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Champion v. Ames

United States Supreme Court
188 U.S. 321 (1903)



Congress enacted the Federal Lottery Act of 1895 (FLA) which prohibited the buying and selling of lottery tickets across state lines. Charles Champion (defendant) was indicted by U.S. Marshall Ames (plaintiff) for bringing Paraguayan lottery tickets into the United States and shipping them from Texas to California in violation of the FLA. Champion challenged his indictment by alleging that Congress’s Commerce Clause power does not include the power to completely prohibit a certain kind of commerce; only to regulate it. Champion brought this challenge in a writ of habeas corpus in the Circuit Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which dismissed the case. Champion appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)

Dissent (Fuller, C.J.)

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