State v. Duckworth

Decision Date18 December 1897
Citation51 P. 456,5 Idaho 642
CourtIdaho Supreme Court

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-COMMERCE AMONG THE STATES.-The nonexercise by the Congress of its power to regulate commerce among the states is equivalent to a declaration by that body that such commerce shall be free from any restrictions.

POLICE REGULATIONS-BURDENS AND RESTRICTIONS ON INTERSTATE COMMERCE.-Section 14 of an act of the legislature concerning the appointment of a sheep inspector, etc. (see Sess. Laws 1895, p. 125), and sections 4 and 6 of an act amendatory thereof (see Sess. Laws 1897, p. 115), declaring it to be unlawful to bring sheep into this state without first having them "dipped," as provided in said acts, place an unnecessary burden and restriction upon interstate commerce and are repugnant to the commerce clause of the federal constitution.

INSPECTION OF SHEEP-STATUTE REPUGNANT TO SECTION 2, ARTICLE 4, OF UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.-Said sections also discriminate to such an extent against persons who may desire to bring sheep into the state, and those who may have sheep within the state, as to be clearly repugnant to the provisions of section 2 article 4, of the federal constitution.

(Syllabus by the court.)

APPEAL from District Court. Oneida County.

Reversed and remanded, with instructions. Costs of this appeal awarded to the appellant.

George E. Gray and F. S. Dietrich, for Appellant.

This is a criminal action in which the defendant is charged by the district attorney's information with bringing sheep into Idaho without first having complied with the provisions of what is commonly known as the "Scab Law," passed at the fourth session of the Idaho legislature, and approved March 12, 1897. (See Sess. Laws, 1897, p. 115.) If the "Scab Law" defines the acts complained of as a penal offense, then the provisions of the law are repugnant to the constitution of the United States. Respondent may say the general language of the act and of the section by implication defines as a crime such acts as are complained of. But criminal statutes are construed most strictly against the state; nothing is implied. (Sutherland's Statutory Construction, pars. 208, 347; Clark's Criminal Law, p 28.) The plain language of the law is meaningless, or the influences which brought forth this legislation were more ingenious than ingenuous. The requirement is clearly repugnant to the constitution. (Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 5th ed., p. 21 and note, pp. 490-492 and notes; Ward v. Maryland, 12 Wall. 418; Minnesota v Barber, 136 U.S. 313, 10 S.Ct. 862; In re Watson, 15 F. 511, and note.) For expressions, mainly of the court of last resort, upon the questions involved in this cause, we cite for special consideration the following decisions: Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1; Henderson v. Wickhan, 92 U.S. 259; Welton v. Missouri, 91 U.S. 275; Railroad v. Husen, 95 U.S. 465; Brown v. Houston, 114 U.S. 622, 5 S.Ct. 1091; Minnesota v. Barber, 136 U.S. 313, 10 S.Ct. 862; Brimmer v. Rebman, 138 U.S. 78, 10 S.Ct. 213; Voight v. Wright, 141 U.S. 62, 11 S.Ct. 855; Schmidt v. People, 18 Colo. 78, 31 P. 498; Farris v. Henderson, 1 Okla. 384, 33 P. 380, 382. A statute may, upon its face, apply equally to the people of all the states, and yet be a regulation of interstate commerce which a state may not establish. A burden imposed by a state upon interstate commerce is not to be sustained simply because the statute imposing it applied alike to the people of all states, including the people of the state enacting such statute. (Robbins v. Shelby Co. Taxing Dist., 120 U.S. 489, 497, 7 S.Ct. 592; State Freight Tax Case, 15 Wall, 232 (146).)

Attorney General McFarland, for the State.

The state legislature is the sole judge as to the expediency of making police regulations interfering with the rights of persons and property when such regulations are not prohibited by the constitution. (Varick v. Smith, 5 Paige, 136; Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 704-707; Potter's Dwarris on Statutes, 455.) The law in question is what is commonly known as a quarantine, sanitary or inspection law, and comes under what is termed the police power of the state. (Potter's Dwarris on Statutes, 444; Mayor of New York v. Lord, 17 Wend. 285; Mayor etc. v. Miln, 11 Pet. 102; 2 Kent's Commentaries, 338; Russell v. Mayor of New York, 2 Denio, 461; Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 706.) It has been held that state laws establishing quarantine and health laws of every description, even to the extent of destroying private property when infected with disease or otherwise dangerous, fall within the proper bounds of state police. (Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 706; Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1; Cisco v. Roberts, 36 N.Y. 292; Benedict v. Vanderbilt, 25 How. Pr. 209; Vanderbilt v. Adams, 7 Cow. 348; Cooley v. Board of Wardens, 12 How. 299; Owners "James Gray" v. Owners "John Frazer," 21 How. 184; Wilson v. McNamee, 102 U.S. 572; Gilman v. Philadelphia, 3 Wall. 713-731.) In support of the law in question, we cite the court to the following cases: Kimmish v. Ball, 129 U.S. 217, 9 S.Ct. 277; Smith v. Alabama, 124 U.S. 465, 8 S.Ct. 564; Morgan's Steamship Co. v. Louisiana Board of Health, 118 U.S. 455, 6 S.Ct. 1114; Nashville etc. Ry. Co. v. Alabama, 128 U.S. 96, 9 S.Ct. 28; Patterson v. Kentucky, 97 U.S. 501; Pembina Consolidated etc. Milling Co. v. Pennsylvania, 125 U.S. 181, 8 S.Ct. 737; Ex parte Maier, 103 Cal. 476, 42 Am. St. Rep. 129, 37 P. 402; Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36; Paul v. Virginia, 8 Wall. 168.

