Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whitney v. Robertson case brief

Whitney v. Robertson


Procedural History:
Appealfromjudgmentfordefendant in customs dispute.   Whitney (P) claimed that a treaty between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic guaranteed that no higher duty would be assessed on goods from the Dominican Republic than was assessed on goods from any other country and that duties had been wrongfully assessed on his sugar imports.

Overview:
Whitney (P) sought to recover the duties he had paid for importing sugar from the Dominican Republic. Whitney (P) alleged that sugar from Hawaii was admitted free of duty and that under the terms of a treaty, the United States could not assess a higher duty on imports from the Dominican Republic .

Issue:

Where a treaty and an act oflegislation conflict, will the one last in date control?

Rule:

where a treaty and an act of legislation conflict, the one last in date will control

Analysis:

A treaty is not abrogated or repealed by a later inconsistent statute. The treaty still exists as an international obligation. The terms of the treaty may not be enforceable, however.

Outcome:

(Field, J.) Yes. Where a treaty and an act of legislation conflict, the one last in date will control. The act of Congress under which the duties were collected was passed after the treaty and therefore is controlling. Affirmed.

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