Thursday, January 31, 2013

A "mash giach" and the additional expense of kosher meat explained in a Supreme Court case from 1916

This is a page from the transcript of the  U.S. v. Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien Gesellschaft, 239 U.S. 466 in 1916.

As you can see, the Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien Gesellschaft argued that its rates are reasonable and, actually, should be higher than other lines because they have a "mash giach" and only serve kosher meat, since it doesn't make sense to have two kinds of meat and therefore it costs them more to feed the passengers. I have absolutely no idea what problem the U.S. had with this shipping company, but I suppose it had something to do with the Sherman Act. You see, there are more than 10,000 pages of this case to go through.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The intro is very confusing. This page looks like part of a transcript from somewhere in the trial level. Could be a deposition too, I suppose. (In fact, because of the lack of ruling on the objection, this seems like a deposition.) It is not the "transcript" of 239 U.S. 466.

    239 U.S. 466, cites a Supreme Court opinion. The transcript of 239 U.S. 466 would be a record of what the appellate lawyers said to the Supreme Court. They have those. They don't have witnesses being examined in them.

    Perhaps you meant that this is the "appellate record" from that case. The record on appeal is what the lower court did and would include this kind of thing.

    And from a brief glance at the SCOTUS opinion, it appears this was an anti-trust prosecution against a steamboat cartel. The cartel was coordinating shipping and pricing in importing immigrants to Europe. The case was apparently ruled moot because of WW I.

    You can find the opinion here:,21

    Great blog, btw.

  3. Ten thousand pages?!!!

  4. "Mash giach, which is a sort of a rabbi":

    I have done stints as a substitute "mash giach" at an upstate food processing plant, where I was always respectfully greeted as "rabbi." I didn't dare tell them that I was no such thing.

  5. Salt for 24 HOURS? Yeah, the company should have lost- the meat served to their customers was totally treif!


  6. some transatlantic ocean liners had a mashgiach, etc. even the titanic had one. numerous online stories on it during the centennial of its sinking.

    for the definitive supreme court ruling discussing kosher meat, see the schechter case, which invalidated FDR's NIRA, leading to the "pack the court" historical issue, etc etc. see



Related Posts with Thumbnails