The Fuller Court (1888–1910)


What was the Lottery Case?

The Fuller Court issued a 5–4 ruling in Champion v. Ames (1903), a case more commonly known as the Lottery Case, that Congress had the power to regulate the trafficking of lottery tickets. The majority reasoned: “We are of the opinion that lottery tickets are subjects of traffic, and therefore are subjects of commerce, and the regulation of the carriage of such tickets from state to state, at least by independent carriers, is a regulation of commerce among the several states.” The case is important because it recognized a broad federal police power to enact legislation to prevent harmful effects upon the public.


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