LING SU FAN V. UNITED STATES, 218 U. S. 302 (1910)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ling Su Fan v. United States, 218 U.S. 302 (1910)

Ling Su Fan v. United States

No. 20

Argued October 27, 1910

Decided November 14, 1910

218 U.S. 302


On writ of error, the errors considered must be only those of law, and this Court cannot consider sufficiency of evidence to convict if it is conceded that there was any evidence at all.

Sections 1 and 2 of Law No. 1411 of the Philippine Commission, prohibiting exportation of Philippine silver coin from the Philippine

Page 218 U. S. 303

Islands, is not void as depriving the owner of such coin of his property therein without due process of law within the meaning of the due process provision of the Organic Act of 1902. Congress, by the Act of March 2, 1903, c. 980, 32 Stat. 952, authorized the government of the Philippine Islands to adopt such measures as it deemed proper and not inconsistent with the organic act to maintain parity of gold and silver coinage.

In determining whether a law of the Philippine Commission is invalid as inconsistent with the organic act, this Court puts aside all questions of the wisdom of the law, even if enacted in the face of axioms of commerce, and considers only whether power exists to enact under, and whether the enactment is inconsistent with, the organic act.

The power to coin money and regulate its value is a prerogative of sovereignty exclusively vested in the Congress of the United States, from which is derived the power of the government of the Philippine Islands in respect to local coinage.

The quality of legal tender of coin is an attribute of law aside from its bullion value, and renders such coin as the government has made legal tender subject to such reasonable regulations by the police power as public policy may require, including prohibition against exportation, and the exercise of such power does not deprive the owner of his property without due process of law even if the bullion value in a foreign country exceeds the legal tender value in the country of coinage.

Where power is given by Congress to the Philippine Commission to prohibit an act, the power includes making violation of the prohibition a misdemeanor.

The facts, which involve the validity of the Philippine law prohibiting the exportation from the Philippine Islands of silver coin, are stated in the opinion.

Page 218 U. S. 307

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