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Supreme Court of the United States
March 1, 1928, Argued ; April 9, 1928, Decided
[*400] [**349] [***627] MR. CHIEF JUSTICE TAFT delivered the opinion of the Court.
J. W. Hampton, Jr., & Company made an importation into New York of barium dioxide, which the collector of customs assessed at the dutiable rate of six cents per pound. This was two cents per pound more than that fixed by statute, par. 12, ch. 356, 42 Stat. 858, 860. The rate was raised by the collector by virtue of the proclamation of the President, 45 Treas. Dec. 669, T. D. 40216, issued under, and by authority of, § 315 of Title III of the Tariff Act of September 21, 1922, ch. 356, 42 Stat. 858, 941, which is the so-called flexible tariff provision. Protest was made and an appeal was taken under § 514, Part 3, Title IV, ch. 356, 42 Stat. 969-70. [****11] The case came on for hearing before the United States Customs Court, 49 Treas. Dec. 593. A majority held the Act constitutional. Thereafter the case was appealed to the United States Court of Customs Appeals. On the 16th day of October, 1926, the Attorney General certified that in his opinion the case was of such importance as to render expedient its review by this Court. Thereafter the judgment of the United States Customs Court was affirmed. [*401] 14 Ct. Cust. App. 350. On a petition to this Court for certiorari, filed May 10, 1927, the writ was granted, 274 U.S. 735. The pertinent parts of § 315 of Title III of the Tariff Act, ch. 356, 42 Stat. 858, 941 U. S. C., Tit. 19, §§ 154, 156, are as follows:
"Section 315(a). ] That in order to regulate the foreign commerce of the United States and to put into force and effect the policy of the Congress by this Act intended, whenever the President, upon investigation of the differences in costs of production of articles wholly or in part the growth or product of the United States and of like or [****12] similar articles wholly or in part the growth or product of competing foreign countries, shall find it thereby shown that the duties fixed in this Act do not equalize the said differences in costs of production in the United States and the principal competing country he shall, by such investigation, ascertain said differences and determine and proclaim the changes in classifications or increases or decreases in any rate of duty provided in this Act shown by said ascertained differences in such costs of production necessary to equalize the same. Thirty days after the date of such proclamation or proclamations, such changes in classification shall take effect, and such increased or decreased duties shall be levied, collected, and paid on such articles when imported from any foreign country into the United States or into any of its possessions (except the Philippine Islands, the Virgin Islands, and the islands of Guam and Tutuila): Provided, That the total increase or decrease of such rates of duty shall not exceed 50 per centum of the rates specified in Title I of this Act, or in any amendatory Act. . . .
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
276 U.S. 394 *; 48 S. Ct. 348 **; 72 L. Ed. 624 ***; 1928 U.S. LEXIS 284 ****
J. W. HAMPTON, JR., & COMPANY v. UNITED STATES
Prior History: [****1] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF CUSTOMS APPEALS.
CERTIORARI, 274 U.S. 735, to a judgment of the Court of Customs Appeals, which affirmed a judgment of the United States Customs Court, 49 Tras. Dec. 593, sustaining a rate of duty as increased by proclamation of the President.
Disposition: 14 Ct. Cust. App. 350, affirmed.
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