Brimmer v. Rebman
138 U.S. 78 (1891)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Brimmer v. Rebman, 138 U.S. 78 (1891)

Brimmer v. Rebman

No. 1154

Submitted January 5, 1891

Decided January 19, 1891

138 U.S. 78


A statute of Virginia entitled "An act to prevent the selling of unwholesome meat," approved February 18, 1890, Laws of Virginia 1889-1890. 63 c. 80, declares it to be unlawful to offer for sale, within the limits of that state, any beef, veal or mutton, from animals slaughtered one hundred miles or more from the place at which it is offered for sale unless it has been previously inspected and approved by local inspectors appointed under that act. It provides that the inspector shall receive as, his compensation one cent per pound to be paid by the owner of the meats. The act does not require the inspection of fresh meats from animals slaughtered within one hundred miles from the place in Virginia at which such meats are offered for sale. Held that the act is void as being in restraint of commerce among the states and as imposing a discriminating tax upon the products and industries of some states in favor of the products and industries of Virginia.

The owner of meats from animals slaughtered one hundred miles or over

Page 138 U. S. 79

from Virginia has the right to compete in the markets of that state upon terms of equality with the owner of meats from animals slaughtered in that state or elsewhere within one hundred miles from the place at which they are offered for sale.

The principle reaffirmed that, independently of any question of intent, a state enactment is void if, by its necessary operation, it destroys rights granted or secured by the Constitution of the United States.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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