Hennington v. Georgia,
163 U.S. 299 (1896)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hennington v. Georgia, 163 U.S. 299 (1896)

Hennington v. Georgia

No. 150

Argued March 17-18, 1896

Decided May 18, 1896

163 U.S. 299


The legislation of the State of Georgia contained in §§ 4578 and 4310 of the Code of 1882, forbidding the running of freight trains on any railroad in the state on Sunday and providing for the trial and punishment, on conviction, of the superintendent of a railroad company violating that provision, although it affects interstate commerce in a limited degree, is not, for that reason, a needless intrusion upon the domain of federal jurisdiction, nor strictly a regulation of interstate commerce, but is an ordinary police regulation, designed to secure the wellbeing, and to promote the general welfare of the people within the state, and is not invalid by force alone of the Constitution of the United States; but is to be respected in the courts of the Union until superseded and displaced by some act of Congress, passed in execution of the power granted to it by the Constitution.

There is nothing in the legislation in question in this case that suggests that it was enacted with the purpose to regulate interstate commerce, or with any other purpose than to prescribe a rule of civil duty for all who, on the Sabbath day, are within the territorial jurisdiction of the state.

Page 163 U. S. 300

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