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Mr. Edward S. Bailey for appellant and plaintiff in error.
Mr. F. C. Fisher for appellee and defendant in error.
MR. JUSTICE VAN DEVANTER delivered the opinion of the court.
By a judgment rendered March 8, 1916, the court below annulled an order of the Board of Public Utility Commissioners of the Philippine Islands requiring a corporate common carrier to report annually various matters pertaining to its finances and operations, the ground of the judgment being that § 16 (e) of Act 2307 of the local legislature, under which the board acted, violated the organic law of the Philippines, c. 1369, 32 Stat. 691, in that it confided to the board the determination of what the reports should contain and therefore amounted to a delegation of legislative power. 34 Phil. Rep. 136. The board brought the judgment here for review, and the carrier now suggests that through a change in the local statute the question on which the judgment turned has become merely a moot one.
After the case was brought here the legislature, by Act 2694, so amended § 16 (e) as to cause the section itself to prescribe in detail what such reports should contain and thereby abrogated the provision on which the order was based and which the court held invalid. That provision therefore is no longer in force, and it is to the new provision that the board and carrier must give effect. Even if the original provision was valid, the order made under it became inoperative when the new provision was substituted in its place. Whether the order was based on a valid or an invalid statute consequently has become merely a moot question.
In this situation we are not called upon to consider the propriety of the judgment below, the proper course being,
as is shown by many precedents, to reverse the judgment and remand the cause with a direction that it be dismissed without costs to either party. United States v. Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch, 103; New Orleans Flour Inspectors v. Glover, 160 U. S. 170, and 161 U. S. 101; Dinsmore v. Southern Express Co., 183 U. S. 115; United States v. Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien Gesellschaft, 239 U. S. 466; Berry v. Davis, 242 U. S. 468.
Judgment reversed. Cause to be dismissed without costs to either party.
CORN PRODUCTS REFINING COMPANY v. EDDY ET AL.
ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF KANSAS.
No. 119. Argued January 14, 1919.-Decided April 14, 1919.
A state regulation respecting the labeling of syrup compounds, which does not discriminate against the manufacturer or his product or against syrups as a class, held, not objectionable under the equal protection clause. P. 431.
The right of a manufacturer to maintain secrecy as to his compounds and processes is subject to the right of the State, in the exercise of its police power, to require that the nature of the product be fairly set forth. P. 432. Held: That a state regulation, requiring manufacturers of proprietary compound syrups to state definitely in conspicuous letters on the principal label the percentage of each ingredient, is consistent with the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id.
It is the effect of a regulation as put in force by the State that determines whether it directly burdens interstate commerce, and not its characterization, or its construction by the state court. Id. The proviso in § 8 of the Federal Pure Food Act, that nothing in the act shall be construed as requiring proprietors or manufacturers of proprietary foods which contain no unwholesome added ingredient
to disclose their trade formulas, except in so far as the provisions of the act may require to secure freedom from adulteration or misbranding, merely relates to the interpretation of the requirements of that act, and does not enlarge its purview or establish a rule as to matters which lie outside its prohibitions. P. 439.
A regulation adopted by a state board of health, and in effect upheld by the state court as authorized by the state pure food law, must be regarded as state legislation in ascertaining its relation to the federal food law. P. 437.
Neither under the commerce clause directly nor through the Federal Pure Food Law, as amended, is a State forbidden to require that proprietary foods, imported into the State and sold in the original packages, shall bear labels stating the names and percentages of the ingredients composing them. P. 433. Savage v. Jones, 225 U. S. 501, followed; McDermott v. Wisconsin, 228 U. S. 115, distinguished. 99 Kansas, 63, affirmed.
THE case is stated in the opinion.
Mr. T. M. Lillard, with whom Mr. R. W. Blair and Mr. C. A. Magaw were on the brief, for plaintiff in error.
Mr. J. L. Hunt, Assistant Attorney General of the State of Kansas, with whom Mr. S. M. Brewster, Attorney General of the State of Kansas, and Mr. S. N. Hawkes, Assistant Attorney General of the State of Kansas, were on the brief, for defendants in error.
MR. JUSTICE PITNEY delivered the opinion of the court.
Plaintiff in error (plaintiff in the original action) is a corporation which manufactures in the State of Illinois a proprietary table syrup composed of 85 per cent. corn syrup or glucose, 10 per cent. molasses, and 5 per cent. sorghum, and sells it under the name of "Mary Jane" in cans labeled as follows:
"5 Pounds Net Weight.
Reg. U. S. Pat. Off.
Mary Jane is guaranteed by Corn Products Refining Co. to comply with the Food and Drugs Act, June 30, 1906. Registered under serial number 2317.
Mary Jane. A Table Syrup Prepared from Corn Syrup, Molasses and Pure Country Sorghum. Contains Sulphur Dioxide.
M'f'd by Corn Products Refining Co.
General Offices--New York, U. S. A.” Prior to the beginning of the action plaintiff had agents and representatives employed in soliciting orders for this syrup from wholesale merchants in the State of Kansas, the orders being filled by shipping the required quantity of the syrup in interstate commerce in the original sealed cans with original labels attached. Defendants, who are the members of the State Board of Health of Kansas, deeming "Mary Jane" to be misbranded in several particulars within the meaning of the Food and Drugs Law of that State (c. 266, Kans. Sess. Laws, 1907, as amended by c. 184, Laws 1909; embodied in c. 35, Kans. Gen. Stats. 1909; c. 32, Kans. Gen. Stats. 1915), and regulations adopted by the Board under authority of that law, notified plaintiff's agents and representatives and other persons selling and dealing in "Mary Jane" syrup that unless plaintiff complied with Regulation 6 of the State Board by attaching in a conspicuous place on the outside of each can sold or offered for sale within the State a label with the word "compound" printed upon it, and stating definitely the percentage of each ingredient of which the syrup was composed, they would be arrested and prosecuted. Similar warnings were communicated to wholesale and retail dealers who were and long had been selling this syrup in Kansas under the original brand and label.
Plaintiff brought an equitable action against the members of the board of health in one of the district courts of the State; setting up the pertinent facts, alleging that defendants were acting under the authority of the state
law and certain regulations adopted by them pursuant to it, and among others Regulation 6, requiring that in the case of syrups the principal label should state definitely the percentage of each ingredient, in the case of compounds, mixtures, imitations, or blends; plaintiff further averring that the state law and the regulations referred to, particularly Regulation 6, were void because in conflict with the interstate commerce clause (Art. I, § 8) of the Constitution of the United States and the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906, c. 3915, 34 Stat. 768, and also in conflict with the provisions of § 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment; and that defendants were interfering with plaintiff's interstate commerce and with its lawful business in the State of Kansas, thereby threatening plaintiff with great and irreparable damage; and praying for an injunction.
Their general demurrer having been overruled, defendants answered and the case came on for hearing, with the result that the district court made a finding "that all of the allegations of plaintiff's petition are true"; and adjudged that there should be a perpetual injunction restraining defendants from interfering with the sale of "Mary Jane" in the State of Kansas upon the ground that it was misbranded when sold under the label above referred to, and in particular from interfering, because of Regulation 6, with persons dealing in or selling the syrup, so branded, within the State.
Upon appeal, the Supreme Court of Kansas reversed the judgment with direction that the district court enter judgment for the defendants (99 Kansas, 63); and the case comes here on writ of error under § 237, Judicial Code, as amended September 6, 1916, c. 448, 39 Stat. 726, upon the contention that the Kansas statute and the regulations adopted by the state board pursuant to it, as interpreted and applied by the state court of last resort, are repugnant to the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution of the United States (Art. I, § 8) and to the due process