticulture, stock raising, domestic fisheries, mining — in short, every branch of human industry. For is there one of them that does not contemplate, more or less clearly, an interstate or foreign market? Does not the wheat grower of the Northwest, and the cotton planter of the South, plant, cultivate, and harvest his crop with an eye on the prices at Liverpool, New York, and Chicago? The power being vested in Congress and denied to the States, it would follow as an inevitable result that the duty would devolve on Congress to regulate all of these delicate, multiform, and vital interests — interests which in their nature are and must be, local in all the details of their successful management.

    It is not necessary to enlarge on, but only to suggest the impracticability of such a scheme, when we regard the multitudinous affairs involved, and the almost infinite variety of their minute details.

    It was said by Chief Justice Marshall, that it is a matter of public history that the object of vesting in Congress the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States was to insure uniformity of regulation against conflicting and discriminating state legislation. See also County of Mobile v. Kimball, supra, at page 697.

    This being true, how can it further that object so to interpret the constitutional provision as to place upon Congress the obligation to exercise the supervisory powers just indicated? The demands of such a supervision would require, not uniform legislation generally applicable throughout the United States, but a swarm of statutes only locally applicable and utterly inconsistent. Any movement toward the establishment of rules of production in this vast country, with its many different *22 climates and opportunities, could only be at the sacrifice of the peculiar advantages of a large part of the localities in it, if not of every one of them. On the other hand, any movement toward the local, detailed, and incongruous legislation required by such interpretation would be about the widest possible departure from the declared object of the clause in question. Nor this alone. Even in the exercise of the power contended for, Congress would be confined to the regulation, not of certain branches of industry, however numerous, but to those instances in each and every branch where the producer contemplated an interstate market. These instances would be almost infinite, as we have seen; but still there would always remain the possibility, and often it would be the case, that the producer contemplated a domestic market. In that case the supervisory power must be executed by the State; and the interminable trouble would be presented, that whether the one power or the other should exercise the authority in question would be determined, not by any general or intelligible rule, but by the secret and changeable intention of the producer in each and every act of production. A situation more paralyzing to the state governments, and more provocative of conflicts between the general government and the States, and less likely to have been what the framers of the constitution intended, it would be difficult to imagine.

    We find no provisions in any of the sections of the statute under consideration, the object and purpose of which are to exert the jurisdiction of the State over persons or property or transactions within the limits of other States; or to act upon intoxicating liquors as exports, or while they are in process of exportation or importation. Its avowed object is to prevent, not the carrying of intoxicating liquors out of the State, but to prevent their manufacture, except for specified purposes, within the State. It is true that, notwithstanding its purposes and ends are restricted to the jurisdictional limits of the State of Iowa, and apply to transactions wholly internal and between its own citizens, its effects may reach beyond the State by lessening the amount of intoxicating liquors exported. But it does not follow that, because the products of a domestic *23 manufacture may ultimately become the subjects of interstate commerce, at the pleasure of the manufacturer, the legislation of the State respecting such manufacture is an attempted exercise of the power to regulate commerce exclusively conferred upon Congress. Can it be said that a refusal of a State to allow articles to be manufactured within her borders (for export) any more directly or materially affects her external commerce than does her action in forbidding the retail within her borders of the same articles after they have left the hands of the importers? That the latter could be done was decided years ago; and we think there is no practical difference in principle between the two cases.

    "As has been often said, `legislation [by a State] may in a great variety of ways affect commerce and persons engaged in it, without constituting a regulation of it within the meaning of the Constitution,'" unless, under the guise of police regulations, it "imposes a direct burden upon interstate commerce," or "interferes directly with its freedom." Hall v. De Cuir, 95 U.S. 485, 487, 488, Chief Justice Waite delivering the opinion of the court in that case, citing Sherlock v. Alling, 93 U.S. 99, 103; State Tax on Railway Gross Receipts, 15 Wall. 284; Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113; Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Co. v. Iowa, 94 U.S. 155; Willson v. Blackbird Creek Marsh Co., 2 Pet. 245; Pound v. Turck, 95 U.S. 459; Gilman v. Philadelphia, 3 Wall. 713; Gibbons v. Ogden, supra; and Cooley v. Board of Wardens, etc., 12 How. 299.

