« ForrigeFortsett »
in the case of an assault by a striker. (Cranford v. State, p. 157.) The contention of the appellant was chiefly as to erroneous admissions by the court of testimony as to what he had said before the occurrence of the alleged assault. The court ruled that it was admissible as showing the state of the appellant's mind, and his feeling toward persons of the class to which the assaulted man belonged.
The specific point of picketing in strikes was passed upon in a few cases noted, the Supreme Court of New York (Heitkamper v. Hoffman, p. 154) granting an injunction against such picketing as to blockade the entrance to the complainant's place of business, marching upon the sidewalk in front of his shop, or interfering with his customers by threats, violence, etc., though at the same time recognizing the right of the union to distribute a circular giving information as to the relations between the complainant and union labor and asking those who sympathized with such labor to withhold their patronage. Similarly, an injunction against picketing was directed by the Supreme Court of Washington in a case involving much the same class of conditions. (St. Germain v. Bakery & Confectionery Workers' Union, p. 153.) The court below had described what picketing would be allowed, but the supreme court held that all picketing should have been forbidden, since there was a legal right to carry on business without obstruction. This case arose on the failure of the employer to compel the payment of union dues by its employees, and cards had been distributed, and large numbers of persons blockading the streets and sidewalks had joined to coerce the action of the employer.
Municipal ordinances were considered by appellate courts of Texas and Oklahoma. In the former case (Ex parte Stout, p. 155) the constitutionality of an ordinance of the city of El Paso forbidding walking up and down in front of the place of business with signs to discourage dealing with the person being picketed was affirmed. The court took the ground that, the conduct prohibited was of a nature likely to lead to disturbances, to intimidate customers, and injure business which should properly be protected. In the other case, on the other hand (In re Sweitzer, p. 156), an ordinance of Oklahoma City prohibiting loitering was held not to be available to prevent picketing, in view of the fact that there was a State law authorizing the performance of acts in labor disputes which would not be criminal if committed by one person. It was said that the ordinance could not do indirectly or incidentally what it could not do directly, and a discharge was granted in the case of the defendant convicted thereunder.
DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR: 1917.
ALIEN CONTRACT LABOR-BRINGING SEAMAN FROM CHINA-Scharrenberg v. Dollar S. S. Co. et al., Supreme Court of the United States (Nov. 5, 1917), 38 Supreme Court Reporter, page 28.-Action for statutory penalties was brought by Paul Scharrenberg against the company named and two other corporations, operators of the British steamship Bessie Dollar, and the master of that ship. There were 19 counts in the complaint, each charging the bringing of a Chinaman from Shanghai, China, to San Francisco. Scharrenberg afterwards shipped on another steamship, the Mackinaw, working as a seaman" upon it for some days at San Francisco, going thence to Grays Harbor, Seattle, Wash., and being under contract to complete the voyage to Shanghai. The action was brought while the vessel was still at Grays Harbor. The subordinate courts rendered judgment for the defendants on demurrer, and this was affirmed by the Supreme Court, which held that the facts alleged in the complaint made out no violation of the law of the United States prohibiting the importation of alien contract laborers. Mr. Justice Clarke delivered the opinion, and, after stating the allegations, spoke as follows:
The employment of the man to serve as a bona fide seaman on the Mackinaw is not questioned, and the allegations of the complaint negative any suspicion that the employment of him in China was a subterfuge adopted for the purpose of unlawfully securing his entry into the United States.
Basing his right upon the allegations of the complaint, the claim. of the petitioner is, that by employing and bringing an alien laborer as a seaman to San Francisco, in the manner described, for the purpose of shipping him, followed by his actually being shipped, as a seaman on board a vessel of American registry, the defendants violated the act of Congress of February 20, 1907 [forbidding the importation, etc., of alien contract labor] (34 Stat. at Large, p. 898).
The argument in support of this claim is that the seaman, described in each count of the complaint, was an alien contract laborer; that the steamship Mackinaw was a part of the territory of the United States, and that therefore the contracting to bring such alien to San Francisco and to there employ him upon such vessel was to knowingly assist and encourage the migration of an alien contract laborer into the United States, for the purpose of having him perform labor therein, in violation of the fourth and fifth sections of the
The pertinent provisions of the act are then reviewed, and the opinion continues:
In familiar speech a "seaman" may be called a "sailor" or a "mariner," but he is never called a "laborer," although he doubtless performs labor when assisting in the care and management of his ship; and a "seaman" is defined, in the United States statutes applicable to "merchant seamen," as being any person (masters and apprentices excepted) who shall be employed to serve in any capacity on board a vessel. (R. S. sec. 4612.) In the shipping articles, which the United States law requires shall be signed by members of the crews of ships of American registry engaged in foreign commerce, the men are designated as "seamen" or "mariners." Thus, neither in popular nor in technical legal language would the men employed on the Mackinaw be called or classed as "laborers," and such seamen are not brought "into this country" to enter into competition with the labor of its inhabitants, but they come to our shores only to sail away again in foreign commerce on the ship which brings them or on another, as soon as employment can be obtained.
