ZIFFRIN, INC. V. REEVES, 308 U. S. 132 (1939)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ziffrin, Inc. v. Reeves, 308 U.S. 132 (1939)

Ziffrin, Inc. v. Reeves

No. 8

Argued October 12, 1939

Decided November 13, 1939

308 U.S. 132


1. In the exercise of its power over the manufacture, distribution, and sale of intoxicating liquors, a State may confine the business of transporting them within the State to those who are licensed as common carriers, and may enforce this by penalty and confiscation. P. 308 U. S. 138.

2. The state power to prohibit absolutely includes the lesser power to permit manufacture, sale, transportation or possession subject to prescribed conditions which are not unreasonable and which subserve the policy of confining the liquor traffic in order to minimize its evils and to secure payment of revenue. P. 308 U. S. 138.

3. Provisions of the Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control Act forbidding the carriage of intoxicating liquors by carriers other than licensed common carriers and forbidding distillers to deliver to an unauthorized carrier are not invalid under the Commerce Clause, or under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, nor inconsistent with the Federal Motor Carrier Act of 1935, as applied to a contract carrier in an established business of transporting such liquors, produced in Kentucky, to consignees in other States. Pp. 308 U. S. 138, 308 U. S. 140.

4. The State may decline to consider certain noxious things legitimate articles of commerce, and inhibit their transportation. Property rights in intoxicants depend on state laws, and cease if the liquor becomes contraband. P. 308 U. S. 140.

Page 308 U. S. 133

5. Although regulation by a State may impose some burden on interstate commerce, this is permissible when "an inseparable incident of the exercise of a legislative authority, which, under the Constitution, has been left to the states." P. 308 U. S. 141.

24 F.Supp. 924 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of a District Court of three judges denying an injunction and dismissing the bill in a suit to restrain public officials in Kentucky from enforcing against the appellant certain provisions of the state Liquor Control Law. The case was heard below on plaintiff's application for a preliminary injunction, and defendants' motions to dissolve a temporary restraining order and to dismiss the amended bill of complaint.

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