Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On April 19

On this day in ...
... 1920, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its judgment in Missouri v. Holland. The case involved a 1918 federal statute enacted to implement a 1916 U.S.-Britain treaty that aimed to protect birds that traveled between the United States and Canada (at the time, a British holding). (photo credit) The opinion for the Court, by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., rejected a challenge based on a contention that enforcement of the law against citizens of a constituent state would violate the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reserves to the states powers not delegated to the federal government. Interpreting the President's treaty-making power to be "not limited to what may be done by an unaided act of Congress," Holmes posited an overarching national interest in wildlife protection. Two Justices dissented but did not file an opinion explaining their opposition.

(Prior April 19 posts are here, here, here, and here.)

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