« on: July 29, 2009, 08:17:51 AM »
My law school has sent us a case to brief before orientation, and I went ahead and played around with it. I'm hoping that some of you guys with more experience can tell me what I did well and what would make my brief better. Thanks for any comments... here it goes:
McBoyle v. United States, 283 U.S. 25 (1931)
U.S. Supreme Court No. 552
- Supreme Court overturned lower court conviction, finding McBoyle not guilty under the Motor Vehicle Theft Act.
- The Supreme Court heard an appeals case by McBoyle, who was originally convicted under the Motor Vehicle Theft Act for transporting an airplane that he knew to be stolen from Illinois to Oklahoma.
- Petitioner argued that an airplane does not fall within the definition of "motor vehicle", under the Act of October 29, 1919, c.89, 41 Stat. 234, U.S. Code, Title 18, 408 which provided that a motor vehicle includes "an automobile, automobile truck, automobile wagon, motor cycle, or any other self-propelled vehicle not designed for running on rails. Futhermore, the Tariff Act of 1930 defined a vehicle as: "any contrivance capable of being used as a means of transportation on land."
-The Supreme Court overturned the lower court conviction. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion, stating that:
"When a rule of conduct is laid down in words that evoke only the picture of vehicles moving on land, the statute should not extend to aircraft just because it seems that a similar policy applies or would have had it been thought of."
-With his statement, Holmes concluded that it is inappropriate to make a jump from a clearly defined statute, just because the jump seems logical. Even though an airplane seems to be a "motor vehicle", the Motor Vehicle Theft Act did not define it as one; therefore, the jump cannot be made that it is one.