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Caminetti v. United States

United States Supreme Court
242 U.S. 470 (1917)


Pursuant to its authority under the federal Constitution's Commerce Clause, Congress enacted a statute entitled the White Slave Traffic Act. The statute's plainly worded text forbade the interstate transportation of women for prostitution or any other immoral purpose. The statute did not require that the offenses be conducted for commercial gain. The United States government (plaintiff) alleged that, for no commercial reason, Caminetti, Diggs, and Hays (defendants) each violated the statute. The men were tried separately and convicted. On appeal, the men argued that the statute was inapplicable because it prohibited only those acts conducted for commercial gain. Appellate courts affirmed each conviction. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari and consolidated the cases.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Day, J.)

Dissent (McKenna, J.)

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