227 U.S. 308 (1913), 381, Hoke v. United States

Docket Nº:No. 381
Citation:227 U.S. 308, 33 S.Ct. 281, 57 L.Ed. 523
Party Name:Hoke v. United States
Case Date:February 24, 1913
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 308

227 U.S. 308 (1913)

33 S.Ct. 281, 57 L.Ed. 523

Hoke

v.

United States

No. 381

United States Supreme Court

February 24, 1913

Argued January 7, 8, 1913

ERROR TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS

Syllabus

The power given to Congress by the Constitution over interstate commerce is direct, without limitation, and far-reaching. Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States, 220 U.S. 45.

Commerce among the states consists of intercourse and traffic between their citizens, and includes the transportation of persons as well as property.

Page 309

While our dual form of government has its perplexities, state and Nation having different spheres of jurisdiction, we are one people, and the powers reserved to the states and those conferred on the Nation are adapted to be exercised, whether independently or concurrently, to promote the general welfare, material and moral.

While women are not articles of merchandise, the power of Congress to regulate their transportation in interstate commerce is the same, and it may prohibit such transportation if for immoral purposes.

The right to be transported in interstate commerce is not a right to employ interstate transportation as a facility to do wrong, and Congress may prohibit such transportation to the extent of the White Slave Traffic Act of 1910.

Congress may adopt not only the necessary, but the convenient, means necessary to exercise its power over a subject completely within its power, and such means may have the quality of police regulations. Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 114 U.S. 196.

The White Slave Traffic Act of June 25, 1910, c. 395, 36 Stat. 825, is a legal exercise of the power of Congress under the commerce clause of the Constitution, and does not abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the states or interfere with the reserved powers of the states, especially those in regard to regulation of immoralities of persons within their several jurisdictions.

A variance which is merely verbal as to the name of the railroad over which transportation was obtained in violation of the White Slave Traffic Act and which did not prejudice the defense, held in this case not to be reversible error.

It is for the jury to determine the sufficiency of the evidence tending to show that defendants induced women to become passengers in interstate commerce in violation of the act, and in this case it does not appear that their judgment was not justified.

One can violate the White Slave Traffic Act through a third party acting for him.

Evidence of acts of defendants after the end of the journey held in this case to be admissible to show the action of defendants in inducing the transportation of women in interstate commerce in violation of the White Slave Traffic Act.

There was no error in the various instructions of the court in this case.

187 F. 992 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality under various provisions of the federal Constitution of the Act of June 25, 1910, prohibiting transportation in interstate and

Page 310

foreign commerce of women and girls for immoral purposes, known as the White Slave Act, are stated in the opinion.

Page 316

MCKENNA, J., lead opinion

[33 S.Ct. 282] MR. JUSTICE McKENNA delivered the opinion of the Court.

Error to review a judgment of conviction under the Act of Congress of June 25, 1910, entitled, "An Act to

Page 317

Further Regulate Interstate and Foreign Commerce by Prohibiting the Transportation Therein for Immoral Purposes of Women and Girls, and for Other Purposes." 36 Stat. 825, c. 395. It is commonly known as the White Slave Act.

The constitutionality of the act was assailed by demurrer, and as its sufficiency otherwise was not questioned, a brief summary of its allegations is all that is necessary.

The charge against Effie Hoke is that she

did, on the fourteenth day of November, A.D.1910, in the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana, unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly persuade, induce, and entice one Annette Baden, alias Annette Hays, a woman, to go from New Orleans, a city in the State of Louisiana, to Beaumont, a city in the State of Texas, in interstate commerce, for the purpose of prostitution,

etc.

The charge against Basile Economides is that he

did unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly aid and assist the said Effie Hoke to persuade, induce, and entice the said Annette Baden . . . to go in interstate commerce . . . for the purpose of prostitution,

with the intent and purpose that the said woman "should engage in the practice of prostitution in the said City of Beaumont, Texas."

The second and third counts make the same charge against the defendants as to another woman, the one named in the third count being under eighteen years.

The demurrers were overruled, and after trial the defendants were convicted and sentenced, each to two years' imprisonment on each count. 187 F. 992.

The indictment was drawn under §§ 2, 3, and 4 of the act, which sections are as follows:

SEC. 2. That any person who shall knowingly transport or cause to be transported, or aid or assist in obtaining transportation for, or in transporting, in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any territory or in the District of Columbia, any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution

Page 318

or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose, or with the intent and purpose to induce, entice, or compel such woman or girl to become a prostitute or to give herself up to debauchery, or to engage in any other immoral practice; or who shall knowingly procure or obtain, or cause to be procured or obtained, or aid or assist in procuring or obtaining, any ticket or tickets, or any form of transportation or evidence of the right thereto, to be used by any woman or girl in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any territory or the District of Columbia, in going to any place for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose, or with the intent and purpose on the part of such person to induce, entice, or compel her to give herself up to the practice of prostitution, or to give herself up to debauchery, or any other immoral practice, whereby any such woman or girl shall be transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any territory or the District of Columbia, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment of not more than five years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

The third section is directed against the persuasion, inducement, and enticement of any woman or girl to go from one place to another in interstate or foreign commerce, whether with or without her consent, to engage in the practices and for the purposes stated in the first section, and provides that anyone

who shall thereby knowingly cause, or aid or assist in causing, such woman or girl to go or to be carried or transported as a passenger upon the line or route of any common carrier or carriers in interstate or foreign commerce, or any territory or the District of Columbia

shall be punished as prescribed in the first section.

Section 4 makes criminal persuasion, inducement, and enticement of a woman or girl under the age of eighteen

Page 319

years from any state or territory or the District of Columbia to any other state or territory or the District of Columbia to engage in the immoral practices enumerated. The person guilty thereof, and who shall, in furtherance thereof, knowingly induce or cause such woman or girl to be carried or transported as a passenger in interstate commerce, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and on conviction the offender's punishment may be a fine of $10,000 or imprisonment for ten years, or by both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

The grounds of attack upon the constitutionality of the statute are expressed by counsel as follows:

1. Because it is contrary to and contravenes Art. IV, § 2, of the Constitution of the United States, which reads: "The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states."

2. Because...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP