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UnitedStatesSupremeCourt

MUTUALFILMCORP.v.INDUSTRIALCOMMISSIONOFOHIO,(1915)

No.456

Argued: Decided:February23,1915

[236U.S.230,231] Appealfromanorderdenyingappellant,hereindesignated complainant,aninterlocutoryinjunctionsoughttorestraintheenforcement

ofanactofthegeneralassemblyofOhio,passedApril16,1913(103Ohio

Laws,399),creatingundertheauthorityandsuperintendenceofthe

IndustrialCommissionofthestateaboardofcensorsofmotionpicture

films.Themotionwaspresentedtothreejudgesuponthebill,supporting

affidavits,andsomeoraltestimony.

Thebillisquitevoluminous.ItmakesthefollowingattacksupontheOhio

statute:(1)Thestatuteisinviolationof5,16,and19ofarticle1ofthe

Constitutionofthestateinthatdeprivescomplainantofaremedybydue processoflawbyplacingitinthepoweroftheboardofcensorstodetermine fromstandardsfixedbyitselfwhatfilmsconformtothestatute,andthereby

deprivescomplainantofajudicialdeterminationofaviolationofthelaw.(2)

Thestatuteisinviolationofarticles1and14oftheAmendmentstothe

ConstitutionoftheUnitedStates,andof11ofarticle1oftheConstitutionof

Ohio,inthatitrestrainscomplainantandotherpersonsfromfreelywriting

andpublishingtheirsentiments.(3)Itattemptstogivetheboardofcensors

legislativepower,[236U.S.230,232] whichisvestedonlyinthegeneralassembly ofthestate,subjecttoareferendumvoteofthepeople,inthatitgivestothe boardthepowertodeterminetheapplicationofthestatutewithoutfixing anystandardbywhichtheboardshallbeguidedinitsdetermination,and placesitinthepoweroftheboard,actingwithsimilarboardsinotherstates, toreject,uponanywhimorcaprice,anyfilmwhichmaybepresented,and powertodeterminethelegalstatusoftheforeignboardorboards,in conjunctionwithwhichitisempoweredtoact.

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Thebusinessofthecomplainantandthedescription,use,object,andeffect

ofmotionpicturesandotherfilmscontainedinthebill,statednarratively,

areasfollows:Complainantisengagedinthebusinessofpurchasing,selling,

andleasingfilms,thefilmsbeingproducedinotherstatesthanOhio,andin

Europeanandotherforeigncountries.Thefilmconsistsofaseriesof

instantaneousphotographsorpositiveprintsofactionuponthestageorin

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theopen.Bybeingprojecteduponascreenwithgreatrapiditythereappears

totheeyeanillusionofmotion.Theydepictdramatizationsofstandard

novels,exhibitingmanysubjectsofscientificinterest,thepropertiesof

matter,thegrowthofthevariousformsofanimalandplantlife,and

explorationsandtravels;alsoeventsofhistoricalandcurrentinterest,­the

sameeventswhicharedescribedinwordsandbyphotographsin

newspapers,weeklyperiodicals,magazines,andotherpublications,ofwhich

photographsarepromptlysecuredafewdaysaftertheeventswhichthey

depicthappen;thusregularlyfurnishingandpublishingnewsthroughthe

mediumofmotionpicturesunderthenameof'MutualWeekly.'Nothingis

depictedofaharmfulorimmoralcharacter.

Thecomplainantissellingandhassoldduringthepastyearforexhibitionin Ohioanaverageoffifty­sixpositiveprintsoffilmsperweektofilm exchangesdoingbusinessinthatstate,theaveragevaluethereofbeingthe sumof*[236U.S.230,233] $100,aggregating$6,000perweek,or$300,000per annum.

