260 U.S. 377 (1922), 39, United States v. Lanza

Docket Nº:No. 39
Citation:260 U.S. 377, 43 S.Ct. 141, 67 L.Ed. 314
Party Name:United States v. Lanza
Case Date:December 11, 1922
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 377

260 U.S. 377 (1922)

43 S.Ct. 141, 67 L.Ed. 314

United States

v.

Lanza

No. 39

United States Supreme Court

Dec. 11, 1922

Argued November 23, 1922

ERROR TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON

Syllabus

1. The second section of the Eighteenth Amendment, declaring "[t]he Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation," means that power to take legislative measures to make the policy of the amendment effective shall exist in Congress in respect of the territorial limits of the United States, and that, at the same time, the like power of the several states within their territorial limits shall not cease to exist. P. 381.

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2. The Amendment did not displace or cut down state laws consistent with it. P. 381.

3. The Amendment is not, properly speaking, the source of the state prohibitory power, but rather, its effect is to put an end to restrictions on the state's power arising from the federal Constitution, and to leave the state free to enact prohibition laws applying to all transactions within her limits. P. 381.

4. When the same act is an offense against both state and federal governments, its prosecution and punishment by the latter, after prosecution and punishment by the former, is not double jeopardy within the Fifth Amendment. P. 382.

5. In the absence of special provision by Congress to the contrary, conviction and punishment in a state court under a state law for making, transporting, and selling intoxicating liquors is not a bar to a prosecution in a court of the United States under the National Prohibition Law for the same acts. P. 385.

268 F. 864 reversed.

Error to an order of the district court sustaining a special plea in bar and dismissing five counts of an indictment.

TAFT, J., lead opinion

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE TAFT delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a writ of error by the United States under the Criminal Appeals Act (c. 2564, 34 Stat. 1246), to reverse an order of the District Court for the Western District of Washington dismissing five counts of an indictment presented against the defendants in error April 28, 1920. The first of these charged the defendants with manufacturing intoxicating liquor, the second with transporting it, the third with possessing it, and the fourth and fifth with having a still and material designed for its manufacture,

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about April 12, 1920, in violation of the National Prohibition Act (c. 85, 41 Stat. 305). The defendants filed a special plea in bar setting out that, on April 16, 1920, an information was filed in the Superior Court of Whatcom County, Washington, charging the same defendants with manufacturing, transporting, and having in possession the same liquor, and that, on the same day, a judgment was entered against each defendant for $250 for manufacturing, $250 for transporting, and $250 for having in possession such liquor. The information was filed under a statute of Washington in force before the going into effect of the Eighteenth Amendment and passage of the National Prohibition Act. Remington's Code, § 6262-1 et seq., as amended by Sess.Laws 1917, p. 46. The government demurred to the plea. The district court sustained the plea and dismissed the five counts. United States v. Peterson, 268 F. 864. No point is made by the government in the assignments of error that Counts 4 and 5, for having a still and material in possession, were not covered by the information and judgment by the state court.

The Eighteenth Amendment is as follows:

Section, 1. After one year from the ratification of this article, the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from, the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof, for beverage purposes, is hereby prohibited.

Sec. 2. The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The defendants insist that two punishments for the same act, one under the National Prohibition Act and the other under a state law, constitute double jeopardy under the Fifth Amendment, and, in support [43 S.Ct. 142] of this position, it is argued that both laws derive their force from the same

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authority -- the second section of the amendment -- and therefore that, in principle, it is as if both punishments were in prosecutions by the United States in its courts.

Consideration of this argument requires an analysis of the reason and purpose of the second section of the amendment. We dealt with both sections in the National Prohibition Cases, 253 U.S. 350. The conclusions of the Court relevant here are Nos. 6, 7, 8, and 9.

6. The first section of the amendment, the one embodying the prohibition, is operative throughout the entire territorial limits of the United States, binds all legislative bodies, courts, public officers, and individuals within those limits, and, of its own force, invalidates every legislative act -- whether by Congress, by a state legislature, or by a territorial assembly -- which authorizes or sanctions what the section prohibits.

7. The second section of the amendment, the one declaring "the Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation," does not enable Congress or the several states to defeat or to thwart the prohibition, but only to enforce it by appropriate means.

8. The words "concurrent power" in that section do not mean joint power, or require that legislation thereunder by Congress, to be effective, shall be approved or sanctioned by the several states or any of them; nor do they mean that the power to enforce is divided between Congress and the several states along the lines which separate or distinguish foreign and interstate commerce from intrastate affairs.

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