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HOKE V. UNITED STATES, 227 U. S. 308 (1913)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hoke v. United States, 227 U.S. 308 (1913)

Hoke v. United States

No. 381

Argued January 7, 8, 1913

Decided February 24, 1913

227 U.S. 308


The power given to Congress by the Constitution over interstate commerce is direct, without limitation, and far-reaching. Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States, 220 U. S. 45.

Commerce among the states consists of intercourse and traffic between their citizens, and includes the transportation of persons as well as property. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 227 U. S. 309

While our dual form of government has its perplexities, state and Nation having different spheres of jurisdiction, we are one people, and the powers reserved to the states and those conferred on the Nation are adapted to be exercised, whether independently or concurrently, to promote the general welfare, material and moral.

While women are not articles of merchandise, the power of Congress to regulate their transportation in interstate commerce is the same, and it may prohibit such transportation if for immoral purposes.

The right to be transported in interstate commerce is not a right to employ interstate transportation as a facility to do wrong, and Congress may prohibit such transportation to the extent of the White Slave Traffic Act of 1910.

Congress may adopt not only the necessary, but the convenient, means necessary to exercise its power over a subject completely within its power, and such means may have the quality of police regulations. Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 114 U. S. 196.

The White Slave Traffic Act of June 25, 1910, c. 395, 36 Stat. 825, is a legal exercise of the power of Congress under the commerce clause of the Constitution, and does not abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the states or interfere with the reserved powers of the states, especially those in regard to regulation of immoralities of persons within their several jurisdictions.

A variance which is merely verbal as to the name of the railroad over which transportation was obtained in violation of the White Slave Traffic Act and which did not prejudice the defense, held in this case not to be reversible error.

It is for the jury to determine the sufficiency of the evidence tending to show that defendants induced women to become passengers in interstate commerce in violation of the act, and in this case it does not appear that their judgment was not justified.

One can violate the White Slave Traffic Act through a third party acting for him.

Evidence of acts of defendants after the end of the journey held in this case to be admissible to show the action of defendants in inducing the transportation of women in interstate commerce in violation of the White Slave Traffic Act.

There was no error in the various instructions of the court in this case.

187 F.9d 2 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality under various provisions of the federal Constitution of the Act of June 25, 1910, prohibiting transportation in interstate and chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 227 U. S. 310

foreign commerce of women and girls for immoral purposes, known as the White Slave Act, are stated in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 227 U. S. 316

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