« ForrigeFortsett »
the libel suit legally establish their responsibility for the published accusation, but such responsibility is tacitly admitted in the bill of complaint herein, and there is nothing to throw doubt upon it.
Upon the whole case, therefore, it cannot be said that appellants omitted to plead justification in the libel suit because of any “accident” or “mistake" within the meaning of the equitable rule. That defense was considered by them and their counsel and deliberately and advisedly rejected because (a) it could not be sustained, and (b) a failure to sustain it would probably embarrass them in their defense under the general issue, or rather, would render it probable that in the anticipated event of the plaintiff prevailing over them on the general issue, increased damages would be awarded against them because of the reiteration of the libel in a plea of justification. And if when called upon to make defense in the libel suit they had no sufficient evidence at hand to maintain the truth of the published matter, this must on the present record be attributed to one or the other of two causes. One is, that the published matter was in fact untrue; the other is, that they did not use proper diligence to discover evidence of its truth. Either explanation leaves them without claim to relief in this action.
The question whether appellants, because of having originally made a public accusation of malfeasance in office against the appellee without having evidence of the truth of the accusation sufficient even to warrant prudent counsel in making an issue of it in a libel suit, are barred from relief in equity under the doctrine of “clean hands," it is unnecessary to consider.
It seems to us that the case of the appellants is without merit, and the decree under review will he
225 U. S.
EX PARTE CHARLEY WEBB, PETITIONER.
ON APPLICATION FOR HABEAS CORPUS AND CERTIORARI.
No. 11. Original. Argued May 13, 1912.-Decided June 10, 1912.
The Oklahoma Enabling Act of June 16, 1906, 34 Stat. 267, c. 3335,
followed by the adoption of the constitution therein described, and the admission of the new State, had the effect of remitting to the state government the enforcement of the laws relating to the manufacture and sale of liquor within the State; and, so far as it covered the same field as the prior law of 1895 prohibiting introduction and
sale of liquor in Indian country, the latter was by implication repealed. While the Oklahoma Enabling Act may have by implication repealed
the act of 1895 in part, it was not the intention of Congress to repeal that act in respect to the introduction of liquor from other States or
Territories. Congress has fór many years consistently pursued the policy of for
bidding sales of liquor to Indians and of excluding liquor from territory occupied by them, and the Oklahoma Enabling Act was framed with a clear intent that while the State should control the liquor traffic within its own borders the United States should exercise its appropriate powers to prevent such traffic within the Indian Terri
tory originating beyond the borders of the State. It is unreasonable to suppose that Congress would wipe out all its laws
and regulations regarding the liquor traffic with Indians including those established by treatics, and impose upon future Congresses the
labor and difficulty of establishing new legislation upon that subject. The proviso to § 1 of the Oklahoma Enabling Act expressly reserving to
the Government of the United States the power to make laws and regulations in the future respecting Indians, negatives any purpose to
repeal by implication the existing laws and regulations on the subject. An act of Congress may repeal a prior trcaty as well as it may repeal
a prior statute; but it is a settled rule of statutory construction that repeals by implication are not favored, and will not be held to exist
if there be any other reasonable construction. Under $8 of Article I, of the Federal Constitution, conferring upon
Congress the right to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes, Congress may regulate traffic with Indians although within the
limits of a single State. Under 8 8 of Article I of the Federal Constitution, Congress has the
same power to maintain an existing law in regard to Indian traffic so as to keep it in force in a new State as it has to enact new laws
in the future on the same subject. Although the Five Civilized Tribes have long been treated more
liberally than other Indians, they remain none the less the wards
of the Nation and in all respects subject to its control. Reviewing the treaties and agreements with the several tribes occupy
ing the Indian Territory within that State, it appears that the provisions of the Oklahoma Enabling Act in regard to liquor traffic with Indians originating beyond the State were enacted with the purpose
of fulfilling the spirit and letter of those treaties and agreements. The argument that the act of 1895 must have been repealed by the
Oklahoma Enabling Act to the extent that the latter permitted the introduction of liquor into the State for the needs of the state agencies for distribution of liquor, is an argument ab inconvenienti and is without force so far as the introduction of liquor by an in
dividual is concerned. A law creating a crime ought to be explicit, and if ambiguous or un
certain it should be interpreted in favor of the liberty of the citizen; but in this case as there is no ambiguity in the act of 1895 a repeal pro tanto does not leave anything doubtful or ambiguous in that part
of the act which remains in force. The rule that the admission of a new State into the Union on an equal
footing with the original States imports an equality of power over internal affairs, does not prevent the United States from reserving the right to regulate matters therein within the sphere of the plain
power of Congress. Where Congress embraces in an enabling act for the admission of a
new State, legislation intended as a regulation of matters within the sphere of its powers, the legislation derives no force from any agreement or compact with the new State as an acceptance of statehood, but derives its force solely from the power of Congress to regulate
the subject matter of the legislation. Coyle v. Smith, 221 U. S. 574. The Oklahoma Enabling Act did not repeal the act of 1895, so far as it
pertains to the carrying of liquor from without the new State into that part of it which was Indian Territory. (except that brought in by the State for use of state agencies) and the United States District Court for the District of Oklahoma has jurisdiction to punish an offender against the act of 1895 in that respect.