    We have seen that whether a State, in the exercise of its undisputed power of local administration, can enact a statute prohibiting within its limits the manufacture of intoxicating liquors, except for certain purposes, is not any longer an open question before this court. Is that right to be overthrown by the fact that the manufacturer intends to export the liquors when made? Does the statute, in omitting to except from its operation the manufacture of intoxicating liquors within the limits of the State for export, constitute an unauthorized interference with the power given to Congress to regulate commerce?

    These questions are well answered in the language of the *24 court in the License Tax Cases, 5 Wall. 462, 470: "Over this commerce and trade [the internal commerce and domestic trade of the States] Congress has no power of regulation, nor any direct control. This power belongs exclusively to the States. No interference by Congress with the business of citizens transacted within a State is warranted by the Constitution, except such as is strictly incidental to the exercise of powers clearly granted to the legislature. The power to authorize a business within a State is plainly repugnant to the exclusive power of the State over the same subject." The manufacture of intoxicating liquors in a State is none the less a business within that State, because the manufacturer intends, at his convenience, to export such liquors to foreign countries or to other States.

    This court has already decided that the fact that an article was manufactured for export to another State does not of itself make it an article of interstate commerce within the meaning of § 8, Art. 1, of the Constitution, and that the intent of the manufacturer does not determine the time when the article or product passes from the control of the State and belongs to commerce.

    We refer to the case of Coe v. Errol, 116 U.S. 517. In that case certain logs cut at a place in New Hampshire had been hauled to the town of Errol on the Androscoggin River, in that State, for the purpose of transportation beyond the limits of that State to Lewiston, Maine; and were held at Errol for a convenient opportunity for such transportation. The selectmen of the town assessed on the logs State, county, town, and school taxes; and the question before the court was whether these logs were liable to be taxed like other property in the State of New Hampshire. The court held them to be so liable, and said, Mr. Justice Bradley delivering the opinion:

    "Does the owner's state of mind in relation to the goods, that is, his intent to export them, and his partial preparation to do so, exempt them from taxation? This is the precise question for solution... . There must be a point of time when they cease to be governed exclusively by the domestic law and begin to be governed and protected by the national law of *25 commercial regulation, and that moment seems to us to be a legitimate one for this purpose, in which they commence their final movement for transportation from the State of their origin to that of their destination. When the products of the farm or the forest are collected and brought in from the surrounding country to a town or station serving as an entrepôt for that particular region, whether on a river or a line of railroad, such products are not yet exports, nor are they in process of exportation, nor is exportation begun until they are committed to the common carrier for transportation out of the State to the State of their destination, or have started on their ultimate passage to that State. Until then it is reasonable to regard them as not only within the State of their origin, but as a part of the general mass of property of that State, subject to its jurisdiction, and liable to taxation there, if not taxed by reason of their being intended for exportation, but taxed without any discrimination, in the usual way and manner in which such property is taxed in the State... . The point of time when State jurisdiction over the commodities of commerce begins and ends in not an easy matter to designate or define, and yet it is highly important, both to the shipper and to the State, that it should be clearly defined so as to avoid all ambiguity or question... . But no definite rule has been adopted with regard to the point of time at which the taxing power of the State ceases as to goods exported to a foreign country or to another State. What we have already said, however, in relation to the products of a State intended for exportation to another State, will indicate the view which seems to us the sound one on that subject, namely, that such goods do not cease to be part of the general mass of property in the State, subject, as such, to its jurisdiction, and to taxation in the usual way, until they have been shipped, or entered with a common carrier for transportation to another State, or have been started upon such transportation in a continuous route or journey... . It is true, it was said in the case of The Daniel Ball, 10 Wall. 557, 565: `Whenever a commodity has begun to move as an article of trade from one State to another, commerce in that commodity between the States has commenced.' *26 But this movement does not begin until the articles have been shipped or started for transportation from the one State to the other."

