« ForrigeFortsett »
vigore, validate a statute void when enacted. [For other cases, see Elections, I.; V. in Digest Sup. Ct. 1908.]
766, 82 S. W. 388; Hodge v. Bryan, 149 Ky. 110, 147 S. W. 21; Hager v. Robinson, 154 Ky. 489, 157 S. W. 1138; Wilson v. Dean, 177 Ky. 97, 197 S. W. 547; Leu v. Montgomery, 31 N. D. 1, 148 N. W.
Argued January 7 and 10, 1921. Decided 662; State ex rel. Labauve v. Michel, 121
May 2, 1921.
N ERROR to the District Court of the IN United States for the Western District of Michigan to review convictions of conspiring to violate the Federal Corrupt Practices Act. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
The facts are stated in the opinion. Mr. Charles E. Hughes argued the cause, and, with Messrs. Martin W. Littleton, George E. Nichols, and James O. Murfin, filed a brief for plaintiffs in er
The statutory provision in question is without constitutional authority.
United States v. Gradwell, 243 U. S. 476, 481, 482, 61 L. ed. 857, 862, 863, 37 Sup. Ct. Rep. 407; Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, 172, 22 L. ed. 627, 629; Federalist, No. 60; Luther Martin's "Genuine Information," in Farrand's Records of Federal Convention, vol. 3, pp. 194, 195; Rufus King in Massachusetts Convention, Farrand's Records, vol. 3, p. 267; James Madison in Virginia Convention, Farrand's Records, vol. 3, pp. 311, 319; William R. Davie in North Carolina Convention, Farrand's Records, vol. 3, pp. 344, 345; Roger Sherman in House of Representatives, Farrand's Records, vol. 3, p. 359; Ex parte Siebold, 100 U. S. 371, 396, 25 L. ed. 717, 726; Ex parte Yarbrough, 110 U. S. 651, 28 L. ed. 274, 4 Sup. Ct. Rep. 152; United States v. Mosley, 238 U. S. 383, 59 L. ed. 1355, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 904; Re Coy, 127 U. S. 731, 752, 32 L. ed. 274, 278, 8 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1263; Hawke v. Smith, 253 U. S. 221, 64 L. ed. 871, 10 A.L.R. 1504, 40 Sup. Ct. Rep. 495; State ex rel. Nordin v. Erickson, 119 Minn. 156, 137 N. W. 385; State ex rel. Zent v. Nichols, 50 Wash. 522; United States v. Blair, 250 U. S. 273, 278, 279, 63 L. ed. 979, 981, 982, 39 Sup. Ct. Rep. 468; Ledgerwood v. Pitts, 122 Tenn. 570, 125 S. W. 1036; State v. Woodruff, 68 N. J. L. 94, 52 Atl. 294; Com. use of Directors of Poor v. Wells, 110 Pa. 468, 1 Atl. 310; People v. Cavanaugh, 112 Cal. 676, 44 Pac. 1057; State v. Simmons, 117 Ark. 159, 174 S. W. 238; George v. State, 18 Ga. App. 753, 90 S. E. 493; Riter v. Douglass, 32 Nev. 433, 109 Pac. 444; Gray v. Seitz, 162 Ind. 1, 69 N. E. 456; Kelso v. Cook, 184 Ind. 173, 110 N. E. 987, Ann. Cas. 1918E, 68; Montgomery v. Chelf, 118 Ky.
La. 374, 46 So. 430; Babbitt v. State, 26
The district court erred in its construction of the statute.
Pettibone v. United States, 148 U. S. 197, 37 L. ed. 419, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 542; Folwell v. State, 49 N. J. L. 33, 6 Atl. 619, 7 Am. Crim. Rep. 288; Felton v. United States, 96 U. S. 699, 24 L. ed. 875; Com. v. Kneeland, 20 Pick. 220; Potter v. United States, 155 U. S. 438, 39 L. ed. 214, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 144; Spurr v. United States, 174 U. S. 728, 43 L. ed. 1150, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 812; 40 Cye. 944946; The Abbottsford, 98 U. S. 440, 25 L. ed. 168; Logan v. United States, 144 U. S. 263, 301, 36 L. ed. 429, 442, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 617; Kepner v. United States, 195 U. S. 100, 124, 49 L. ed. 114, 122, 24 Sup. Ct. Rep. 797, 1 Ann. Cas. 655; Latimer v. United States, 223 U. S. 501, 56 L. ed. 526, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 242; Cutter v. State, 36 N. J. L. 125; Stone v. United States, 167 U. S. 178, 42 L. ed. 127, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 778; Vogel v. Brown, 201 Mass. 261, 87 N. E. 686.
