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The circuit court have jurisdiction, regardless of amount, of actions against a
collector of customs for duties exacted and paid under protest upon mer
chandise alleged not to have been imported. The island of Porto Rico is not a part of the United States within that pro
vision of the Constitution which declares that “all duties, imposts, and
excises shall be uniform throughout the United States." There is a clear distinction between such prohibitions of the Constitution as go
to the very root of the power of Congress to act at all, irrespective of time or place, and such as are operative only throughout the United States, or
among the several States. A long continued and uniform interpretation put by the Executive and Legis
lative Departments of the Government, upon a clause in the Constitution should be followed by the Judicial Department, unless such interpretation
be manifestly contrary to its letter or spirit. By Mr. Justice White, with whom Mr. Justice Shiras and Mr. Justice McKenna concurred. The Government of the United States was born of the Constitution, and all
powers which it enjoys or may exercise must be either derived expressly or by implication from that instrument. Even then, when an act of any Department is challenged, because not warranted by the Constitution, the existence of the authority is to be ascertained by determining whether the power has been conferred by the Constitution, either in express terms or by lawful implication, to be drawn from the express authority conferred or deduced as an attribute which legitimately inheres in the nature of the powers given, and which flows from the character of the Government established by the Constitution. In other words, whilst confined to its constitutional orbit, the Government of the United States is supreme within
its lawful sphere. Every function of the Government being thus derived from the Constitution, it
follows that that instrument is everywhere and at all times potential in
so far as its provisions are applicable. Hence it is that wherever a power is given by the Constitution and there is a
limitation imposed on the authority, such restriction operates upon and
confines every action on the subject within its constitutional limits. Consequently it is impossible to conceive that where conditions are brought
about to which any particular provision of the Constitution applies its controlling influence may be frustrated by the action of any or all of the Departments of the Government. Those Departments, when discharging within the limits of their constitutional power, the duties which rest on them, may of course deal with the subjects committed to them in such a way as to cause the matter dealt with to come under the control of provisions of the Constitution which may not have been previously applicable. But this does not conflict with the doctrine just stated, or presuppose that the Constitution may or may not be applicable at the election of
any agency of the Government. The Constitution has undoubtedly conferred on Congress the right to create
such municipal organizations as it may deem best for all the Territories of the United States whether they have been incorporated or not, to give to the inhabitants as respects the local governments such degree of representation as may be conducive to the public well-being, to deprive such territory of representative government if it is considered just to do so, and
to change such local governments at discretion. As Congress in governing the Territories is subject to the Constitution, it results
that all the limitations of the Constitution which are applicable to Congress in exercising this authority necessarily limit its power on this subject. It follows also that every provision of the Constitution which is applicable to the Territories is also controlling therein. To justify a departure from this elementary principle by a criticism of the opinion of Mr. Chief Justice Taney in Scott v. Sanford (19 How., 393) is unwarranted. Whatever may be the view entertained of the correctness of the opinion of the court in that case, in so far as it interpreted a particular provision of the Constitution concerning slavery and decided that as so construed it was in force in the Territories, this in no way affects the principle which that decision announced, that the applicable provisions of the Constitution were operative.
In the case of the Territories, as in every other instance, when a provision of
the Constitution is invoked, the question which arises is, not whether the Constitution is operative, for that is self-eyident, but whether the provision
relied on is applicable. As Congress derives its authority to levy local taxes for local purposes within
the Territories, not from the general grant of power to tax as expressed in the Constitution, it follows that its right to locally tax is not to be measured by the provision empowering Congress “ To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises," and is not restrained by the requirement of uniformity throughout the United States. But the power just referred to, as well as the qualification of uniformity, restrains Congress from imposing an impost duty on goods coming into the United States from a Territory which has been incorporated into and forms a part of the United States. This results because the clause of the Constitution in question does not confer upon Congress power to impose such an impost duty on goods coming from one part of the United States to another part thereof, and such duty besides would be repugnant to the requirement of uniformity throughout the United States. By Mr. Justice Gray. The civil government of the United States can not extend immediately, and of
its own force over territory acquired by war. Such territory must necessarily, in the first instance, be governed by the military power under the control of the President as commander in chief. Civil government can not take effect at once as soon as possession is acquired under military authority or even as soon as that possession is confirmed by treaty. It can only be put in operation by the action of the appropriate political department of the Government, at such time and in such degree as that department
may determine. In a conquered territory, civil government must take effect, either by the action
of the treaty-making power, or by that of the Congress of the United States. The office of a treaty of cession ordinarily is to put an end to all authority of the foreign government over the territory; and to subject the territory
to the disposition of the government of the United States. The government and disposition of territory so acquired belong to the Govern
ment of the United States,'consisting of the President, the Senate, elected by the States, and the House of Representatives, chosen by and imme
diately representing the people of the United States. So long as Congress has not incorporated the territory into the United States,
neither military occupation nor cession by treaty makes the conquered territory domestic territory, in the sense of the revenue laws. But those laws concerning foreign countries remain applicable to the conquered
territory, until changed by Congress. If Congress is not ready to construct a complete government for the conquered
territory, it may establish a temporary government, which is not subject to all the restrictions of the Constitution.
