HOUSE V. MAYES, 219 U. S. 270 (1911)

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U.S. Supreme Court

House v. Mayes, 219 U.S. 270 (1911)

House v. Mayes

No. 597

Argued December 13, 14, 1910

Decided January 9, 1911

219 U.S. 270


The following fundamental principles are not open to dispute:

The government created by the federal Constitution is one of enumerated powers, and cannot by any of its agencies exercise an authority not granted by that instrument either expressly or by necessary implication.

A power may be implied when necessary to give effect to a power expressly granted.

While the Constitution of the United States and the laws enacted in pursuance thereof, together with treaties made under the authority of the United States, constitute the supreme law of the land, a state may exercise all such governmental authority as is consistent with its own, and not in conflict with the federal, Constitution.

The police power of the state, never having been surrendered by it to the federal government, is not granted by or derived from, but exists independently of, the federal Constitution.

One of the powers never surrendered by, and therefore remaining with, the state is to so regulate the relative rights and duties of all within its jurisdiction as to guard the public morals, safety and health, as well as to promote the public convenience and the common good.

Page 219 U. S. 271

It is within the power of the state to devise the means to be employed to the above ends provided they do not go beyond the necessities of the case, have some real and substantial relation to the object to be accomplished, and do not conflict with the Constitution of the United States.

A state may enact a regulation as to sale and delivery of a commodity by actual weight and prohibit arbitrary deductions under rules of associations, without depriving the member of such associations of their liberty of contract or of their property without due process of law.

The state may, without violating the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, regulate the conduct of boards of trade or exchange which have close and constant relations with the general public, by such means as are not arbitrary or unreasonable. Such regulation are not interferences with liberty of contract beyond the police power of the state to protect the public and promote the general welfare.

The statute of Missouri of June 8, 1909, to prevent fraud in the purchase and sale of grain and other commodities and which prohibits arbitrary deductions from actual weight or measure thereof under custom or rule of boards of trade, is a valid exercise of the police power of the state and is not unconstitutional as a deprivation of property, interference with liberty of contract, or denial of equal protection of the law.

227 Mo. 617 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality of an act of the Missouri to prevent fraud in the purchase and sale of grain and other commodities, are stated in the opinion.

Page 219 U. S. 277

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