Erlenbaugh v. United States

PETITIONER: Erlenbaugh
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Board of Education, School District No. 1

DOCKET NO.: 71-839
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 409 US 239 (1972)
ARGUED: Nov 13, 1972
DECIDED: Dec 12, 1972

ADVOCATES:
Allan A. Tuttle - for respondent
Charles W. Grubb - for petitioners

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Erlenbaugh v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 13, 1972 in Erlenbaugh v. United States

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - December 12, 1972 in Erlenbaugh v. United States

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in No. 71-839, Erlenbaugh against the United States will be announced by Mr. Justice Marshall.

Thurgood Marshall:

This case is here on writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Section 1952 of Title 18 of the Code makes it illegal for anyone to use “Any facility of interstate commerce with intent to promote or facilitate the operation of a gambling business which is illegal under state law.

Petitioners who were engaged in illegal bookmaking operations in Hammond, Indiana were convicted of violating the statute because they caused copies of horse racing scratch sheet to be carried by railroad from Chicago, Illinois to Hammond, Indiana.

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the petition is argued that causing the use of a facility of interstate commerce to transport a newspaper or similar publication was not intended to be covered by 1952 as evidenced by the fact that a companion statute, 1953 which prescribes the interstate transportation of gambling paraphernalia contains an expressed exception from newspapers.

The Court of Appeals rejected this argument and affirmed the convictions.

Because this decision conflicted with the previous decision of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, we granted certiorari.

For reason set forth in an opinion on file with the clerk of this Court, we affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit.

We hold that Congress did not intend to accept one who causes the use of a facility of interstate commerce to transport a newspaper, with an intent to promote an illegal gambling business from the prohibition set forth in 1952.

Mr. Justice White took no part in the decision of this case.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Marshall.