Druggan v. Anderson

Decision Date19 October 1925
Docket NumberNo. 415,415
Citation269 U.S. 36,70 L.Ed. 151,46 S.Ct. 14
PartiesDRUGGAN v. ANDERSON, U. S. Marshal, et al
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Messrs. Michael J. Ahern and Thomas D. Nash, both of Chicago, Ill., for appellant.

[Argument of Counsel from page 37 intentionally omitted] Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an appeal from an order dismissing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on demurrer. The petitioner is imprisoned for contempt in disobeying a temporary injunction issued under Section 22 of Title 2 of the National Prohibition Act 28, 1919, c. 85, 41 Stat. 305, 314 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 10138 1/2 k). The bill upon which the injunction was issued alleged the existence of a public nuisance used for the manufacture, sale, etc., of intoxicating liquor, and charged that the petitioner among others was conducting the business. An injunction was ordered, pendente lite. Subsequently an information was filed against the petitioner and others for contempt and the petitioner was sentenced to a fine and to imprisonment for one year. He was committed to jail on November 11, 1924. The main ground for the present petition is that Title 2 of the Act, with immaterial exceptions, is unconstitutional because it was enacted before Amendment 18 of the Constitution went into effect. The Amendment prohibits the manufacture, sale, etc., of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes, 'after one year from the ratification of this article.' The date of the ratification is fixed as January 16, 1919, Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U. S. 368, 376, 41 S. Ct. 510, 65 L. Ed. 994, and the National Prohibition Act was passed on October 28, 1919 before a year from the ratification had expired. It is said that the prohibition is the Amendment; that until there is a prohibition there is no Amendment, and that without the Amendment the Act of Congress, although it was not to go into effect until after the Amendment did, Title 2, § 3 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 10138 1/2 aa), was unauthorized and void.

We will give a few words to this argument notwithstanding the difficulties in the way of proceeding by habeas corpus in a case like this, Howat v. Kansas, 258 U. S. 181, 189, 190, 42 S. Ct. 277, 66 L. Ed. 550; Craig v. Hecht, 263 U. S. 255, 44 S. Ct. 103, 68 L. Ed. 293, and notwithstanding the fact that the validity of the statutes has been supposed to have been established heretofore. It is not correct to say that the Amendment did not exist until its prohibition went into effect; in other words that there was no Amendment until January 16, 1920, although one had been ratified a year before. The moment that the Amendment was ratified it became effective as a law. The operation of its words a year later depended wholly upon what had happened on or before January 16, 1919. Nothing happened after that date except the lapse of time. This distinction is maintained by the language of the Amendment, which is not that the Amendment shall go into operation a year after it is ratified but that the acts against which it is directed are prohibited after that time, although we attach no other importance to the precise form of words used than that of showing an accurate instinct in...

To continue reading

Request your trial
26 cases
  • City of Gaylord v. Beckett
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • August 24, 1966
    ...a constitutional amendment. See 16 Am.Jur.2d Constitutional Law § 180, 171 A.L.R. 1075 and cases cited therein, Druggan v. Anderson, 269 U.S. 36, 46 S.Ct. 14, 70 L.Ed. 151. In Druggan v. Anderson, supra, the court was considering the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, w......
  • Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Inc. v. C. I. R.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • August 3, 1979
    ...Indus. Fin. Auth., 360 P.2d 720 (Okla.1961); State v. Hecker, 109 Or. 520, 221 P. 808 (1923). See also Druggan v. Anderson, 269 U.S. 36, 39, 46 S.Ct. 14, 70 L.Ed. 151 (1925) (Holmes, J.). Cf. Neisel v. Moran, 80 Fla. 98, 85 So. 341 (1919). Compare Terrebonne Parish School Bd. v. St. Mary Pa......
  • Stop Slots MD 2008 v. State Bd. of Elections
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • January 6, 2012
    ...decision also largely rested on the similar conclusion reached by the United States Supreme Court in [424 Md. 188] Druggan v. Anderson, 269 U.S. 36, 46 S.Ct. 14, 70 L.Ed. 151 (1925), which, although not precisely on point, set forth certain principles that were instructive to our analysis. ......
  • Fellows v. Shultz
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • May 4, 1970
    ...statute, or both, state or clearly imply that they were passed in anticipation of the subsequent amendment. See Druggan v. Anderson, 269 U.S. 36, 46 S.Ct. 14, 70 L.Ed. 151 (1925); Alabam's Freight Co. v. Hunt, 29 Ariz. 419, 242 P. 658 (1926); Fry v. Rosen, 207 Ind. 409, 189 N.E. 375 (1934),......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT