[Constitution of the United States of America:  Analysis, and Interpretation - 1992 Edition ]
[Amendments to the Constitution]
[Eighteenth Amendment - Prohibition of Intoxicating Liquors]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

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                          EIGHTEENTH AMENDMENT

  Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the 
manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the 
importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United 
States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for 
beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
  Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent 
power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been 
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the 
several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from 
the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
      Validity of Adoption

        Cases relating to this question are presented and discussed 
under Article V.


        Cases produced by enforcement and arising under the Fourth and 
Fifth Amendments are considered in the discussion appearing under the 
those Amendments.


        This Amendment was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment, and 
titles I and II of the National Prohibition Act\1\ were subsequently 
specifically repealed by the act of August 27, 1935,\2\ federal 
prohibition laws effective in various Districts and Territories were 
repealed as follows: District of Columbia--April 5, 1933, and

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January 24, 1934;\3\ Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands--March 2, 1934;\4\ 
Hawaii--March 26, 1934;\5\ and Panama Canal Zone--June 19, 1934.\6\

        \1\Ch. 85, 41 Stat. 305.
        \2\Ch. 740, 49 Stat. 872.
        \3\Ch. 19, 48 Stat. 25; ch. 4, 48 Stat. 319.
        \4\Ch. 37, 48 Stat. 361.
        \5\Ch. 88, 48 Stat. 467.
        \6\Ch. 657, 48 Stat. 1116.

        Taking judicial notice of the fact that ratification of the 
Twenty-first Amendment was consummated on December 5, 1933, the Supreme 
Court held that the National Prohibition Act, insofar as it rested upon 
a grant of authority to Congress by the Eighteenth Amendment, thereupon 
become inoperative, with the result that prosecutions for violations of 
the National Prohibition Act, including proceedings on appeal, pending 
on, or begun after, the date of repeal, had to be dismissed for want of 
jurisdiction. Only final judgments of conviction rendered while the 
National Prohibition Act was in force remained unaffected.\7\ Likewise a 
heavy ``special excise tax,'' insofar as it could be construed as part 
of the machinery for enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, was deemed to 
have become inapplicable automatically upon the latter's repeal.\8\ 
However, liability on a bond conditioned upon the return on the day of 
trial of a vessel seized for illegal transportation of liquor was held 
not to have been extinguished by repeal when the facts disclosed that 
the trial took place in 1931 and had resulted in conviction of the

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crew. The liability became complete upon occurrence of the breach of the 
express contractual condition and a civil action for recovery was viewed 
as unaffected by the loss of penal sanctions.\9\

        \7\United States v. Chambers, 291 U.S. 217, 222-26 (1934). See 
also Ellerbee v. Aderhold, 5 F. Supp. 1022 (N.D. Ga. 1934); United 
States ex rel. Randall v. United States Marshal for Eastern Dist. of New 
York, 143 F.2d 830 (2d Cir. 1944). The Twenty-first Amendment containing 
``no saving clause as to prosecutions for offenses therefore 
committed,'' these holdings were rendered unavoidable by virtue of the 
well-established principle that after ``the expiration or repeal of a 
law, no penalty can be enforced, nor punishment inflicted, for 
violations of the law committed while it was in force. . . .'' The 
General Pinkney, 9 U.S. (5 Cr.) 281, 283 (1809), quoted in United States 
v. Chambers, supra, 291 U.S. at 223.
        \8\United States v. Constantine, 296 U.S. 287 (1935). The Court 
also took the position that even if the statute embodying this ``tax'' 
had not been ``adopted to penalize violations of the Amendment,'' but 
merely to obtain a penalty for violations of State liquor laws, ``it 
ceased to be enforceable at the date of repeal,'' for with the lapse of 
the unusual enforcement powers contained in the Eighteenth Amendment, 
Congress could not, without infringing upon powers reserved to the 
States by the Tenth Amendment, ``impose cumulative penalties above and 
beyond those specified by State law for infractions of . . . [a] State's 
criminal code by its own citizens.'' Justice Cardozo, with whom Justices 
Brandeis and Stone were associated, dissented on the ground that, on its 
face, the statute levying this ``tax'' was ``an appropriate instrument 
of . . . fiscal policy. . . . Classification by Congress according to 
the nature of the calling affected by a tax . . . does not cease to be 
permissible because the line of division between callings to be favored 
and those to be reproved corresponds with a division between innocence 
and criminality under the statutes of a state.'' Id. 294, 296, 297-98. 
In earlier cases it was nevertheless recognized that Congress also may 
tax what it forbids and that the basic tax on distilled spirits remained 
valid and enforceable during as well as after the life of the Amendment. 
See United States v. Yuginovich, 256 U.S. 450, 462 (1921); United States 
v. Stafoff, 260 U.S. 477 (1923); United States v. Rizzo, 297 U.S. 530 
        \9\United States v. Mack, 295 U.S. 480 (1935).