SULLIVAN, C. J. Huston and Quarles, JJ., concur.



The appellant, who was the defendant in the court below, was convicted of the crime of bringing sheep into the state without having first obtained the certificate or permit of the deputy sheep inspector. He waived a jury trial, and the case was submitted to the court on a written stipulation of facts. The defendant was found guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of $ 100, and five cents per head on 3,000 head of sheep, from which judgment this appeal was taken.

The appellant contends that said judgment is erroneous, because the act of the state legislature under which he was convicted is repugnant to certain provisions of the federal constitution: (1) To paragraph 1, section 2, article 4, which provides that citizens of each state shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states; and (2) to that provision of section 8, article 1 which authorizes the Congress to regulate commerce. The defendant was convicted under the fourth section of an act entitled "An act to amend sections 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 and 12 of an act to create the office of sheep inspector for the state of Idaho; to provide for the appointment and to define the powers and duties of said officer and his deputies, and fixing his salary and the compensation of his deputies and providing for the prosecution of offenses in said act," approved March 12, 1897 (see Sess. Laws 1897, p. 115), which act is commonly called the "Scab Law." Said fourth section is as follows: "That section 6 of said act is hereby amended to read as follows: Section 6. Any person, persons, company, corporation or association, intending to bring, or cause to be brought from any other state or territory into any of the counties of the state of Idaho any sheep, he or they must first notify the deputy sheep inspector of the district or county nearest to the point of entrance into this state, that at a fixed date he will be within twenty miles from the state line at a designated point, with said sheep for inspection; and it shall be the duty of the deputy sheep inspector to examine such sheep within three days, and if pronounced sound, to immediately dip such sheep once, and then, upon being tendered his compensation as hereinafter provided, issue a permit allowing such sheep to enter this state subject to such regulations as are enforced on resident sheep. But if such sheep are found scabby or infected with any contagious or infectious disease, then the deputy sheep inspector must dip said sheep twice, with an interval from eight to fifteen days between dipping, and then issue a permit for said sheep to enter said state under the same regulations as heretofore provided; provided, however, that all sheep must enter said state within three days from final dipping, otherwise permit so issued shall be null and void. And any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, they shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred ($ 100) dollars, or more than three hundred ($ 300) dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail, not less than two months, nor more than six months, or by both such fines and imprisonment; provided, that any person, persons, company, corporation or association bringing or causing to be brought any sheep into any counties of this state in violation of the provisions of this act, shall be fined in addition to the penalty imposed in this section, five cents per head, for every sheep, so brought into this state, which shall be a lien on said sheep; and it shall be the duty of the deputy sheep inspector to seize and hold such sheep by such means as he deems best, for a period of ten days, and if said sum is not paid within that period, to advertise and sell said sheep, or as many of the same as may be necessary to satisfy and pay such fine and costs." Said section makes it a misdemeanor for any person to bring any sheep into this state without having them first dipped by the sheep inspector. Section 6 of said act provides "that no person, persons, company or corporation within the state of Idaho shall be required to dip his or their...

To continue reading

Request your trial
5 cases
  • State v. Butterfield Live Stock Co.
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • December 28, 1909
    ... ... legislation." (Desty's F. Const. (1887), p. 70; note ... to Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 114 U.S ... 196, 5 S.Ct. 826, 29 L. ed. 158, and cases there cited; ... Phila. & M. S. S. Co. v. Pennsylvania, 122 U.S. 348, ... 7 S.Ct. 1118, 30 L. ed. 1200; State v. Duckworth, 5 Idaho ... 642, 95 Am. St. 199, 51 P. 456, 39 L. R. A. 365.) ... "A ... state may lay a tax on imports to pay for services performed ... in inspecting the articles, if passed in good faith and not ... for the object of raising revenue." (Desty's F ... Const., supra, p. 189.) ... ...
  • People v. Morgan
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • May 24, 1926
    ... ... Information ... was filed against Chester Morgan, charging him with driving ... sheep into Moffat county from the state of Wyoming without ... having notified the sheriff of his intention. Motion to quash ... the information was sustained, and the State brings error ... 240; Pure ... Oil Co. v. Minnesota, 248 U.S. 158, 39 S.Ct. 35, 63 L.Ed ... By ... counsel for defendant in error: State v. Duckworth, 5 Idaho ... 642, 51 P. 456, 39 L.R.A. 365, 95 Am.St.Rep. 199; State v ... Butterfield Live Stock Co., 17 Idaho 441, 106 P. 455, 26 ... L.R.A ... ...
  • State v. Rasmussen
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • January 23, 1900 the constitutionality of this legislation. It appears to have been settled and determined by this court in the case of State v. Duckworth, 5 Idaho 642, 51 P. 456; Territory v. Evans, 2 Idaho 658, 23 P. Railway Co. v. Husen, 95 U.S. 465; Kimmish v. Ball, 129 U.S. 217, 9 S.Ct. 277; Missour......
  • Welch v. Garrett
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • December 18, 1897
  • 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