Petitioners were members of a Mormon sect, known as Fundamentalists, who believed in and practiced polygamy. Each petitioner had one or more wives, whom he transported across state lines for the purpose of cohabitation or aiding another member of the cult in such an endeavor. They were convicted of violating the Mann Act, 36 Stat. 825, 18 U.S.C. 398, 18 U.S. C.A. 398, by a bench trial. D.C. 56 F. Supp. 890. The judgments of conviction were affirmed on appeal. 146 F.2d 730 (10th Cir.).
The Supreme Court held that polygamous practices are not excluded from the Mann Act. Justice Jackson dissented , arguing that “affirmance requires extension of the rule announced in the Caminetti [v. United States, 242 U.S. 470 (1917)] case and that the correctness of that rule is so dubious that it should at least be restricted to its particular facts.”