Newspaper Page Text
SOUTHWEST s "
VOLUME XLV. NUMBER 42.
YUMA, ARIZONA, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1915.
DRY AMENDMENT IS UPHELD
BY SUPER! JUDGE BAXT
YUMA CITY ATTORNEY COMPLETELY
FflOIT TO 1LLIFY ARiZOtiA HI
EMINENT JURIST'S MAS TERLY DECISION REN
DERED IN OPEN COURT TODAY FAILS TO
LEAVE "WHISKEY T RUST" A SINGLE LEG
(From Examiner of Oct. 2)
(By Benjamin Franklin Fly) iboth County Attorney COI-
It was just as I have sus
pected and argued from the
inception of the personal use
liquor case in the matter of
the State of Arizona vs. Stur
geon, brought here from Par
ker and heard before Judge
Frank Baxter today.
In a nutshell, Judge Bax
ter holds that the constitu
tional amendment prohibit-
man ana Assistant Lounry
Attorney Tom Molloy. He.
was like a piece of putty in
their hands, arguing, as the
city attorney did, from prem
ises that have been exploded
so long ago that his argument
can hardly be classed as perti
nent to the case at issue.
Judge Baxter's decision
was squarely to the point.
ing the importation or use of He did not mince his words
intoxicants in Arizona is ab- ,-n the slio-htp.ct dp.vrp.ei
... o - e-
Here is his decision in full:
In the Superior Court of the State of
Arizona, in and for the
County of .Yuma
The State of Arizona, Plaintiff, vs.
W. J. Sturgeon, defendant, No. 584,
Decision Overruling Demurrer.
solutely binding and is in no
manner in conflict with the
so-called Webb-Kenyon con
gressional enactment of
which so much has been
made over, in California dur
ing the last few days.
Arizona is the only state in
the Union that has such a
constitutional provision, and
as such Judge Baxter very
properly holds that it is su
perior to a congressional eng
actment that is susceptible of
being changed at any session
of Congress. (The. Webb
Kenyon act, however, up
holds the Arizona law.)
I his decision knocks out!
our learned city attorney,
who attempted to break this
prohibition law, though he Is
sworn to enforce' it, and up
holds County Attorney Col-
man in mo cvoiy uuii icn uuu. 0ne quart of wine in vioIation of the
1 He tact IS tiiat the City attor-- provisions of the constitution of the
! State of Arizona.'
Defendant interposes a demurrer on
the ground that the information
is not direct and certain, as required
by Sub. 3 of Sec. 936, of the Penal
Code, in that it does not allege the
particular circumstances of the offense
charged, contending that the intro
duction of intoxicating liquor into the
state for one's own personal use is not
a violation, of the provisions of the
Constitution of Arizona.
The charging part of the Informa
tion alleges as follows: That the de
fendant, "did then and there wilfully
bring and introduce into the State
from outside the limits of
the state, intoxicating liquor, to-wit:
ney's arguments were riddled
as if by a gattling gun by
If our prohibition law is absolute, ! ti-e hopes
free from all limitation and control,
then the Information" is adequate.
The question of what constitutes
ahd what is included in the Police
Power of the States; the validity of
the state's action in regulating the
liquor traf f iVj, iri prohibiting the manu
facture, sale, introduction or use of
intoxicants; whether or not such ac
tion is in conflict with the XIV amend
ment of the Constitution of the U. S.,
or of the fundamental law of the
states that guarantees t life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness to its
citizens; andthe meaning and intent
of the Webb-Kenyon act, have all
been construed, discussed and passed
upon by the Supreme Courts of sever
al of" the states and the Supreme
Court 61 the U. S.and, to the exhaus
tive and learned reasoning, opinions
and citations of these jurists, I can
add nothing of value.
Adams Express Co. v. Common
wealth of Kentucky Advanced opin
ions of Supreme Courtvof the U.' S.,
No. 17, Aug. 1, 1915.