Solicitor General Frierson and Special Assistant to the Attorney General Dailey argued the cause and filed a brief for defendant in error:
States, holding an office created by the A Senator being an officer of the United Constitution, and constituting a part of the Federal government, all matters rement of the United States, which has the lating to his election belong to the governsame power over them that the states
have over matters relating to the election of state officers, unless restricted by the
mitted need not be averred with the same particularity as if the defendants were indicted for a commission of the substantive offense.
Anderson v. United States, 171 C. C. A. 341, 260 Fed. 558; Knauer v. United States, 150 C. C. A. 210, 237 Fed. 12; Lew Moy v. United States, 150 C. C. A. 252, 237 Fed. 52; Aczel v. United States, 146 C. C. A. 578, 232 Fed. 659; McConkey v. United States, 96 C. C. A. 501, 171 Fed. 832; Thomas v. United States, 17 L.R.A. (N.S.) 720, 84 C. C. A. 477, 156 Fed. 906; Van Gesner v. United States, 82 C. C. A. 180, 153 Fed. 54; Ching v. United States, 55 C. C. A. 304, 118 Fed.
Persons may be guilty of conspiracy with one to commit an offense which, as a matter of law, only that one can commit.
United States v. Rabinowich, 238 U. S. 78, 86, 59 L. ed. 1211, 1214, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 682; United States v. Holte, 236 U. S. 140, 144, 145, 59 L. ed. 504-506, L.R.A.1915D, 281, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 271; Chadwick v. United States, 72 C. C. A. 343, 141 Fed. 235; Tapack v. United States, 137 C. C. A. 39, 220 Fed. 445447; Grunberg v. United States, 76 C. C. A. 51, 145 Fed. 84; Scott v. United States, 64 C. C. A. 631, 130 Fed. 432.
The fact that a person honestly believes that he has a right to do what the law declares illegal will not affect the criminality of the act.
pra; Chicago, St. P. M. & O. R. Co. v. United States, 90 C. C. A. 211, 162 Fed. 835; Eldorado Coal & Coke Co. v. Swan, 227 Ill. 592, 81 N. E. 691; State v. Clark, 102 Iowa, 685, 72 N. W. 296.
Mr. Justice McReynolds delivered the opinion of the court:
Plaintiffs in error-Truman H. Newberry, Paul H. King, and fifteen others-were found guilty of conspiring (Criminal Code, § 37) to violate § 8, Act of Congress approved June 25, 1910 (chap. 392, 36 Stat. at L. 822-824), as amended by Act of August 19, 1911 (chap. 33, 37 Stat. at L. 25-29, Comp. Stat. § 195, 3 Fed. Stat. Anno. 2d ed. p. 124),-the Federal Corrupt Practices Act, which provides:
"No candidate for Representative in Congress or for Senator of the United States shall give, contribute, expend, use, or promise, or cause to be given, contributed, expended, used, or promised, in procuring his nomination and election, any sum, in the aggregate, in excess of the amount which he may lawfully give, contribute, expend, or promise under the laws of the state in which he resides: Provided, That no candidate for Representative in Congress shall give, contribute, expend, use, or promise any sum, in the aggregate, exceeding five thousand dollars in any campaign for his nomination and election; and no candidate for Senator of the United States shall give, contribute, expend, use, or promise any sum, in the aggregate, exceeding ten thousand dol lars in any campaign for his nomination and election:
