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1821.

Cohens

v. Virginia.

States is of importance, and therefore ought to be implied.

That the power to sell tickets in every part of the United States might facilitate their sale, is not to be denied; but it does not follow that Congress designed, for the purpose of giving this increased facility, to overrule the penal laws of the several States. In the City of Washington, the great metropolis of the nation, visited by individuals, from every part of the Union, tickets may be freely sold to all who are willing to purchase. Can it be affirmed that this is so limited a market, that the incorporating act must be extended beyond its words, and made to conflict with the internal police of the States, unless it be construed to give a more extensive market ?

It has been said, that the States cannot make it unlawful to buy that which Congress has made it lawful to sell.

This proposition is not denied ; and, therefore, the validity of a law punishing a citizen of Virginia for purchasing a ticket in the City of Washington, might well be drawn into question. Such a law would be a direct attempt to counteract and defeat a measure authorized by the United States. But a law to punish the sale of lottery tickets in Virginia, is of a different character. Before we can impeach its validity, we must inquire whether Congress intended to empower this Corporation to do any act within a State which the laws of that State might prohibit.

,1821.

Cobens

Virginia.

In addition to the very important circumstance, that the act contains no words indicating such intention, and that this extensive construction is not essential to the execution of the corporate power, the Court cannot resist the conviction, that the intention ascribed to this act, had it existed, would have been executed by very different means from those which have been employed.

Had Congress intended to establish a lottery for those improvements in the City which are deemed national, the lottery itself would have become the subject of legislative consideration. It would be organized by law, and agents for its execution would be appointed by the President, or in such other manner as the law might direct. If such agents were to act out of the District, there would be, probably, some provision made for such a state of things, and in making such provisions Congress would examine its power to make them. The whole subject would be under the control of the government, or of persons appointed by the government.

But in this case no lottery is established by law, no control is exercised by the government over any which may be established. The lottery emanates from a corporate power. The Corporation may authorize, or not authorize it, and may select the purposes to which the proceeds are to be applied. This Corporation is a being intended for local objects only. All its capacites are limited to the City. This, as well as every other law it is capable of making, is a by-law, and, from its nature, is only co-extensive with the City. It is not probable that

1821.

Cohens

Virginia,

such an agent would be employed in the execution
of a lottery established by Congress; but when it
acts, not as the agent for carrying into effect a lottery
established by Congress, but in its own corporate
capacity, from its own corporate powers, it is rea-
sonable to suppose that its acts were intended to par-
take of the nature of that capacity and of those
powers; and, like all its other acts, be merely local
in its nature.

The proceeds of these lotteries are to come in aid
of the revenues of the City. These revenues are
raised by laws whose operation is entirely local, and
for objects which are also local; for no person will
suppose, that the President's house, the Capitol, the
Navy Yard, or other public institution, was to be
benefitted by these lotteries, or was to form a charge
on the City revenue. Coming in aid of the City re-
venue, they are of the same character with it; the
mere creature of a corporate power.

The circumstances, that the lottery cannot be drawn without the permission of the President, and that this resource is to be used only for important improvements, have been relied on as giving to this corporate power a more extensive operation than is given to those with which it is associated. We do not think so.

The President has no agency in the lottery. It does not originate with him, nor is the improvement to which its profits are to be applied to be selected by him. Congress has not enlarged the corporate power by restricting its exercise to cases of which the President might approve.

!

1821.

Cohens

Virginia.

We very readily admit, that the act establishing the seat of government, and the act appointing commissioners to superintend the public buildings, are laws of universal obligation. We admit, too, that the laws of any State to defeat the loan authorized by Congress, would have been void, as would have been any attempt to arrest the progress of the canal, or of any other measure which Congress may adopt. These, and all other laws relative to the District, have the authority which may be claimed by other acts of the national legislature; but their extent is to be determined by those rules of construction which are applicable to all laws. The act incorporating the City of Washington is, unquestionably, of universal obligation ; but the extent of the corporate powers conferred by that act, is to be determined by those considerations which belong to the case.

Whether we consider the general character of a law incorporating a City, the objects for which such law is usually made, or the words in which this particular power is conferred, we arrive at the same result. The Corporation was merely empowered to authorize the drawing of lotteries; and the mind of Congress was not directed to any provision for the sale of the tickets beyond the limits of the Corporation. That subject does not seem to have been taken into view. It is the unanimous opinion of the Court, that the law cannot be construed to enbrace it.

Judgment affirmed.

1821.

Gibbons

Ogden.

JUDGMENT. This cause came on to be heard on the transcript of the record of the Quarterly Session Court for the Borough of Norfolk, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and was argued by counsel. On consideration whereof, it is ADJUDGED and ORDERED, that the judgment of the said Quarterly Session Court for the Borough of Norfolk, in this case, be, and the same is hereby affirmed, with costs.

(Practice.)

GIBBONS V. OGDEN.

A decree of the highest Court of Equity of a State, affirming the de

cretal order of an inferior Court of Equity of the same State, refusing to dissolve an injunction granted on the filing of the bill, is not a final decree within the 25th section of the judiciary act of 1789, 0. 20. from wbich an appeal lies to this Court.

Appeal from the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors of the State of New-York.

This was a bill filed by the plaintiff below, (Ogden,) against the defendant below, (Gibbons,) in the Court of Chancery of the State of New York, for an injunction to restrain the defendant from navigating certain steam boats on the waters of the State of New York, lying between Elizabethtown, in the State of New-Jersey, and the City of New-York ;

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