Matthew Addy Co. v. United States - 264 U.S. 239 (1924)
U.S. Supreme Court
Matthew Addy Co. v. United States, 264 U.S. 239 (1924)
Matthew Addy Co. v. United States
Nos. 84 and 85
Argued October 17, 18, 1923
Decided February 25, 1924
264 U.S. 239
1. In a prosecution for violation of an order of the President fixing prices of coal, under the Lever Act (August 10, 1917, c. 53, § 25, 40 Stat. 276), the order must be construed, as criminal statutes are, strictly, and without retroactive effect unless clearly indicated. P. 264 U. S. 244.
2. A construction which raises a grave constitutional question should be avoided. P. 264 U. S. 245.
3. Quaere whether Congress, when enacting the Lever Act, could constitutionally have fixed prices at which persons then owning coal might sell it without providing compensation for losses? Id.
4. The President's Order of August 23, 1917, limiting jobbers to a gross margin of 15¢ per ton in reselling bituminous coal, did not apply to sales f.o.b. the mines, contracted and made by jobbers after the date of the order, of coal purchased by them f.o.b. the mines before the dates of the order and the Lever Act. P. 264 U. S. 245.
281 F. 298 reversed.
Certiorari to judgments of the Circuit Court of Appeals affirming fines imposed on the petitioners in criminal prosecutions based on the Lever Act.