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Nix v. Hedden – Wikipedia

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Case Details:
– John Nix founded John Nix & Co. fruit commission in NYC in 1839.
– The Tariff Act of 1883 required tax on imported vegetables, not fruit.
– John Nix & Co. sued Edward L. Hedden to recover back duties paid under protest.
– Evidence from dictionaries and witnesses was presented during the trial.
– Plaintiffs argued botanically, tomatoes are fruits due to seed-bearing structure.

Legal Decision:
– The Supreme Court ruled tomatoes as vegetables for customs regulations.
– Justice Horace Gray emphasized the common parlance over botanical classification.
– Dictionaries were used as aids, not evidence, to determine the ordinary meaning.
– Gray cited cases where common meanings prevailed over technical definitions.
– Beans were also discussed as botanically seeds but commonly seen as vegetables.

Legacy and Influence:
– Nix v. Hedden cited in three Supreme Court decisions for interpreting common meanings.
– A judge referenced the case in a 1990 unrelated case focusing on tomatoes.
– In 2005, New Jersey used Nix as a basis for designating tomatoes as the state vegetable.
– The case has influenced legal interpretations and discussions on botanical vs. common classifications.
– Nix v. Hedden has a lasting impact on legal and legislative interpretations regarding fruits and vegetables.

Related Legal Cases:
Carrot’s classification in EU law as a fruit for jam purposes.
– Ketchup’s debated status as a vegetable.
– Jaffa Cakes’ classification as cakes, not biscuits, for tax reasons.
– Toy Biz v. United States ruling on action figures as toys, not dolls.
– Rocknel Fastener, Inc. v. United States: a case similar to Nix v. Hedden focusing on screws and bolts.

Categorization and References:
– Collectors of the Port of New York.
– Tomatoes.
– United States statutory interpretation case law.
– United States Supreme Court cases.
– United States Supreme Court cases of the Fuller Court.

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