SLAUGHTER-HOUSE CASES.; THE BUTCHERS' BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION OF NEW ORLEANS v. THE CRESCENT CITY LIVE-STOCK LANDING AND SLAUGHTER-HOUSE COMPANY.; PAUL ESTEBEN, L. RUCH, J. P. ROUEDE, W. MAYLIE, S. FIRMBERG, B. BEAUBAY, WILLIAM FAGAN, J. D. BRODERICK, N. SEIBEL, M. LANNES, J. GITZINGER, J. P. AYCOCK, D. VERGES, THE LIVE-STOCK DEALERS' AND BUTCHERS' ASSOCIATION OF NEW ORLEANS, AND CHARLES CAVAROC v. THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, ex rel. S. BELDEN, ATTORNEY-GENERAL.; THE BUTCHERS' BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION OF NEW ORLEANS v. THE CRESCENT CITY LIVE-STOCK LANDING AND SLAUGHTER-HOUSE COMPANY.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
83 U.S. 36; 1872 U.S.
The three cases given in the title of this case resulted from an act by the legislature of the State of Louisiana, entitled: "An act to protect the health of the City of New Orleans, to locate the stock landings and slaughter-houses, and to incorporate 'The Crescent City Live-Stock Landing and Slaughter-House Company,'" which was approved on the 8th of March, 1869.
RELEVANT TERMS: immunity, animal, citizenship, monopoly, slaughter-house, slavery, landing, lawful, servitude, cattle, regulation, slaughter, butcher, slaughtered, belong, deprive, slaughtering, pursuit, territory, food, involuntary, yards, declare, keeping, abridge, enjoyment, born, void, square, charter
OPINION BY Mr. Justice Miller.
The grant of privilege enacted by this charter was a police regulation aimed at the health and comfort of the people and thus within the power of the state legislatures unaffected by the Constitution of the United States 13th and 14th articles of the amendment.
The plaintiffs contend that power is forbidden by the 13th article of amendment as well as by the 1st section of the 14th article. The Court examined the history of the amendments and concluded that the main purpose of all the last three amendments was the freedom of the African race, the security and perpetuation of that freedom, and their protection from the oppressions of the white men, who had formerly held them in slavery.
Hence, the Court believed that in constructing these articles, it was necessary to keep this main purpose steadily in view. However, both the letter and spirit of those articles would apply to all cases coming within their purview whether the party concerned be of African descent or not.
While the 13th article of amendment was intended primarily to abolish African slavery, it equally forbids any form of involuntary servitude.
The 1st clause of the 14th article was primarily inacted to confer citizenship on the "negrorace". In addition, it gave definitions of citizenship of the United States and citizenship of the states to the other citizens as well.
The second clause serves to protect from the hostile legislation of the states, the privileges and immunities of individual as citizens of the United States as this court opined in Ward v. Maryland. These protections generally embrace fundamental civil rights for the security and establishment of which organized society is instituted and arise out of the essential character of the national government.
The standard of review need not inquire here into the full force of the clause forbidding a state to enforce any law which deprives a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, for that phrase has been often the subject of judicial construction and is, under no admissible view of it, applicable to the present case.
Finally, the court concluded that: a clause which forbids a state to deny to any person the equal protection of the laws, is also clearly intended to "prevent hostile discrimination against the negro race".
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