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MCKINLEY v. U.S. , 249 U.S. 397 (1919)

U.S. Supreme Court

MCKINLEY v. U.S. , 249 U.S. 397 (1919)

249 U.S. 397

McKINLEY et al.
v.
UNITED STATES.
No. 417.

Submitted March 3, 1919.
Decided April 14, 1919.

Mr. Robert Douglas Feagin, of Macon, Ga., for plaintiffs in error.

Mr. Assistant Attorney General Porter and Mr. W. C. Herron, of Washington, D. C., for the United States. [249 U.S. 397, 398]  

Memorandum opinion by direction of the Court, by Mr. Justice DAY.

Plaintiffs in error were indicted, convicted, and sentenced upon an indictment in the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of Georgia for violation of a regulation of the Secretary of War made under the authority of the Act of Congress of May 18, 1917, c. 15, 13, 40 Stat. 83 (Comp. St. 1918, 2019b). This statute provides:

Plaintiffs in error contend that Congress has no constitutional authority to pass this act. The indictment charged that the plaintiffs in error did unlawfully keep and set up a house of ill fame within the distance designated by the Secretary of War, under the authority of the act of Congress, to wit, within five miles of a certain military station of the United States. [249 U.S. 397, 399]   That Congress has the authority to raise and support armies and to make rules and regulations for the protecition of the health and welfare of those composing them, is too well settled to require more than the statement of the proposition. Arver v. United States, 245 U.S. 366 , 38 Sup. Ct. 159, L. R. A. 1918C, 361, Ann. Cas. 1918B, 856.

Congress having adopted restrictions designed to guard and promote the health and efficiency of the men composing the army, in a matter so obvious as that embodied in the statute under consideration, may leave details to the regulation of the head of an executive department, and punish those who violate the restrictions. This is also well settled by the repeated decisions of this court. Buttfield v. Stranahan, 192 U.S. 470 , 24 Sup. Ct. 349; Union Bridge Co. v. United States, 204 U.S. 364 , 27 Sup. Ct. 367; United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506 , 31 Sup. Ct. 480.

The judgment of the District Court is Affirmed.

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