United States v. L. Cohen Grocery Co.
255 U.S. 81 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. L. Cohen Grocery Co., 255 U.S. 81 (1921)

United States v. L. Cohen Grocery Company

No. 324

Argued October 18, 19, 1921

Decided February 28, 1921

255 U.S. 81

Syllabus

1. Section 4 of the Food Control Act of August 10, 1917, as amended October 22, 1919, in denouncing and attaching a penalty of fine or imprisonment to the making by any person of "any unjust or unreasonable rate or charge in handling or dealing in or with any necessaries," must be construed as forbidding and penalizing the exaction of an excessive price upon the sale of a commodity. P. 255 U. S. 88.

2. To that extent the section, since it sets up no ascertainable standard of guilt, is repugnant to the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, which require due process of law and that persons accused of crime shall be adequately informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. P. 255 U. S. 89.

3. The mere existence of a state of war did not suspend these guarantees of the Amendments or relieve Congress from their limitations. P. 255 U. S. 88.

264 F. 218 affirmed.

This is one of several cases (see post 98, 100, 102, 104, 106, 108, 109) involving the constitutionality, in part, of § 4 of the Act of August 10, 1917, c. 53, 40 Stat. 276, known as the Food Control or Lever Act, as amended by § 2 of the Act of October 22, 1919, c. 80, 41 Stat. 297, which is set out below. [Footnote 1]

Page 255 U. S. 85

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