ASSIGNMENTS OF WAGES-CONSTITUTIONALITY OF LOAN LAW— People v. Stokes, Supreme Court of Illinois (Dec. 19, 1917), 118 Northeastern Reporter, page 87.-F. B. Stokes was convicted of a violation of the act, page 553, Laws of 1917, requiring lenders of money in amounts less than $300 and at rates of interest greater than 7 per cent per annum to be licensed, and regulating the conduct of such business. The offense charged consisted of loaning to one Miller, on an assignment of his wages, $100 at a rate of interest alleged to be 8 per cent per month-the borrower receiving $100, and agreeing to pay back $25 per month until $150 had been paid. The only ground of appeal from the judgment of conviction was that the statute was invalid. The supreme court upheld the act and affirmed the judgment, Judge Craig delivering the opinion. He considered together the first and second objections, viz, that the act was class legislation, abridging the privileges and immunities of citizens and depriving them of property without due process of law, in contravention of the Federal and State constitutions, and that it granted special privileges or franchises. These contentions were answered by references to decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States and of the courts of the States. The other objections, based on the State constitution, are likewise found to be untenable, in that the act embraces subjects not expressed in its title, and is a local or special law regulating the rate of interest; and that it vests judicial powers in an administrative body, the department of trade and commerce, which is authorized to grant or refuse licenses, according to the qualifications of the applicant or the lack of them, and to demand additional security from licensees when the bond given becomes
doubtful for any reason. It was pointed out that these powers were administrative and intended merely to further the carrying out of the law as enacted, and that a party who was refused a license, or whose license was revoked, had an undoubted right to resort to the courts for redress.
ASSIGNMENTS OF WAGES-CONSTITUTIONALITY OF LOAN Law-Wessell v. Timberlake, Supreme Court of Ohio (Nov. 21, 1916), 116 Northeastern Reporter, page 43.-Herman Wessell was arrested by one Timberlake, a constable, for making loans at a rate of interest in excess of 8 per cent without a license. He brought habeas corpus. proceedings to test the validity of the chattel-loan law of Ohio (sec. 6346-1 to 6346-9, General Code). The common pleas court of Hamilton County and the court of appeals successively declared the law valid, and this judgment was affirmed by the supreme court, Judge Wanamaker delivering the opinion. The claim of unconstitutionality was largely based upon deprivation of property and due process of law, emphasis being placed upon the alleged arbitrary power conferred upon the superintendent of banks to revoke a license when in his opinion the licensee was guilty of violation of the law, with an unfair and ex parte hearing or none at all, and with no opportunity of appeal to the courts. The judge stated that the plaintiff relied largely upon the decisions of a United States district court regarding the so-called blue-sky law, but that this decision had recently been reversed by the United States Supreme Court (Hall, etc., v. GeigerJones Co., 242 U. S. 539, 37 Sup. Ct. 217). Judge Wanamaker then discussed the nature and scope of the police power, and quoted from an opinion by Mr. Justice Day on the subject. Ancient and modern instances of legislation against usury are cited. Continuing, he said: It would seem now too late to challenge the constitutionality of such legislation upon the ground that it is a denial of the right of property or liberty of contract.
The right of property, or liberty of contract with reference to property, is by our own constitution made "subservient to the public welfare." Where, therefore, a statute seeks to accomplish such purpose as prevention of usury, such statute is clearly within the police power of the State of Ohio under the provisions of both the State and Federal constitutions, unless some part of the machinery for its administration may violate some provision of State or Federal constitution.
The power of the State to regulate the business of chattel loans was said to be settled in Sanning v. City of Cincinnati, 81 Ohio St. 142, 90 N. E. 125.
The court continues:
We come now to consider the second question as to whether or not the plans and provisions of the statute for the promotion of such purposes are a legal exercise of such police power.
The legal machinery provided by the statute for the enforcement of its provisions obviously must be operated by some officer or board. The statute designates the superintendent of banks as such officer. He grants the license provided for by the act, and agreeable to the act may revoke a license. He is merely the executive of the State for the enforcement of the statute, and the presumption surely is that he would exercise his discretion fairly and justly and in accordance with the purpose, terms, and spirit of the act.
The decisions of the United States Supreme Court in the "Trading Stamp Case," Rast v. Van Deman & Lewis Co., 240 U. S. 342, 36 Sup. Ct. 370, and in the "Blue Sky Law Case," were then examined, and the doctrine as to valid classifications adopted in those cases was held to apply to the present. The court then said that the chief and most serious objection is that relating to the revocation of licenses; but since in this instance the plaintiff did not take steps to secure a license at all, but ignored the law and contested its validity as a whole, the question of the validity of the provisions for revocation was not presented as essential to the disposition of the case. In so far as involved, is the conclusion, the act is a valid one within the police. power of the State, and not in conflict with any provision of the Constitution of the United States.
COMBINATION IN RE
BOYCOTT - BLACKLISTING — CONSPIRACY STRAINT OF TRADE-ANTITRUST ACT-Knauer v. United States, United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit (Sept. 16, 1916), 237 Federal Reporter, page 8.—Prosecution was inaugurated against 36 persons, members of the National Association of Master Plumbers, and they were indicted for conspiracy in violation of section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act enacted in 1890. They were convicted of this offense in a district court, and the circuit court of appeals affirmed the judgment, the illegality of the policies carried out by the association being shown in the following quotation from the opinion. delivered by Judge Smith:
When the Sherman law was passed in 1890 the National Association of Master Plumbers had been organized for the "protection" of master plumbers against the competition of the manufacturers and wholesalers, and had pledged members not to buy of such manufacturers and dealers as sold to consumers, and this had been declared "the pivot of the position we are striving for as an organization." On the day that the Sherman law became effective this organization became illegal under the decision of Eastern States Lumber Ass'n v. United States, 234 U. S. 600, 34 Sup. Ct. 951 [Bul. No. 169, p. 53].
It is not our purpose to in any way limit the power of the members of the association to withdraw as soon as it became manifestly an illegal association. In other words, we would not deprive any member of his locus pœnitentiæ; but in 1899, after the passage of