McKelvey v. United States
260 U.S. 353 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McKelvey v. United States, 260 U.S. 353 (1922)

McKelvey v. United States

No. 106

Argued November 21, 1922

Decided December 4, 1922

260 U.S. 353

Syllabus

1. An indictment founded on a general statutory provision defining the offense need not negative the matter of an exception made by a proviso or other distinct clause, whether in the same section or elsewhere. P. 260 U. S. 356.

2. The third section of the Act of February 25, 1885, c. 149, 23 Stat. 321, providing that

"no person, by force, threat, intimidation or by any fencing or enclosing, or any other unlawful mean, . . . shall prevent or obstruct free passage or transit over or through the public lands"

applies to transient acts of force and intimidation as well a continuing obstacles such as a fence or the maintenance of an armed patrol. P. 260 U. S. 357.

3. Punishment for offenses defined by the above act is not confined by the fourth section to persons acting as "owner, part owner or agent." P. 260 U. S. 357.

4. Congress has power to punish intentional obstruction to free passage over the public lands within a state accomplished by acts of violence, and its exercise works no interference with the power of the state to punish the acts of violence as such. P. 260 U. S. 358.

273 F. 410 affirmed.

Certiorari to a judgment of the circuit court of appeals affirming a conviction in the district court under an indictment for unlawful prevention and obstruction of free passage over the public lands.

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