Opinion by Brown, J. Concurring, Gray, Shiras, White, McKenna, JJ. Dissenting, Fuller, Harlan, Brewer, Peckham, JJ.
This is one of the "insular tariff cases.” The right to collect duties on goods coming into the United States from Porto Rico after the Foraker Act took effect is involved in this case. The circuit court, Southern district of New York, upheld the validity of that part of the Foraker Act and the Supreme Court of the United States sustained the contention, holding that the island of Porto Rico is not a part of the United States within that provision of the Constitution which declares that “all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."
In announcing the conclusion and judgment of the court in this case, Mr. Justice Brown delivered an opinion. Mr. Justice White delivered a concurring opinion, which was also concurred in by Mr. Justice Shiras and Mr. Justice McKenna. Mr. Justice Gray also
delivered a concurring opinion. The Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Harlan, Mr. Justice Brewer, and Mr. Justice Peckham dissented. Thus it is seen that there is no opinion in which a majority of the court concurred. Under these circumstances I (the reporter) have, after consultation with Mr. Justice Brown, who announced the judgment, made headnotes of each of the sustaining opinions and placed before each the names of the justices or justice who concurred in it.
Supreme Court of the United States. CARLOS ARMSTRONG, A BRITISH SUBJECT, A MERCHANT CARRYING ON
BUSINESS BETWEEN Porto Rico AND THE UNITED STATES, APPELLANT, V. THE UNITED STATES.
Appeal from the Court of Claims.
(182 U.S. 243.) No. 509. October term, 1900. Argued January 8, 9, 10, and 11, 1901. Decided
May 27, 1901.
Dooley v. United States, 182 U. S., 222, followed.
Opinion by Brown, J. No dissenting opinion.
The judgment of the Court of Claims is therefore reversed and the case remanded to that court for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
This is one of the so-called insular tariff cases," also. Goods were imported from this country (United States) into Porto Rico while Porto Rico was under military occupation. The goods were imported partly before and partly after the ratification of the treaty of peace. This case is controlled by the case of Dooley v. U. S. "The court held that duties exacted prior to the ratification of the treaty (April 11, 1899) were properly exacted. So far as they were imposed after that date and prior to December 5, 1899, the plaintiff was entitled to recover them back.
Supreme Court of the United States. FOURTEEN DIAMOND RINGS, Emil PEPKE, CLAIMANT, V, THE UNITED
Error in the district court of the United States for the Northern Dis
trict of Illinois.
(183 U. S. 176.)
No. 153. October Term, 1901. Argued December 17, 18, 19, and 20, 1900. De
cided December 2, 1901.
1. The ruling in De Lima v. Bidwell, 182 U. S., 1, reaffirmed and applied. 2. No distinction, so far as the question determined in that case is concerned,
can be made between the Philippines and the island of Porto Rico after the
ratification of the treaty of peace between the United States and Spain,
April 11, 1899, and certainly not (a) Because of the passage by the Senate alone, by a majority, but not by two
thirds of a quorum, of a joint resolution in respect to the intention of the
Senate in the ratification ; (6) Or, because of the armed resistance of the native inhabitants, or of uncivil
ized tribes, in the Philippines, to the dominion of the United States; (c) Or, because one of the justices who concurred in the judgment of De Lima
V. Bidwell, also concurred in the judgment in Downes v. Bidwell. (182
U. S. 244). Opinion by Fuller, C. J. Concurring, Brown, Harlan, Peckham, , Brewer, JJ. Dissenting, Gray, Shiras, White, McKenna, JJ.
