Decided on the authority of South Covington & Cincinnati
Street Ry. Co. v. Kentucky, ante, 252 U. S. 399
181 Ky. 449 affirmed.
The case is stated in the opinion.
Page 252 U. S. 409
MR. JUSTICE McKENNA delivered the opinion of the Court.
This case was argued with No. 252, South Covington &
Cincinnati Street Railway Co. v. Kentucky, ante, 252 U. S. 399
was disposed of by the Court of Appeals with that case in one
opinion. The company was indicted, as the other company was, of a
violation of the Separate Coach Law of the state and found guilty.
The facts are, in essence, the same as in the other case, though
the indictment is more elaborate. The defenses and contentions are
the same. We have stated them, and upon what they are based, and
the character and relation of the companies in our opinion in the
The company is an interurban road, and the Separate Coach Law is
applicable to it. It was incorporated under the general laws of the
state, and authority conferred upon it to construct and operate an
electric railway from the City of Covington to the Town of Erlanger
and to such further point beyond Erlanger as might be determined.
It was constructed from Covington to a point just beyond the
suburban town called Ft. Mitchell, a town of a few hundred
The South Covington & Cincinnati Street Railway Company
furnished the means to build the road, and, at the time covered by
the indictment, was operating the road as part of its railway
system, as described in the other case.
The intimate relations of the roads, as stated by the Court of
Appeals, we have set forth in the other case, and it is only
necessary to add that the indictment in the present case charges
that the company in this case was
Page 252 U. S. 410
the lessor of the other company, and "thereby permitted and
brought about the acquisition of its rights and privileges, knowing
that" the other company, "would not operate and run separate
coaches for its white and colored passengers." And it is charged
that the other company operating the lease violated the law, and
that the defendant company, knowing of the intended method of
operation, also violated the law. These facts and other facts the
Court of Appeals decided made the company an offender against the
statute, and decided further that the statute was not an
interference with interstate commerce. The conviction of the
company was sustained.
Our reviewing power, we think, is limited to the last point --
that is, the effect of the law as an interference with interstate
Commerce -- and that we disposed of in the other case. The
distinction counsel make between street railways and other
railways, and between urban and interurban roads, we are not
MR. JUSTICE DAY, dissenting.
This case is controlled by the disposition made of No. 252.
While it is true that the Erlanger Company was incorporated under
the laws of the State of Kentucky, the proof shows that its road
was built and operated by the South Covington & Cincinnati
Street Railway Company as part of the latter's system. This is not
a proceeding to test the right to operate the road. The conviction
is justified because the local company permitted the principal
company to operate without separate coaches or compartments for its
colored passengers. The traffic conducted is of an interstate
nature, and the same reasons which impel a dissent in No. 252
require a like dissent in the present case.
In my opinion, the single traffic over both railroads being
Page 252 U. S. 411
interstate, the regulation embodied in the statute and for which
the conviction was had as to both roads is an unreasonable and
burdensome interference with interstate commerce.
MR. JUSTICE VAN DEVANTER, and MR. JUSTICE PITNEY concur in this