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U.S. Supreme Court

Pacific States Box & Basket Co. v. White, 296 U.S. 176 (1935)

Pacific States Box & Basket Co. v. White

No. 48

Argued October 25, 1935

Decided November 18, 1935

296 U.S. 176


1. A State has power to prescribe the standards for the containers in which horticultural products are marketed. P. 296 U. S. 181.

2. An administrative order pursuant to a statute of Oregon prescribed containers for raspberries and strawberries of specified capacity and of a form commonly used in that State, and fixed the dimensions. Held, against the complaint of a manufacturer of containers of another type who made them in another State and sold them in Oregon:

(1) That the regulation could not be considered arbitrary or capricious in that it prescribed the form and dimensions, since these bore reasonable relation to protection of buyers and to the preservation and shipment of the fruit. Pp. 296 U. S. 181-182.

(2) Whether it was necessary in Oregon to provide a standard container for raspberries and strawberries, and, if so, whether the one adopted should have been made mandatory involve questions of fact and policy the determination of which rests in the legislative branch of the state government -- a determination which may be made, if the constitution of the State permits, by a subordinate administrative body. P. 296 U. S. 182.

(3) The regulation is not in conflict with the Standard Baskets and Containers Acts of May 21, 1928, and August 31, 1916. P. 296 U. S. 182.

(4) The regulation did not operate to grant a monopoly to manufacturers of the type of containers prescribed, and, moreover, the grant of a monopoly, if otherwise an appropriate exercise of

Page 296 U. S. 177

the police power, is not void as denying equal protection of the law. P. 296 U. S. 183.

(5) As the regulation does not affect the importation of other kinds of containers, but only their use after they have come into the State and been taken from the original packages, it is not an undue burden on interstate commerce. P. 296 U. S. 184.

3. A bill attacking, under the Federal Constitution, a state regulation dealing with a subject clearly within the police power cannot be sustained on allegations which are merely general conclusions of law or fact; the facts relied on to rebut the presumption of constitutionality must be specifically set forth, and a motion to dismiss, like a demurrer, admits only those which are well pleaded. P. 296 U. S. 184.

4. Every exertion of the police power, either by the legislature or by an administrative body, is an exercise of delegated power, and, where the regulation is within the scope of authority legally delegated, the presumption of the existence of facts justifying its specific exercise attaches alike to statutes, to municipal ordinances, and to orders of administrative bodies. P. 296 U. S. 185.

5. There is added reason for applying this presumption to a regulation adopted after notice and public hearing, as required by statute. P. 296 U. S. 186.

6. The validity of a general regulation made by an administrative body under a state statute is not dependent upon the making of special findings of fact when not required by the statute. P. 296 U. S. 186.

7. On an appeal from the District Court in a suit attacking a state regulation under the Federal Constitution, and based also on diversity of citizenship, held that there was no occasion to consider an objection under the constitution of the State which was not made or discussed below or included in the assignment of errors. P. 296 U. S. 186.

9 F.Supp. 341 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree dismissing the bill in a suit to set aside an order fixing standard containers for raspberries and strawberries. The jurisdiction of the District Court was based on constitutional grounds and also on diversity of citizenship.

Page 296 U. S. 178

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