InadditiontosellingfilmsinOhio,complainanthasafilmexchangein

Detroit,Michigan,fromwhichitrentsorleaseslargequantitiestoexhibitors

inthelatterstateandinOhio.Thebusinessofthatexchangeandthosein

Ohioistopurchasefilmsfromcomplainantandothermanufacturersoffilms

andrentthemtoexhibitorsforshortperiodsatstatedweeklyrentals.The

amountofrentalsdependsuponthenumberofreelsrented,thefrequencyof

thechangesofsubject,andtheageornoveltyofthereelsrented.The

frequencyofexhibitionisdescribed.Itisthecustomofthebusiness,

observedbyallmanufacturers,thatasubjectshallbereleasedorpublished

inalltheatersonthesameday,whichisknownasreleaseday,andtheageor

noveltyofthefilmdependsupontheproximityofthedayofexhibitionto

suchreleaseday.Filmssoshownhaveneverbeenshowninpublic,andthe

publictowhomtheyappealisthereforeunlimited.Suchpublicbecomes

moreandmorelimitedbyeachadditionalexhibitionofthereel.

TheamountofbusinessinrentingorleasingfromtheDetroitexchangefor

exhibitioninOhioaggregatesthesumof$1,000perweek.

ComplainanthasonhandatitsDetroitexchangeatleast2,500reelsoffilms

whichitintendstoandwillexhibitinOhio,andwhichitwillbeimpossibleto

exhibitunlessthesameshallhavebeenapprovedbytheboardofcensors.

Otherexchangeshavefilms,duplicateprintsofalargepartofcomplainant's

films,forthepurposeofsellingandleasingtopartiesresidinginOhio,and

thestatuteofthestatewillrequiretheirexaminationandthepaymentofa

feetherefor.Theamountsofcomplainant'spurchasesarestated,andthat

complainantwillbecompelledtobeartheexpenseofhavingthemcensored

becauseitscustomerswillnotpurchaseorhireuncensoredfilms.

Thebusinessofsellingandleasingfilmsfromitsoffices[236U.S.230,234]

outsideofthestateofOhiotopurchasersandexhibitorswithinthestateis

interstatecommerce,whichwillbeseriouslyburdenedbytheexactionofthe

feeforcensorship,whichisnotproperlyaninspectiontax,andtheproceeds

ofwhichwillbelargelyinexcessofthecostofenforcingthestatute,andwill

innoeventbepaidtotheTreasuryoftheUnitedStates.

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Theboardhasdemandedofcomplainantthatitsubmititsfilmsto censorship,andthreatens,unlesscomplainantcomplieswiththedemand,to arrestanyandallpersonswhoseektoplaceonexhibitionanyfilmnotso

censoredorapprovedbythecensorcongressonandafterNovember4,1913,

thedatetowhichtheactwasextended.Itisphysicallyimpossibletocomply

withsuchdemandandphysicallyimpossiblefortheboardtocensorthefilms

withsuchrapidityastoenablecomplainanttoproceedwithitsbusiness,and

thedelayconsequentuponsuchexaminationwouldcausegreatand

irreparableinjurytosuchbusiness,andwouldinvolveamultiplicityofsuits.

Therewereaffidavitsfiledinsupportofthebillandsometestimonytaken

orally.Oneoftheaffidavitsshowedthemannerofshippinganddistributing

thefilms,andwasasfollows:

'Thefilmsareshippedbythemanufacturerstothefilmexchangesinclosedin circularmetalboxes,eachofwhichmetalboxesisinturninclosedinafiber orwoodencontainer.Thefilmisinmostcaseswrappedaroundaspoolor coreinacirclewithinthemetalcase.Sometimesthefilmisreceivedbythe filmexchangewoundonareel,whichconsistsofacylindricalcorewith circularflangestopreventthefilmfromslippingoffthecore,andwhenso woundonthereelisalsoreceivedinmetalboxes,asabovedescribed.When thefilmisnotreceivedonareel,itis,uponreceipt,takenfromthemetal box,woundonareel,andthenreplacedinthemetalbox.Sowoundandso

inclosedinmetalboxes,thefilmsareshippedbythefilm[236U.S.230,235]

