Waite v. Macy
246 U.S. 606 (1918)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Waite v. Macy, 246 U.S. 606 (1918)

Waite v. Macy

No. 255

Argued March 28, 1918

Decided April 22, 1918

246 U.S. 606

Syllabus

A transgression of its statutory power by an administrative board is subject to judicial restraint, although guised as a discretionary decision within its jurisdiction.

In testing the right of injunction against administrative officers, the presumption that they will follow the law, though set up in their answer, cannot be indulged where an intention to obey an illegal regulation of their superior is not directly disclaimed by them and is admitted by their counsel.

The only grounds recognized by the Act of March 2, 1897, c. 358, 29 Stat. 604, as amended, c. 170, 35 Stat. 163, for excluding tea from import are inferiority to the standard in purity, quality, and fitness for consumption; and, where the tea offered is otherwise superior to the standard in value and purity, the fact that it contains a minute and innocuous quantity of coloring matter not found in the sample will not justify shutting it out, notwithstanding a regulation of the Secretary of the Treasury, purporting to be based on the statute, declares the presence of any coloring matter an absolute ground for exclusion.

Page 246 U. S. 607

In the absence of other adequate remedy for the importer, the Tea Board constituted under the Act of 1897, supra, may be enjoined from excluding tea upon a test prescribed by tie Secretary of the Treasury but not sanctioned by the statute.

224 F. 359 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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