With reference to this distinction between the uttering and the passing of counterfeit currency, the court in Fox v. Ohio22 say: "The power is an offense directly against the government, by which individuals may be affected; the other is a private wrong, by which the government may be remotely if it will in any degree, be reached. . . . The punishment of a cheat or a misdemeanor practised within the State, and against those whom she is bound to protect, is peculiarly and appropriately within her functions, and it is difficult to imagine an interference with those duties and functions which would be regular or justifiable."
20 By Section X. Clause 1, of Article I, the States are expressly denied the power to coin money. 21 See p. 256. 22 5 How. 410; 12 L. ed. 213.
Under its powers to regulate commerce and to punish counterfeiting, Congress has been held to have the power to provide punishment for the bringing into the United States, with intent to pass the same, false, forged or counterfeit coin, as well as for the passing or uttering of the same.23
In Fox v. Ohio24 it was held that the grant of power to the United States to punish the uttering and passing of counterfeits of its coins did not deprive the States of the power to render penal and to punish these acts. It was pointed out by the court that the same act might thus constitute as to its character and consequences an offense against both the state and federal governments. This doctrine was approved in United States v. Marigold.
Postal Service. § 389. Federal Power.
The federal control of the postal service is granted in the clause of Article I, Section VIII which provides that Congress shall have the power "to establish post-offices and post-roads." "No other constitutional grant," as Pomeroy observes,25 "seems to be clothed in words which so poorly express its object, or so feebly indicate the particular measures which may be adopted to carry out its design. To establish post-offices, post-roads, is the form of the grant; to create and regulate the entire postal system of the country is the evident intent."
Aside from the express grant of the power to establish post-offices and post-roads, it would seem that Congress would have the power to control the mails, between the States at least, as incidental to the regulation of commerce. In the Pensacola Telegraph Co. v. Union Telegraph Co.26 it was held that the transmission of telegraphic messages is not only commerce and as such, when interstate, subject to congressional regulation, but is an operation that may fairly be brought under the power to establish post-roads.
23 United States v. Marigold, 9 How. 560; 13 L. ed. 257.
24 5 How. 410; 12 L. ed. 213.
25 Constitutional Law, § 411.
26 96 U. S. 1; 24 L. ed. 708.
"Post-offices and post-roads," say the court, "are established to facilitate the transmission of intelligence. Both commerce and the postal service are placed within the power of Congress because, being national in their operation, they should be under the protecting care of the National Government. The powers thus granted are not confined to the instrumentalities of commerce or the postal service known or in use when the Constitution was adopted, but they keep pace with the progress of the country and adapt themselves to the new developments of time and circumstance."