United States v. Barnes,
222 U.S. 513 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Barnes, 222 U.S. 513 (1912)

United States v. Barnes

No. 565

Argued October 24, 1911

Decided January 9, 1912

222 U.S. 513


The maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius is a rule of construction, and not of substantive law, and serves only as an aid in discovering legislative intent when not otherwise manifest.

The mention in the Oleomargarine Act of August 2, 1886, c. 840, 24 Stat. 209, 3, of certain specified sections of the Revised Statutes, which relate to special taxes, as applicable to the special taxes imposed by § 3, may exclude other sections relating to special taxes but does not exclude as inapplicable to the collection of the taxes imposed by, and enforcement of, the Oleomargarine Act, § 3177, Rev.Stat., which is general in its terms, and relates to all articles and objects subject to internal revenue tax.

In view of the custom of embodying national legislation in codes and systematic collections of general rules, it is the settled rule of decision of this Court that subsequent legislation upon a subject covered by a previous codification carries the implication that general rules are not superseded by such subsequent legislation except where it clearly appears.

Where there is a codification of revenue laws to prevent fraud, the inference is that subsequent legislation is auxiliary to the earlier, and only in case of manifest repugnancy will it be construed as an abrogation thereof. Wood v. United States, 16 Pet. 342, 41 U. S. 363.

The facts, which involve the construction of the Oleomargarine Act of 1886, and the applicability of § 3177, Rev.Stat., are stated in the opinion.

Page 222 U. S. 516

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