State v. Foster, 22 R. I. 163, 50 L.R.A. 339, 342, 46 Atl. 833; State v. Welch, 73 Mo. 284, 39 Am. Rep. 515; People v. Brooks, 1 Denio, 457, 43 Am. Dec. 704; | Medrano v. State, 32 Tex. Crim. Rep. 214, | 40 Am. St. Rep. 775, 22 S. W. 664; Ellis "Provided further, That money exv. United States, 206 U. S. 246, 257, 51 pended by any such candidate to meet L. ed. 1047, 1053, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 600, and discharge any assessment, fee, or 11 Ann. Cas. 589; Armour Packing Co. v. charge made or levied upon candidates United States, 209 U. S. 56, 85, 86, 52 by the laws of the state in which he reL. ed. 681, 696, 697, 28 Sup. Ct. Rep. sides, or for his necessary personal ex428; Reynolds v. United States, 98 U. S. penses, incurred for himself alone, for 145, 167, 25 L. ed. 244, 250; Re Inde- travel and subsistence, stationery  pendent Pub. Co. 228 Fed. 789; Agnew and postage, writing or printing (other v. United States, 165 U. S. 36, 50, 41 L. than in newspapers), and distributing leted. 624, 629, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 235; Chi- ters, circulars, and posters, and for telcago, St. P. M. & O. R. Co. v. United egraph and telephone service, shall not States, 90 C. C. A. 211, 162 Fed. 835; be regarded as an expenditure within United States v. Sioux City Stock Yards the meaning of this section, and shall Co. 162 Fed. 556; United States v. Atchi- not be considered any part of the sum son, T. & S. F. R. Co. 166 Fed. 160; St. herein fixed as the limit of expenses Louis & S. F. R. Co. v. United States, 94 and need not be shown in the stateC. C. A. 437, 169 Fed. 69; United States ments herein required to be filed." v. Union P. R. Co. 94 C. C. A. 433, 169 Fed. 65.
The act of a defendant, done in good faith, may be wilful.
United States v. Union P. R. Co. su
Act No. 109, § 1, Michigan legislature, 1913, prohibits expenditure by or on behalf of a candidate, to be paid by him, in securing his nomination, of any sum exceeding 25 per centum of one
year's compensation; and puts like limitation upon expenditures to obtain election after nomination. Section 1 is copied below.1
Taken with the state enactment, the Federal statute in effect declares a candidate for the United States Senate punishable by fine and imprisonment, if (except for certain  specified purposes) he give, contribute, expend, use, promise, or cause to be given, contributed, expended, used, or promised in procuring his nomination and election more than $3,750,-one half of one year's salUnder the construction of the act urged by the government and adopted by the court below, it is not necessary that the inhibited sum be paid, promised, or expended by the candidate himself, or be devoted to any secret or immoral purpose. For example, its open and avowed contribution and use by supporters upon suggestion by him, or with his approval and co-operation, in order to promote public discussion and debate touching vital questions, or to pay necessary expenses of speakers, etc., is enough. And upon such interpretation the conviction below was asked and obtained.
The indictment charges: That Truman H. Newberry became a candidate
for the Republican nomination for United States Senator from Michigan at the primary election held August 27, 1918; that, by reason of selection and nomination therein, he became a candidate at the general election, November 5, 1918; that he and 134 others (who are named) at divers times from December 1, 1917, to November 5, 1918, unlawfully and feloniously did conspire, combine, confederate, and agree together to commit the offense on his part of wilfully violating the Act of Congress approved June 25, 1910, as amended, by giving, contributing, expending, and using, and by causing to be given, contributed, expended, and used, in procuring his nomination and election at said primary and general elections, a greater sum than the laws of Michigan permitted, and above $10,000, to wit, $100,000, and on the part of the other defendants of aiding, counseling, indueing, and procuring Newberry, as such candidate, to give, contribute, expend, and use, or cause to be given, contributed, expended, and used, said large and excessive sum in order to procure his nomination  and election. Plaintiffs in error were convicted under count 1, set out in the margin.2
 The court below overruled a
2 (Count One.)
