Mugler v. Kansas
123 U.S. 623 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887)

Mugler v. Kansas

Argued April 11, 1887

Decided December 5, 1887

123 U.S. 623

Syllabus

State legislation which prohibits the manufacture of spirituous, malt, vinous, fermented, or other intoxicating liquors within the limits of the State, to be there sold or bartered for general use as a beverage, does not necessarily infringe any right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution of the United States, or by the Amendments thereto.

The prohibition by the State of Kansas, in its Constitution and laws, of the manufacture or sale within the limits of the State of intoxicating liquors for general use there as a beverage is fairly adapted to the end of protecting the community against the evils which result from excessive use of ardent spirits, and it is not subject to the objection that, under the guise of police regulations, the State is aiming to deprive the citizen of his constitutional rights.

Lawful state legislation, in the exercise of the police powers of the State, to prohibit the manufacture and sale within the State of spirituous, malt, vinous, fermented, or other intoxicating liquors to be used as a beverage may be enforced against persons who, at the time, happen to own property whose chief value consists in its fitness for such manufacturing purposes, without compensating them for the diminution in its value resulting from such prohibitory enactments.

A prohibition upon the use of property for purposes that are declared by valid legislation to be injurious to the health, morals, or safety of the community is not an appropriation of the property for the public benefit, in the sense in which a taking of property by the exercise of the State's power of eminent domain is such a taking or appropriation.

The destruction, in the exercise of the police power of the State, of property used, in violation of law, in maintaining a public nuisance is not a taking of property for public use, and does not deprive the owner of it without due process of law.

A State has constitutional power to declare that any place kept and maintained

Page 123 U. S. 624

for the illegal manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors shall be deemed a common nuisance, and be abated, and, at the same time, to provide for the indictment and trial of the offender.

There is nothing in the provisions of § 13 of the statute of the State of Kansas of March 7, 1885, amendatory of the act of February 19, 1881, so far as they apply to the proceedings reviewed in these cases, which is inconsistent with the constitutional guarantees of liberty and property; and the equity power conferred by it to abate a public nuisance without a trial by jury is in harmony with settled principles of equity jurisprudence.

If the provision that, in a prosecution by indictment or otherwise, the State need not, in the first instance, prove that the defendant has not the permit required by the statute has any application to the proceeding in equity authorized by the statute of Kansas of 1881, it does not deprive him of the presumption that he is innocent of any violation of law, and does him no injury, as, if he has such permit, he can produce it.

The record does not present a case which requires the Court to decide whether the statutes of Kansas forbid the manufacture of intoxicating liquors to be exported or carried to other States, or whether they are repugnant upon that ground to the clause of the Constitution of the United States giving Congress power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States.

The Constitution of the State of Kansas contains the following article, being art. 15 of § 10, which was adopted by the people November 2, 1880:

"The manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors shall be forever prohibited in this State except for medical, scientific, and mechanical purposes."

The Legislature of Kansas enacted a statute to carry this into effect, the provisions of which are set forth by the Court in its opinion in this case, to which reference is made. This statute took effect on the 1st of May, 1881.

The plaintiff in error, Mugler, the proprietor of a brewery in Saline County, Kansas, was indicted in the District Court in that County in November, 1881, for offences against this statute.

The first indictment against him contained five counts charging that he, on five different specified days in November, 1881, in the County of Saline, "unlawfully did sell, barter, and give away spirituous, malt, vinous, fermented, and other intoxicating liquors," he "not having a permit to sell intoxicating liquors,

Page 123 U. S. 625

as provided by law, contrary to the statutes," &c.; and a sixth count charging that, in Saline County, at a time named in that month, he "did unlawfully keep and maintain a certain common nuisance, to-wit:" his brewery, then and there

"kept and used for the illegal selling, bartering, and giving away, and illegal keeping for sale, barter, and use of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the provisions of an act,"

&c.

The parties made an agreed statement of facts, which was all the evidence introduced in the case, and which was as follows:

"It is hereby stipulated and agreed that the facts in the above-entitled case are, and that the evidence would prove them to be, as follows:"

"That the defendant, Peter Mugler, has been a resident of the State of Kansas continually since the year 1872; that, being foreign born, he in that year declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and always since that time intending to become such citizen, he did, in the month of June, 1881, by the judgment of the District Court of Wyandotte County, Kansas, become a full citizen of the United States, and since that time has been a citizen of the United States and of the State of Kansas."

