248 U.S. 420 (1919), 357, United States v. Hill

Docket Nº:No. 357
Citation:248 U.S. 420, 39 S.Ct. 143, 63 L.Ed. 337
Party Name:United States v. Hill
Case Date:January 13, 1919
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 420

248 U.S. 420 (1919)

39 S.Ct. 143, 63 L.Ed. 337

United States

v.

Hill

No. 357

United States Supreme Court

Jan. 13, 1919

Argued November 5, 6, 1918

ERROR TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

Syllabus

The transportation of liquor upon the person, and for the personal use, of an interstate passenger is "interstate commerce." P. 424.

Under the power to regulate interstate commerce, Congress may forbid the interstate transportation of intoxicating liquor without regard to the policy or law of any state. P. 425.

The "Reed Amendment," § 5, Act of March 3, 1917, c. 162, 39 Stat. 1058, 1069, provides:

Whoever shall order, purchase, or cause intoxicating

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liquors to be transported in interstate commerce, except for scientific, sacramental, medicinal, and mechanical purposes, into any state or territory the laws of which state or Territory prohibit the manufacture or sale therein of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes shall be punished as aforesaid: Provided, That nothing herein shall authorize the shipment of liquor into any state contrary to the laws of such state.

Respondent bought intoxicating liquor in Kentucky intending to take it to West Virginia for his personal use as a beverage, and for that purpose carried it upon his person on a trip by common carrier into the latter state, whose laws permitted such importation but forbade manufacture or sale for beverage purposes. Held: (1) that the Amendment applied, not being limited to cases of importation for commercial purposes; (2) that, as so construed, it is within the power of Congress under the commerce clause. P. 427.

Reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

DAY, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE DAY delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a writ of error bringing in review under the Criminal Appeals Act March 2, [39 S.Ct. 144] 1907, c. 2564, 34 Stat. 1246 the judgment of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of West Virginia sustaining a demurrer and motion to quash an indictment against one Dan Hill. The indictment charged that Hill on the 20th of November, 1917, being in the State of Kentucky, there intended to go and be carried by means of a common carrier, engaged in interstate commerce, from the State of Kentucky into the State of West Virginia, and intended to carry upon his person, as a beverage, for his personal use, a quantity of intoxicating liquor, to-wit, one quart thereof, into the State of West

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Virginia, and did in the State of Kentucky purchase and procure a quantity of intoxicating liquor, to-wit, one quart thereof, contained in bottles, and did then and there board a certain trolley car, being operated by a common carrier corporation engaged in interstate commerce, and by means thereof did cause himself and the said intoxicating liquor then upon his person to be carried and transported in interstate commerce into the State of West Virginia. It is charged that Hill violated the Act of Congress approved March 3, 1917, commonly known as the Reed Amendment, by thus carrying in interstate commerce from Kentucky to West Virginia a quantity of intoxicating liquor as a beverage for his personal use, the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes being then prohibited by the laws of the State of West Virginia; further that the intoxicating liquor was not ordered, purchased, or caused to be transported for scientific, sacramental, medicinal, or mechanical purposes.

The Reed Amendment is a part of § 5 of the Post Office Appropriation Act approved March 3, 1917, 39 Stat. 1058, 1069, c. 162 and reads as follows:

The Reed Amendment is a part of § 5 of the Post Office Appropriation Act approved March 3, 1917, c. 162, 39 Stat. 1058, 1069, and reads as follows:

. . . Whoever shall order, purchase, or cause intoxicating liquors to be transported in interstate commerce, except for scientific...

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