The Cargo Of The Brig Aurora v. United States

11 U.S. 382 (1813)


The goods were claimed by Robert Burnside, a citizen of Orleans, as his property. The goods were seized for having been imported from Great Britain, in violation of the 4th and 5th sections of the non-intercourse act of March 1st, 1809, vol. 9, p. 243, which it was contended were force against Great Britain, on the 20th of February, 1811, (when this cargo was seized,) by virtue of the act of May 1st, 1810, vol. 10, p. 186, and the President's proclamation of November 2d. 1810. The Act stated, 'that from and after the 20th day of May next, it shall not be lawful to import into the United States or the territories thereof, any goods, wares or merchandize whatever, from any port or place situated in Great Britain or Ireland, or in any of the colonies or dependencies of Great Britain, nor from any port or place situated in France, or in any of her colonies or dependencies, nor from any port or place in the actual possession of either Great Britain or France.' The act called for forfeiture of the goods. By the 11th section of the same act, it is provided, that the President of the United States be, and he hereby is authorized, in case either France or Great Britain shall so revoke or modify her edicts, as that they shall cease to violate the neutral commerce of the United States, to declare the same by proclamation; after which the trade suspended by this act and by the act laying an embargo' &c. 'may be renewed with the nation so doing.' D argued that such a conditional law unconstitutionally delegated congressional legislative authority to the President. D was found guilty and the cargo was forfeited. D appealed.