MCCORMICK & CO., INC. V. BROWN, 286 U. S. 131 (1932)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McCormick & Co., Inc. v. Brown, 286 U.S. 131 (1932)

McCormick & Co., Inc. v. Brown

No. 599

Argued April 22, 1932

Decided May 16, 1932

286 U.S. 131


Alcoholic preparations, made and sold for medicinal, mechanical, toilet, and culinary purposes, held subject to provisions of the West Virginia prohibition statute, and regulations thereunder, by which

Page 286 U. S. 132

nonresident manufacturers and wholesalers, though holding federal permits issued under the National Prohibition Act, are required to obtain state permits and pay state license fees before shipping such products into the State, even to purchasers holding state licenses as retail dealers.

1. The power of a State to prohibit sale of alcoholic liquor as a beverage carries with it the power to supervise the sale of other alcoholic preparations which normally will be, but possibly may not be, used legitimately. P. 286 U. S. 139.

2. The Act of March 1, 1913, called the Webb-Kenyon Act, by which interstate shipments and sales of intoxicating liquor were stripped of their immunity from the prohibitory laws of the State into which it is taken was not repealed by the Eighteenth Amendment or by the National Prohibition Act, but is still in force. P. 286 U. S. 140.

3. State prohibition laws derive their force from the power originally belonging to the States and preserved to them by the Tenth Amendment, and are not superseded by the Eighteenth Amendment where they do not sanction what it forbids. P. 286 U. S. 141.

4. The power of a State by administrative control to prevent traffic in products of intoxicating alcoholic content unless so treated as to render them unfit for beverages was made applicable by the Webb-Kenyon Act to interstate transactions. P. 286 U. S. 141.

5. The Webb-Kenyon Act was not limited in that respect by the provisions of the National Prohibition Act authorizing traffic in certain articles containing alcohol, put up for nonbeverage uses, when manufactured and prepared for market under federal permits. P. 286 U. S. 142.

6. The Webb-Kenyon Act prohibits the shipment or transportation of intoxicating liquor into a state when it "is intended, by any person interested therein to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used . . . in violation of any law of such state." Held that sales by wholesalers who have not the permits required by West Virginia, to retailers having local permits to receive, store, and sell the kind of alcoholic products shipped, are directly within the terms of the Act, since the state law does not make the permits issued to the local dealers a substitute for those required of the wholesalers. P. 286 U. S. 143.

7. State legislation, though it cannot give validity to acts prohibited by the Eighteenth Amendment, may provide additional instruments to make prohibition effective. Id.


Page 286 U. S. 133

Appeal from a decree of the District Court of three judges dismissing a bill for an injunction to restrain officers of West Virginia from requiring the appellants to obtain state licenses and to pay license fees before shipping into the state certain products containing alcohol.

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