exchangestotheircustomers.Thecustomerstakethefilmasitiswoundon

thereelfromthemetalbox,andexhibitthepicturesintheirprojecting

machines,whicharesoarrangedastopermitoftheunwindingofthefilm

fromthereelonwhichitisshipped.Duringexhibition,thereeloffilmis

unwoundfromonereelandrewoundinreverseorderonasecondreel.After

exhibition,itmustbeagainunwoundfromthesecondreelfromitsreverse

positionandreplacedontheoriginalreelinitsproperposition.Afterthe

exhibitionsforthedayareover,thefilmisreplacedinthemetalboxand

returnedtothefilmexchange,andthisprocessisfollowedfromdaytoday

duringthelifeofthefilm.'Allshipmentsoffilmsfrommanufacturerstofilm

exchanges,fromfilmexchangestoexhibitors,andfromexhibitorsbackto

filmexchanges,aremadeinaccordancewithregulationsoftheInterstate

CommerceCommission,oneofwhichprovidesasfollows:"Movingpicture

filmsmustbeplacedinmetalcases,packedinstrongandtightwoodenboxes

offiberpails."

Anotheroftheaffidavitsdividedthebusinessasfollows:

'Themotionpicturebusinessisconductedinthreebranches;thatistosay,

bymanufacturers,distributers,andexhibitors,thedistributersbeingknown

asfilmexchanges

about1,000feet,whichareplacedonreels,andthemarketpriceperreelof

filmofathousandfeetinlengthisattherateof10centsperfoot,or$100.

Manufacturersdonotselltheirfilmdirecttoexhibitors,butselltofilm

exchanges,andthefilmexchangesdonotresellthefilmtoexhibitors,but

rentitouttothem.'Afterstatingthepopularityofmotionpictures,andthe

demandofthepublicfornewones,andthegreatexpensetheirpurchase

wouldbetoexhibitors,theaffidavitproceedsasfollows:'Forthatreasonfilm

exchangescameintoexistence,andfilmexchangessuchastheMutualFilm

Filmismanufacturedandproducedinlengthsof

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Corporationarelikeclearinghousesorcirculatinglibraries,inthatthey purchasethefilmandrentitouttodifferentexhibitors.Onereeloffilm beingmadeto­dayservesinmanytheatersfromdaytodayuntilitisworn out.Thefilmexchange,inrentingoutthefilms,supervisestheircirculation.' Anaffidavitwasfiled,madebythe'generalsecretaryofthenationalboardof

censorshipofmotionpictures,whoseofficeisatNo.50MadisonAvenue,

NewYorkcity.'The'nationalboard,'itisaverred,'isanorganization maintainedbyvoluntarycontributions,whoseobjectistoimprovethemoral qualityofmotionpictures.'Attachedtotheaffidavitwasalistofsubjects submittedtotheboardwhichare'classifiedaccordingtothenatureofsaid subjectsintoscenic,geographic,historical,classical,andeducationaland propagandistic.'[236U.S.230,236] Messrs.WilliamB.Sanders,WalterN. Seligsberg,andHaroldT.Clarkforappellant. Messrs.WaldoG.MorseandJacobSchechterasamicicuriae.

[236U.S.230,239] Messrs.RobertM.Morgan,ClarenceD.Laylin,JamesI. Boulger,andMr.TimothyS.Hogan,AttorneyGeneralofOhio,forappellees.

Mr.JusticeMcKenna,afterstatingthecaseasabove,deliveredtheopinion

ofthecourt:

Complainantdirectsitsargumenttothreepropositions:(1)Thestatutein

controversyimposesanunlawfulburdenoninterstatecommerce;(2)it

violatesthefreedomofspeechandpublicationguaranteedby11,article1,of

theConstitutionofthestateofOhio;1and(3)itattemptstodelegate

legislativepowertocensorsandtootherboardstodeterminewhetherthe

statuteoffendsintheparticularsdesignated.

Itisnecessarytoconsideronly3,4,and5.Section3makesitthedutyofthe

boardtoexamineandcensormotionpicturefilmstobepubliclyexhibited anddisplayed[236U.S.230,240] inthestateofOhio.Thefilmsarerequiredtobe exhibitedtotheboardbeforetheyaredeliveredtotheexhibitorfor exhibition,forwhichafeeischarged.

Section4.'Onlysuchfilmsasare,inthejudgmentanddiscretionofthe

boardofcensors,ofamoral,educational,oramusingandharmlesscharacter

shallbepassedandapprovedbysuchboard.'Thefilmsarerequiredtobe

stampedordesignatedinapropermanner.

Section5.Theboardmayworkinconjunctionwithcensorboardsofother

statesasacensorcongress,andtheactionofsuchcongressinapprovingor

rejectingfilmsshallbeconsideredastheactionofthestateboard,andall

filmspassed,approved,stamped,andnumberedbysuchcongress,whenthe

feesthereforarepaid,shallbeconsideredapprovedbytheboard.

By7apenaltyisimposedforeachexhibitionoffilmswithouttheapprovalof

theboard,andby8anypersondissatisfiedwiththeorderoftheboardis

giventhesamerightsandremediesforhearingandreviewing,amendment

orvacationoftheorder'asisprovidedinthecaseofpersonsdissatisfiedwith

theordersoftheIndustrialCommission.'

Thecensorship,therefore,isonlyoffilmsintendedforexhibitioninOhio,

andwecanimmediatelyputtoonesidethecontentionthatitimposesa

burdenoninterstatecommerce.Itistruethat,accordingtotheallegationsof

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thebill,someofthefilmsofcomplainantareshippedfromDetroit, Michigan,buttheyaredistributedtoexhibitors,purchasers,renters,and lessorsinOhio,forexhibitioninOhio,andthisdeterminestheapplicationof thestatute.Inotherwords,itisonlyfilmswhichare'tobepubliclyexhibited anddisplayedinthestateofOhio'whicharerequiredtobeexaminedand censored.Itwouldbestrainingthedoctrineoforiginalpackagestosaythat thefilmsretainthatformandcompositionevenwhenunrollingand exhibitingtoaudiences,or,beingreadyfor[236U.S.230,241] rentingforthe purposeofexhibitionwithinthestate,couldnotbedisclosedtothestate officers.Ifthisbeso,whateverthepowerofthestatetopreventthe exhibitionoffilmsnotapproved,­andforthepurposeofthiscontentionwe mustassumethepowerisotherwiseplenary,­filmsbroughtfromanother state,andonlybecausesobrought,wouldbeexemptfromthepower,and filmsmadeinthestatewouldbesubjecttoit.Theremustbesometimewhen thefilmsaresubjecttothelawofthestate,andnecessarilywhentheyarein thehandsoftheexchanges,readytoberentedtoexhibitors,orhavepassed tothelatter,theyareinconsumption,andmingledasmuchasfromtheir naturetheycanbewithotherpropertyofthestate.

Itistruethatthestatuterequiresthemtobesubmittedtotheboardbefore

theyaredeliveredtotheexhibitor,butwehaveseenthatthefilmsare

shippedto'exchanges'andbythemrentedtoexhibitors,andthe'exchanges'

aredescribedas'nothingmoreorlessthancirculatinglibrariesorclearing

houses.'Andonefilm'servesinmanytheatersfromdaytodayuntilitis

wornout.'

Thenextcontentionisthatthestatuteviolatesthefreedomofspeechand publicationguaranteedbytheOhioConstitution.Initsdiscussioncounsel havegoneintoaveryelaboratedescriptionofmovingpictureexhibitionsand theirmanyusefulpurposesasgraphicexpressionsofopinionand sentiments,asexponentsofpolicies,asteachersofscienceandhistory,as useful,interesting,amusing,educational,andmoral.Andalistofthe 'campaigns,'ascounselcallthem,whichmaybecarriedon,isgiven.Wemay concedethepraise.ItisnotquestionedbytheOhiostatute,andunderits comprehensivedescription,'campaigns'ofaninfinitevarietymaybe conducted.Filmsofa'moral,educational,oramusingandharmless charactershallbepassedandapproved,'arethewordsofthestatute.No exhibition,therefore,or'campaign'[236U.S.230,242] ofcomplainantwillbe preventedifitspictureshavethosequalities.Therefore,howevermissionary ofopinionfilmsareormaybecome,howevereducationalorentertaining, thereisnoimpedimenttotheirvalueoreffectintheOhiostatute.Butthey maybeusedforevil,andagainstthatpossibilitythestatutewasenacted. Theirpowerofamusement,and,itmaybe,education,theaudiencesthey assemble,notofwomenalonenorofmenalone,buttogether,notofadults only,butofchildren,makethemthemoreinsidiousincorruptionbya pretenseofworthypurposeoriftheyshoulddegeneratefromworthy purpose.Indeed,wemaygobeyondthatpossibility.Theytaketheir attractionfromthegeneralinterest,eagerandwholesomeitmaybe,intheir subjects,butaprurientinterestmaybeexcitedandappealedto.Besides, therearesomethingswhichshouldnothavepictorialrepresentationin publicplacesandtoallaudiences.AndnotonlythestateofOhio,butother

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states,haveconsideredittobeintheinterestofthepublicmoralsand

welfaretosupervisemovingpictureexhibitions.Wewouldhavetoshutour

eyestothefactsoftheworldtoregardtheprecautionunreasonableorthe

legislationtoeffectitamerewantoninterferencewithpersonalliberty.

Wedonotunderstandthatapossibilityofanevilemploymentoffilmsis denied,butafreedomfromthecensorshipofthelawandaprecedentright ofexhibitionareasserted,subsequentresponsibilityonly,itiscontended, beingincurredforabuse.Inotherwords,aswehaveseen,theConstitution ofOhioisinvoked,andanexhibitionoffilmsisassimilatedtothefreedomof speech,writing,andpublicationassuredbythatinstrument,andforthe abuseofwhichonlyisthereresponsibility,and,itisinsisted,thatasnolaw maybepassed'torestrainthelibertyofspeechorofthepress,'nolawmay bepassedtosubjectmovingpicturestocensorshipbeforetheirexhibition. [236U.S.230,243] Weneednotpausetodilateuponthefreedomofopinionand itsexpression,andwhetherbyspeech,writing,orprinting.Theyaretoo certaintoneeddiscussion­ofsuchconcededvalueastoneednosupporting praise.Norcantherebeanydoubtoftheirbreadth,northattheirunderlying safeguardis,tousethewordsofanother,'thatopinionisfree,andthat conductaloneisamenabletothelaw.'

Aremovingpictureswithintheprinciple,asitiscontendedtheyare?They,

indeed,maybemediumsofthought,butsoaremanythings.Soisthe

theater,thecircus,andallothershowsandspectacles,andtheir

performancesmaybethusbroughtbythelikereasoningunderthesame

immunityfromrepressionorsupervisionasthepublicpress,­madethesame

agenciesofcivilliberty.

Counselhavenotshrunkfromthisextensionoftheircontention,andcitea

caseinthiscourtwherethetitleofdramawasaccordedtopantomime;2and

suchandotherspectaclesaresaidbycounseltobepublicationsofideas,

satisfyingthedefinitionofthedictionaries,­thatis,andwequotecounsel,a

meansofmakingorannouncingpubliclysomethingthatotherwisemight

haveremainedprivateorunknown,­andthisbeingpeculiarlythepurpose

andeffectofmovingpictures,theycomedirectly,itiscontended,underthe

protectionoftheOhioconstitution.

Thefirstimpulseofthemindistorejectthecontention.Weimmediatelyfeel thattheargumentiswrongorstrainedwhichextendstheguarantiesoffree opinionandspeechtothemultitudinousshowswhichareadvertisedonthe billboardsofourcitiesandtowns,andwhichregardsthemasemblemsof publicsafety,tousethewordsofLordCamden,quotedbycounsel,and whichseeksto[236U.S.230,244] bringmotionpicturesandotherspectacleinto practicalandlegalsimilitudetoafreepressandlibertyofopinion.

Thejudicialsensesupportingthecommonsenseofthecountryisagainstthe contention.Aspointedoutbythedistrictcourt,thepolicepowerisfamiliarly exercisedingrantingorwithholdinglicensesfortheatricalperformancesasa meansoftheirregulation.Thecourtcitedthefollowingcases:Marmetv.

State,45OhioSt.63,72,73,12N.E.463;Bakerv.Cincinnati,11OhioSt.

534;Com.v.McGann,213Mass.213,215,100N.E.355;Peoplev.Steele,

231Ill.340,344,345,14L.R.A.(N.S.)361,121Am.St.Rep.321,83N.E.236.

