ERROR TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE TAFT delivered the opinion of the Court.
This is a writ of error by the United States under the Criminal Appeals Act (c. 2564, 34 Stat. 1246), to reverse an order of the District Court for the Western District of Washington dismissing five counts of an indictment presented against the defendants in error April 28, 1920. The first of these charged the defendants with manufacturing intoxicating liquor, the second with transporting it, the third with possessing it, and the fourth and fifth with having a still and material designed for its manufacture,
about April 12, 1920, in violation of the National Prohibition Act (c. 85, 41 Stat. 305). The defendants filed a special plea in bar setting out that on April 16, 1920, an information was filed in the Superior Court of Whatcom County, Washington, charging the same defendants with manufacturing, transporting and having in possession the same liquor, and that on the same day a judgment was entered against each defendant for $250 for manufacturing, $250 for transporting, and $250 for having in possession such liquor. The information was filed under a statute of Washington in force before the going into effect of the Eighteenth Amendment, and passage of the National Prohibition Act. (Remington's Codes & Stats., § 6262, as amended by Session Laws 1917, c. 19, p. 46.) The Government demurred to the plea. The District Court sustained the plea and dismissed the five counts. United States v. Peterson, 268 Fed. 864. No point is made by the Government in the assignments of error that counts four and five, for having a still and material in possession, were not covered by the information, and judgment by the state court.
The Eighteenth Amendment is as follows:
"Section 1.After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
"Sec. 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
The defendants insist that two punishments for the same act, one under the National Prohibition Act and the other under a state law, constitute double jeopardy under the Fifth Amendment; and in support of this position it is argued that both laws derive their force from the same
authority, -- the second section of the Amendment, -- and therefore that in principle it is as if both punishments were in prosecutions by the United States in its courts.
Consideration of this argument requires an analysis of the reason and purpose of the second section of the Amendment. We dealt with both sections in the National Prohibition Cases, 253 U.S. 350. The conclusions of the Court, relevant here, are Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9.
"6. The first section of the Amendment -- the one embodying the prohibition -- is operative throughout the entire territorial limits of the United States, binds all legislative bodies, courts, public officers and individuals within those limits, and of its own force invalidates every legislative act -- whether by Congress, by a state legislature, ...