"That, in the year 1877, said defendant erected and furnished a brewery on lots Nos. 152 and 154 on Third Street, in the City of Salina, Saline County, Kansas, for use in the manufacture of such malt liquor, at an actual cost and expense to said defendant of ten thousand dollars, and was used by him for the purposes for which it was designed and intended after its completion in 1877 and up to May 1, 1881."

"That, of the beer so manufactures and on hand prior to February 19, 1881, said defendant made one sale since May 1, 1881, which is the sale charged in the first count of the indictment, said sale being made on the above-described premises; that the beer so sold was in the original packages in which it was placed after its manufacture, and was not sold for use nor used on said premises, and that, at the time of such sale, said

Page 123 U. S. 626

defendant had no permit to sell intoxicating liquors, as provided by chapter 125 of Laws of 1881."

Mugler was adjudged to be guilty, and was sentenced to pay a fine of one hundred dollars and costs, and motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were overruled. This judgment being affirmed by the Supreme Court of the State on appeal, the cause was brought here by writ of error on his motion.

The indictment in the second case charged that, on the first day of November, 1881, in Saline County, he

"did unlawfully manufacture, and aid, assist, and abet in the manufacture of vinous, spirituous, malt, fermented, and other intoxicating liquors in violation of the provisions of an act,"

&c.

The parties made the following agreed statement of facts, which was all the evidence introduced in the case.

"It is hereby stipulated and agreed that the facts in the above-entitled case are, and that the evidence would prove them to be, as follows:"

"That the defendant, Peter Mugler, has been a resident of the State of Kansas continually since the year 1782; that, being foreign born, he in that year declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and always since that time intending to become such citizen, he did, in the month of June, 1881, by the judgment of the District Court of Wyandotte County, Kansas, become a full citizen of the United States and of the State of Kansas."

"That, in the year 1877, said defendant erected and furnished a brewery on lots Nos. 152 and 154 on Third Street in the City of Salina, Saline County, Kansas, for use in the manufacture of an intoxicating malt liquor commonly known as beer."

"That such building was specially constructed and adapted for the manufacture of such malt liquor, at an actual cost and expense to said defendant of ten thousand dollars, and was used by him for the purposes for which it was designed and

Page 123 U. S. 627

intended after its completion in 1877 and up to May 1st, 1881. That said brewery was at all times after its completion and on May 1, 1881, worth the sum of ten thousand dollars for use in the manufacture of said beer, and is not worth to exceed the sum of twenty-five hundred dollars for any other purpose. That said defendant, since October 1, 1881, has used said brewery in the manner and for the purpose for which it was constructed and adapted by the manufacturing therein of such intoxicating malt liquors, and, at the time of such manufacture of said malt liquors, said defendant had no permit to manufacture the same for medical, scientific, or mechanical purposes, as provided by chapter 128 of Laws of 1881."

The defendant was adjudged to be guilty, and was fined one hundred dollars and costs, and, as in the other case, motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were overruled, and the judgment being affirmed by the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas on appeal, the defendant sued out a writ of error to review it.

The assignment of errors in the first of these cases was as follows:

"First. Said court erred in affirming the judgment of the District Court of Saline County, Kansas, that the defendant Mugler pay a fine of one hundred dollars for the alleged violation of a statute of said State prohibiting the sale or barter of spirituous or malt liquors except for medical, scientific, and mechanical purposes, said statute being in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of the United States, which provides that"

"no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

"Second. Said court erred in affirming the judgment of the District Court of Saline County, Kansas, overruling the motions of defendant Mugler for a new trial, and in arrest of judgment, which motions should have been sustained."

In the second case, the assignment was as follows:

"First. Said court erred in affirming the judgment of the

Page 123 U. S. 628

District Court of Saline County, Kansas, that defendant Mugler pay a fine of one hundred dollars for the alleged violation of a statute of Kansas prohibiting the manufacture of spirituous or malt liquors by any person without having a permit to manufacture such liquors for medical, scientific, and mechanical purposes, said statute being in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of the United States, which provides that"

"no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

"Second. Said court erred in affirming the judgment of the District Court of Saline County, Kansas, overruling the motions of defendant Mugler for a new trial and in arrest of judgment, which motions should have been sustained, the statute under which said defendant was convicted being unconstitutional in that it attempts to deprive said defendant of the right to manufacture beer even for his own use, or for storage or transportation out of the State of Kansas, and also deprives defendant of his right to use his property for the manufacture of beer without due process of law."

The causes were argued and submitted together at October Term, 1886.

Page 123 U. S. 653

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