Southern Express Co., v. "J. E.
Whittle, decided June 17, 1915, not yet
Zimmerman & Co., v. Oregon
Washington R. .& Navigation Co., 210
Munn v. Ills., 94 U. S., 113.
Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U. S., 27.
Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U. S., 623.
Crowley v. Christensen, 137 U. S
In. re Raher, 140 U. S., 545.
Camfield v. U. S. 167 U. S., 518.
Booth wills., 184 U. S., 425.
Purity E. & T. Co. v. Lynch, 226
'U. S., 192. - ;
j A careful study of these authorities,
(however, will lead anyone to hesitau.
j before deciding that the provision o
Jour law, that prohibits the introduc
4ion of liquor into Arizona, for the per
; sonal use of the one introducing it,
Chief Justice Marshall has said that
j "the question whether law(be void for
jits repugnancy to the Constitution is,
jat all times, a question of much deli
jcacy, which ought seldom, if ever, to
be decided In the atfirmative in a
doubtful case." (Fletcher v. Peck,
6 Cranch 87, 3 L. Ed. 162.)
The Liquor Prohibition Amendment
J to the Constitution of Arizona was eng
: acted by the people at the last General
I Election and provides, that "Ardent
i spirits, ale, beer, wine or intoxicating
! liquor or liquors of whatever kinu
J shall not be manufactured in or intro
j duced into the State of Arizona under
- A part of the argument used, by
'those favoring it, was that the
i "Amendment means exactly what it
j says, and says exactly what it means.
Jit contains no false promises, no fu-
ii is ciean-cuc ana expres
sive. It is comprehensive and con;
elusive. There are no excuses or '
evasions. It is the first proposal in
the world on this question that makes ;
no exceptions nor concessions. We '
propose a prohibitory amendment free
crom leaks, in the form of exceptions
and jokers. The Arizona voter has be
fore him the only law ever propostu
that absolutely prohibits the importa
tion, manufacture and sale of alco
holic liquors.""- (Initiative and Refer
endum Publicity Pamphlet, Page 6.)
Those opposed to the measure gave
the following reasons, Tvhy the pro
posed amendment should not be '
"First Because legislation cannot
destroy or minimize the desire "for
liquor. Second Because prohibition
restricts personal liberty. Third Be-;
cause the adoption of the amendment
would infringe on the religious rights
of the people of the state. Fourth
Because it is framed in terms that
would prevent the use of alcohol in
medical remedies and thus bar reme:
dies required in every household.
Fifth Because its passage would
only be the beginning of a bitter and
relentless warfare between the pro
ponents of prohibition on one side and
those opposed on the other because of
the non-enforcement of law in com
munities where public sentiment was
not in favor of enforcement." (Id.
These arguments wore before the
people, through pamphlets and public
meetings previous to the election, In -the
most bitter, clos'ely-contested and
exciting political campaign -that the
voters of Arizona ever took part in.
The electors of the state ruled upon
the Amendment at said election, by a
vote of 48,630 25,887 ballots being
cast for it and 22,743 against it, carry
ing the measure by a majority of 3144.
The Supreme Court of the United
States has held that, "it is elementary"
that the first resort, with a view of.
ascertaining the meaning of a statute
is to the language used. If that 4s
plain there isan end to construction,,
and the staute is to be taken to mean,
what it says." (Adams Express Co..
v. Commonwealth of Kentucky. Ad
vanced Opinions U. S., Sup. Ct., No..
17, Aug. 1, 1915.)
The established rules of construc
tion applicable to statutes, also apply
to the construction of Constitutions.
(8 Cyc. 729.) ' i
Applying this rule o the wording of
the amendment and the language of
the arguments used in its favor in
the campaign, it seems that the ma
jority of the people, by the exercise
of their franchise, intended to prohibit
the introduction of intoxicatiaaIinuor
(Continued on hj