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Opinion of the Court.
son, firm or corporation shall resell or engage in the business of reselling any tickets of admission or any other evidence of the right of entry to a theatre, place of amusement or entertainment, or other places where public exhibitions, games, contests or performances are held without having first procured a license therefor from the comptroller.” And § 173 declares every violation of the inhibition shall be a misdemeanor.
By an information in the Court of Special Sessions, New York City, the District Attorney accused plaintiff in error of engaging in the business of reselling theatre tickets without the license required by law. The evidence showed he was engaged in that business, and it was conceded he had never taken out a license or complied with Chapter
proof satisfactory to the comptroller of the moral character of the applicant.
$ 169. Bond. The comptroller shall require the applicant for a license to file with the application therefor a bond in due form to the people of the state of New York in the penal sum of one thousand dollars, with two or more sufficient sureties, who shall be freeholders within the state of New York, conditioned that the obligor will not be guilty of any fraud or extortion, and will not exact or receive a price for any such ticket or evidence of the right of entry in excess of the price authorized by this article. The comptroller shall keep bocks wherein shall be entered in alphabetical order all licenses granted and all bonds received by him as provided for in this article, the date of the issuance of such licenses and the filing of such bonds, which record shall be open to public inspection. A suit to recover on the bond required to be filed by the provisions of this article may be brought by the comptroller or on the relation of any party aggrieved in a court of competent jurisdiction, and in the event that the obligor named in such bond has violated any of the conditions of such bond, recovery for the full penal sum of such bond may be had in favor of the people of the state.
$ 170. Revocation of licenses. In the event that any licensee shall be guilty of any fraud or misrepresentation or shall charge for any ticket a price in excess of the price authorized by this article or otherwise violate any of the provisions of this article or any other law or local ordinance, the comptroller shall be empowered, on giving
590. His defense rested upon the claim that the statute is repugnant to the Fourteenth Amendment. The trial court adjudged him guilty and imposed a fine of twentyfive dollars. This was affirmed by the Appellate Division and by the Court of Appeals. 207 App. Div. 337; 237 N. Y. 316. In an extended opinion the latter court upheld the challenged enactment, but said nothing of the
ten days' notice by mail to such licensee, and on affording such licensee an opportunity to answer the charges made against him, to revoke the license issued to him.
$ 171. Supervision of comptroller. The comptroller shall have the power, upon complaint of any citizen or of his own initiative, to investigate the business, business practices and business methods of any such licensee if in the opinion of the comptroller such investigation is warranted. Each such licensee shall be obliged, on request of the comptroller, to supply such information as may be required concerning his business, business practices or business methods.
§ 172. Restriction as to Price. No licensee shall resell any such ticket or other evidence of the right of entry to any theatre, place of amusement or entertainment, or other place where public exhibitions, games, contests or performances are given at a price in excess of fifty cents in advance of the price printed on the face of such ticket or other evidence of the right of entry. Every person, firm or corporation who owns, operates or controls a theatre, place of amusement or entertainment, or other place where public exhibitions, games, contests or performances are held shall, if a price be charged for admission thereto, print on the face of each such ticket, or other evidence of the right of entry the price charged therefor by such person, firm or corporation.
173. Violations; Penalties. Every person, firm or corporation who resells any such ticket or other evidence of right of entry or engages in the business of reselling any such ticket or other evidence of the right of entry, without first having procured the license prescribed and filing of a bond required by this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Every person, firm or corporation who violates any provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
§ 174. Constitutionality of Article. In case it be judicially determined that any section of this article is unconstitutional or otherwise invalid, such determination shall not affect the validity or effect of the remaining provisions of the article.
possibility of sustaining the license provisions if those relating to resale prices were invalid.
Counsel for plaintiff in error now insists that the two provisions are inseparable; that those which undertake to establish resale prices are clearly invalid; and, consequently, the whole Act must fall. On the contrary, counsel for the people maintain that the power of the State to require such licenses is clear and that we need not determine the validity of the price restrictions.
