linson, 160 U. S. 231 [40: 406], and Baker v. Grice, 169 U. S. 284 [42: 748], consists in the fact that the Federal officer proceeded against in the courts of the state may, upon conviction, be imprisoned as a means of enforcing the sentence of a fine, and thus the operations of the Federal government might [285]in the meantime be obstructed. This is such a case. In Ex parte Royall it was stated by Mr. Justice Harlan, in naming some of the exceptions to the general rule there laid down, that "when the petitioner is in custody by state authority for an act done or omitted to be done in pursuance of a law of the United States, or of an order, process, or decree of a court or judge thereof; or where, being a subject or citizen of a foreign state, and domiciled therein, he is in custody, under like authority, for an act done or omitted under any alleged right, title, authority, privilege, protection, or exemption claimed under the commission or order or sanction of any foreign state, or under color thereof, the validity and effect whereof depend upon the law of nations,-in such and like cases of urgency, involving the authority and operations of the general government, or the obligations of this country to or its relations with foreign nations, the courts of the United States have frequently interposed by writs of habeas corpus and discharged prisoners who were held in custody under state authority."

Such railroad accepted its charter subject to the condition that it would conform to such reasonable state regulations as were for the public interest and not in violation of the supreme law of the land.

The Chief Justice took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

[No. 95.]

For the reasons herein given we think the order of the Circuit Court of Appeals, af Argued December 13, 1898. Decided Febru firming the Circuit Court, was right, and it must be affirmed.

ary 20, 1899.




appropriate legislation to protect the publle health, the public morals, or the public safety.

(See S. C. Reporter's ed. 285-338.) Power of state to provide for the public convenience and public good-power of Congress-grounds of power of a state to provide for the public convenience-Ohio statute requiring railroad trains to stop at stations of over 3,000 inhabitants-condition of its charter-regulation of interstate commerce-U. S. Rev. Stat. § 5258.


'N ERROR to the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio to review a judgment of that court affirming the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, affirming the judgment of the court of common pleas of said county against the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company for the amount of the penalty prescribed by Ohio Rev. Stat. § 3320, requiring railroad companies to stop three, each way, of its regular passenger trains, if so many are run daily, Sundays excepted, at a station, city, or village, of over 3,000 inhabitants, to receive and let off passengers,-in an action brought by the State of Ohio ex rel. George L. Lawrence for the recovery of such penalty. Affirmed.


For decision of the Circuit Court of Cuyahoga County, see 8 Ohio C. C. 220.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Mr. George C. Greene for plaintiff in er


1. The power exists in each state by appropriate enactments not forbidden by its own or the Federal Constitution, to regulate the relative rights and duties of all persons and corporations within its jurisdiction so as to provide for the public convenience and the public good.


When Congress acts with reference to a matter confided to it by the Federal Constitution, then its statutes displace all state regulations touching that matter.


The Ohio statute (Ohio Laws 1889, p. 291, Rev. Stat. 1890, § 3220) requiring each railroad company whose road is operated within the state to cause three, each way, of its regular trains carrying passengers, if so many are run daily, Sundays excepted, to stop at a station, city, or village containing over 3,000 inhabitants, long enough to receive and let off passengers, is for the public convenience, and is not a regulation of interstate commerce and unconstitutional when applied to the trains of a corporation of the state engaged in such commerce.


State legislation relating to commerce is not to be deemed a regulation of interstate commerce simply because it may, to some extent or under some circumstances, affect such



U. S. Rev. Stat. § 5258, authorizing railroad companies to carry government supplies, mails, etc.. from one state to another, does not prevent the state from enacting such regulations, with respect, at least, to a railroad corporation of its own creation, as are not di rected against interstate commerce, and are not regulations thereof, but only incidental,y or remotely affect it, and are designed to promote the public convenience.

Mr. W. H. Polhamus for defendant in error.

*Mr. Justice Harlan delivered the opin-[286] ion of the court:

This action was commenced before a justice of the peace of the county of Cuyahoga, Ohio, to recover the penalty prescribed by section 3320 of the Revised Statutes of that state.

