Lemke v. Farmers Grain Co.
258 U.S. 50 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lemke v. Farmers Grain Co., 258 U.S. 50 (1922)

Lemke v. Farmers Grain Company

No. 456

Argued November 14, 1921

Decided February 27, 1922

258 U.S. 50

Syllabus

1. In a suit in the district court which arises under a law of the United States as well as under the Constitution, in that the bill attacks a state statute both as violative of the Constitution directly and as in conflict with an act of Congress, the judgment may be reviewed by the circuit court of appeals. P. 258 U. S. 52.

2. In the general and usual course of its trade, a North Dakota association bought grain in that state, placed it in its elevator, loaded it promptly on cars, and shipped to other states for sale. The grain, even after loading, was subject to be diverted and sold locally if the price was offered, but local sales were unusual, the company's entire market, practically, being outside North Dakota.

Held:

(a) That the business, including the buying of the grain in North Dakota, was interstate commerce. P. 258 U. S. 54. Dahnke-Walker Milling Co. v. Bondurant,257 U. S. 282.

(b) As applied to this business, a North Dakota statute, c. 138, Laws 1919, requiring purchasers of grain to obtain a license and pay a license fee, and to act under a defined system of grading, inspection, and weighing, and subjecting the prices paid and profits made to regulation, was a direct burden on interstate commerce. P. 258 U. S. 55.

3. Even when the particular subject remains unregulated by Congress, a state cannot lay burdens on interstate commerce in the guise of police regulations to protect the welfare of her people. P. 258 U. S. 58. Merchants Exchange v. Missouri,248 U. S. 365, distinguished.

Page 258 U. S. 51

4. A state statute unconstitutional in a part essential and vital to its whole scheme cannot be enforced by this Court in its other provisions. P. 258 U. S. 60.

273 F. 635 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the circuit court of appeals reversing a decree of the district court and directing a permanent injunction in a suit against officials of North Dakota, brought to restrain them from enforcing, against the appellee, the North Dakota Grain Grading and Inspection Act. See also the next case, post258 U. S. 65.

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