Rainey v. United States
232 U.S. 310 (1914)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rainey v. United States, 232 U.S. 310 (1914)

Rainey v. United States, 232 U.S. 310 (1914)

Rainey v. United States

Nos. 74, 627. 73, 628

Argued January 6, 7, 1914

Decided February 24, 1914

232 U.S. 310

Syllabus

Billings v. United States, ante, p. 261, followed to the effect that, under § 37 of the Tariff Act of 1909, in imposing a tax on the use of foreign-built yachts, there is authority to bring an action in personam against the owner for the recovery; that the tax became due on the first day

Page 232 U. S. 311

of September next following the passage of the act; that the six months' clause applied only to the charterer, and not to the owner of such a yacht, and that the statute does not violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.

The second paragraph of § 37 of the Tariff Act of 1909, giving the owner of a foreign-built yacht an option to pay an ad valorem of 35 percent in lieu of the annual tonnage tax imposed on the use of such yacht by the first paragraph of the section, is separable from the first paragraph, and its validity is not involved in an action to recover the tonnage tax from the owner of a foreign-built yacht who has not availed of the option.

Quaere whether one not the subject of the other contracting power to a treaty with the United States can invoke the protection of that treaty in regard to property rights.

When a treaty is inconsistent with a subsequent act of Congress, the latter will prevail.

The Constitution does not declare that the law established by a treaty shall never be altered or repealed by Congress, and while good faith may cause Congress to refrain from making any change in such law, if it does so, its enactment becomes the law.

Although the other contracting power to a treaty may have ground for complaint if Congress passes a law changing the law established by the treaty, every person is still bound to obey the latest law passed.

No person acquires any vested right to the continued operation of a treaty.

Even if there is judicial power to inquire whether a provision in a duly promulgated act of Congress raising revenue originated in the House of Representatives in accordance with Art. I, § 7 of the Constitution, it is sufficient if it appears that it was an amendment in the Senate to an act that originated in the House; and, after the act has been enrolled and duly authenticated, the court will not inquire whether the amendment was or was not outside the purposes of the original bill.

Where on direct appeal from the Circuit Court by one party based on constitutional questions, the whole case can be disposed of, the questions certified by the circuit court of appeals on an appeal taken by the other party need not be answered, and the judgment of the Circuit Court can be modified to the extent necessary and affirmed.

190 F. 359 modified and affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction and constitutionality of § 37 of the Tariff Act of 1909 imposing

Page 232 U. S. 312

a tax on the use of foreign-built yachts and the liability of the owner for such tax, are stated in the opinion.

Page 232 U. S. 313

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