Kelly v. Hedden - 124 U.S. 196 (1888)
U.S. Supreme Court
Kelly v. Hedden, 124 U.S. 196 (1888)
Kelly v. Hedden
Argued December 13-14, 1887
Decided January 9, 1888
124 U.S. 196
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
The distinction between this case and Whitney v. Robertson, ante, 124 U. S. 190, does not warrant a different disposition of it.
This was an action to recover back duties alleged to have been illegally exacted. It was argued with Whitney v. Robertson, ante, 124 U. S. 190.
MR. JUSTICE FIELD delivered the opinion of the Court.
This case, except in one particular, presents the same questions considered and determined in Whitney v. Robertson, ante, 124 U. S. 456. The exceptional circumstance is this -- that the act of 1883, under which the duties were levied and collected to recover which the action is brought, declares that nothing in it
"shall in any way change or impair the force and effect of any treaty between the United States and any other government, or any laws passed in pursuance of or for the execution of any such treaty, so long as such treaty shall remain in force in respect of the subjects embraced in this act."
22 Stat. 525. The most that can be conceded to this provision is that it leaves a previous treaty relating to the same subjects unaffected by the act. Our observations in the former case as to the effect of subsequent legislation in conflict with the stipulations of a treaty are therefore inapplicable to the present case. But all other considerations as to specific exemptions in return for special concessions remain, in answer to the alleged contention
of the plaintiffs that articles, the produce and manufacture of the Island of San Domingo should be admitted free of duty because similar articles, the produce and manufacture of the Hawaiian Islands, are thus admitted.