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Theexerciseofthepoweruponmovingpictureexhibitionshasbeen

sustained.Greenbergv.WesternTurf.Asso.148Cal.126,113Am.St.Rep.

216,82Pac.684,19Am.Neg.Rep.72;Laurellev.Bush,17Cal.App.409,119

Pac.953;Statev.Loden,117Md.373,40L.R.A.(N.S.)193,83Atl.564,Ann.

Cas.1913E,1300;Blockv.Chicago,239Ill.251,130Am.St.Rep.219,87N.

E.1011;Higginsv.Lacroix,119Minn.145,41L.R.A.(N.S.)737,137N.W.417.

SeealsoStatev.Morris,1Boyce(Del.)330,76Atl.479;Peopleexrel.Moses

v.Gaynor,77Misc.Rep.576,137N.Y.Supp.196,199;McKenziev.

McClellan,62Misc.Rep.342,116N.Y.Supp.645,646.

Itseemsnottohaveoccurredtoanybodyinthecitedcasesthatfreedomof opinionwasrepressedintheexertionofthepowerwhichwasillustrated.The rightsofpropertywereonlyconsideredasinvolved.Itcannotbeputoutof viewthattheexhibitionofmovingpicturesisabusiness,pureandsimple, originatedandconductedforprofit,likeotherspectacles,nottoberegarded, norintendedtoberegardedbytheOhioConstitution,wethink,aspartofthe pressofthecountry,orasorgansofpublicopinion.Theyaremere representationsofevents,ofideasandsentimentspublishedandknown; vivid,useful,andentertaining,nodoubt,but,aswehavesaid,capableofevil, havingpowerforit,thegreaterbecauseoftheirattractivenessandmannerof exhibition.Itwasthiscapabilityandpower,anditmaybeinexperienceof them,thatinducedthestateofOhio,inadditiontoprescribingpenaltiesfor immoralexhibitions,asitdoesinitsCriminal[236U.S.230,245] Code,torequire censorshipbeforeexhibition,asitdoesbytheactunderreview.Wecannot regardthisasbeyondthepowerofgovernment.

Itdoesnotmilitateagainstthestrengthoftheseconsiderationsthatmotion

picturesmaybeusedtoamuseandinstructinotherplacesthantheaters,­in

churches,forinstance,andinSundayschoolsandpublicschools.Norarewe

calledupontosayonthisrecordwhethersuchexceptionswouldbewithin

theprovisionsofthestatute,nortoanticipatethatitwillbesodeclaredby

thestatecourts,orsoenforcedbythestateofficers.

ThenextcontentionofcomplainantisthattheOhiostatuteisadelegationof

legislativepower,andvoidforthatifnotfortheotherreasonscharged

againstit,whichwehavediscussed.Whileadministrationandlegislationare

quitedistinctpowers,thelinewhichseparatesexactlytheirexerciseisnot

easytodefineinwords.Itisbestrecognizedinillustrations.Undoubtedlythe

legislaturemustdeclarethepolicyofthelawandfixthelegalprinciples

whicharetocontrolingivencases;butanadministrativebodymaybe

investedwiththepowertoascertainthefactsandconditionstowhichthe

policyandprinciplesapply.Ifthiscouldnotbedonetherewouldbeinfinite

confusioninthelaws,andinanefforttodetailandtoparticularize,they

wouldmisssufficiencybothinprovisionandexecution.

Theobjectiontothestatuteisthatitfurnishesnostandardofwhatis

educational,moral,amusing,orharmless,andhenceleavesdecisionto

arbitraryjudgment,whim,andcaprice;or,asidefromthoseextremes,

leavingittothedifferentviewswhichmightbeentertainedoftheeffectof

thepictures,permittingthe'personalequation'toenter,resulting'inunjust

discriminationagainstsomepropagandistfilm,'whileothersmightbe

approvedwithoutquestion.Butthestatutebyitsprovisionsguardsagainst

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suchvariantjudgments,anditsterms,likeother[236U.S.230,246] general terms,getprecisionfromthesenseandexperienceofmen,andbecome certainandusefulguidesinreasoningandconduct.Theexactspecification oftheinstancesoftheirapplicationwouldbeasimpossibleastheattempt wouldbefutile.Uponsuchsenseandexperience,therefore,thelawproperly relies.Thishasmanyanalogiesanddirectexamplesincases,andwemaycite

Gundlingv.Chicago,177U.S.183,44L.ed.725,20Sup.Ct.Rep.633;Red

'C'OilMfg.Co.v.BoardofAgriculture,222U.S.380,56L.ed.240,32Sup.

