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The license fee imposed by the State is not an inspection fee and cannot be sustained upon that ground. It is not made so by statute, and the requirement that the manufacturer, etc., shall pay a fixed sum before he sells his goods in the State, is a charge for the privilege of selling them, and hence a license fee.
An inspection fee cannot be determined in advance by a lump sum.
Conditions of sale which a State may prescribe do not include a right to exact a fee or license for the privilege of vending articles of commerce within the State, and herein lies the difference between an inspection fee which the State has the right to exact, and a license fee which is prohibited by the Constitution. An inspection fee is exacted to cover the cost of the performance of a certain duty of state officials preceding the sale of the proposed article to the public and in order to ascertain whether or not it is meeting the requirements of the State in its sale. A license fee is imposed as a condition precedent to the sale of a product and for the privilege of permitting it.
The prohibition of the commerce clause of the Constitution is direct and positive. The State cannot tax an article of commerce except only to cover a proper inspection of such article before it becomes an article of commerce within the State. Pabst Brew. Co. v. Crenshaw, 198 U. S. 17; Vance v. Vandercook, 170 U. S. 438.
To permit a State to tax commerce to provide a fund to enforce its police laws or to punish those who disobey them would destroy in substance the prohibition of the Constitution.
A State has not the power to require the maker of any wholesome product, that contains nothing injurious whatever and is not and cannot be from its very nature an imitation of something else, to disclose not only the ingredients but the percentages of such wholesome ingredients.
Such a formula where no fraud is perpetrated, is as much
entitled to the protection of the law as the good will of a business or an ownership in land. Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U. S. 206.
The act of Congress of June 30, 1906, specifically exempts proprietors or manufacturers of proprietary food stuffs which contain no unwholesome added ingredients from disclosing their trade formula. To require such disclosure by the State is in effect to supersede and annul the act of Congress.
The act of the Iowa legislature in so far as it sought to compel complainant to pay a tax of one hundred dollars for the privilege of doing business in the State, and to set forth upon the outside of the package or container of its product the percentage or percentages of the diluent or base, is void.
Mr. George Cosson, Attorney General of the State of Iowa, with whom Mr. Henry E. Sampson was on the brief, for appellee:
The validity of the act must be determined not by the casual use of any word or phrase, but by its necessary and obvious result, and the purpose for which it was framed. Henderson v. New York, 92 U. S. 259; Minnesota v. Barber, 136 U. S. 319.
The requirements of the act are not for the mere purpose of raising revenue or placing a burden upon the business of dealers in commercial feeding stuffs. There is hardly a section in the entire act which does not contain some provision looking to the protection of the public against fraud and deception.
One of the objects of inspection, so far as it applies to domestic sales, is to protect the community from fraud and imposition. Clintsman v. Northrup, 8 Cow. 46.
Elements of inspection include quality of the article, form, capacity, dimensions, weight of package, the mode of putting up, marking and branding of various kinds; but
it is not necessary for all these elements to coexist to make a valid inspection law. Turner v. Maryland, 107 U. S. 38. And see McLean v. Denver, 203 U. S. 38.
Inspection need not be made before the goods become articles of commerce. Neilson v. Garza, 2 Woods, 287; Clintsman v. Northrup, 8 Cow. 46, do not apply.
The words “imports” and “exports" as used in Art. I, § 10 of the Constitution, have been held to apply only to articles imported from or exported to foreign countries. Woodruff v. Parham, 8 Wall. 123; Pittsburg &c. Coal Co. v. Louisiana, 156 U. S. 590, 600; Patapsco Guano Co. v. North Carolina, 171 U. S. 350.
The scope of inspection laws is very large and is not confined to articles of domestic produce or manufacture, or to articles intended for exportation, but applies to articles imported and to those intended for domestic use as well. Neilson v. Garza, supra.
Inspection laws may operate as well on importations as exportations. Patapsco Guano Co. v. North Carolina, supra.
Where the receipts from inspection fees are found to average largely more than enough to pay the expenses, the presumption is that the legislature will moderate the charge. Patapsco Guano. Co. v. North Carolina, supra; McLean v. Denver & R. G. R. R. Co., 203 U. S. 55.