3. The power of the state by appropriate leg. islation to provide for the public convenience stands upon the same grounds as its power by

That section is a part of a chapter relating to railroad companies, and, as amended by the act of April 13th. 1889, provides:

"Each company shall cause three, each

way, of its regular trains carrying passengers, if so many are run daily, Sundays excepted, to stop at a station, city, or village containing over three thousand inhabitants, for a time sufficient to receive and let off passengers; if a company, or any agent or employee thereof, violate, or cause or permit to be violated, this provision, such company, agent, or employee, shall be liable to a forfeiture of not more than one hundred nor less than twenty-five dollars, to be recovered in an action in the name of the state, upon the complaint of any person, before a justice of the peace of the county in which the violation occurs, for the benefit of the general fund of the county; and in all cases in The through trains that passed westwardwhich a forfeiture occurs under the provi-ly through West Cleveland on the 9th day of [287]sions of this section *the company whose October, 1890, were a limited express train agent or employee caused or permitted such having two baggage and express cars, one violation shall be liable for the amount of passenger coach, and three sleepers, from the forfeiture, and the conductor in charge of New York to Chicago; a fast mail train havsuch train shall be held prima facie to have ing five mail cars, one passenger coach, and caused the violation." Laws of Ohio 1889, one sleeper, from New York to Chicago; and vol. 86, p. 291; R. S. Ohio 1890, § 3320. a train having one mail car, two baggage and express cars, four passenger coaches, and one sleeper, from Cleveland to Chicago. The trains running eastwardly on the same day through West Cleveland were a limited express train having one baggage and express car and three sleepers, from Chicago to New York; a train having one baggage and express car, three passenger coaches, and two sleepers, from Chicago to New York; a train having one mail car, two baggage and express cars, and seven passenger coaches, from Chicago to Buffalo; and a train having three mail cars and one sleeper, from Chicago to New York.

The case was removed for trial into the court of common pleas of Cuyahoga county, in which a judgment was rendered against the railroad company for the sum of one hundred dollars. Upon writ of error to the circuit court of that county the judgment was affirmed, and the judgment of the latter court was affirmed by the supreme court of


The facts upon which the case was determined in the state court were as follows:

The plaintiff Lawrence is a resident of West Cleveland, a muncipal corporation of Ohio having more than three thousand inhabitants.

The defendant railway company is a corporation organized under the respective laws of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois, and owns and operates a railroad located partly within the village of West Cleveland. Its line extends from Chicago through those states to Buffalo.

On the 9th day of October, 1890, as well as for some time prior thereto and thereafter, the company caused to run daily both ways over its road within the limits of West Cleveland three or more regular trains carrying passengers. And on that day (which was not Sunday) it did not stop or cause to be stopped within that village more than one of such trains each way, long enough to receive or let off passengers.

engers who had paid through fare, and
were entitled to ride in said trains going in
the one direction from the city of Chicago to
the city of Buffalo, through the states of In-
diana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and those go-
ing the other direction from the city of Buf-
through said states to the city

of Chicago."

On or about the day named the company operated but one regular train carrying passengers each way, that was not engaged in carrying such through passengers, and that train did stop at West Cleveland on that day for a time sufficient to receive and let off passengers.

The average time required to stop a train of cars and receive and let off passengers is three minutes.

The number of villages in Ohio containing three thousand inhabitants through which the above trains passed on the day named were thirteen.

The trial court found, as a conclusion of law, that within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States the statute of Ohio was not a regulation of commerce among the states, and was valid until Congress acted upon the subject. This general view was affirmed by the circuit court of[289] Cuyahoga county and by the supreme court of Ohio.

The plaintiff in error contends that, as the power to regulate interstate commerce is vested in Congress, the statute of Ohio in its application to trains engaged in such commerce is directly repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.

On the day above named and after that date the company was engaged in carrying both passengers and freight over its railroad, from Chicago and other stations in Indiana In support of this contention it insists and Michigan, through each of said several that an interstate railroad carrier has the states, to and into New York, Pennsylvania, right to start its train at any point in one and Ohio and to Buffalo, and from Buffalo state, and pass into and through another through said states to Chicago. It did not state without taking up or setting down on that day, nor shortly prior thereto, nor up passengers within the limits of the latter to the commencement of the present suit, run state. As applied to the present case, that daily both ways, or either way, over said contention means that the defendant comroad through the village of West Cleveland, pany, although an Ohio corporation deriving three regular trains, nor more than one reg- all its franchises and privileges from that ular train each way, carrying passengers state, may, if it so wills, deprive the people [288]" which were not engaged in interstate com- along its line in Ohio of the benefits of intermerce, or that did not have upon them pass-state communication by its railroad: in

short, that the company, if it saw fit to do | the subject, state legislation interrupting in-
so, could, beyond the power of Ohio to pre- terstate commerce even for a limited time
vent it, refuse to stop within that state only, whatever might be its object and how-
trains that started from points beyond its ever essential such legislation might be for
limits, or even trains starting in Ohio des- the comfort, peace, or safety of the people
tined to places in other states.
of the state, was a regulation of interstate
commerce forbidden by the Constitution of
the United States.

