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CLIFF V. UNITED STATES, 195 U. S. 159 (1904)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cliff v. United States, 195 U.S. 159 (1904)

Cliff v. United States

No. 19

Argued December 2, 1903

Decided October 24, 1904

195 U.S. 159


In enumerating the ingredients of oleomargarine in § 2 of the act of 1886 as amended in 1902, Congress included not only those substances which, entering into its composition, make it suitable for food and form its body, but also other ingredients used only for coloring, the purpose being to prevent excluding from the operation of the statute anything in its nature oleomargarine by reason of the addition of a substance not really an ingredient, but serving substantially only for coloring the product yellow.

Under §§ 2 and 8 of the act as amended, oleomargarine colored yellow by a small amount of palm oil serving no purpose other than coloration is artificially colored, and is subject to the tax of ten cents a pound, and does not come within the proviso to § 8, making the tax a quarter of a cent a pound when the oleomargarine is free from artificial coloration that causes it to look like butter of any shade of yellow.

One claiming that his oleomargarine is not subject to the higher tax prescribed by § 8 of the oleomargarine act must make it clear that his product is clearly within the scope of the exception stated in the proviso.

The finding of a court upon a question of fact is as conclusive as the verdict of a jury, and, when supported by testimony admitted without objection, will not be disturbed by this Court.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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