Ct.Rep.152;MonongahelaBridgeCo.v.UnitedStates,216U.S.177,54L.

ed.435,30Sup.Ct.Rep.356;Buttfieldv.Stranahan,192U.S.470,48L.ed.

administrativeagenciescreatedbythestateandnationalgovernmentswould

bedenudedoftheirutility,andgovernmentinsomeofitsmostimportant

exercisesbecomeimpossible.

Tosustaintheattackuponthestatuteasadelegationoflegislativepower,

complainantcitesHarmonv.State,66OhioSt.249,53L.R.A.618,64N.E.

117.Inthatcaseastatuteofthestatecommittingtoacertainofficertheduty

ofissuingalicensetoonedesiringtoactasanengineerif'foundtrustworthy

andcompetent'wasdeclaredinvalidbecause,asthecourtsaid,nostandard

wasfurnishedbythegeneralassemblyastoqualification,andno

specificationastowhereintheapplicantshouldbetruthworthyand

competent,butallwas'lefttotheopinion,finding,andcapriceofthe

examiner.'Thecasecanbedistinguished.Besides,latercaseshave

recognizedthedifficultyofexactseparationofthepowersofgovernment,

andannouncedtheprinciplethatlegislativepoweriscompletelyexercised

wherethelaw'isperfect,final,anddecisiveinallofitsparts,andthe

discretiongivenonlyrelatestoitsexecution.'Casesarecitedinillustration.

Andtheprinciplefindsfurtherillustrationinthedecisionsofthecourtsof

lesserauthority,butwhichexhibitthejuridicalsenseofthestateastothe

delegationofpowers.

Section5ofthestatute,whichprovidesforacensor[236U.S.230,247] congress ofthecensorboardandtheboardsofotherstates,isreferredtoinemphasis ofcomplainant'sobjectionthatthestatutedelegateslegislativepower.But, ascomplainantsays,suchcongressis'atpresentnonexistentandnebulous;' andweare,therefore,notcalledupontoanticipateitsaction,orpassupon

thevalidityof5.

Wemayclosethistopicwithaquotationoftheveryaptcommentofthe districtcourtuponthestatute.Afterremarkingthatthelanguageofthe statute'mighthavebeenextendedbydescriptionandillustrativewords,'but doubtingthatitwouldhavebeenthemoreintelligible,andthatprobablyby beingmorerestrictivemightbemoreeasilythwarted,thecourtsaid:'Inview oftherangeofsubjectswhichcomplainantsclaimtohavealready compassed,nottospeakofthenaturaldevelopmentthatwillensue,itwould benexttoimpossibletodeviselanguagethatwouldbeatonce

comprehensiveandautomatic.'[215Fed.147.]

InconclusionwemayobservethattheOhiostatutegivesareviewbythe

courtsofthestateofthedecisionoftheboardofcensors.

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Decreeaffirmed.

Footnotes

[Footnote1]'Section11.Everycitizenmayfreelyspeak,write,andpublish

hissentimentsonallsubjects,beingresponsiblefortheabuseoftheright;

andnolawshallbepassedtorestrainorabridgethelibertyofspeech,orof

thepress.Inallcriminalprosecutionsforlibelthetruthmaybegivenin

evidencetothejury,andifitshallappeartothejurythatthemattercharged

aslibelousistrue,andwaspublishedwithgoodmotivesandforjustifiable

ends,thepartyshallbeacquitted.'

[Footnote2]KalemCo.v.HarperBros.222U.S.55,56L.ed.92,32Sup.

Ct.Rep.20,Ann.Cas.1913A,1285.

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