United States v. Howard
352 U.S. 212 (1957)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Howard, 352 U.S. 212 (1957)

United States v. Howard

No. 52

Argued December 6, 1956

Decided January 14, 1957

352 U.S. 212




The Federal Black Bass Act makes it unlawful for any person to deliver black bass or other fish for transportation from any State if such transportation is contrary to the "law of the State." Rule 14.01 of the regulations of the Florida Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission prohibits the transportation of certain fresh fish out of the State, and § 372.83 of the Florida Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to violate any rule, regulation or order of the Commission.

Held: Rule 14.01 of the Commission's regulations, as enforced by § 372.83 of the Florida Statutes, is a "law of the State" within the meaning of the Federal Act. Pp. 352 U. S. 213-219.

(a) United States v. Eaton,144 U. S. 677, distinguished. Pp. 352 U. S. 215-217.

(b) By Fla. Stat. § 372.83, the Florida Legislature intended to and did make infraction of any commission regulation a violation of state law, punishable as a misdemeanor. Pp. 352 U. S. 216-217.

(c) The record does not show that the rules of the Florida Commission are of such a temporary nature and so unaccompanied by the procedural niceties of rule making as to require that Rule 14.01 be considered not the "law of the State" for the purposes of the Federal Act. Pp. 352 U. S. 217-218.

(d) That Congress intended to extend the enforcement guarantees of the Black Bass Act to such regulations as those of the Florida Commission is the most reasonable interpretation of the Act, and it is supported by the legislative history of the 1947 amendment to the Act. Pp. 352 U. S. 218-219.

Reversed and remanded.

Page 352 U. S. 213

MR. JUSTICE REED delivered the opinion of the Court.

A federal criminal information was filed by the United States against Ludenia Howard, trading as Stokes Fish Company, appellee, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, charging her with a violation of the Federal Black Bass Act of May 20, 1926, as amended, c. 346, 44 Stat. 576, 46 Stat. 845, 61 Stat. 517, 66 Stat. 736, 16 U.S.C. §§ 851

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