It is not and, we think, it cannot seriously be urged that the State lacked power to require licenses of those engaging in the business of reselling theatre tickets. The conviction and sentence were for failure to observe that requirement. In the absence of an authoritative announcement of another view by some court of the State we shall hold this provision severable and valid. Brazee v. Michigan, 241 U. S. 340. The statute itself declares ($ 174): “In case it be judicially determined that any section of this article is unconstitutional or otherwise invalid, such determination shall not affect the validity or effect of the remaining provisions of the article.” If § 172, which restricts resale prices were eliminated, a workable plan would still remain. See Dorchy v. Kansas, 264 U. S. 286.
The judgment of the court below is affirmed.
REAL SILK HOSIERY MILLS v. CITY OF
PORTLAND ET AL.
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE
No. 417. Argued April 27, 1925.—Decided May 25, 1925.
1. A municipal ordinance requiring that every person who goes from
place to place taking orders for goods for future delivery and receives payment or any deposit of money in advance shall secure Argument for Appellant.
a license by paying a fee and filing a bond conditioned to make final delivery of ordered goods, held an unconstitutional interference with interstate commerce as applied to the solicitors of a corporation engaged in manufacturing goods in another State and selling them direct to consumers on orders taken by the solicitors and sent to the home office of the corporation, the custoniers making advance deposits which were retained by the solicitors as their sole compensation and were credited to the customers on
account of their purchases. P. 335. 2. An expressed purpose to prevent possible frauds is not enough to
justify legislation which really interferes with the free flow of
legitimate interstate commerce. P. 336. 297 Fed. 897, reversed.
APPEAL from a decree of the Circuit Court of Appeals which affirmed a decree of the District Court dismissing the bill in a suit brought by the appellant corporation to enjoin the enforcement of a city ordinance requiring its salesmen to take out licenses and file bonds for security of customers.
Mr. John G. Milburn, with whom Messrs. Joseph W. Welsh, Ralph Bamberger and John M. Gearin were on the brief, for appellant.
Decisions of this Court have reduced within very narrow limits the questions raised by the record in this case. Air-Way Electric Appliance Corp. v. Day, 266 U. S. 71; Brown v. Maryland, 12 Wheat. 419, 444; Robbins v. Shelby Taxing Dist., 120 U. S. 489, 497, 498; Texas Transport Co. v. New Orleans, 264 U. S. 150, 152; Brennan v. Titusville, 153 U. S. 289, 302.
The appellant's business which is affected by the ordinance is interstate commerce. The business consists of the obtaining of orders through representatives or solicitors in Portland from individual purchasers and the fulfillment of those orders, when received in Indianapolis, by shipment from that place direct to the purchasers in Portland. The transaction is simply a sale and delivery in ‘one State of goods manufactured in another State
Argument for Appellant.
upon an order previously given and transmitted to the State in which the goods are manufactured, and is in all respects interstate commerce. Robbins v. Shelby Taxing Dist., supra; Brennan v. Titusville, supra. It is clear that the interstate character of the transaction as a whole cannot be affected by the manner in which the order may be obtained or by the terms of payment for the goods ordered; and it is immaterial whether they are paid for wholly or partly in advance or on final delivery insofar as the character of the transaction is concerned. In either case the transaction is interstate commerce and the representative of the appellant obtaining the order is engaged in interstate commerce. The ordinance is a direct burden on interstate com
a merce and therefore invalid. Robbins v. Shelby Taxing Dist., supra; Brennan v. Titusville, supra; Stockard v. Morgan, 185 U. S. 27; Caldwell v. North Carolina, 187 U. S. 622; Rearick v. Pennsylvania, 203 U. S. 507; Crenshaw v. Arkansas, 227 U. S. 389; Stewart v. Michigan, 232 U. S. 665; Browning v. Waycross, 233 U. S. 16; Texas Transport Co. v. New Orleans, 264 U. S. 150; Bowman v. Chicago & North Western Ry. Co., 125 U. S. 465; Stoutenburgh v. Hennick, 129 U. S: 141; Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U. S. 197. The ordinance in this case concerns only solicitors who collect any portion of the purchase price payable in advance. But the fact that a solicitor collects a portion of the purchase price in advance at the time an order is given in accordance with the terms of the order does not change his status or function with respect to the interstate sale in connection with which his service has been rendered, or the interstate character of the sale. Whether an ordinance is a direct or incidental burden on interstate sales is not determinable by how the purchase price is payable. Treating the ordinance as an attempted exercise of the police power, it is not only void as imposing a direct