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UNITED STATES v. GRUNENWALD

May 28, 1946

UNITED STATES
v.
GRUNENWALD et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WALLACE

In connection with the above entitled criminal indictments, motions to quash each of said indictments have been filed by the defendants involved in said proceedings, in which it is claimed as follows:

1. Said indictments do not set forth an indictable offense.

 2. Said indictments are based entirely on intendments, inuendos and conclusions.

 3. Said indictments are vague and indefinite.

 4. Said indictments do not state in what particular way the Act of Congress, Second War Powers Act of 1942, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, § 631 et seq., and the ration rules and regulations in force and effect, issued in support of said Act, have been violated.

 5. Said indictments do not set forth or show a violation of the particular sections of the general ration orders which have been violated.

 6. The regulations and ration orders referred to in the indictments, and which were promulgated by the Administrator, are an attempt to transfer to the executive branch of the Government essential legislative functions which are vested in the Congress of the United States and are, therefore, unconstitutional.

 7. The President of the United States had no authority or power to delegate the rationing powers under subsection No. 8 of the War Powers Act to the Administrator of Price Control through the Chairman of the War Production Board rather than delegate that power direct as provided by congressional mandate.

 8. Under the provisions of the Second War Powers Act of 1942, an indictment cannot be sustained under said Act for the reason that no reference is made to food stuffs or the rationing thereof, and the commodity 'sugar' is not included in the words 'materials' or 'essential materials'.

 It is agreed by counsel representing the defendants at the time of the argument that Count I of Indictment No. 12215 and Indictment Nos. 12220 and 12222 have been properly laid and returned in accordance with the provisions of 18 U.S.C.A. § 101. The Court, therefore, has for consideration the legal sufficiency of Count II of Indictment No. 12215 and Indictment Nos. 12216, 12217, 12218, 12219, 12224, 12236, 12238, 12239, 12240 and 12241, and as to whether or not said indictments should be dismissed as contended by the defendants in the motions which have been filed to quash each of said indictments.

 It is, in substance, the contention of the defendants that no directive rule, regulation or order of any governmental agency has the effect of law, or that any person offending against any such rule or regulation may be legally indicted unless said rule or regulation is supported by an Act of Congress. It has been earnestly argued to the Court by counsel for the defendants that the offenses set forth in the indictments are not violations of the Second War Powers Act of 1942 and its amendments. That there is no mention in said Act or any reference made to commodities, food stuffs or provisions, and , as a result thereof, since reference is made only to materials, the commodity 'sugar' could not be legally construed under any sense of imagination to be termed as 'material.'

 It is further contended by the defendants that subsection (a)(8) of the Second War Powers Act of 1942, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, § 633(8), provides as follows:

 'The President may exercise any power, authority, or discretion conferred on him by this subsection (a), through such department, agency, or officer of the Government as he may direct and in conformity with any rules or regulations which he may prescribe.'

 And thereafter by Executive Order No. 9125, dated April 7, 1942, the President directed the chairman of the War Production Board to delegate to the Office of Price Administration or the Price Administrator such of his functions, duties, powers, authority or discretion with respect to priorities or the rationing of commodities as he may deem necessary or appropriate for the effective prosecution of the war and by said Executive Order, the Price Administrator was authorized to exercise all functions, duties and powers with respect to such priorities or rationing in the same manner and to the same degree and extent as if said functions, duties, powers, authority or ...


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