After observing that the argument in be


In the argument at the bar, as well as in the printed brief of counsel, reference was made to the numerous cases in this court adjudging that what are called the police pow-half of the defendant rested upon the erroers of the states were not surrendered to the neous assumption that the statute of Georgeneral government when the Constitution gia was such a regulation of interstate comwas ordained, but remained with the several merce as was forbidden by the Constitution[291] states of the Union. And it was asserted without reference to affirmative action by with much confidence that while regulations Congress, and not merely a statute enacted adopted by competent local authority in or- by the state under its police power, and der to protect or promote the public health, which, although in some degree affecting the public morals, or the public safety have interstate commerce, did not go beyond the been sustained where such regulations only necessities of the case, and therefore was incidentally affected commerce among the valid, at least until Congress intervened, states, the principles announced in former this court, upon review of the adjudged cases, adjudications condemn as repugnant to the said: "These authorities make it clear Constitution of the United States all local that the legislative enactments of the states, regulations that affect interstate commerce passed under their admitted police powers, in any degree, if established merely to sub- and having a real relation to the domesserve the public convenience. tic peace, order, health, and safety of One of the cases cited in support of this their people, but which by their necessary position is Hennington v. Georgia, 163 U. S. operation, affect to some extent or for 299, 303, 308, 317, [41: 166, 169, 171, 174], a limited time the conduct of commerce which involved the validity of a statute of among the states, are yet not invalid by Georgia providing that "if any freight train force alone of the grant of power to Con[290]shall be run on any railroad in this state on gress to regulate such commerce; and, if not the Sabbath Day (known as Sunday) the obnoxious to some other constitutional prosuperintendent of such railroad company, or vision or destructive of some right secured the officer having charge of the business of by the fundamental law, are to be respected that department of the railroad, shall be in the courts of the Union until they are liable for indictment for a misdemeanor in superseded and displaced by some act of Coneach county through which such trains shall gress passed in execution of the power grantpass, and on conviction shall be punished. ed to it by the Constitution. Local laws of Provided, always, That whenever the character mentioned have their source any train on any railroad in this state, hav- in the powers which the states reserved and ing in such train one or more cars loaded never surrendered to Congress, of providing with live stock, which train shall be delayed for the public health, the public morals, and beyond schedule time, shall not be required the public safety, and are not, within the to lay over on the line of road or route meaning of the Constitution, and considered during Sunday, but may run on to the point in their own nature, regulations of interwhere, by due course of shipment or consign- state commerce simply because, for a limited ment, the next stock pen on the route may time or to a limited extent, they cover the be, where said animals may be fed and field occupied by those engaged in such comwatered, according to the facilities usually merce. The statute of Georgia is not diafforded for such transportation. And it rected against interstate commerce. It esshall be lawful for the freight trains on the tablishes a rule of civil conduct applicable different railroads in this state, running alike to all freight trains, domestic as well over said roads on Saturday night, to run as interstate. It applies to the transportathrough to destination: Provided, The time tion of interstate freight the same rule preof arrival, according to the schedule by which cisely that it applies to the transportation the train or trains started on the trip, shall of domestic freight." Again: "We are of not be later than eight o'clock on Sunday opinion that such a law, although in a limmorning." This court said: "The well-set-ited degree affecting interstate commerce, is tled rule is that if a statute purporting to not for that reason a needless intrusion uphave been enacted to protect the public on the domain of Federal jurisdiction, nor health, the public morals, or the public safe- strictly a regulation of interstate commerce, ty, has no real or substantial relation to but, considered in its own nature, is an orthose objects, or is a palpable invasion of dinary police regulation designed to secure rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the well-being and to promote the general the duty of courts to so adjudge, and thereby welfare of the people within the state by[292] give effect to the Constitution." which it was established, and therefore not invalid by force alone of the Constitution of the United States."