Decree reversed and cause remanded with directions to quash the information.
In this case, one of the “insular tariff cases,” the question was raised as to the validity or right to collect duties on goods imported into the United States from the Philippine Islands after the ratification of the treaty of peace between the United States and Spain. The decision in the case of De Lima v. Bidwell, (182 U. S., 1) is controlling
Supreme Court of the United States. HENRY W. DOOLEY ET AL., ENGAGED IN TRADE AND COMMERCE BETWEEN
PORTO Rico AND NEW YORK UNDER THE FIRM NAME OF DOOLEY,
SMITH & COMPANY, PLAINTIFFS IN ERROR, V. THE UNITED STATES. Error to the circuit court of the United States for the southern dis
trict of New York.
(183 U. S., 151.) No. 207. October Term, 1901. Argued January 8, 9, 10, and 11, 1901. Decided
December 2, 1901.
The act of Congress, taking effect May 1, 1900, and known as the Foraker Act,
which requires all merchandise going into Porto Rico from the United States to pay a duty of 15 per cent of the amount of duties paid upon mer
chandise imported from foreign countries, is constitutional. The Constitution, in declaring that no tax or duty shall be laid on articles
exported from any State, is limited to articles exported to a foreign country, and has no application to Porto Rico, which, in the case of De Lima v. Bidwell (182 U, S., 1), was held not to be a foreign country within the
meaning of the general tariff law then in force. The fact that the duties so collected were not covered into the general fund of
the Treasury, but held as a separate fund to be used for the government and benefit of Porto Rico, and were made subject to repeal by the legislative assembly of that island, shows that the tax was not intended as a duty upon exports, and that Congress was undertaking to legislate for the island temporarily, and only until a local government was put in operation.
Opinion by Brown, J. Concurring, White, McKenna, Shiras, Gray, JJ. Dissenting, Fuller, Harlan, Brewer, Peckham, JJ.
In this case, an insular tariff case, the constitutionality of the Foraker Act, so far as it fixes duty to be paid on goods imported into Porto Rico from New York, was raised. The Supreme Court of the United States held the act constitutional.
Supreme Court of the United States.
TERRITORY OF HAWAII, APPELLANT, v. Osaki MANKICHI, APPELLEE. Appeal from the district court of the United States for the Territory
(190 U. S., 197.)
October Term 1902. Argued March 4 and 5, 1903. Decided June 1,
In interpreting a statute the intention of the law-making power will prevail
even against the letter of the statute; a thing may be within the letter of the statute and not within its meaning, and within its meaning, though not within its letter. Smythe v. Fisk (23 Wallace, 374). In inserting in the Resolution of July 7, 1898, annexing Hawaii, a provision that municipal legislation not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States should remain in force until Congress otherwise determined, Congress did not intend to impose upon the islands every clause of the Constitution, and to nullify convictions and verdicts which might, before the legislature could act, be rendered in accordance with existing legislation of the islands but not in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, nor was such the
intention of Hawaii in surrendering its autonomy. The conviction of one who, between August 12, 1898, and June 14, 1900, was
tried on information and convicted by a jury not unanimous, in accordance with legislation of the Republic of Hawaii existing at the time of the annexation, is legal notwithstanding it is not in compliance with the provisions of the Fifth and Sixth amendments of the Constitution. Opinion by Brown, J. Concurring, White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, JJ. Dissenting, Fuller, Harlan, Brewer, Peckham, JJ.
T'he decree of the District Court for the Territory of Hawaii must be reversed and the case remanded to that court with instructions to dismiss the petition.
The application of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution to Hawaii after annexation but before the passage of the act providing a form of Government for the Territory was involved in
Supreme Court of the United States.
CZARNIKOW, MacDougaLL & COMPANY (LTD.), PLAINTIFFS IN ERROR,
v. GEORGE R. BIDWELL, COLLECTOR OF THE PORT OF NEW YORK,
DEFENDANT IN ERROR.
In error to the circuit court of the United States for the southern
district of New York.
(191 U. S., 559.) No. 14. October Term, 1903. Submitted December 4, 1903. Decided December
14, 1903. The question here involved was the constitutionality of the Foraker Act--duty
on goods brought into the United States from Porto Rico. No opinion was written in this case; the judgment was affirmed with costs, on
the authority of Downes v. Bidwell (182 U. S., 244, 287.)