Statement of the Case.
to inquire into the arrest and detention of the petitioner, who is held in custody by the United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, under a capias or bench warrant issued out of the United States District Court, upon an indictment of which the following is a copy: “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Eastern District of Oklahoma, 88: “In the District Court of the United States in and for
the Eastern District aforesaid, at the March Term thereof, A. D. 1912, at Vinita, Oklahoma.
“The grand jurors of the United States, impaneled, sworn, and charged at the term aforesaid of the court aforesaid, on their oath present, that Otis Tittle and Charley Webb, and each of them, on the 23rd day of January, in the year 1912, in the said division of said district and within the jurisdiction of said court in Craig County in the State of Oklahoma, the same then and there being and constituting a portion of the Indian country of the said United States, did at the time and place aforesaid unlawfully, knowingly, wilfully and feloniously introduce, and attempt to so introduce and carry into the said Indian country, from without the said Indian country, seventeen gallons of spirituous, ardent and intoxicating liquor, to wit: alcohol, which said alcohol was by the said Otis Tittle and Charley Webb and each of them so introduced and carried into that portion of said Eastern District of Oklahoma so being then and there Indian country as above set forth and described, contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the United States."
Petitioner also applies for a writ of certiorari to review the action of the District Court in refusing, on habeas corpus, to discharge him from custody under the bench warrant.
For present purposes it is admitted that petitioner is a
Statement of the Case.
225 U. S.
white man, not of Indian blood; that the intoxicating liquors described in the indictment were shipped on his order from the city of Joplin, in the State of Missouri, by way of a railway that is a common carrier of interstate shipments, consigned to petitioner at the city of Vinita, in the State of Oklahoma; that the same reached the latter city over said railway line in the course of ordinary transportation at the time of the alleged offense set forth in the indictment, to wit, January 23, 1912; that said intoxicating liquors were delivered by the transportation company to the petitioner within the city of Vinita, and he received them upon a public street and highway and not upon restricted land, for the purpose and with the intent of carrying and transporting the liquors along the streets and highways to another point within the same city, and that while he was in the act of so receiving the same he was arrested. That the city of Vinita is situate in Craig County, Oklahoma, which county constitutes a part of what was formerly the Cherokee Nation; that all the lands of the Cherokee Nation have been either allotted to individual citizens of the Cherokee Tribe under the terms of the Cherokee Agreement and the several acts of Congress providing for the allotment of said lands, or sold by the United States for the benefit of the citizens of the Cherokee Nation, either as town sites or otherwise, under the authority of the several acts of Congress providing therefor; that the city of Vinita, including the place where the intoxicating liquor was delivered to and received by the petitioner, is a part of the original town site of Vinita, Indian Territory; and that the status of the lands and of the enrolled nembers of the Cherokee Tribe of Indians are such as are fixed by law.
The petitioner contends that the District Court is without jurisdiction, because there is no existing law under which the offense alleged against him is punishable in the Federal courts. He claims that he is obliged to resort