United States v. Hill
248 U.S. 420 (1919)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Hill, 248 U.S. 420 (1919)

United States v. Hill

No. 357

Argued November 5, 6, 1918

Decided January 13, 1919

248 U.S. 420

Syllabus

The transportation of liquor upon the person, and for the personal use, of an interstate passenger is "interstate commerce." P. 248 U. S. 424.

Under the power to regulate interstate commerce, Congress may forbid the interstate transportation of intoxicating liquor without regard to the policy or law of any state. P. 248 U. S. 425.

The "Reed Amendment," § 5, Act of March 3, 1917, c. 162, 39 Stat. 1058, 1069, provides:

"Whoever shall order, purchase, or cause intoxicating

Page 248 U. S. 421

liquors to be transported in interstate commerce, except for scientific, sacramental, medicinal, and mechanical purposes, into any state or territory the laws of which state or Territory prohibit the manufacture or sale therein of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes shall be punished as aforesaid: Provided, That nothing herein shall authorize the shipment of liquor into any state contrary to the laws of such state."

Respondent bought intoxicating liquor in Kentucky intending to take it to West Virginia for his personal use as a beverage, and for that purpose carried it upon his person on a trip by common carrier into the latter state, whose laws permitted such importation but forbade manufacture or sale for beverage purposes. Held: (1) that the Amendment applied, not being limited to cases of importation for commercial purposes; (2) that, as so construed, it is within the power of Congress under the commerce clause. P. 248 U. S. 427.

Reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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