Edwards v. California,
314 U.S. 160 (1941)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Edwards v. California, 314 U.S. 160 (1941)

Edwards v. California

No. 17

Argued April 28, 29, 1941

Reargued October 21, 1941

Decided November 24, 1941

314 U.S. 160


1. Transportation of persons from one State into another is interstate commerce. P. 314 U. S. 172.

2. A statute of California making it a misdemeanor for anyone knowingly to bring or assist in bringing into the State a nonresident "indigent person" held invalid as an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce. P. 314 U. S. 174.

For the purposes of this case, it is assumed that the term "indigent person," though not confined to the physically or mentally incapacitated, includes only persons who are presently destitute of property and without resources to obtain the necessities of life, and who have no relatives or friends able and willing to support them. P. 314 U. S. 172.

How far the regulatory power of Congress extends over such transportation, and whether the attempted state regulation is also prohibited by other provisions of the Constitution, are questions not decided in this case and upon which the majority of the Court expresses no opinion. Pp. 314 U. S. 176, 314 U. S. 177.

Page 314 U. S. 161

3. Remarks in New York v. Miln, 11 Pet. 102, and other cases concerning the power of a State to exclude "paupers" and considered, and the meaning of that term discussed. P. 314 U. S. 176.


APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of California, which affirmed the conviction of Edwards under a California statute declaring it to be a misdemeanor for any person to bring, or assist in bringing, into the State any nonresident of the State, knowing him to be an indigent person. The court below was the highest court to which an appeal could be taken under the laws of California. The case was argued here, and reargument was ordered, at the 1940 Term, 313 U.S. 545.

Page 314 U. S. 170

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