The contention in that case was that the running of railroad cars laden with interstate freight was committed exclusively to the control and supervision of the national government; and that, although Congress had not taken any affirmative action upon

It is insisted by counsel that these and observations to the same effect in different cases show that the police powers of the states, when exerted with reference to mat


ters more or less connected with interstate | tures as dams, booms, piers, etc., should be
commerce, are restricted in their exercise, used which are substantial obstructions to
so far as the national Constitution is con- general navigation, and more or less so to
cerned, to regulations pertaining to the rafts and barges. But to the legislature of
health, morals, or safety of the public, and the state may be most appropriately confid-
do not embrace regulations designed merely ed the authority to authorize these struc-
to promote the public convenience.
tures where their use will do more good than
harm, and to impose such regulations and
limitations in their construction and use as
will best reconcile and accommodate the in-

This is an erroneous view of the adjudi-
cations of this court. While cases to which
counsel refer involved the validity of state
laws having reference directly to the pub-terest of all concerned in the matter. And
lic health, the public morals, or the pub-
lic safety, in no one of them was there any
occasion to determine whether the police
powers of the states extended to regulations
incidentally affecting interstate commerce,
but which were designed only to promote the
public convenience or the general welfare.
There are, however, numerous decisions by
this court to the effect that the states may
legislate with reference simply to the public
convenience, subject, of course, to the condi-
tion that such legislation be not inconsistent
with the national Constitution, nor with any
act of Congress passed in pursuance of that
instrument, nor in derogation of any right
granted or secured by it. As the question
now presented is one of great importance, it
will be well to refer to some cases of the

latter class.

since the doctrine we have deduced from the cases recognizes the right of Congress to interfere and control the matter whenever it may deem it necessary to do so, the exercise of this limited power may all the more safely be confided to the local legislatures." The same principles were announced in Escanaba Co. v. Chicago, 107 U. S. 678, 683 [27: 442, 445]. That case involved the validity of a certain local ordinance regulating the opening and closing of bridges over the Chicago river within the limits of the city of Chicago. That ordinance required the bridges to be closed at certain hours of the day, so as not to obstruct the passage over them of vast numbers of operatives and other people going to and from their respec-[294] tive places of business. It was conceded that by the closing of the bridges at those In Gilman v. Philadelphia, 3 Wall. 713,729 hours vessels were obstructed, in their use [18: 96, 101], which involved the validity of of the river. This court in that case said: a state enactment authorizing the construc- "The Chicago river and its branches must tion of a permanent bridge over the Schuyl- therefore be deemed navigable waters of the kill river within the limits of Philadelphia, United States, over which Congress under and which bridge in fact interfered with the its commercial power may exercise control use of the river by vessels of a certain size to the extent necessary to protect, preserve, which had been long accustomed to navigate and improve their free navigation. But the it, the court said: "It must not be forgot- states have full power to regulate within ten that bridges, which are connecting parts their limits matters of internal police, inof turnpikes, streets, and railroads, are cluding in that general designation whatever means of commercial transportation as well will promote the peace, comfort, convenience, as navigable waters, and that the commerce and prosperity of their people. This power which passes over a bridge may be much embraces the construction of roads, canals, greater than would ever be transported on and bridges, and the establishment of ferries, [293]the water it obstructs. It is for the munici- and it can generally be exercised more wisepal power to weigh the considerations which ly by the states than by a distant authority. belong to the subject, and to decide which They are the first to see the importance of shall be preferred, and how far either shall such means of internal communication, and be made subservient to the other. The are more deeply concerned than others in states have always exercised this power, and their wise management. Illinois is more from the nature and objects of the two sys-immediately affected by the bridges over the tems of government they must always continue to exercise it, subject, however, in all cases, to the paramount authority of Congress whenever the power of the states shall be exerted within the sphere of the commercial power which belongs to the nation."

So, in Pound v. Turck, 95 U. S. 459, 464
[24: 525, 527], which was a case where ob-
structions-piers and booms--had been
placed under the authority of the state of
Wisconsin in the Chippewa river, one of the
navigable waters of the United States, it was
said: "There are within the state of Wis-
consin, and perhaps other states, many
small streams navigable for a short distance
from their mouths in one of the great rivers
of the country, by steamboats, but whose
greatest value in water carriage is as outlets
to sawlogs, sawed lumber, coal, salt, etc. In
order to develop their greatest utility in that
regard. it is often essential that such struc-
173 U. S.
U. S.. BOOK 43.

Chicago river and its branches than any other state, and is more directly concerned for the prosperity of the city of Chicago, for the convenience and comfort of its inhabi tants, and the growth of its commerce. And nowhere could the power to control the bridges in that city, their construction, form and strength, and the size of their draws, and the manner and times of using them, be better vested than with the state or the au thorities of the city upon whom it has devolved that duty. When its power is exercised so as to obstruct unnecessarily the navigation of the river or its branches. Congress may interfere and remove the obstruction. If the power of the state and that of the Federal government come in conflict. the latter must control and the former yield. This necessarily follows from the position given by the Constitution to legislation in pursuance of it, as the supreme law of the



We think the statute in question is one of that class, and in the absence of any legislation by Congress the statute is a valid exercise of the power of the state over the subject."

land. But until Congress acts on the sub-
ject the power of the state over bridges
across its navigable streams is plenary." It
was consequently adjudged that the city or-
dinance was not to be deemed such a regu-
lation of interstate commerce as, in the ab-
sence of national legislation, should be
deemed invalid.

