Nix v. Hedden

Nix v. Hedden, 149 U.S. 304 (1893), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that, under U.S. customs regulations, the tomato should be classified as a vegetable rather than a fruit.[1] The Court's unanimous opinion held that the Tariff Act of 1883 used the ordinary meaning of the words "fruit" and "vegetable," instead of the technical botanical meaning.

Nix v. Hedden
Submitted April 24, 1892
Decided May 10, 1893
Full case nameJohn Nix, John W. Nix, George W. Nix, and Frank W. Nix v. Edward L. Hedden, Collector of the Port of New York
Citations149 U.S. 304 (more)
13 S. Ct. 981; 37 L. Ed. 745; 1893 U.S. LEXIS 2303
Case history
PriorJudgment for defendant, 39 F. 109 (C.C. S.D.N.Y. 1889)
Tomatoes are "vegetables" and not "fruit" within the meaning of the Tariff Act of 1883 based on the common meaning of those words.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Melville Fuller
Associate Justices
Stephen J. Field · John M. Harlan
Horace Gray · Samuel Blatchford
David J. Brewer · Henry B. Brown
George Shiras Jr. · Howell E. Jackson
Case opinion
MajorityGray, joined by unanimous
Laws applied
Tariff Act of 1883 (Mongrel Tariff)