California v. Washington Page 2

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Media for California v. Washington

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 15, 1958 in California v. Washington

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 16, 1958 in California v. Washington

Felix Frankfurter:

But you can start off from there, couldn't you?

Very nearly.

Hugo L. Black:

Are you going to discuss the Twenty-first Amendment in connection with that?

Very briefly, Your Honor.

Hugo L. Black:

So what -- what constitutional provision do you rely on?

We're -- we rely on the violation of Commerce Clause, the violation of the Privilege and Immunities Clause of Article IV, Section 2 and we say that there is no sanction for those violations to be found in the Twenty-first Amendment.

Hugo L. Black:

No sanction?

No, sir.

Hugo L. Black:

Well, does the Twenty-first Amendment give Washington the right and power to dispose of liquors and wines that it sees fit?

Is that the issue between you?

No, sir.

The -- the issue on that point is, as far as I'm concerned, the Twenty-first Amendment simply has no application to this case because we do not protest against any regulation or other Act of the State of Washington having to do with the transportation or the importation of liquor into the State of Washington.

And this, of course, is the entire subject matter of the Twenty-first Amendment.

The Twenty-first Amendment as Your Honor knows says that the transportation or importation of intoxicating liquor into a State in violation of its laws is prohibited.

Felix Frankfurter:

Well, doesn't --

(Inaudible)

Felix Frankfurter:

-- California wine had to be transported into to get in to Washington?

This is true.

But the discriminations that we complain of, sir, occur only after California wine has been lawfully imported into Washington by the State Liquor Control Board.

Felix Frankfurter:

Does Washington keep it out altogether?

Keep -- keep out California wine and allow the vending, to sale, exclusively, of Washington wine?

Well, sir that is not this case.

If it were this case, I would take the position that that was not authorized by the Congress --

Felix Frankfurter:

No?

No, sir.

Hugo L. Black:

Why isn't it very near this case if -- if Washington has -- was granted power by the Twenty-first Amendment to have a liquor business as it saw fit without regard of the liquor from any other place or any other town, how could it not be limited to its own people, production or limited to production -- any production (Inaudible) if they're given exclusive power by that Amendment to control the liquor ban without regard with the Commerce Clause and the other clauses?

Well, I -- I'm not prepared to concede, Justice Black, that the Twenty-first Amendment does what you say.

Hugo L. Black:

Well, I understand that.

Yes.

Hugo L. Black:

But it seems to me frankly from my view point, that's the issue.