UNITED STATES V. WHEELER, 254 U. S. 281 (1920)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Wheeler, 254 U.S. 281 (1920)

United States v. Wheeler

No. 68

Argued April 28, 1920

Decided December 13, 1920

254 U.S. 281


1. In all the states, from the beginning down to the establishment of the Articles of Confederation, the citizens possessed the right, inherent in citizens of all free governments, peacefully to dwell within the limits of their respective states, to move at will from place to place therein, and to have free ingress thereto and egress therefrom. A consequent authority resided in the states to forbid and punish violations of this right. P. 254 U. S. 293.

2. Uniformity of this right was secured by the Articles of Confederation, not by lodging power in Congress to deal with the subject, but by subjecting the continued state power to the limitation that it should not be used to discriminate, Art. IV providing that the free inhabitants of each state, with certain exceptions, should be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states, and that the people of each state should have free ingress and regress to and from any other state. P. 254 U. S. 294.

3. The Constitution, by Art. IV, § 2, plainly intended to preserve and enforce this limitation imposed upon the several states by Art. IV of the Articles of Confederation, and, in so doing necessarily assumed that the states possessed the authority to protect the right of free residence, ingress, and regress as a part of their reserved power. Id., .

4. The Constitution does not guarantee this right against wrongful interference by individuals, but only against discriminatory action by states. P. 254 U. S. 297. Crandall v. Nevada, 6 Wall. 35, distinguished.

Page 254 U. S. 282

5. A conspiracy to deprive citizens of the United States of their right to remain in a particular state by seizing them and deporting them to another state is not an offense under § 19 of the Criminal Code.

254 F.6d 1 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 254 U. S. 292

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