    The application of the principles above announced to the case under consideration leads to a conclusion against the contention of the plaintiff in error. The police power of a State is as broad and plenary as its taxing power; and property within the State is subject to the operations of the former so long as it is within the regulating restrictions of the latter.

    The judgment of the Supreme Court of Iowa is


    MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER was not a member of the court when this case was argued and submitted, and took no part in its decision.

Document Info

DocketNumber: 779

Citation Numbers: 128 U.S. 1, 9 S. Ct. 6, 32 L. Ed. 346, 1888 U.S. LEXIS 2193

Judges: Lamar, Having Stated the Case as Above Reported

Filed Date: 10/22/1888

Precedential Status: Precedential

Modified Date: 5/5/2017

Authorities (15)

Gibbons v. Ogden , 22 U.S. 1 ( 1824 )

WILLSON AND OTHERS v. the Black Bird Creek Marsh Company , 27 U.S. 245 ( 1829 )

Cooley v. Board of Wardens of Port of Philadelphia Ex Rel. ... , 53 U.S. 299 ( 1852 )

Gilman v. Philadelphia , 70 U.S. 713 ( 1866 )

License Tax Cases , 72 U.S. 462 ( 1867 )

The Daniel Ball , 77 U.S. 557 ( 1871 )

State Tax on Railway Gross Receipts. Reading Railroad ... , 82 U.S. 284 ( 1873 )

SHERLOCK v. Alling, AdmInistrator , 93 U.S. 99 ( 1876 )

Munn v. Illinois , 94 U.S. 113 ( 1877 )

Chicago, B. & QR Co. v. Iowa , 94 U.S. 155 ( 1877 )

Pound v. Turck , 95 U.S. 459 ( 1878 )

Hall v. DeCuir , 95 U.S. 485 ( 1878 )

County of Mobile v. Kimball , 102 U.S. 691 ( 1881 )

Coe v. Errol , 116 U.S. 517 ( 1886 )

Mugler v. Kansas , 123 U.S. 623 ( 1887 )

View All Authorities »

Cited By (158)

Leisy v. Hardin , 135 U.S. 100 ( 1890 )

Crutcher v. Kentucky , 141 U.S. 47 ( 1891 )

United States V , 148 U.S. 654 ( 1893 )

United States v. EC Knight Co. , 156 U.S. 1 ( 1895 )

Geer v. Connecticut , 161 U.S. 519 ( 1896 )

United States v. Trans-Missouri Freight Assn. , 166 U.S. 290 ( 1897 )

Holden v. Hardy , 169 U.S. 366 ( 1898 )

Rhodes v. Iowa , 170 U.S. 412 ( 1898 )

Schollenberger v. Pennsylvania , 171 U.S. 1 ( 1898 )

Addyston Pipe & Steel Co. v. United States , 175 U.S. 211 ( 1899 )

Austin v. Tennessee , 179 U.S. 343 ( 1900 )

Capital City Dairy Co. v. Ohio , 183 U.S. 238 ( 1902 )

Diamond Glue Co. v. United States Glue Co. , 187 U.S. 611 ( 1903 )

C. W. Cornell v. F. E. Coyne , 192 U.S. 418 ( 1904 )

Field v. Barber Asphalt Paving Co. , 194 U.S. 618 ( 1904 )

Swift & Co. v. United States , 196 U.S. 375 ( 1905 )

Cox v. Texas , 202 U.S. 446 ( 1906 )

The Winnebago , 205 U.S. 354 ( 1907 )

New York Ex Rel. Silz v. Hesterberg , 211 U.S. 31 ( 1908 )

Friday v. Hall & Kaul Co. , 216 U.S. 449 ( 1910 )

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