The slaughterhouse cases 1873. The Slaughterhouse Cases (1873) 2019-01-22

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The Slaughter House Cases

the slaughterhouse cases 1873

And the solution of this question depends upon the solution of two other questions, to wit: First. Clearly among these must be placed the right to pursue a lawful employment in a lawful manner, without other restraint than such as equally affects all persons. No further amendments were made until 1865, a period of more than sixty years. With this power of the State and its legitimate exercise I shall not differ from the majority of the court. It was said that their lives were at the mercy of bad men, either because the laws for their protection were insufficient or were not enforced.

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Slaughterhouse Cases

the slaughterhouse cases 1873

Why cannot the legislature confer the same powers on another corporation, created for a lawful and useful public object, that it can on the municipal corporation already existing? It is, however, the slaughter-house privilege, which is mainly relied on to justify the charges of gross injustice to the public, and invasion of private right. In giving construction to any of those articles it is necessary to keep this main purpose steadily in view, though the letter and spirit of those articles must apply to all cases coming within their purview, whether the party concerned be of African descent or not. The prices or charges to be made by the company are limited by the statute, and we are not advised that they are on the whole exorbitant or unjust. And it must be conceded that the means adopted by the act for this purpose are appropriate, are stringent, and effectual. The reasons given for the judgment in the Case of Monopolies apply with equal force to the case at bar. A few years' experience satisfied the thoughtful men who had been the authors of the other two amendments that, notwithstanding the restraints of those articles on the States, and the laws passed under the additional powers granted to Congress, these were inadequate for the protection of life, liberty, and property, without which freedom to the slave was no boon. The amendment was adopted to obviate objections which had been raised and pressed with great force to the validity of the Civil Rights Act, and to place the common rights of American citizens under the protection of the National government.

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The Slaughterhouse Cases (1873)

the slaughterhouse cases 1873

The principle of equality of rights to the corporators is violated by this contract. Thorne, a case in New York, were in entire harmony with Coke's great case, and declared that monopolies are against common right. If they may be granted for structures in which animal food is prepared for market they may be equally granted for structures in which farinaceous or vegetable food is prepared. This right to choose one's calling is an essential part of that liberty which it is the object of government to protect; and a calling, when chosen, is a man's property and right. The line which bounded their authority over trade, had, as usual, been but loosely drawn.

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The Slaughter House Cases

the slaughterhouse cases 1873

When the armies of freedom found themselves upon the soil of slavery they could do nothing less than free the poor victims whose enforced servitude was the foundation of the quarrel. The plaintiffs in error deny the validity of the act in question, so far as it confers the special and exclusive privileges mentioned. Miller noted that because the action challenged privileges of state citizenship, the Privileges and Immunities Clause did not apply. But we think it may be safely affirmed, that the Parliament of Great Britain, representing the people in their legislative functions, and the legislative bodies of this country, have from time immemorial to the present day, continued to grant to persons and corporations exclusive privileges — privileges denied to other citizens — privileges which come within any just definition of the word monopoly, as much as those now under consideration; and that the power to do this has never been questioned or denied. The act in question is equally in the face of the fourteenth amendment in that it denies to the plaintiffs the equal protection of the laws.

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The Slaughterhouse Cases (1873)

the slaughterhouse cases 1873

These are the leeches that have sucked the commonwealth so hard that it is almost hectical. The second case was instituted by the attorney general of the State, in the name of the State, to protect the corporation in the enjoyment of these privileges, and to prevent an association of stock-dealers and butchers from acquiring a tract of land in the same district with the corporation, upon which to erect suitable buildings for receiving, keeping, and slaughtering cattle, and preparing animal food for market. I will tell you their hopes. The fourteenth amendment, in my judgment, makes it essential to the validity of the legislation of every State that this equality of right should be respected. If this statute had imposed on the city of New Orleans precisely the same duties, accompanied by the same privileges, which it has on the corporation which it created, it is believed that no question would have been raised as to its constitutionality.

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Slaughterhouse Cases

the slaughterhouse cases 1873

An Exercise in 'Counterfactual' Doctrine. On the second issue, no, the privileges and immunities clause was created to protect national citizens, not state citizens. The right to move with freedom, to choose his highway, and to be exempt from impositions, belongs to the citizen. And it cannot be denied that such a statute operated at least indirectly upon the commercial intercourse between the citizens of the United States and of foreign countries. It is objected that the power conferred is novel and large. It is sufficient to say of these that we do not find in them satisfactory evidence that the agreement is binding upon all the parties to the record who are named as plaintiffs in the several writs of error, and that there are parties now before the court, in each of the three cases, the names of which appear on a preceding page, n12 who have not consented to their dismissal, and who are not bound by the action of those who have so consented. The ground of the opposition to the slaughter-house company's pretensions, so far as any cases were finally passed on in this court was, that the act of the Louisiana legislature made a monopoly and was a violation of the most important provisions of the thirteenth and fourteenth Articles of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

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Impact on Reconstruction

the slaughterhouse cases 1873

The State of Maryland, reported in the 12th of Wallace. Supreme Court upheld the law. Six lower court cases all found for the state, and the Supreme Court upheld these decisions by a slim 5-4 margin on April 14, 1873. And a profound conviction of the truth of the sentiment already quoted from M. If a State legislature should pass a law prohibiting the inhabitants of a particular township, county, or city, from tanning leather or making shoes, would such a law violate any privileges or immunities of those inhabitants as citizens of the United States, or only their privileges and immunities as citizens of that particular State? The first clause of the fourteenth amendment changes this whole subject, and removes it from the region of discussion and doubt. The statute under consideration defines these localities and forbids slaughtering in any other. Dissenting Opinion Field Justice Field joined justice Bradley and Swayne in their dissent.

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The Slaughter House Cases

the slaughterhouse cases 1873

In particular, the Lochner era of the supreme court was largely defined by its use of the 14th amendment to employ substantive due process as a means of promoting contractual liberty via the discernment of unenumerated rights not overtly expressed in the constitution; though this method would later fall out of fashion in favor of a more textually-driven interpretation of rights. These amendments are a new departure, and mark an important epoch in the constitutional history of the country. A fierce struggle for the suppression of such monopolies, and for abolishing the prerogative of creating them, was made and was successful. The regulation of the place and manner of conducting the slaughtering of animals, and the business of butchering within a city, and the inspection of the animals to be killed for meat, and of the meat afterwards, are among the most necessary and frequent exercises of this power. The concept of , which grants the states a large measure of power and autonomy, played a role in the majority's decision. The American constitution for that great territory was framed to abolish slavery and involuntary servitude in all forms, and in all degrees in which they have existed among men, except as a punishment for crime duly proved and adjudged. Nowhere, than in this court, ought the will of the nation, as thus expressed, to be more liberally construed or more cordially executed.


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