1 Act 109, Michigan legislature, 1913: "Section 1. No sums of money shall be That Truman H. Newberry, Chase S. paid, and no expenses authorized or incurred by or on behalf of any candidate to Osborne, Henry Ford, and William B. Simpbe paid by him in order to secure or aid in son, before and on August 27, 1918, were securing his nomination to any public office for the office of Senator in the Congress of candidates for the Republican nomination or position in this state, in excess of 25 the United States from the state of Michiper cent of one year's compensation or salary of the office for which he is candidate: gan at the primary election held in said Provided, That a sum not exceeding 50 per state, and Henry Ford and James Helm, state on that day under the laws of said cent of one year's salary may be expended before and on said August 27, 1918, were by the candidates for governor and lieuten: candidates for the Democratic nomination ant governor; or where the office is that of for the same office at said primary election; member of either branch of the legislature that from said August 27, 1918, to and inof the state, the 25 per cent shall be computed on the salary fixed for the term of cluding November 5, 1918, said Truman H. two years: Provided further, That no canNewberry and said Henry Ford, by reason didate shall be restricted to less than $100 of their election and nomination at said in his campaign for such nomination. No candidates for election to the office of Senprimary election, became and were opposing sums of money shall be paid and no expense ator in the Congress of the United States authorized or incurred by or on behalf of from said state of Michigan at the general any candidate who has received the nomina-election held in said state on said November tion to any public office or position in this state, in excess of 25 per cent of one year's 5, 1918, said Truman H. Newberry of the salary or compensation of the office for Republican party and said Henry Ford of which he is nominated; or where the office the Democratic party, each of said candiis that of member of either branch of the dates having, on said August 27, 1918, and legislature of the state, the 25 per cent on November 5, 1918, attained to the age shall be computed on the salary fixed for of thirty years and upwards, and been a the term of two years: Provided, That no citizen of the United States for more than candidate shall be restricted to less than nine years, and each then being an inhabit$100. No sum of money shall be paid and ant and resident of said state; and that no expenses authorized or incurred by or said Truman H. Newberry, Paul H. King on behalf of any candidate contrary to the (and 133 others), hereinafter called the deprovisions of this act." fendants, continuously and at all and divers
duly interposed demurrer which challenged the constitutionality of § 8; and by so doing, we think, fell into error. Manifestly, this section applies not only to final elections for choosing Senators, but also to primaries and conventions of political parties for selection of candidates. Michigan and many other states undertake to control these primaries by statutes and give recognition to their results. And the ultimate question for solution here is whether, under the grant of power to regulate "the manner of holding elections," Congress times throughout the period of time from December 1, 1917, tc and including said November 5, 1918, at and within said southern division of said western district of Michigan, unlawfully and feloniously did conspire, combine, confederate, and agree together, and with divers other persons to said grand jurors unknown, to commit an offense against the United States, to wit, the offense on the part of said Truman H. Newberry of wilfully violating the Act of Congress approved June 25, 1910 [36 Stat. at L. 822, chap. 392], as amended by the Acts of August 19, 1911 [37 Stat. at L. 25, chap. 33], and August 23, 1912 [37 Stat. at L. 360, chap. 349, Comp. Stat. § 195, 3 Fed. Stat. Anno. 2d ed. p. 122], by giving, contributing, expending and using and by causing to be given, contributed, expended and used, in procuring his nomination and election as such Senator at said primary and general elections, a sum, in the aggregate, in excess of the amount which he might lawfully give, contribute, expend, or use or cause to be given, contributed, expended, or used for such purpose under the laws of said state of Michigan, to wit, the sum of $100,000, and by giving, contributing, expending, and using and causing to be given, contributed, expended, and used in procuring his nomination and election as such Senator, at said primary and general elec tions, a sum in the aggregate, in excess of $10,000, to wit said sum of $100,000, and on the part of said other defendants of aiding, counseling, inducing, and procuring said Truman H. Newberry so to give, contribute, expend, and use and cause to be given, contributed, expended, and used said large sum of money in excess of the amounts permitted by the laws of the state of Michigan and the said acts of Congress; the same to be money so unlawfully given, contributed, expended, and used by said Truman H. Newberry and by him caused to be given, contributed, expended, and used as such candidate for the following and other purposes, objects, and things, to wit:
Advertisements in newspapers and other publications;
Print paper, cuts, plates, and other supplies furnished to newspaper publishers; Subscriptions to newspapers; Production, distribution, and exhibition of moving pictures;
may fix the maximum sum which a candidate therein may spend, or advise or cause to be contributed and spent by others to procure his nomination.