Even though the act may discriminate against the manufacturer doing a small amount of business in the State who is required to pay a fee equal to that done by the large manufacturer doing a large business, as complainant herein, this objection to the statute cannot be raised by the appellant for the reason that it is to his advantage and not disadvantage. Turpin v. Lemon, 187 U. S. 51; Hooker v. Burr, 194 U. S. 415, 419; Southern Ry. Co. v. King, 217 U. S. 524, 534; Collins v. Texas, 223 U. S. 281, 295; Quong Wing v. Kirkendall, 223 U. S. 59; People v. Olson, 215 Illinois, 620, 623.
The fact that each and every package is not inspected will not invalidate the act. Pabst Brewing Co. v. Crenshaw, 198 U. S. 17, and Vance v. Vandercook, 170 U. S. 438, distinguished; and see Frazier v. Warfield, 13 Maryland, 279; State v. Bixman, 162 Missouri, 34.
The law is not invalid because the fee is prescribed in a lump sum. Tennessee v. Bank of Commerce, 53 Fed. Rep. 735.
It is the ultimate result which is to govern, that in the final analysis the fee must be paid by some person or corporation, and necessarily by either the seller or the purchaser, and therefore the form of the imposition of the fee should not in and of itself invalidate an act. Cinn. Gas Light Co. v. State, 18 Oh. St. 245; 22 Cyc. 1366.
The law was framed to meet a condition which existed and not a theory. It was so worded as to meet the exigencies of a particular situation, and is not void because thereof. McClain v. Denver & R. G. R. R. Co., 203 U. S. 38; Missouri Pac. Ry. v. Mackey, 127 U. S. 205.
If the act bears a real relation to the object to be accomplished, the method of its accomplishment is for the legislature. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11; St. Louis & I. M. Ry. v. Taylor, 210 U. S. 295.
The act is not invalid because it requires, among other things, a labeling so as not to deceive the purchaser, and a setting forth of the percentage of the diluent or base of the product.
The constitutionality of an act cannot be determined upon the particular practice during a particular time of a particular company engaged in the manufacture and sale of stock food. The legislature in the passage of the act under its police power determined that there was an evil to correct; that stock food companies manufactured and sold false, fraudulent and adulterated stock foods and labeled the same so as to mislead and deceive the purchasers, and that if this practice was so common among
other stock food companies as to require the passage of an act in question, there must be some information contained upon the package to the end that the purchaser may know what he is buying, and unless the percentage of the diluent or diluents or bases is stated upon the package, there will be great opportunity for fraud and deception. Heath & Milligan v. Worst, 207 U. S. 338; Schollenberger v. Pennsylvania, 171 U. S. 1, 12; Stilz v. Thompson, 44 Minnesota, 271. And see also: Patterson v. Kentucky, 97 U. S. 501; Arbuckle v. Blackburn, 113 Fed. Rep. 616, 627, affirmed, 191 U. S. 405.
The act is not void by reason of its conflict with the law of the United States enacted by Congress June 30, 1906. It is merely supplementary to the Federal law and covers a field which is not covered by the act of Congress and concerning which Congress would not have the power to legislate. United States v. New Bedford Bridge, 27 Fed. Cas. 97, No. 15,867; Plumley v. Massachusetts, 155 U. S. 461, 472; Crossman v. Lurman, 192 U. S. 189, 198; Bowman v. Chicago &c. Ry. Co., 125 U. S. 465, 501.
The Constitution of the United States does not declare that an inspection fee to be valid must be prescribed in one form alone. It permits the States to levy a sufficient amount to execute its inspection laws, but does not define the method in which the amount may be collected. Brown v. Maryland, 12 Wheat. 419.
This court is not clothed with authority and jurisdiction to declare unconstitutional an act of a state legislature because it is not couched in stereotyped language, or because the court might consider that it was illogical in its arrangement. 5 Elliott's Debates, 428; Hylton v. United States, 3 Dall. 171; Sinking Fund Cases, 99 U. S. 717; Holden v. Hardy, 169 U. S. 366; Commonwealth v. Alger, 7 Cush. 53.
The whole act discloses the fact that its relation to interstate commerce is incidental.