Cline v. Frink Dairy Co.,
274 U.S. 445 (1927)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cline v. Frink Dairy Co., 274 U.S. 445 (1927)

Cline v. Frink Dairy Company, 274 U.S. 445

No. 304

Argued April 29, 1927

Decided May 31, 1927

274 U.S. 445


1. A federal court of equity may enjoin state criminal proceedings under a statute alleged to be unconstitutional when their prevention is essential to the safeguarding of rights of property, and when the circumstances are exceptional and the danger of irreparable loss is both great and immediate. P. 274 U. S. 451.

2. The injunction cannot be supported, however, insofar as it embraces proceedings pending in the state criminal court which were instituted before the suit was begun. P. 274 U. S. 452.

3. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment imposes upon the states the obligation of so framing their criminal statutes that those to whom they are addressed may know what standard of conduct is intended to be required. P. 274 U. S. 458.

4. The Colorado Anti-Trust Law denounces and punishes conspiracies and combinations, in restraint of trade; to fix prices, prevent competition, etc., except when necessary in order to enable participants to obtain a reasonable profit from products dealt in, etc. Held that the exception leaves the statute without a fixed standard of guilt, rendering it void. P. 274 U. S. 453.

Reversed in part, affirmed in part.

Appeal from a decree of the district court, three judges sitting, permanently enjoining the appellant district attorney from enforcing the Colorado Anti-Trust Law against the plaintiff dairy corporations and individuals.

Page 274 U. S. 449

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