Section 4, article 1, of the Constitution, provides: "The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state state  by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators." Here is the source of congressional power over the elections
Traveling and subsistence expenses of campaign managers, public speakers, secret propagandists, field, district, and county agents and solicitors, and of voters not infirm or disabled;
Compensation of campaign managers, public speakers, and secret propagandists, and of field, district, and county agents and solicitors;
Appropriating and converting to the use of the defendants themselves, and each of them, large sums of money under the guise and pretense of payment of their expenses and compensation for their services;
Rent of offices and public halls;
Unlawful assistance of election officials;
Expenses and compensation of Democrat. ic obstructionist candidates at the primary election;
Expenses and compensation of detectives; Dinners, banquet and other entertainments given to persons believed to be influential in said state of Michigan;
And no part of which said money was to be money expended by said Truman H. Newberry, as such candidate, to meet or discharge assessments, fees, or charges made or levied upon candidates by the laws of said state, or for his necessary personal expenses, incurred for himself alone, for travel and subsistence, stationery and postage, writing or printing (other than in newspapers), or for distributing letters, circulars, or postage, or for telegraph or telephone service, or for proper legal expenses in maintaining or contesting the results of either of said elections.
[Thirty-eight distinct and separate overt acts are specified.]
And so the grand jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that said defendants, continuously and at all and divers times throughout the period of time in this count mentioned, at and within said division and district, in manner and form in this count aforesaid, unlawfully and feloniously did conspire to commit an offense against the United States, and certain of them did do acts to effect the object of the conspiracy, against the peace and dignity of the United States, and contrary to the form of the statute of the same in such case made and provided.
specified. It has been so declared by this court (Ex parte Siebold, 100 U. S. 371, 25 L. ed. 717; United States v. Gradwell, 243 U. S. 476, 481, 61 L. ed. 857, 862, 37 Sup. Ct. Rep. 407), and the early discussions clearly show that this was then the accepted opinion. The Federalist, Nos. 58-60; Elliot's Debates, vol. 2, pp. 50, 73, 311; vol. 3, pp. 86, 183, 344, 375; vol. 4, pp. 75, 78, 211.
State ex rel. Nordin v. Erickson, 119
ers possessing "the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." Art. 1, §§ 2 and 3. The 17th Amendment, which directs that Senators be chosen by the people, neither announced nor requires a new meaning of election, and the word now has the same general significance as it did when the Constitution came into existence,-final choice of an  We find no support in reason officer by the duly qualified electors. or authority for the argument that because Hawke v. Smith, 253 U. S. 221, 64 L. ed. the offices were created by the Consti- 871, 10 A.L.R. 1504, 40 Sup. Ct. Rep. tution, Congress has some indefinite, un- 495. Primaries were then unknown. defined power over elections for Sena- Moreover, they are in no sense elections tors and Representatives not derived for an office, but merely methods by from § 4. "The government, then, of which party adherents agree upon canthe United States, can claim no powers didates whom they intend to offer and which are not granted to it by the Con- support for ultimate choice by all qualstitution, and the powers actually grant-ified electors. General provisions touched must be such as are expressly given, ing elections in constitutions or stator given by necessary implication." utes are not necessarily applicable to Martin v. Hunter, 1 Wheat. 304, 326, primaries, the two things are radically 4 L. ed. 97, 102. Clear constitutional different. And this view has been deprovisions also negative any possible in-clared by many state courts. People v. ference of such authority because of the Cavanaugh, 112 Cal. 674, 44 Pac. 1057; supposed anomaly "if one government had the unrestricted power to control matters affecting the choice of the officers of another." Mr. Iredell (afterwards of this court) in the North Carolina Convention of 1788, pointed out that the states may-must, indeed-exert some unrestricted control over the Federal government. "The very existence of the general government depends on that of the state governments. The state legislatures are to choose the Senators. Without a Senate there can be no Congress. The state legislatures are also to direct the manner of choosing the President. Unless, therefore, there are state legislatures to direct that manner, no President can be chosen. The same observation may be made as to the House of Representatives, since as they are to be chosen by the electors of the most numerous branch of each state legislature. If there are no state legislatures, there are no persons to choose the House of Representatives. Thus it is evident that the very existence of the general government depends on that of the state legislatures." 4 Elliot's Debates, p. 78. See also The Federalist, No. 45. The Federal features of our government are so clear and have been so often declared that no valuable discussion can proceed upon the opposite assumption.
Undoubtedly elections within the original intendment  of § 4 were those wherein Senators should be chosen by legislatures and Representatives by vot
Sundry provisions of the Constitution indicate plainly enough what its framers meant by elections and the "manner of holding" them. "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states." "No person shall be a Representative who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen." "When vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies." "Immediately after they [the Senators] shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes." "No person  shall be a Senator
who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen." "Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members." Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office," etc. "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office dur