De Lima V. Bidwell - Supreme Court

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled that Puerto Rico after its cession to the United States in 1898 following the Treaty of Paris was not a foreign country for purposes of the tariff laws of the United States, which required payment of duties on goods moving into the United States from a foreign country. In the absence of congressional legislation, the United States Government could not collect customs duties on sugar from Puerto Rico shipped to other parts of the United States by classifying Puerto Rico as a foreign country.

The majority opinion was authored by Henry Billings Brown, joined by Melville Fuller, John Marshall Harlan, Rufus Wheeler Peckham and David Josiah Brewer. Justice Joseph McKenna authored a dissent, which was joined by George Shiras, Jr., and Edward Douglass White. Justice Horace Gray authored a separate dissenting opinion. The decision is similar to Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244 (1901) decided on the same date.

Read more about this topic:  De Lima V. Bidwell

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