United States v. Claflin,
97 U.S. 546 (1878)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Claflin, 97 U.S. 546 (1878)

United States v. Claflin

97 U.S. 546


1. An action of debt cannot be maintained by the United States to recover the penalties prescribed by the fourth section of the act of Congress approved July 18, 1808 (14 Stat. 179), entitled "An Act to prevent smuggling, and for other purposes." That act contemplated a criminal proceeding and not a civil remedy.

2. Nor does sec. 3082 of the Revised Statutes authorize a civil action.

3. A recital in a statute that a former statute was repealed or superseded by subsequent acts is not conclusive as to such repeal or supersedure. Whether a statute was so repealed is a judicial, not a legislative, question.

4. A statute covering the whole subject matter of a former one, adding offenses and varying the procedure, operates not cumulatively, but by way of substitution, and therefore impliedly repeals it. In the absence of any repealing clause, it is, however, necessary to the implication of a repeal that the objects of the two statutes are the same. If they are not, both statutes will stand though they refer to the same subject.

5. The second section of the Act of Congress of March 3, 1823, 3 Stat. 781, entitled "An Act to amend an act entitled An Act further to regulate the entry of merchandise imported into the United States from any adjacent territory,'" was supplied by the fourth section of the Act of July 18, 1866, supra, and thereby repealed. Stockwell v. United States, 13 Wall. 531, reviewed.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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