US v EC Knight

US v EC Knight - 1 United States v. E. C. Knight Co., 156...

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1 United States v. E. C. Knight Co., 156 U.S. 1 (1895) United States v. E. C. Knight Company No. 675 Argued October 24, 1894 Decided January 21, 1895 156 U.S. 1 APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT Syllabus The monopoly and restraint denounced by the Act of July 2, 1890, c. 647, 26 Stat. 209, "to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies," are a monopoly in interstate and international trade or commerce, and not a monopoly in the manufacture of a necessary of life. The American Sugar Refining Company, a corporation existing under the laws of the New Jersey, being in control of a large majority of the manufactories of refined sugar in the United States, acquired, through the purchase of stock in four Philadelphia refineries, such disposition over those manufactories throughout the United States as gave it a practical monopoly of the business…. MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the Court. …. The fundamental question is whether, conceding that the existence of a monopoly in manufacture is established by the evidence, that monopoly can be directly suppressed under the act of Congress in the mode attempted by this bill. It cannot be denied that the power of a state to protect the lives, health, and property of its citizens, and to preserve good order and the public morals, "the power to govern men and things within the limits of its dominion," is a power originally and always belonging to the states, not surrendered by them to the general government nor directly restrained by the Constitution of the United States and essentially exclusive. The relief of the citizens of each state from the burden of monopoly and the evils resulting from the restraint of trade among such citizens was left with the states to deal with, and this Court has recognized their possession of that power even to the extent of holding that an employment or business carried on by private individuals, when it
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2 becomes a matter of such public interest and importance as to create a common charge or burden upon the citizen -- in other words, when it becomes a practical monopoly, to which the citizen is compelled to resort, and by means of which a tribute can be exacted from the community -- is subject to regulation by state legislative power. On the other hand, the power of Congress to regulate commerce among the several states is also exclusive. The Constitution does not provide that interstate commerce shall be free, but, by the grant of this exclusive power to regulate it, it was left free except as Congress might impose restraints. Therefore it has been determined that the failure of Congress to exercise this exclusive power in any case is an expression of its will that the subject shall be free from restrictions or impositions upon it by the several states, and if a law passed by a state in the exercise of its acknowledged powers comes into conflict with that
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2010 for the course PSC 2302 taught by Professor Dr.riley during the Spring '08 term at Baylor.

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US v EC Knight - 1 United States v. E. C. Knight Co., 156...

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