Adams Express Company v. Commonwealth of Kentucky

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Adams Express Company v. Commonwealth of Kentucky by David Josiah Brewer
Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

214 U.S. 218

Adams Express Company  v.  Commonwealth of Kentucky

 Argued: April 8, 1909. --- Decided: May 24, 1909

Section 1307, Kentucky Statutes 1903, provides:

'Any person who shall sell, lend, give, procure for or furnish, spirituous, vinous, or malt liquors, or any mixture of either, knowingly, to any person who is an inebriate or in the habit of becoming intoxicated or drunk by the use of any such liquors, or who shall suffer or permit any such person to drink any such liquors in his barrom, saloon, or upon the premises under his control or in his possession, shall be fined, for each offense, $50,' etc.

The Adams Express Company was proscuted in the circuit court of Hart county for a violation of that statute. The facts were agreed upon. It was a company engaged in the express business. W. G. Tharp was a resident of Hart county, Kentucky, who bought and paid for liquor in Nashville, Tennessee, and New Albany, Indiana. The sellers were licensed dealers in those places, and shipped the liquors to him, by the defendant, prepaying the express charges. Tharp was in the habit of becoming intoxicafed, and the defendant's agent in Hart county knew of this fact when he delivered the liquors. On the trial the court ruled 'that the said transportation and delivery of said liquor to said Tharp by defendant did not constitute interstate commerce within the meaning of the clause of the Federal Constitution which gives to the Congress of the United States power to regulate commerce between the states, and that the defendant is guilty of knowingly furnishing liquor to an inebriate, as charged in the information herein.'

The defendant prayed an appeal to the court of appeals of Kentucky, which was and thereupon the case was brought here directly from the circuit court of Hart county, the highest court of the state in which a decision could be had. Ky. Stat. 1903, § 950

Messrs. Lawerence Maxwell and Joseph S. Graydon for plaintiff in error.

No brief was filed for defendant in error.

Statement by Mr. Justice Brewer:

Mr. Justice Brewer delivered the opinion of the court:


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).