So, in Richmond & A. Railroad Co. v. R. A. Patterson Tobacco Co. 169 U. S. 311, 315 [42: 759, 761], it was adjudged that a stat (295) *In Cardwell v. American Bridge Company, ute of Virginia defining the obligations of 113 U. S. 205, 208 [28: 959, 960], it was held carriers who accepted for transportation that a statute of California authorizing a anything directed to points of destination bridge without a draw or opening for the beyond the termini of their own lines or passage of vessels to be constructed over a routes was not, in its application to internavigable water of the United States within state business, a regulation of interstate that state was not, in the absence of legisla-commerce within the meaning of the Constition by Congress, to be deemed repugnant to tution. This court said: "Of course, in a the commerce clause of the Constitution. latitudinarian sense any restriction as to The court referring to prior cases, said: "In the evidence of a contract relating to interthese cases the control of Congress over nav-state commerce may be said to be a limitaigable waters within the states so as to pre- tion on the contract itself. But this remote serve their free navigation under the com- effect, resulting from the lawful exercise by mercial clause of the Constitution, the power a state of its power to determine the form of the states within which they lie to au- in which contracts may be proved, does not thorize the construction of bridges over amount to a regulation of interstate comthem until Congress intervenes and super-merce." And the court cited in support of sedes their authority, and the right of pri- its conclusion the case of Chicago, M. & St. vate parties to interfere with their construc- P. Railway Co. v. Solan, 169 U. S. 133, 137 tion or continuance, have been fully consid- [42: 688, 692], which involved the validity ered, and we are entirely satisfied with the of state regulations as to the liability of soundness of the conclusions reached. They carriers of passengers, and in which it was recognize the full power of the states to regu- said: "They are not in themselves regulalate within their limits matters of inter- tions of interstate commerce, although they nal police, which embraces, among other control in some degree the conduct and liathings, the construction, repair, and main- bility of those engaged in such commerce. tenance of roads and bridges and the estab- So long as Congress has not legislated upon lishment of ferries; that the states are more the particular subject they are rather to be likely to appreciate the importance of these regarded as legislation in aid of such commeans of internal communication and to merce, and as a rightful exercise of the poprovide for their proper management than a lice power of the state to regulate the relagovernment at a distance; and that, as to tive rights and duties of all persons and corbridges over navigable streams, their power porations within its limits." is subordinate to that of Congress, as an act of the latter body is, by the Constitution, made the supreme law of the land; but that until Congress acts on the subject their power is plenary. When Congress acts directly with reference to the bridges authorized by the state, its will must control so far as may be necessary to secure the free navigation of the streams." The doctrines of this case were reaffirmed in Huse v. Glover, 119 U. S. 543 [30: 487].

Now, it is evident that these cases had no reference to the health, morals, or safety of the people of the state, but only to the pub-[297] lic convenience. They recognized the fundamental principle that, outside of the field di rectly occupied by the general government under the powers granted to it by the Constitution, all questions arising within a state that relate to its internal order, or that involve the public convenience or the general good, are primarily for the determination of the state, and that its legislative enactments, relating to those subjects, and which are not inconsistent with the state Constitution, are to be respected and enforced in the courts of the Union if they do not by their operation directly entrench upon the authority of the United States or violate some right protected by the national Constitution. The power here referred to is, to use the words of Chief Justice Shaw, the power "to make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes, and ordinances, either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the Constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the Commonwealth and of the subjects of the same." Com. v. Alger, 7 Cush. 53, 85. Mr. Cooley well said: "It cannot be doubted that there is ample power in the legislative department of the state to adopt all necessary legislation for the pur

In Western Union Telegraph Co. v. James, 162 U. S. 650, 662 [40: 1105, 1109], the question was presented whether a state enactment requiring telegraph companies with lines of wires wholly or partly within the state to receive telegrams, and on payment of the charges thereon to deliver them with due diligence, was not a regulation of interstate commerce when applied to interstate telegrams. We held that such enactments [296]did not in any *just sense regulate interstate commerce. It was said in that case: "While it is vitally important that commerce between the states should be unembarrassed by vexatious state regulations regarding it, yet on the other hand there are many occasions where the police power of the state can be properly exercised to insure a faithful and prompt performance of duty within the limits of the state upon the part of those who are engaged in interstate commerce.

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