Nash v. United States (229 U.S. 373)
United States Supreme Court
NASH v. UNITED STATES
Certiorari to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
No. 197. Argued: March 18, 19, 1913. --- Decided: June 9, 1913.
Statement of the Case.
In many instances a man's fate depends upon his rightly estimating, that is as the jury subsequently estimates it, some matter of degree, and there is no constitutional difficulty in the way of enforcing the criminal provisions of the Sherman Anti Trust Act on the ground of uncertainty as to the prohibitions.
The Sherman Act punishes the conspiracies at which it is aimed on the common law footing and does not make the doing of any act other than the act of conspiring a condition of liability. In this respect it differs from § 5440 and the indictment need not aver overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy. Brown v. Elliott, 225 U. S. 392, distinguished.
This court can see no reason for reading into the Sherman Act more than it finds there.
It is not necessary for an indictment under the Sherman Act to allege or prove that all the conspirators proceeded against are traders. Loewe v. Lawlor, 208 U. S. 274.
Where the indictment under the Sherman Act alleges numerous methods employed by the defendants to accomplish the purpose to restrain trade, it is not necessary, in order to convict, to prove every means alleged but it is error to charge that a verdict may be permitted on any one of them when some of them would not warrant a finding of conspiracy.
The facts, which involve the validity of a verdict and sentence for alleged violations of the Sherman Anti Trust Act, are stated in the opinion.
Counsel for Parties.
Mr. Samuel B. Adams and Mr. John C. Spooner, with whom Mr. George Rublee was on the brief, for petitioners.
Mr. Assistant to the Attorney General Fowler, with whom Mr. Alexander Akerman, United States Attorney, was on the brief, for the United States.
Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion of the court: