Due Process of Law

SECTION 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.



Due process under the Fourteenth Amendment can be broken down into two categories: procedural due process and substantive due process. Procedural due process, based on principles of “fundamental fairness,” addresses which legal procedures are required to be followed in state proceedings. Relevant issues, as discussed in detail below, include notice, opportunity for hearing, confrontation and cross-examination, discovery, basis of decision, and availability of counsel. Substantive due process, although also based on principles of “fundamental fairness,” is used to evaluate whether a law can be applied by states at all, regardless of the procedure followed. Substantive due process has generally dealt with specific subject areas, such as liberty of contract or privacy, and over time has alternately emphasized the importance of economic and noneconomic matters. In theory, the issues of procedural and substantive due process are closely related. In reality, substantive due process has had greater political import, as significant portions of a state legislature’s substantive jurisdiction can be restricted by its application.

Although the extent of the rights protected by substantive due process may be controversial, its theoretical basis is firmly established and forms the basis for much of modern constitutional case law. Passage of the Reconstruction Amendments (13th, 14th, and 15th) gave the federal courts the authority to intervene when a state threatened fundamental rights of its citizens,39 and one of the most important doctrines flowing from this is the application of the Bill of Rights to the states through the Due Process Clause.40 Through the process of “selective incorporation,” most of the provisions of the first eight Amendments, such as free speech, freedom of religion, and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, are applied against the states as they are against the federal government. Though application of these rights against the states is no longer controversial, the incorporation of other substantive rights, as is discussed in detail below, has been.


“Person”.—The Due Process Clause provides that no states shall deprive any “person” of “life, liberty or property” without due process of law. A historical controversy has been waged concerning whether the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment intended the word “person” to mean only natural persons, or whether the word was substituted for the word “citizen” with a view to protecting corporations from oppressive state legislation.41 As early as the 1877 Granger Cases42 the Supreme Court upheld various regulatory state laws without raising any question as to whether a corporation could advance due process claims. Further, there is no doubt that a corporation may not be deprived of its property without due process of law.43 Although various decisions have held that the “liberty” guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment is the liberty of natural,44 not artificial, persons,45 nevertheless, in 1936, a newspaper corporation successfully objected that a state law deprived it of liberty of the press.46

A separate question is the ability of a government official to invoke the Due Process Clause to protect the interests of his office. Ordinarily, the mere official interest of a public officer, such as the interest in enforcing a law, has not been deemed adequate to enable him to challenge the constitutionality of a law under the Fourteenth Amendment.47 Similarly, municipal corporations have no standing “to invoke the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment in opposition to the will of their creator,” the state.48 However, state officers are acknowledged to have an interest, despite their not having sustained any “private damage,” in resisting an “endeavor to prevent the enforcement of statutes in relation to which they have official duties,” and, accordingly, may apply to federal courts “to review decisions of state courts declaring state statutes, which [they] seek to enforce, to be repugnant to the [Fourteenth Amendment of] the Federal Constitution . . . .”49

“Property” and Police Power.—States have an inherent “police power” to promote public safety, health, morals, public convenience, and general prosperity,50 but the extent of the power may vary based on the subject matter over which it is exercised.51 If a police power regulation goes too far, it will be recognized as a taking of property for which compensation must be paid.52 Thus, the means employed to effect its exercise may be neither arbitrary nor oppressive but must bear a real and substantial relation to an end that is public, specifically, the public health, safety, or morals, or some other aspect of the general welfare.53

An ulterior public advantage, however, may justify a comparatively insignificant taking of private property for what seems to be a private use.54 Mere “cost and inconvenience (different words, probably, for the same thing) would have to be very great before they could become an element in the consideration of the right of a state to exert its reserved power or its police power.”55 Moreover, it is elementary that enforcement of a law passed in the legitimate exertion of the police power is not a taking without due process of law, even if the cost is borne by the regulated.56 Initial compliance with a regulation that is valid when adopted, however, does not preclude later protest if that regulation subsequently becomes confiscatory in its operation.57

“Liberty”.—As will be discussed in detail below, the substantive “liberty” guaranteed by the Due Process Clause has been variously defined by the Court. In the early years, it meant almost exclusively “liberty of contract,” but with the demise of liberty of contract came a general broadening of “liberty” to include personal, political and social rights and privileges.58 Nonetheless, the Court is generally chary of expanding the concept absent statutorily recognized rights.59

The Rise and Fall of Economic Substantive Due Process: Overview

Long before the passage of the 14th Amendment, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment was recognized as a restraint upon the Federal Government, but only in the narrow sense that a legislature needed to provide procedural “due process” for the enforcement of law.60 Although individual Justices suggested early on that particular legislation could be so in conflict with precepts of natural law as to render it wholly unconstitutional,61 the potential of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment as a substantive restraint on state action appears to have been grossly underestimated in the years immediately following its adoption.62

Thus, early invocations of “substantive” due process were unsuccessful. In the Slaughter-House Cases,63 discussed previously in the context of the Privileges or Immunities Clause,64 a group of butchers challenged a Louisiana statute conferring the exclusive privilege of butchering cattle in New Orleans to one corporation. In reviewing the validity of this monopoly, the Court noted that the prohibition against a deprivation of property without due process “has been in the Constitution since the adoption of the fifth amendment, as a restraint upon the Federal power. It is also to be found in some forms of expression in the constitutions of nearly all the States, as a restraint upon the power of the States. . . . We are not without judicial interpretation, therefore, both State and National, of the meaning of this clause. And it is sufficient to say that under no construction of that provision that we have ever seen, or any that we deem admissible, can the restraint imposed by the State of Louisiana upon the exercise of their trade by the butchers of New Orleans be held to be a deprivation of property within the meaning of that provision.”65

Four years later, in Munn v. Illinois,66 the Court reviewed the regulation of rates charged for the transportation and warehousing of grain, and again refused to interpret the due process clause as invalidating substantive state legislation. Rejecting contentions that such legislation effected an unconstitutional deprivation of property by preventing the owner from earning a reasonable compensation for its use and by transferring an interest in a private enterprise to the public, Chief Justice Waite emphasized that “the great office of statutes is to remedy defects in the common law as they are developed. . . . We know that this power [of rate regulation] may be abused; but that is no argument against its existence. For protection against abuses by legislatures the people must resort to the polls, not to the courts.”

In Davidson v. New Orleans,67 Justice Miller also counseled against a departure from these conventional applications of due process, although he acknowledged the difficulty of arriving at a precise, all-inclusive definition of the clause. “It is not a little remarkable,” he observed, “that while this provision has been in the Constitution of the United States, as a restraint upon the authority of the Federal government, for nearly a century, and while, during all that time, the manner in which the powers of that government have been exercised has been watched with jealousy, and subjected to the most rigid criticism in all its branches, this special limitation upon its powers has rarely been invoked in the judicial forum or the more enlarged theatre of public discussion. But while it has been part of the Constitution, as a restraint upon the power of the States, only a very few years, the docket of this court is crowded with cases in which we are asked to hold that State courts and State legislatures have deprived their own citizens of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. There is here abundant evidence that there exists some strange misconception of the scope of this provision as found in the fourteenth amendment. In fact, it would seem, from the character of many of the cases before us, and the arguments made in them, that the clause under consideration is looked upon as a means of bringing to the test of the decision of this court the abstract opinions of every unsuccessful litigant in a State court of the justice of the decision against him, and of the merits of the legislation on which such a decision may be founded. If, therefore, it were possible to define what it is for a State to deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, in terms which would cover every exercise of power thus forbidden to the State, and exclude those which are not, no more useful construction could be furnished by this or any other court to any part of the fundamental law. But, apart from the imminent risk of a failure to give any definition which would be at once perspicuous, comprehensive, and satisfactory, there is wisdom, we think, in the ascertaining of the intent and application of such an important phrase in the Federal Constitution, by the gradual process of judicial inclusion and exclusion, as the cases presented for decision shall require, with the reasoning on which such decisions may be founded.”

A bare half-dozen years later, however, in Hurtado v. California,68 the Justices gave warning of an impending modification of their views. Justice Mathews, speaking for the Court, noted that due process under the United States Constitution differed from due process in English common law in that the latter applied only to executive and judicial acts, whereas the former also applied to legislative acts. Consequently, the limits of the due process under the 14th Amendment could not be appraised solely in terms of the “sanction of settled usage” under common law. The Court then declared that “[a]rbitrary power, enforcing its edicts to the injury of the persons and property of its subjects, is not law, whether manifested as the decree of a personal monarch or of an impersonal multitude. And the limitations imposed by our constitutional law upon the action of the governments, both state and national, are essential to the preservation of public and private rights, notwithstanding the representative character of our political institutions. The enforcement of these limitations by judicial process is the device of self-governing communities to protect the rights of individuals and minorities, as well against the power of numbers, as against the violence of public agents transcending the limits of lawful authority, even when acting in the name and wielding the force of the government.” By this language, the states were put on notice that all types of state legislation, whether dealing with procedural or substantive rights, were now subject to the scrutiny of the Court when questions of essential justice were raised.

What induced the Court to overcome its fears of increased judicial oversight and of upsetting the balance of powers between the Federal Government and the states was state remedial social legislation, enacted in the wake of industrial expansion, and the impact of such legislation on property rights. The added emphasis on the Due Process Clause also afforded the Court an opportunity to compensate for its earlier nullification of much of the privileges or immunities clause of the Amendment. Legal theories about the relationship between the government powers and private rights were available to demonstrate the impropriety of leaving to the state legislatures the same ample range of police power they had enjoyed prior to the Civil War. In the meantime, however, the SlaughterHouse Cases and Munn v. Illinois had to be overruled at least in part.

About twenty years were required to complete this process, in the course of which two strands of reasoning were developed. The first was a view advanced by Justice Field in a dissent in Munn v. Illinois,69 namely, that state police power is solely a power to prevent injury to the “peace, good order, morals, and health of the community.”70 This reasoning was adopted by the Court in Mugler v. Kansas,71 where, despite upholding a state alcohol regulation, the Court held that “[i]t does not at all follow that every statute enacted ostensibly for the promotion of [public health, morals or safety] is to be accepted as a legitimate exertion of the police powers of the state.” The second strand, which had been espoused by Justice Bradley in his dissent in the Slaughter-House Cases,72 tentatively transformed ideas embodying the social compact and natural rights into constitutionally enforceable limitations upon government.73 The consequence was that the states in exercising their police powers could foster only those purposes of health, morals, and safety which the Court had enumerated, and could employ only such means as would not unreasonably interfere with fundamental natural rights of liberty and property. As articulated by Justice Bradley, these rights were equated with freedom to pursue a lawful calling and to make contracts for that purpose.74

Having narrowed the scope of the state’s police power in deference to the natural rights of liberty and property, the Court proceeded to incorporate into due process theories of laissez faire economics, reinforced by the doctrine of Social Darwinism (as elaborated by Herbert Spencer). Thus, “liberty” became synonymous with governmental non-interference in the field of private economic relations. For instance, in Budd v. New York,75 Justice Brewer declared in dictum: “The paternal theory of government is to me odious. The utmost possible liberty to the individual, and the fullest possible protection to him and his property, is both the limitation and duty of government.”

Next, the Court watered down the accepted maxim that a state statute must be presumed valid until clearly shown to be otherwise, by shifting focus to whether facts existed to justify a particular law.76 The original position could be seen in earlier cases such as Munn v. Illinois,77 in which the Court sustained the legislation before it by presuming that such facts existed: “For our purposes we must assume that, if a state of facts could exist that would justify such legislation, it actually did exist when the statute now under consideration was passed.” Ten years later, however, in Mugler v. Kansas,78 rather than presume the relevant facts, the Court sustained a statewide anti-liquor law based on the proposition that the deleterious social effects of the excessive use of alcoholic liquors were sufficiently notorious for the Court to be able to take notice of them.79 This opened the door for future Court appraisals of the facts that had induced the legislature to enact the statute.80

Mugler was significant because it implied that, unless the Court found by judicial notice the existence of justifying fact, it would invalidate a police power regulation as bearing no reasonable or adequate relation to the purposes to be subserved by the latter— namely, health, morals, or safety. Interestingly, the Court found the rule of presumed validity quite serviceable for appraising state legislation affecting neither liberty nor property, but for legislation constituting governmental interference in the field of economic relations, especially labor-management relations, the Court found the principle of judicial notice more advantageous. In litigation embracing the latter type of legislation, the Court would also tend to shift the burden of proof, which had been with litigants challenging legislation, to the state seeking enforcement. Thus, the state had the task of demonstrating that a statute interfering with a natural right of liberty or property was in fact “authorized” by the Constitution, and not merely that the latter did not expressly prohibit enactment of the same. As will be discussed in detail below, this approach was used from the turn of the century through the mid1930s to strike down numerous laws that were seen as restricting economic liberties.

As a result of the Depression, however, the laissez faire approach to economic regulation lost favor to the dictates of the New Deal. Thus, in 1934, the Court in Nebbia v. New York81 discarded this approach to economic legislation. The modern approach is exemplified by the 1955 decision, Williamson v. Lee Optical Co.,82 which upheld a statutory scheme regulating the sale of eyeglasses that favored ophthalmologists and optometrists in private professional practice and disadvantaged opticians and those employed by or using space in business establishments. “The day is gone when this Court uses the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to strike down state laws, regulatory of business and industrial conditions, because they may be unwise, improvident, or out of harmony with a particular school of thought. . . . We emphasize again what Chief Justice Waite said in Munn v. Illinois, 94 U. S. 113, 134, ‘For protection against abuses by legislatures the people must resort to the polls, not to the courts.’”83 The Court went on to assess the reasons that might have justified the legislature in prescribing the regulation at issue, leaving open the possibility that some regulation might be found unreasonable.84 More recent decisions have limited this inquiry to whether the legislation is arbitrary or irrational, and have abandoned any requirement of “reasonableness.”85

Regulation of Labor Conditions

Liberty of Contract.—One of the most important concepts used during the ascendancy of economic due process was liberty of contract. The original idea of economic liberties was advanced by Justices Bradley and Field in the Slaughter-House Cases,86 and elevated to the status of accepted doctrine in Allgeyer v. Louisiana,87 It was then used repeatedly during the early part of this century to strike down state and federal labor regulations. “The liberty mentioned in that [Fourteenth] amendment means not only the right of the citizen to be free from the mere physical restraint of his person, as by incarceration, but the term is deemed to embrace the right of the citizen to be free in the enjoyment of all his faculties; to be free to use them in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; to pursue any livelihood or avocation, and for that purpose to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary and essential to his carrying out to a successful conclusion the purposes above mentioned.”88

The Court, however, did sustain some labor regulations by acknowledging that freedom of contract was “a qualified and not an absolute right. . . . Liberty implies the absence of arbitrary restraint, not immunity from reasonable regulations and prohibitions imposed in the interests of the community. . . . In dealing with the relation of the employer and employed, the legislature has necessarily a wide field of discretion in order that there may be suitable protection of health and safety, and that peace and good order may be promoted through regulations designed to insure wholesome conditions of work and freedom from oppression.”89

Still, the Court was committed to the principle that freedom of contract is the general rule and that legislative authority to abridge it could be justified only by exceptional circumstances. To serve this end, the Court intermittently employed the rule of judicial notice in a manner best exemplified by a comparison of the early cases of Holden v. Hardy90 and Lochner v. New York.91 In Holden v. Hardy,92 the Court, relying on the principle of presumed validity, allowed the burden of proof to remain with those attacking a Utah act limiting the period of labor in mines to eight hours per day. Recognizing the fact that labor below the surface of the earth was attended by risk to person and to health and for these reasons had long been the subject of state intervention, the Court registered its willingness to sustain a law that the state legislature had adjudged “necessary for the preservation of health of employees,” and for which there were “reasonable grounds for believing that . . . [it was] supported by the facts.”

Seven years later, however, a radically altered Court was predisposed in favor of the doctrine of judicial notice. In Lochner v. New York,93 the Court found that a law restricting employment in bakeries to ten hours per day and 60 hours per week was not a true health measure, but was merely a labor regulation, and thus was an unconstitutional interference with the right of adult laborers, sui juris, to contract for their means of livelihood. Denying that the Court was substituting its own judgment for that of the legislature, Justice Peckham nevertheless maintained that whether the act was within the police power of the state was a “question that must be answered by the Court.” Then, in disregard of the medical evidence proffered, the Justice stated: “In looking through statistics regarding all trades and occupations, it may be true that the trade of a baker does not appear to be as healthy as some other trades, and is also vastly more healthy than still others. To the common understanding the trade of a baker has never been regarded as an unhealthy one. . . . It might be safely affirmed that almost all occupations more or less affect the health. . . . But are we all, on that account, at the mercy of the legislative majorities?”94

Justice Harlan, in dissent, asserted that the law was a health regulation, pointing to the abundance of medical testimony tending to show that the life expectancy of bakers was below average, that their capacity to resist diseases was low, and that they were peculiarly prone to suffer irritations of the eyes, lungs, and bronchial passages. He concluded that the very existence of such evidence left the reasonableness of the measure open to discussion and thus within the discretion of the legislature. “The responsibility therefor rests upon the legislators, not upon the courts. No evils arising from such legislation could be more far-reaching than those that might come to our system of government if the judiciary, abandoning the sphere assigned to it by the fundamental law, should enter the domain of legislation, and upon grounds merely of justice or reason or wisdom annul statutes that had received the sanction of the people’s representatives. . . . [L]egislative enactments should be recognized and enforced by the courts as embodying the will of the people, unless they are plainly and palpably, beyond all question, in violation of the fundamental law of the Constitution.”95

A second dissenting opinion, written by Justice Holmes, has received the greater measure of attention as a forecast of the line of reasoning the Court was to follow some decades later. “This case is decided upon an economic theory which a large part of the country does not entertain. If it were a question whether I agreed with that theory, I should desire to study it further and long before making up my mind. But I do not conceive that to be my duty, because I strongly believe that my agreement or disagreement has nothing to do with the right of a majority to embody their opinions in law. It is settled by various decisions of this court that state constitutions and state laws may regulate life in many ways which we as legislators might think as injudicious or if you like as tyrannical as this, and which equally with this interfere with the liberty to contract. . . . The Fourteenth Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer’s Social Statics. . . . But a constitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory, whether of paternalism and the organic relation of the citizen to the State or of laissez faire. It is made for people of fundamentally differing views, and the accident of our finding certain opinions natural and familiar or novel and even shocking ought not to conclude our judgment upon the question whether statutes embodying them conflict with the Constitution. . . . I think that the word liberty in the Fourteenth Amendment is perverted when it is held to prevent the natural outcome of a dominant opinion, unless it can be said that a rational and fair man necessarily would admit that the statute proposed would infringe fundamental principles as they have been understood by the traditions of our people and our law.”96

Justice Holmes did not reject the basic concept of substantive due process, but rather the Court’s presumption against economic regulation.97 Thus, Justice Holmes whether consciously or not, was prepared to support, along with his opponents in the majority, a “perpetual censorship” over state legislation. The basic distinction, therefore, between the positions taken by Justice Peckham for the majority and Justice Holmes, for what was then the minority, was the use of the doctrine of judicial notice by the former and the doctrine of presumed validity by the latter.

Holmes’ dissent soon bore fruit in Muller v. Oregon98 and Bunting v. Oregon,99 which allowed, respectively, regulation of hours worked by women and by men in certain industries. The doctrinal approach employed was to find that the regulation was supported by evidence despite the shift in the burden of proof entailed by application of the principle of judicial notice. Thus, counsel defending the constitutionality of social legislation developed the practice of submitting voluminous factual briefs, known as “Brandeis Briefs,”100 replete with medical or other scientific data intended to establish beyond question a substantial relationship between the challenged statute and public health, safety, or morals. Whenever the Court was disposed to uphold measures pertaining to industrial relations, such as laws limiting hours of work,101 it generally intimated that the facts thus submitted by way of justification had been authenticated sufficiently for it to take judicial cognizance thereof. On the other hand, whenever it chose to invalidate comparable legislation, such as enactments establishing a minimum wage for women and children,102 it brushed aside such supporting data, proclaimed its inability to perceive any reasonable connection between the statute and the legitimate objectives of health or safety, and condemned the statute as an arbitrary interference with freedom of contract.

During the great Depression, however, the laissez faire tenet of self-help was replaced by the belief that it is peculiarly the duty of government to help those who are unable to help themselves. To sustain this remedial legislation, the Court had to extensively revise its previously formulated concepts of “liberty” under the Due Process Clause. Thus, the Court, in overturning prior holdings and sustaining minimum wage legislation,103 took judicial notice of the demands for relief arising from the Depression. And, in upholding state legislation designed to protect workers in their efforts to organize and bargain collectively, the Court reconsidered the scope of an employer’s liberty of contract, and recognized a correlative liberty of employees that state legislatures could protect.

To the extent that it acknowledged that liberty of the individual may be infringed by the coercive conduct of private individuals no less than by public officials, the Court in effect transformed the Due Process Clause into a source of encouragement to state legislatures to intervene affirmatively to mitigate the effects of such coercion. By such modification of its views, liberty, in the constitutional sense of freedom resulting from restraint upon government, was replaced by the civil liberty which an individual enjoys by virtue of the restraints which government, in his behalf, imposes upon his neighbors.

Laws Regulating Working Conditions and Wages.—As noted, even during the Lochner era, the Due Process Clause was construed as permitting enactment by the states of maximum hours laws applicable to women workers104 and to all workers in specified lines of work thought to be physically demanding or otherwise worthy of special protection.105 Similarly, the regulation of how wages were to be paid was allowed, including the form of payment,106 its frequency,107 and how such payment was to be calculated.108 And, because of the almost plenary powers of the state and its municipal subdivisions to determine the conditions for work on public projects, statutes limiting the hours of labor on public works were also upheld at a relatively early date.109 Further, states could prohibit the employment of persons under 16 years of age in dangerous occupations and require employers to ascertain whether their employees were in fact below that age.110

The regulation of mines represented a further exception to the Lochner era’s anti-discrimination tally. As such health and safety regulation was clearly within a state’s police power, a state’s laws providing for mining inspectors (paid for by mine owners),111 licensing mine managers and mine examiners, and imposing liability upon mine owners for failure to furnish a reasonably safe place for workmen, were upheld during this period.112 Other similar regulations that were sustained included laws requiring that underground passageways meet or exceed a minimum width,113 that boundary pillars be installed between adjoining coal properties as a protection against flood in case of abandonment,114 and that wash houses be provided for employees.115

One of the more significant negative holdings of the Lochner era was that states could not regulate how much wages were to be paid to employees.116 As with the other working condition and wage issues, however, concern for the welfare of women and children seemed to weigh heavily on the justices, and restrictions on minimum wages for these groups were discarded in 1937.117 Ultimately, the reasoning of these cases was extended to more broadly based minimum wage laws, as the Court began to offer significant deference to the states to enact economic and social legislation benefitting labor.

The modern theory regarding substantive due process and wage regulation was explained by Justice Douglas in 1952 in the following terms: “Our recent decisions make plain that we do not sit as a super-legislature to weigh the wisdom of legislation nor to decide whether the policy which it expresses offends the public welfare. The legislative power has limits. . . . But the state legislatures have constitutional authority to experiment with new techniques; they are entitled to their own standard of the public welfare; they may within extremely broad limits control practices in the business-labor field, so long as specific constitutional prohibitions are not violated and so long as conflicts with valid and controlling federal laws are avoided.”118

The Justice further noted that “many forms of regulation reduce the net return of the enterprise. . . . Most regulations of business necessarily impose financial burdens on the enterprise for which no compensation is paid. Those are part of the costs of our civilization. Extreme cases are conjured up where an employer is required to pay wages for a period that has no relation to the legitimate end. Those cases can await decision as and when they arise. The present law has no such infirmity. It is designed to eliminate any penalty for exercising the right of suffrage and to remove a practical obstacle to getting out the vote. The public welfare is a broad and inclusive concept. The moral, social, economic, and physical well-being of the community is one part of it; the political well-being, another. The police power which is adequate to fix the financial burden for one is adequate for the other. The judgment of the legislature that time out for voting should cost the employee nothing may be a debatable one. It is indeed conceded by the opposition to be such. But if our recent cases mean anything, they leave debatable issues as respects business, economic, and social affairs to legislative decision. We could strike down this law only if we returned to the philosophy of the Lochner,Coppage, and Adkins cases.”119

Workers’ Compensation Laws.—Workers’ compensation laws also evaded the ravages of Lochner. The Court “repeatedly has upheld the authority of the States to establish by legislation departures from the fellow-servant rule and other common-law rules affecting the employer’s liability for personal injuries to the employee.”120 Accordingly, a state statute that provided an exclusive system to govern the liabilities of employers for disabling injuries and death caused by accident in certain hazardous occupations,121 irrespective of the doctrines of negligence, contributory negligence, assumption of risk, and negligence of fellow-servants, was held not to violate due process.122 Likewise, an act that allowed an injured employee, though guilty of contributory negligence, an election of remedies between restricted recovery under a compensation law or full compensatory damages under the Employers’ Liability Act, did not deprive an employer of his property without due process of law.123 A variety of other statutory schemes have also been upheld.124

Even the imposition upon coal mine operators of the liability of compensating former employees who terminated work in the industry before passage of the law for black lung disabilities was sustained by the Court as a rational measure to spread the costs of the employees’ disabilities to those who have profited from the fruits of their labor.125 Legislation readjusting rights and burdens is not unlawful solely because it upsets otherwise settled expectations, but it must take account of the realities previously existing, i. e. , that the danger may not have been known or appreciated, or that actions might have been taken in reliance upon the current state of the law. Consequently, legislation imposing liability on the basis of deterrence or of blameworthiness might not have passed muster.

Collective Bargaining.—During the Lochner era, liberty of con-subject Adair-Coppage doctrine,126 was used to strike down legislation calculated to enhance the bargaining capacity of workers as against that already possessed by their employers.127 The Court did, however, on occasion sustain measures affecting the employment relationship, such as a statute requiring every corporation to furnish a departing employee a letter setting forth the nature and duration of the employee’s service and the true cause for leaving.128 In Senn v. Tile Layers Union,129 however, the Court began to show a greater willingness to defer to legislative judgment as to the wisdom and need of such enactments.

The significance of Senn130 was, in part, that the case upheld a statute that was not appreciably different from a statute voided five years earlier in Truax v. Corrigan.131 In Truax, the Court had found that a statute forbidding injunctions on labor protest activities was unconstitutional as applied to a labor dispute involving picketing, libelous statements, and threats. The statute that the Court subsequently upheld in Senn, by contrast, authorized publicizing labor disputes, declared peaceful picketing and patrolling lawful, and prohibited the granting of injunctions against such conduct.132 The difference between these statutes, according to the Court, was that the law in Senn applied to “peaceful” picketing only, whereas the law in Truax “was . . . applied to legalize conduct which was not simply peaceful picketing.” Because the enhancement of job opportunities for members of the union was a legitimate objective, the state was held competent to authorize the fostering of that end by peaceful picketing, and the fact that the sustaining of the union in its efforts at peaceful persuasion might have the effect of preventing Senn from continuing in business as an independent entrepreneur was declared to present an issue of public policy exclusively for legislative determination.

Years later, after regulations protective of labor allowed unions to amass enormous economic power, many state legislatures attempted to control the abuse of this power, and the Court’s new-found deference to state labor regulation was also applied to restrictions on unions. Thus, the Court upheld state prohibitions on racial discrimination by unions, rejecting claims that the measure interfered unlawfully with the union’s right to choose its members, abridged its property rights, or violated its liberty of contract. Because the union “[held] itself out to represent the general business needs of employees” and functioned “under the protection of the State,” the union was deemed to have forfeited the right to claim exemption from legislation protecting workers against discriminatory exclusion.133

Similarly, state laws outlawing closed shops were upheld in Lincoln Federal Labor Union v. Northwestern Iron & Metal Company134 and AFL v. American Sash & Door Co.135 When labor unions attempted to invoke freedom of contract, the Court, speaking through Justice Black, announced its refusal “to return . . . to . . . [a] due process philosophy that has been deliberately discarded. . . . The due process clause,” it maintained, does not “forbid a State to pass laws clearly designed to safeguard the opportunity of nonunion workers to get and hold jobs, free from discrimination against them because they are nonunion workers.”136

And, in UAW v. WERB,137 the Court upheld the Wisconsin Employment Peace Act, which had been used to proscribe unfair labor practices by a union. In UAW, the union, acting after collective bargaining negotiations had become deadlocked, had attempted to coerce an employer through calling frequent, irregular, and unannounced union meetings during working hours, resulting in a slowdown in production. “No one,” declared the Court, can question “the State’s power to police coercion by . . . methods” that involve “considerable injury to property and intimidation of other employees by threats.”138

Regulation of Business Enterprises: Price Controls

In examining whether the Due Process Clause allows the regulation of business prices, the Supreme Court, almost from the inception of the Fourteenth Amendment, has devoted itself to the examination of two questions: (1) whether the clause restricted such regulation to certain types of business, and (2) the nature of the regulation allowed as to those businesses.

Types of Businesses That May be Regulated.—For a brief interval following the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court found the Due Process Clause to impose no substantive restraint on the power of states to fix rates chargeable by any industry. Thus, in Munn v. Illinois,139 the first of the “Granger Cases,” maximum charges established by a state for Chicago grain elevator companies were challenged, not as being confiscatory in character, but rather as a regulation beyond the power of any state agency to impose.140 The Court, in an opinion that was largely dictum, declared that the Due Process Clause did not operate as a safeguard against oppressive rates, and that, if regulation was permissible, the severity of it was within legislative discretion and could be ameliorated only by resort to the polls. Not much time elapsed, however, before the Court effected a complete withdrawal from this position, and by 1890141 it had fully converted the Due Process Clause into a restriction on the power of state agencies to impose rates that, in a judge’s estimation, were arbitrary or unreasonable. This state of affairs continued for more than fifty years.

Prior to 1934, unless a business was “affected with a public interest,” control of its prices, rates, or conditions of service was viewed as an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty and property without due process of law. During the period of its application, however, the phrase, “business affected with a public interest,” never acquired any precise meaning, and as a consequence lawyers were never able to identify all those qualities or attributes that invariably distinguished a business so affected from one not so affected. The most coherent effort by the Court was the following classification prepared by Chief Justice Taft:142 “(1) Those [businesses] which are carried on under the authority of a public grant of privileges which either expressly or impliedly imposes the affirmative duty of rendering a public service demanded by any member of the public. Such are the railroads, other common carriers and public utilities. (2) Certain occupations, regarded as exceptional, the public interest attaching to which, recognized from earliest times, has survived the period of arbitrary laws by Parliament or Colonial legislatures for regulating all trades and callings. Such are those of the keepers of inns, cabs and grist mills. (3) Businesses which though not public at their inception may be fairly said to have risen to be such and have become subject in consequence to some government regulation. They have come to hold such a peculiar relation to the public that this is superimposed upon them. In the language of the cases, the owner by devoting his business to the public use, in effect grants the public an interest in that use and subjects himself to public regulation to the extent of that interest although the property continues to belong to its private owner and to be entitled to protection accordingly.”

Through application of this formula, the Court sustained state laws regulating charges made by grain elevators,143 stockyards,144 and tobacco warehouses,145 as well as fire insurance rates146 and commissions paid to fire insurance agents.147 The Court also voided statutes regulating business not “affected with a public interest,” including state statutes fixing the price at which gasoline may be sold,148 regulating the prices for which ticket brokers may resell theater tickets,149 and limiting competition in the manufacture and sale of ice through the withholding of licenses to engage in such business.150

In the 1934 case of Nebbia v. New York,151 however, the Court finally shelved the concept of “a business affected with a public interest,”152 upholding, by a vote of fivetofour, a depression-induced New York statute fixing fluid milk prices. “Price control, like any other form of regulation, is unconstitutional only if arbitrary, discriminatory, or demonstrably irrelevant to the policy the legislature is free to adopt, and hence an unnecessary and unwarranted interference with individual liberty.”153 Conceding that “the dairy industry is not, in the accepted sense of the phrase, a public utility,” that is, a business “affected with a public interest”, the Court in effect declared that price control is to be viewed merely as an exercise by the government of its police power, and as such is subject only to the restrictions that due process imposes on arbitrary interference with liberty and property. “The due process clause makes no mention of sales or of prices. . . .”154

Having thus concluded that it is no longer the nature of the business that determines the validity of a price regulation, the Court had little difficulty in upholding a state law prescribing the maximum commission that private employment agencies may charge. Rejecting contentions that the need for such protective legislation had not been shown, the Court, in Olsen v. Nebraska ex rel. Western Reference and Bond Ass’n155 held that differences of opinion as to the wisdom, need, or appropriateness of the legislation “suggest a choice which should be left to the States;” and that there was “no necessity for the State to demonstrate before us that evils persist despite the competition” between public, charitable, and private employment agencies.156

Substantive Review of Price Controls.—Ironically, private businesses, once they had been found subject to price regulation, seemed to have less protection than public entities. Thus, unlike operators of public utilities who, in return for a government grant of virtually monopolistic privileges must provide continuous service, proprietors of other businesses receive no similar special advantages and accordingly are unrestricted in their right to liquidate and close. Owners of ordinary businesses, therefore, are at liberty to escape the consequences of publicly imposed charges by dissolution, and have been found less in need of protection through judicial review. Thus, case law upholding challenges to price controls deals predominantly with governmentally imposed rates and charges for public utilities.

In 1886, Chief Justice Waite, in the Railroad Commission Cases,157 warned that the “power to regulate is not a power to destroy, and . . . the State cannot . . . do that which in law amounts to a taking of property for public use without just compensation, or without due process of law.” In other words, a confiscatory rate could not be imposed by government on a regulated entity. By treating “due process of law” and “just compensation” as equivalents,158 the Court was in effect asserting that the imposition of a rate so low as to damage or diminish private property ceased to be an exercise of a state’s police power and became one of eminent domain. Nevertheless, even this doctrine proved inadequate to satisfy public utilities, as it allowed courts to intervene only to prevent imposition of a confiscatory rate, i. e. , a rate so low as to be productive of a loss and to amount to taking of property without just compensation. The utilities sought nothing less than a judicial acknowledgment that courts could review the “reasonableness” of legislative rates.

Although as late as 1888 the Court doubted that it possessed the requisite power to challenge this doctrine,159 it finally acceded to the wishes of the utilities in 1890 in Chicago, M. & St. P. Railway v. Minnesota.160 In this case, the Court ruled that “[t]he question of the reasonableness of a rate . . . , involving as it does the element of reasonableness both as regards the company and as regards the public, is eminently a question for judicial investigation, requiring due process of law for its determination. If the company is deprived of the power of charging reasonable rates for the use of its property, and such deprivation takes place in the absence of an investigation by judicial machinery, it is deprived of the lawful use of its property, and thus, in substance and effect, of the property itself, without due process of law. . . .”

Although the Court made a last-ditch attempt to limit the ruling of Chicago, M. & St. P. Railway v. Minnesota to rates fixed by a commission as opposed to rates imposed by a legislature,161 the Court in Reagan v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.162 finally removed all lingering doubts over the scope of judicial intervention. In Reagan, the Court declared that, “if a carrier . . . attempted to charge a shipper an unreasonable sum,” the Court, in accordance with common law principles, would pass on the reasonableness of its rates, and has “jurisdiction . . . to award the shipper any amount exacted . . . in excess of a reasonable rate . . . . The province of the courts is not changed, nor the limit of judicial inquiry altered, because the legislature instead of the carrier prescribes the rates.”163 Reiterating virtually the same principle in Smyth v. Ames,164 the Court not only obliterated the distinction between confiscatory and unreasonable rates but contributed the additional observation that the requirements of due process are not met unless a court further determines whether the rate permits the utility to earn a fair return on a fair valuation of its investment.

Early Limitations on Review.—Even while reviewing the reasonableness of rates, the Court recognized some limits on judicial review. As early as 1894, the Court asserted that “[t]he courts are not authorized to revise or change the body of rates imposed by a legislature or a commission; they do not determine whether one rate is preferable to another, or what under all circumstances would be fair and reasonable as between the carriers and the shippers; they do not engage in any mere administrative work; but still there can be no doubt of their power and duty to inquire whether a body of rates . . . is unjust and unreasonable, . . . and if found so to be, to restrain its operation.”165 One can also infer from these early holdings a distinction between unreviewable fact questions that relate only to the wisdom or expediency of a rate order, and reviewable factual determinations that bear on a commission’s power to act.166

Further, the Court placed various obstacles in the path of the complaining litigant. Thus, not only must a person challenging a rate assume the burden of proof,167 but he must present a case of “manifest constitutional invalidity.”168 And, if, notwithstanding this effort, the question of confiscation remains in doubt, no relief will be granted.169 Moreover, even the Court was inclined to withhold judgment on the application of a rate until its practical effect could be surmised.170

In the course of time this distinction solidified. Thus, the Court initially adopted the position that it would not disturb findings of fact insofar as such findings were supported by substantial evidence. For instance, in San Diego Land Company v. National City,171 the Court declared that “the courts cannot, after [a legislative body] has fairly and fully investigated and acted, by fixing what it believes to be reasonable rates, step in and say its action shall be set aside and nullified because the courts, upon a similar investigation, have come to a different conclusion as to the reasonableness of the rates fixed. . . . [J]udicial interference should never occur unless the case presents, clearly and beyond all doubt, such a fla-grant attack upon the rights of property under the guise of regulations as to compel the court to say that the rates prescribed will necessarily have the effect to deny just compensation for private property taken for the public use.” And, later, in a similar case,172 the Court expressed even more clearly its reluctance to reexamine ordinary factual determinations, writing, “we do not feel bound to reexamine and weigh all the evidence . . . or to proceed according to our independent opinion as to what were proper rates. It is enough if we cannot say that it was impossible for a fair-minded board to come to the result which was reached.”173

These standards of review were, however, abruptly rejected by the Court in Ohio Valley Water Co. v. Ben Avon Borough174 as being no longer sufficient to satisfy the requirements of due process, ushering in a long period during which courts substantively evaluated the reasonableness of rate settings. The U. S. Supreme Court in Ben Avon concluded that the Pennsylvania “Supreme Court interpreted the statute as withholding from the courts power to determine the question of confiscation according to their own independent judgment . . . .”175 Largely on the strength of this interpretation of the applicable state statute, the Court held that, when the order of a legislature, or of a commission, prescribing a schedule of maximum future rates is challenged as confiscatory, “the State must provide a fair opportunity for submitting that issue to a judicial tribunal for determination upon its own independent judgment as to both law and facts; otherwise the order is void because in conflict with the due process clause, Fourteenth Amendment.”176

History of the Valuation Question.—For almost fifty years the Court wandered through a maze of conflicting formulas and factors for valuing public service corporation property, including “fair value,”177 “reproduction cost,”178 “prudent investment,”179 “depreciation,”180 “going concern value and good will,”181 “salvage value,”182 and “past losses and gains,”183 only to emerge from this maze in 1944 at a point not very far removed from Munn v. Illinois and its deference to rate-making authorities.184 By holding in FPC v. Natural Gas Pipeline Co.185 that “[t]he Constitution does not bind rate-making bodies to the service of any single formula or combination of formulas,” and in FPC v. Hope Natural Gas Co.186 that “it is the result reached not the method employed which is controlling, . . . [that] [i]t is not the theory but the impact of the rate order which counts, [and that] [i]f the total effect of the rate order cannot be said to be unjust and unreasonable, judicial inquiry under the Act is at an end,” the Court, in effect, abdicated from the position assumed in the Ben Avon case.187 Without surrendering the judicial power to declare rates unconstitutional on the basis of a substantive deprivation of due process,188 the Court announced that it would not overturn a result it deemed to be just simply because “the method employed [by a commission] to reach that result may contain infirmities. . . . [A] Commission’s order does not become suspect by reason of the fact that it is challenged. It is the product of expert judgment which carries a presumption of validity. And he who would upset the rate order . . . carries the heavy burden of making a convincing showing that it is invalid because it is unjust and unreasonable in its consequences.”189

In dispensing with the necessity of observing the old formulas for rate computation, the Court did not articulate any substitute guidance for ascertaining whether a so-called end result is unreasonable. It did intimate that rate-making “involves a balancing of the investor and consumer interests,” which does not, however, “ ‘insure that the business shall produce net revenues.’ . . . From the investor or company point of view it is important that there be enough revenue not only for operating expenses but also for the capital costs of the business. These include service on the debt and dividends on the stock. . . . By that standard the return to the equity owner should be commensurate with returns on investments in other enterprises having corresponding risks. That return, moreover, should be sufficient to assure confidence in the financial integrity of the enterprise, so as to maintain its credit and to attract capital.”190

Regulation of Public Utilities and Common Carriers

In General.—Because of the nature of the business they carry on and the public’s interest in it, public utilities and common carriers are subject to state regulation, whether exerted directly by legislatures or under authority delegated to administrative bodies.191 But because the property of these entities remains under the full protection of the Constitution, it follows that due process is violated when the state regulates in a manner that infringes the right of ownership in what the Court considers to be an “arbitrary” or “unreasonable” way.192 Thus, when a street railway company lost its franchise, the city could not simply take possession of its equipment,193 although it could subject the company to the alternative of accepting an inadequate price for its property or of ceasing operations and removing its property from the streets.194 Likewise, a city wanting to establish a lighting system of its own may not remove, without compensation, the fixtures of a lighting company already occupying the streets under a franchise,195 although a city may compete with a company that has no exclusive charter.196 However, a municipal ordinance that demanded, as a condition for placing poles and conduits in city streets, that a telegraph company carry the city’s wires free of charge, and that required that conduits be moved at company expense, was constitutional.197

And, the fact that a state, by mere legislative or administrative fiat, cannot convert a private carrier into a common carrier will not protect a foreign corporation that has elected to enter a state that requires that it operate its local private pipe line as a common carrier. Such a foreign corporation is viewed as having waived its constitutional right to be secure against the imposition of conditions that amount to a taking of property without due process of law.198

Compulsory Expenditures: Grade Crossings, and the Like.— Generally, the enforcement of uncompensated obedience to a regulation for the public health and safety is not an unconstitutional taking of property in violation of due process.199 Thus, where a water company laid its lines on an ungraded street, and the applicable rule at the time of the granting of its charter compelled the company to furnish connections at its own expense to one residing on such a street, due process is not violated.200 Or, where a gas company laid its pipes under city streets, it may validly be obligated to assume the cost of moving them to accommodate a municipal drainage system.201 Or, railroads may be required to help fund the elimination of grade crossings, even though commercial highway users, who make no contribution whatsoever, benefit from such improvements.

Although the power of the state in this respect is not unlimited, and an “arbitrary” and “unreasonable” imposition on these businesses may be set aside, the Court’s modern approach to substantive due process analysis makes this possibility far less likely than it once was. For instance, a 1935 case invalidated a requirement that railroads share 50% of the cost of grade separation, irrespective of the value of such improvements to the railroad, suggesting that railroads could not be required to subsidize competitive transportation modes.202 But in 1953 the Court distinguished this case, ruling that the costs of grade separation improvements need not be allocated solely on the basis of benefits that would accrue to railroad property.203 Although the Court cautioned that “allocation of costs must be fair and reasonable,” it was deferential to local governmental decisions, stating that, in the exercise of the police power to meet transportation, safety, and convenience needs of a growing community, “the cost of such improvements may be allocated all to the railroads.”204

Compellable Services.—A state may require that common carriers such as railroads provide services in a manner suitable for the convenience of the communities they serve.205 Similarly, a primary duty of a public utility is to serve all those who desire the service it renders, and so it follows that a company cannot pick and choose to serve only those portions of its territory that it finds most profitable. Therefore, compelling a gas company to continue serving specified cities as long as it continues to do business in other parts of the state does not constitute an unconstitutional deprivation.206 Likewise, requiring a railway to continue the service of a branch or part of a line is acceptable, even if that portion of the operation is an economic drain.207 A company, however, cannot be compelled to operate its franchise at a loss, but must be at liberty to surrender it and discontinue operations.208

As the standard for regulation of a utility is whether a particular directive is reasonable, the question of whether a state order requiring the provision of services is reasonable could include a consideration of the likelihood of pecuniary loss, the nature, extent and productiveness of the carrier’s intrastate business, the character of the service required, the public need for it, and its effect upon service already being rendered.209 An example of the kind of regulation where the issue of reasonableness would require an evaluation of numerous practical and economic factors is one that requires railroads to lay tracks and otherwise provide the required equipment to facilitate the connection of separate track lines.210

Generally, regulation of a utility’s service to commercial customers attracts less scrutiny211 than do regulations intended to facilitate the operations of a competitor,212 and governmental power to regulate in the interest of safety has long been conceded.213 Requirements for service having no substantial relation to a utility’s regulated function, however, have been voided, such as requiring railroads to maintain scales to facilitate trading in cattle, or prohibiting letting down an unoccupied upper berth on a rail car while the lower berth was occupied.214

Imposition of Statutory Liabilities and Penalties Upon Common Carriers.—Legislators have considerable latitude to impose legal burdens upon common carriers, as long as the carriers are not precluded from shifting such burdens. Thus, a statute may make an initial rail carrier,215 or the connecting or delivering carrier,216 liable to the shipper for the nondelivery of goods which results from the fault of another, as long as the carrier has a subrogated right to proceed against the carrier at fault. Similarly, a railroad may be held responsible for damages to the owner of property injured by fire caused by locomotive engines, as the statute also granted the railroad an insurable interest in such property along its route, allowing the railroad to procure insurance against such liability.217 Equally consistent with the requirements of due process are enactments imposing on all common carriers a penalty for failure to settle claims for freight lost or damaged in shipment within a reasonable specified period.218

The Court has, however, established some limits on the imposition of penalties on common carriers. During the Lochner era, the Court invalidated an award of $500 in liquidated damages plus reasonable attorney’s fees imposed on a carrier that had collected transportation charges in excess of established maximum rates as disproportionate. The Court also noted that the penalty was exacted under conditions not affording the carrier an adequate opportunity to test the constitutionality of the rates before liability attached.219 Where the carrier did have an opportunity to challenge the reasonableness of the rate, however, the Court indicated that the validity of the penalty imposed need not be determined by comparison with the amount of the overcharge. Inasmuch as a penalty is imposed as punishment for violation of law, the legislature may adjust its amount to the public wrong rather than the private injury, and the only limitation which the Fourteenth Amendment imposes is that the penalty prescribed shall not be “so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportionate to the offense and obviously unreasonable.”220

Regulation of Businesses, Corporations, Professions, and Trades

Generally.—States may impose significant regulations on businesses without violating due process. “The Constitution does not guarantee the unrestricted privilege to engage in a business or to conduct it as one pleases. Certain kinds of business may be prohibited; and the right to conduct a business, or to pursue a calling, may be conditioned. . . . Statutes prescribing the terms upon which those conducting certain businesses may contract, or imposing terms if they do enter into agreements, are within the State’s competency.”221 Still, the fact that the state reserves the power to amend or repeal corporate charters does not support the taking of corporate property without due process of law, as termination of the corporate structure merely results in turning over corporate property to the stockholders after liquidation.222

Foreign (outofstate) corporations also enjoy protection under the Due Process Clauses, but this does not grant them an unconditional right to enter another state or to continue to do business in it. Language in some early cases suggested that states had plenary power to exclude or to expel a foreign corporation.223 This power is clearly limited by the modern doctrine of the “negative” commerce clause, which constrains states’ authority to discriminate against foreign corporations in favor of local commerce. Still, it has always been acknowledged that states may subject corporate entry or continued operation to reasonable, nondiscriminatory conditions. Thus, for instance, a state law that requires the filing of articles with a local official as a prerequisite to the validity of conveyances of local realty to such corporations does not violate due process.224 In addition, statutes that require a foreign insurance company to maintain reserves computed by a specific percentage of premiums (including membership fees) received in all states,225 or to consent to direct actions filed against it by persons injured in the host state, are valid.226

Laws Prohibiting Trusts, Restraint of Trade or Fraud.— Even during the period when the Court was invalidating statutes under liberty of contract principles, it recognized the right of states to prohibit combinations in restraint of trade.227 Thus, states could prohibit agreements to pool and fix prices, divide net earnings, and prevent competition in the purchase and sale of grain.228 Further, the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment does not preclude a state from adopting a policy prohibiting competing corporations from combinations, even when such combinations were induced by good intentions and from which benefit and no injury have resulted.229 The Court also upheld a variety of statutes prohibiting activities taken by individual businesses intended to harm competitors230 or restrain the trade of others.231

Laws and ordinances tending to prevent frauds by requiring honest weights and measures in the sale of articles of general consumption have long been considered lawful exertions of the police power.232 Thus, a prohibition on the issuance or sale by other than an authorized weigher of any weight certificate for grain weighed at any warehouse or elevator where state weighers are stationed is not unconstitutional.233 Similarly, the power of a state to prescribe standard containers to protect buyers from deception as well as to facilitate trading and to preserve the condition of the merchandise is not open to question.234

A variety of other business regulations that tend to prevent fraud have withstood constitutional scrutiny. Thus, a state may require that the nature of a product be fairly set forth, despite the right of a manufacturer to maintain secrecy as to his compounds.235 Or, a statute providing that the purchaser of harvesting or threshing machinery for his own use shall have a reasonable time after delivery for inspecting and testing it, and may rescind the contract if the machinery does not prove reasonably adequate, does not violate the Due Process Clause.236 Further, in the exercise of its power to prevent fraud and imposition, a state may regulate trading in securities within its borders, require a license of those engaging in such dealing, make issuance of a license dependent on the good repute of the applicants, and permit, subject to judicial review of his findings, revocation of the license.237

The power to regulate also includes the power to forbid certain business practices. Thus, a state may forbid the giving of options to sell or buy any grain or other commodity at a future time.238 It may also forbid sales on margin for future delivery,239 and may prohibit the keeping of places where stocks, grain, and the like, are sold but not paid for at the time, unless a record of the same be made and a stamp tax paid.240 A prohibitive license fee upon the use of trading stamps is not unconstitutional,241 nor is imposing criminal penalties for any deductions by purchasers from the actual weight of grain, hay, seed, or coal purchased, even when such deduction is made under a claim of custom or under a rule of a board of trade.242

Banking, Wage Assignments, and Garnishment.—Regulation of banks and banking has always been considered well within the police power of states, and the Fourteenth Amendment did not eliminate this regulatory authority.243 A variety of regulations have been upheld over the years. For example, state banks are not deprived of property without due process by a statute subjecting them to assessments for a depositors’ guaranty fund.244 Also, a law requiring savings banks to turn over deposits inactive for thirty years to the state (when the depositor cannot be found), with provision for payment to the depositor or his heirs on establishment of the right, does not effect an invalid taking of the property of said banks; nor does a statute requiring banks to turn over to the protective custody of the state deposits that, depending on the nature of the deposit, have been inactive ten or twenty-five years.245

A state is acting clearly within its police power in fixing maximum rates of interest on money loaned within its border, and such regulation is within legislative discretion if not unreasonable or arbitrary.246 Equally valid is a requirement that assignments of future wages as security for debts of less than $200, to be valid, must be accepted in writing by the employer, consented to by the assignors, and filed in public office. Such a requirement deprives neither the borrower nor the lender of his property without due process of law.247

Insurance.—Those engaged in the insurance business248 as well as the business itself have been peculiarly subject to supervision and control.249 Even during the Lochner era the Court recognized that government may fix insurance rates and regulate the compensation of insurance agents,250 and over the years the Court has upheld a wide variety of regulation. For instance, a state may impose a fine on “any person ‘who shall act in any manner in the negotiation or transaction of unlawful insurance . . . with a foreign insurance company not admitted to do business [within said State].’”251 Or, a state may forbid life insurance companies and their agents to engage in the undertaking business and undertakers to serve as life insurance agents.252 Further, foreign casualty and surety insurers were not deprived of due process by a Virginia law that prohibited the making of contracts of casualty or surety insurance except through registered agents, that required that such contracts applicable to persons or property in the state be countersigned by a registered local agent, and that prohibited such agents from sharing more than 50% of a commission with a nonresident broker.253 And just as all banks may be required to contribute to a depositors’ guaranty fund, so may automobile liability insurers be required to submit to the equitable apportionment among them of applicants who are in good faith entitled to, but are financially unable to, procure such insurance through ordinary methods.254

However, the Court has discerned some limitations to such regulations. A statute that prohibited the insured from contracting directly with a marine insurance company outside the state for coverage of property within the state was held invalid as a deprivation of liberty without due process of law.255 For the same reason, the Court held, a state may not prevent a citizen from concluding a policy loan agreement with a foreign life insurance company at its home office whereby the policy on his life is pledged as collateral security for a cash loan to become due upon default in payment of premiums, in which case the entire policy reserve might be applied to discharge the indebtedness. Authority to subject such an agreement to the conflicting provisions of domestic law is not deducible from the power of a state to license a foreign insurance company as a condition of its doing business therein.256

A stipulation that policies of hail insurance shall take effect and become binding twenty-four hours after the hour in which an application is taken and further requiring notice by telegram of rejection of an application was upheld.257 No unconstitutional restraint was imposed upon the liberty of contract of surety companies by a statute providing that, after enactment, any bond executed for the faithful performance of a building contract shall inure to the benefit of material men and laborers, notwithstanding any provision of the bond to the contrary.258 Likewise constitutional was a law requiring that a motor vehicle liability policy shall provide that bankruptcy of the insured does not release the insurer from liability to an injured person.259 There also is no denial of due process for a state to require that casualty companies, in case of total loss, pay the total amount for which the property was insured, less depreciation between the time of issuing the policy and the time of the loss, rather than the actual cash value of the property at the time of loss.260

Moreover, even though it had its attorney-in-fact located in Illinois, signed all its contracts there, and forwarded from there all checks in payment of losses, a reciprocal insurance association covering real property located in New York could be compelled to comply with New York regulations that required maintenance of an office in that state and the countersigning of policies by an agent resident therein.261 Also, to discourage monopolies and to encourage rate competition, a state constitutionally may impose on all fire insurance companies connected with a tariff association fixing rates a liability or penalty to be collected by the insured of 25% in excess of actual loss or damage, stipulations in the insurance contract to the contrary notwithstanding.262

A state statute by which a life insurance company, if it fails to pay upon demand the amount due under a policy after death of the insured, is made liable in addition for fixed damages, reasonable in amount, and for a reasonable attorney’s fee is not unconstitutional even though payment is resisted in good faith and upon reasonable grounds.263 It is also proper by law to cut off a defense by a life insurance company based on false and fraudulent statements in the application, unless the matter misrepresented actually contributed to the death of the insured.264 A provision that suicide, unless contemplated when the application for a policy was made, shall be no defense is equally valid.265 When a cooperative life insurance association is reorganized so as to permit it to do a life insurance business of every kind, policyholders are not deprived of their property without due process of law.266 Similarly, when the method of liquidation provided by a plan of rehabilitation of a mutual life insurance company is as favorable to dissenting policyholders as would have been the sale of assets and pro rata distribution to all creditors, the dissenters are unable to show any taking without due process. Dissenting policyholders have no constitutional right to a particular form of remedy.267

Miscellaneous Businesses and Professions.—The practice of medicine, using this word in its most general sense, has long been the subject of regulation.268 A state may exclude osteopathic physicians from hospitals maintained by it or its municipalities269 and may regulate the practice of dentistry by prescribing qualifications that are reasonably necessary, requiring licenses, establishing a supervisory administrative board, or prohibiting certain advertising regardless of its truthfulness.270 The Court has sustained a law establishing as a qualification for obtaining or retaining a pharmacy operating permit that one either be a registered pharmacist in good standing or that the corporation or association have a majority of its stock owned by registered pharmacists in good standing who were actively and regularly employed in and responsible for the management, supervision, and operation of such pharmacy.271

Although statutes requiring pilots to be licensed272 and setting reasonable competency standards (e. g., that railroad engineers pass color blindness tests) have been sustained,273 an act making it a misdemeanor for a person to act as a railway passenger conductor without having had two years’ experience as a freight conductor or brakeman was invalidated as not rationally distinguishing between those competent and those not competent to serve as conductor.274 An act imposing license fees for operating employment agencies and prohibiting them from sending applicants to an employer who has not applied for labor does not deny due process of law.275 Also, a state law prohibiting operation of a “debt pooling” or a “debt adjustment” business except as an incident to the legitimate practice of law is a valid exercise of legislative discretion.276

The Court has also upheld a variety of other licensing or regulatory legislation applicable to places of amusement,277 grain elevators,278 detective agencies,279 the sale of cigarettes280 or cosmetics,281 and the resale of theater tickets.282 Restrictions on advertising have also been upheld, including absolute bans on the advertising of cigarettes283 or the use of a representation of the United States flag on an advertising medium.284 Similarly constitutional were prohibitions on the solicitation by a layman of the business of collecting and adjusting claims,285 the keeping of private markets within six squares of a public market,286 the keeping of billiard halls except in hotels,287 or the purchase by junk dealers of wire, copper, and other items, without ascertaining the seller’s right to sell.288

Protection of State Resources

Oil and Gas.—A state may prohibit conduct that leads to the waste of natural resources.289 Thus, for instance, where there is a limited market for natural gas acquired attendant to oil production or where the pumping of oil and gas from one location may limit the ability of others to recover oil from a large reserve, a state may require that production of oil be limited or prorated among producers.290 Generally, whether a system of proration is fair is a question for administrative and not judicial judgment.291 On the other hand, where the evidence showed that an order prorating allowed production among several wells was actually intended to compel pipeline owners to furnish a market to those who had no pipeline connections, the order was held void as a taking of private property for private benefit.292

A state may act to conserve resources even if it works to the economic detriment of the producer. Thus, a state may forbid certain uses of natural gas, such as the production of carbon black, where the gas is burned without fully using the heat therein for other manufacturing or domestic purposes. Such regulations were sustained even where the carbon black was more valuable than the gas from which it was extracted, and notwithstanding the fact that the producer had made significant investment in a plant for the manufacture of carbon black.293 Likewise, for the purpose of regulating and adjusting coexisting rights of surface owners to underlying oil and gas, it is within the power of a state to prohibit the operators of wells from allowing natural gas, not conveniently necessary for other purposes, to come to the surface unless its lifting power was used to produce the greatest proportional quantity of oil.294

Protection of Property and Agricultural Crops.—Special precautions may be required to avoid or compensate for harm caused by extraction of natural resources. Thus, a state may require the filing of a bond to secure payment for damages to any persons or property resulting from an oil and gas drilling or production operation.295 On the other hand, in Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon,296 a Pennsylvania statute that forbade the mining of coal under private dwellings or streets of cities by a grantor that had reserved the right to mine was viewed as too restrictive on the use of private property and hence a denial of due process and a “taking” without compensation.297 Years later, however, a quite similar Pennsylvania statute was upheld, the Court finding that the new law no longer involved merely a balancing of private economic interests, but instead promoted such “important public interests” as conservation, protection of water supplies, and preservation of land values for taxation.298

A statute requiring the destruction of cedar trees within two miles of apple orchards in order to prevent damage to the orchards caused by cedar rust was upheld as not unreasonable even in the absence of compensation. Apple growing being one of the principal agricultural pursuits in Virginia and the value of cedar trees throughout the state being small as compared with that of apple orchards, the state was constitutionally competent to require the destruction of one class of property in order to save another which, in the judgment of its legislature, was of greater value to the public.299 Similarly, Florida was held to possess constitutional authority to protect the reputation of one of its major industries by penalizing the delivery for shipment in interstate commerce of citrus fruits so immature as to be unfit for consumption.300

Water, Fish, and Game.—A statute making it unlawful for a riparian owner to divert water into another state was held not to deprive the property owner of due process. “The constitutional power of the State to insist that its natural advantages shall remain unimpaired by its citizens is not dependent upon any nice estimate of the extent of present use or speculation as to future needs. . . . What it has it may keep and give no one a reason for its will.”301 This holding has since been disapproved, but on interstate commerce rather than due process grounds.302 States may, however, enact and enforce a variety of conservation measures for the protection of watersheds.303

Similarly, a state has sufficient control over fish and wild game found within its boundaries304 so that it may regulate or prohibit fishing and hunting.305 For the effective enforcement of such restrictions, a state may also forbid the possession within its borders of special instruments of violations, such as nets, traps, and seines, regardless of the time of acquisition or the protestations of lawful intentions on the part of a particular possessor.306 The Court has also upheld a state law restricting a commercial reduction plant from accepting more fish than it could process without spoilage in order to conserve fish found within its waters, even allowing the application of such restriction to fish imported into the state from adjacent international waters.307

The Court’s early decisions rested on the legal fiction that the states owned the fish and wild game within their borders, and thus could reserve these possessions for use by their own citizens.308 The Court soon backed away from the ownership fiction,309 and in Hughes v. Oklahoma310 it formally overruled prior case law, indicating that state conservation measures discriminating against outofstate persons were to be measured under the Commerce Clause. Although a state’s “concerns for conservation and protection of wild animals” were still a “legitimate” basis for regulation, these concerns could not justify disproportionate burdens on interstate commerce.311

Subsequently, in the context of recreational rather than commercial activity, the Court reached a result more deferential to state authority, holding that access to recreational big game hunting is not within the category of rights protected by the Privileges or Immunities Clause, and that consequently a state could charge outofstaters significantly more than instaters for a hunting license.312 Suffice it to say that similar cases involving a state’s efforts to reserve its fish and game for its own inhabitants are likely to be challenged under commerce or privileges or immunities principles, rather than under substantive due process.

Ownership of Real Property: Rights and Limitations

Zoning and Similar Actions.—It is now well established that states and municipalities have the police power to zone land for designated uses. Zoning authority gained judicial recognition early in the 20th century. Initially, an analogy was drawn to public nuisance law, so that states and their municipal subdivisions could declare that specific businesses, although not nuisances per se, were nuisances in fact and in law in particular circumstances and in particular localities.313 Thus, a state could declare the emission of dense smoke in populous areas a nuisance and restrain it, even though this affected the use of property and subjected the owner to the expense of compliance.314 Similarly, the Court upheld an ordinance that prohibited brick making in a designated area, even though the specified land contained valuable clay deposits which could not profitably be removed for processing elsewhere, was far more valuable for brick making than for any other purpose, had been acquired before it was annexed to the municipality, and had long been used as a brickyard.315

With increasing urbanization came a broadening of the philosophy of land-use regulation to protect not only health and safety but also the amenities of modern living.316 Consequently, the Court has recognized the power of government, within the loose confines of the Due Process Clause, to zone in many ways and for many purposes. Governments may regulate the height of buildings,317 establish building setback requirements,318 preserve open spaces (through density controls and restrictions on the numbers of houses),319 and preserve historic structures.320 The Court will generally uphold a challenged land-use plan unless it determines that either the overall plan is arbitrary and unreasonable with no substantial relation to the public health, safety, or general welfare,321 or that the plan as applied amounts to a taking of property without just compensation.322

Applying these principles, the Court has held that the exclusion of apartment houses, retail stores, and billboards from a “residential district” in a village is a permissible exercise of municipal power.323 Similarly, a housing ordinance in a community of single-family dwellings, in which any number of related persons (blood, adoption, or marriage) could occupy a house but only two unrelated persons could do so, was sustained in the absence of any showing that it was aimed at the deprivation of a “fundamental interest.”324 Such a fundamental interest, however, was found to be implicated in Moore v. City of East Cleveland325 by a “single family” zoning ordinance which defined a “family” to exclude a grandmother who had been living with her two grandsons of different children. Similarly, black persons cannot be forbidden to occupy houses in blocks where the greater number of houses are occupied by white persons, or vice versa.326

In one aspect of zoning—the degree to which such decisions may be delegated to private persons—the Court has not been consistent. Thus, for instance, it invalidated a city ordinance which conferred the power to establish building setback lines upon the owners of two thirds of the property abutting any street.327 Or, in another case, it struck down an ordinance that permitted the establishment of philanthropic homes for the aged in residential areas, but only upon the written consent of the owners of two-thirds of the property within 400 feet of the proposed facility.328 In a decision falling chronologically between these two, however, the Court sustained an ordinance that permitted property owners to waive a municipal restriction prohibiting the construction of billboards.329

In its most recent decision, the Court upheld a city charter provision permitting a petition process by which a citywide referendum could be held on zoning changes and variances. The provision required a 55% approval vote in the referendum to sustain the commission’s decision, and the Court distinguished between delegating such authority to a small group of affected landowners and the people’s retention of the ultimate legislative power in themselves which for convenience they had delegated to a legislative body.330

Estates, Succession, Abandoned Property.—The Due Process Clause does not prohibit a state from varying the rights of those receiving benefits under intestate laws. Thus, the Court held that the rights of an estate were not impaired where a New York Decedent Estate Law granted a surviving spouse the right to take as in intestacy, despite the fact that the spouse had waived any right to her husband’s estate before the enactment of the law. Because rights of succession to property are of statutory creation, the Court explained, New York could have conditioned any further exercise of testamentary power upon the giving of right of election to the surviving spouse regardless of any waiver, however formally executed.331

Even after the creation of a testamentary trust, a state retains the power to devise new and reasonable directions to the trustee to meet new conditions arising during its administration. For instance, the Great Depression resulted in the default of numerous mortgages which were held by trusts, which had the affect of putting an unexpected accumulation of real property into those trusts. Under these circumstance, the Court upheld the retroactive application of a statute reallocating distribution within these trusts, even where the administration of the estate had already begun, and the new statute had the effect of taking away a remainderman’s right to judicial review of the trustee’s computation of income.332

The states have significant discretion to regulate abandoned property. For instance, states have several jurisdictional bases to allow for the lawful application of escheat and abandoned property laws to outofstate corporations. Thus, application of New York’s Abandoned Property Law to New York residents’ life insurance policies, even when issued by foreign corporations, did not deprive such companies of property without due process, where the insured persons had continued to be New York residents and the beneficiaries were resident at the maturity date of the policies. The relationship between New York and its residents who abandon claims against foreign insurance companies, and between New York and foreign insurance companies doing business therein, is sufficiently close to give New York jurisdiction.333 Or, in Standard Oil Co. v. New Jersey,334 a divided Court held that due process is not violated by a state statute escheating shares of stock in a domestic corporation, including unpaid dividends, even though the last known owners were nonresidents and the stock was issued and the dividends held in another state. The state’s power over the debtor corporation gives it power to seize the debts or demands represented by the stock and dividends.

A state’s wide discretion to define abandoned property and dispose of abandoned property can be seen in Texaco v. Short,335 which upheld an Indiana statute that terminated interests in coal, oil, gas, or other minerals that had not been used in twenty years, and that provided for reversion to the owner of the interest out of which the mining interests had been carved. The “use” of a mineral interest that could prevent its extinction included the actual or attempted extraction of minerals, the payment of rents or royalties, and any payment of taxes. Indeed, merely filing a claim with the local recorder would preserve the interest.336 The statute provided no notice to owners of interests, however, save for its own publication; nor did it require surface owners to notify owners of mineral interests that the interests were about to expire.337 By a narrow margin, the Court sustained the statute, holding that the state’s interest in encouraging production, securing timely notices of property ownership, and settling property titles provided a basis for enactment, and finding that due process did not require any actual notice to holders of unused mineral interests.338 The state “may impose on an owner of a mineral interest the burden of using that interest or filing a current statement of interests” and it may similarly “impose on him the lesser burden of keeping informed of the use or nonuse of his own property.”339

Health, Safety, and Morals

Health.—Even under the narrowest concept of the police power as limited by substantive due process, it was generally conceded that states could exercise the power to protect the public health, safety, and morals.340 For instance, an ordinance for incineration of garbage and refuse at a designated place as a means of protecting public health is not a taking of private property without just compensation, even though such garbage and refuse may have some elements of value for certain purposes.341 Or, compelling property owners to connect with a publicly maintained system of sewers and enforcing that duty by criminal penalties does not violate the Due Process Clause.342

There are few constitutional restrictions on the extensive state regulations on the production and distribution of food and drugs.343 Statutes forbidding or regulating the manufacture of oleomargarine have been upheld,344 as have statutes ordering the destruction of unsafe food345 or confiscation of impure milk,346 notwithstanding that, in the latter cases, such articles had a value for purposes other than food. There also can be no question of the authority of the state, in the interest of public health and welfare, to forbid the sale of drugs by itinerant vendors347 or the sale of spectacles by an establishment where a physician or optometrist is not in charge.348 Nor is it any longer possible to doubt the validity of state regulations pertaining to the administration, sale, prescription, and use of dangerous and habit-forming drugs.349

Equally valid as police power regulations are laws forbidding the sale of ice cream not containing a reasonable proportion of butter fat,350 of condensed milk made from skimmed milk rather than whole milk,351 or of food preservatives containing boric acid.352 Similarly, a statute intended to prevent fraud and deception by prohibiting the sale of “filled milk” (milk to which has been added any fat or oil other than a milk fat) is valid, at least where such milk has the taste, consistency, and appearance of whole milk products. The Court reasoned that filled milk is inferior to whole milk in its nutritional content and cannot be served to children as a substitute for whole milk without producing a dietary deficiency.353

Even before the passage of the 21st Amendment, which granted states the specific authority to regulate alcoholic beverages, the Supreme Court had found that the states have significant authority in this regard.354 A state may declare that places where liquor is manufactured or kept are common nuisances,355 and may even subject an innocent owner to the forfeiture of his property if he allows others to use it for the illegal production or transportation of alcohol.356

Safety.—Regulations designed to promote public safety are also well within a state’s authority. For instance, various measures designed to reduce fire hazards have been upheld. These include municipal ordinances that prohibit the storage of gasoline within 300 feet of any dwelling,357 require that all gas storage tanks with a capacity of more than ten gallons be buried at least three feet under ground,358 or prohibit washing and ironing in public laundries and wash houses within defined territorial limits from 10 p. m. to 6 a. m.359 A city’s demolition and removal of wooden buildings erected in violation of regulations was also consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment.360 Construction of property in full compliance with existing laws, however, does not confer upon the owner an immunity against exercise of the police power. Thus, a 1944 amendment to a Multiple Dwelling Law, requiring installation of automatic sprinklers in lodging houses of non-fireproof construction, can be applied to a lodging house constructed in 1940, even though compliance entails an expenditure of $7,500 on a property worth only $25,000.361

States exercise extensive regulation over transportation safety. Although state highways are used primarily for private purposes, they are public property, and the use of a highway for financial gain may be prohibited by the legislature or conditioned as it sees fit.362 Consequently, a state may reasonably provide that intrastate carriers who have furnished adequate, responsible, and continuous service over a given route from a specified date in the past shall be entitled to licenses as a matter of right, but that issuance to those whose service began later shall depend upon public convenience and necessity.363 A state may require private contract carriers for hire to obtain a certificate of convenience and necessity, and decline to grant one if the service of common carriers is impaired thereby. A state may also fix minimum rates applicable to such private carriers, which are not less than those prescribed for common carriers, as a valid as a means of conserving highways.364 In the absence of legislation by Congress, a state may, to protect public safety, deny an interstate motor carrier the use of an already congested highway.365

In exercising its authority over its highways, a state is not limited to the raising of revenue for maintenance and reconstruction or to regulating the manner in which vehicles shall be operated, but may also prevent the wear and hazards due to excessive size of vehicles and weight of load.366 No less constitutional is a municipal traffic regulation that forbids the operation in the streets of any advertising vehicle, excepting vehicles displaying business notices or advertisements of the products of the owner and not used mainly for advertising; and such regulation may be validly enforced to prevent an express company from selling advertising space on the outside of its trucks.367 A state may also provide that a driver who fails to pay a judgment for negligent operation shall have his license and registration suspended for three years, unless, in the meantime, the judgment is satisfied or discharged.368 Compulsory automobile insurance is so plainly valid as to present no federal constitutional question.369

Morality.—Legislatures have wide discretion in regulating “immoral” activities. Thus, legislation suppressing prostitution370 or gambling371 will be upheld by the Court as within the police power of a state. Accordingly, a state statute may provide that judgment against a party to recover illegal gambling winnings may be enforced by a lien on the property of the owner of the building where the gambling transaction was conducted when the owner knowingly consented to the gambling.372 Similarly, a court may order a car used in an act of prostitution forfeited as a public nuisance, even if this works a deprivation on an innocent joint owner of the car.373 For the same reason, lotteries, including those operated under a legislative grant, may be forbidden, regardless of any particular equities.374

Vested and Remedial Rights

As the Due Process Clause protects against arbitrary deprivation of “property,” privileges or benefits that constitute property are entitled to protection.375 Because an existing right of action to recover damages for an injury is property, that right of action is protected by the clause.376 Thus, where repeal of a provision that made directors liable for moneys embezzled by corporate officers was applied retroactively, it deprived certain creditors of their property without due process of law.377 A person, however, has no constitutionally protected property interest in any particular form of remedy and is guaranteed only the preservation of a substantial right to redress by an effective procedure.378

Similarly, a statute creating an additional remedy for enforcing liability does not, as applied to stockholders then holding stock, violate due process.379 Nor does a law that lifts a statute of limitations and makes possible a suit, previously barred, for the value of certain securities. “The Fourteenth Amendment does not make an act of state legislation void merely because it has some retrospective operation. . . . Some rules of law probably could not be changed retroactively without hardship and oppression . . . . Assuming that statutes of limitation, like other types of legislation, could be so manipulated that their retroactive effects would offend the constitution, certainly it cannot be said that lifting the bar of a statute of limitation so as to restore a remedy lost through mere lapse of time is per se an offense against the Fourteenth Amendment.”380

State Control over Local Units of Government

The Fourteenth Amendment does not deprive a state of the power to determine what duties may be performed by local officers, and whether they shall be appointed or popularly elected.381 Nor does a statute requiring cities to indemnify owners of property damaged by mobs or during riots result in an unconstitutional deprivation of the property, even when the city could not have prevented the violence.382 Likewise, a person obtaining a judgment against a municipality for damages resulting from a riot is not deprived of property without due process of law by an act that so limits the municipality’s taxing power as to prevent collection of funds adequate to pay it. As long as the judgment continues as an existing liability, no unconstitutional deprivation is experienced.383

Local units of government obliged to surrender property to other units newly created out of the territory of the former cannot successfully invoke the Due Process Clause,384 nor may taxpayers allege any unconstitutional deprivation as a result of changes in their tax burden attendant upon the consolidation of contiguous municipalities.385 Nor is a statute requiring counties to reimburse cities of the first class but not cities of other classes for rebates allowed for prompt payment of taxes in conflict with the Due Process Clause.386

Taxing Power

Generally.—It was not contemplated that the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment would restrain or cripple the taxing power of the states.387 When the power to tax exists, the extent of the burden is a matter for the discretion of the lawmakers,388 and the Court will refrain from condemning a tax solely on the ground that it is excessive.389 Nor can the constitutionality of taxation be made to depend upon the taxpayer’s enjoyment of any special benefits from use of the funds raised by taxation.390

Theoretically, public moneys cannot be expended for other than public purposes. Some early cases applied this principle by invalidating taxes judged to be imposed to raise money for purely private rather than public purposes.391 However, modern notions of public purpose have expanded to the point where the limitation has little practical import.392 Whether a use is public or private, although ultimately a judicial question, “is a practical question addressed to the law-making department, and it would require a plain case of departure from every public purpose which could reasonably be conceived to justify the intervention of a court.”393

The authority of states to tax income is “universally recognized.”394 Years ago the Court explained that “[e]njoyment of the privileges of residence in the state and the attendant right to invoke the protection of its laws are inseparable from responsibility for sharing the costs of government. . . . A tax measured by the net income of residents is an equitable method of distributing the burdens of government among those who are privileged to enjoy its benefits.”395 Also, a tax on income is not constitutionally suspect because retroactive. The routine practice of making taxes retroactive for the entire year of the legislative session in which the tax is enacted has long been upheld,396 and there are also situations in which courts have upheld retroactive application to the preceding year or two.397

A state also has broad tax authority over wills and inheritance. A state may apply an inheritance tax to the transmission of property by will or descent, or to the legal privilege of taking property by devise or descent,398 although such tax must be consistent with other due process considerations.399 Thus, an inheritance tax law, enacted after the death of a testator but before the distribution of his estate, constitutionally may be imposed on the shares of legatees, notwithstanding that under the law of the state in effect on the date of such enactment, ownership of the property passed to the legatees upon the testator’s death.400 Equally consistent with due process is a tax on an inter vivos transfer of property by deed intended to take effect upon the death of the grantor.401

The taxation of entities that are franchises within the jurisdiction of the governing body raises few concerns. Thus, a city ordinance imposing annual license taxes on light and power companies does not violate the Due Process Clause merely because the city has entered the power business in competition with such companies.402 Nor does a municipal charter authorizing the imposition upon a local telegraph company of a tax upon the lines of the company within its limits at the rate at which other property is taxed but upon an arbitrary valuation per mile, deprive the company of its property without due process of law, inasmuch as the tax is a mere franchise or privilege tax.403

States have significant discretion in how to value real property for tax purposes. Thus, assessment of properties for tax purposes over real market value is allowed as merely another way of achieving an increase in the rate of property tax, and does not violate due process.404 Likewise, land subject to mortgage may be taxed for its full value without deduction of the mortgage debt from the valuation.405

A state also has wide discretion in how to apportion real property tax burdens. Thus, a state may defray the entire expense of creating, developing, and improving a political subdivision either from funds raised by general taxation, by apportioning the burden among the municipalities in which the improvements are made, or by creating (or authorizing the creation of) tax districts to meet sanctioned outlays.406 Or, where a state statute authorizes municipal authorities to define the district to be benefitted by a street improvement and to assess the cost of the improvement upon the property within the district in proportion to benefits, their action in establishing the district and in fixing the assessments on included property, cannot, if not arbitrary or fraudulent, be reviewed under the Fourteenth Amendment upon the ground that other property benefitted by the improvement was not included.407

On the other hand, when the benefit to be derived by a railroad from the construction of a highway will be largely offset by the loss of local freight and passenger traffic, an assessment upon such railroad violates due process,408 whereas any gains from increased traffic reasonably expected to result from a road improvement will suffice to sustain an assessment thereon.409 Also the fact that the only use made of a lot abutting on a street improvement is for a railway right of way does not make invalid, for lack of benefits, an assessment thereon for grading, curbing, and paving.410 However, when a high and dry island was included within the boundaries of a drainage district from which it could not be benefitted directly or indirectly, a tax imposed on the island land by the district was held to be a deprivation of property without due process of law.411 Finally, a state may levy an assessment for special benefits resulting from an improvement already made412 and may validate an assessment previously held void for want of authority.413

Jurisdiction to Tax

Generally.—The operation of the Due Process Clause as a jurisdictional limitation on the taxing power of the states has been an issue in a variety of different contexts, but most involve one of two basic questions. First, is there a sufficient relationship between the state exercising taxing power and the object of the exercise of that power? Second, is the degree of contact sufficient to justify the state’s imposition of a particular obligation? Illustrative of the factual settings in which such issues arise are 1) determining the scope of the business activity of a multi-jurisdictional entity that is subject to a state’s taxing power; 2) application of wealth transfer taxes to gifts or bequests of nonresidents; 3) allocation of the income of multi-jurisdictional entities for tax purposes; 4) the scope of state authority to tax income of nonresidents; and 5) collection of state use taxes.

The Court’s opinions in these cases have often discussed due process and dormant commerce clause issues as if they were indistinguishable.414 A later decision, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota,415 however, used a two-tier analysis that found sufficient contact to satisfy due process but not dormant commerce clause requirements. In Quill,416 the Court struck down a state statute requiring an outofstate mail order company with neither outlets nor sales representatives in the state to collect and transmit use taxes on sales to state residents, but did so based on Commerce Clause rather than due process grounds. Taxation of an interstate business does not offend due process, the Court held, if that business “purposefully avails itself of the benefits of an economic market in the [taxing] State . . . even if it has no physical presence in the State.”417 Thus, Quill may be read as implying that the more stringent Commerce Clause standard subsumes due process jurisdictional issues, and that consequently these due process issues need no longer be separately considered.418 This interpretation has yet to be confirmed, however, and a detailed review of due process precedents may prove useful.

Real Property.—Even prior to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, it was a settled principle that a state could not tax land situated beyond its limits. Subsequently elaborating upon that principle, the Court has said that, “we know of no case where a legislature has assumed to impose a tax upon land within the jurisdiction of another State, much less where such action has been defended by a court.”419 Insofar as a tax payment may be viewed as an exaction for the maintenance of government in consideration of protection afforded, the logic sustaining this rule is self-evident.

Tangible Personalty.—A state may tax tangible property located within its borders (either directly through an ad valorem tax or indirectly through death taxes) irrespective of the residence of the owner.420 By the same token, if tangible personal property makes only occasional incursions into other states, its permanent situs remains in the state of origin, and, subject to certain exceptions, is taxable only by the latter.421 The ancient maxim, mobilia sequuntur personam, which originated when personal property consisted in the main of articles appertaining to the person of the owner, yielded in modern times to the “law of the place where the property is kept and used.” The tendency has been to treat tangible personal property as “having a situs of its own for the purpose of taxation, and correlatively to . . . exempt [it] at the domicile of its owner.”422

Thus, when rolling stock is permanently located and used in a business outside the boundaries of a domiciliary state, the latter has no jurisdiction to tax it.423 Further, vessels that merely touch briefly at numerous ports never acquire a taxable situs at any one of them, and are taxable in the domicile of their owners or not at all.424 Thus, where airplanes are continually in and out of a state during the course of a tax year, the entire fleet may be taxed by the domicile state.425

Conversely, a nondomiciliary state, although it may not tax property belonging to a foreign corporation that has never come within its borders, may levy a tax on movables that are regularly and habitually used and employed in that state. Thus, although the fact that cars are loaded and reloaded at a refinery in a state outside the owner’s domicile does not fix the situs of the entire fleet in that state, the state may nevertheless tax the number of cars that on the average are found to be present within its borders.426 But no property of an interstate carrier can be taken into account unless it can be seen in some plain and fairly intelligible way that it adds to the value of the road and the rights exercised in the state.427 Or, a state property tax on railroads, which is measured by gross earnings apportioned to mileage, is constitutional unless it exceeds what would be legitimate as an ordinary tax on the property valued as part of a going concern or is relatively higher than taxes on other kinds of property.428

Intangible Personalty.—To determine whether a state may tax intangible personal property, the Court has applied the fiction mobilia sequuntur personam (movable property follows the person) and has also recognized that such property may acquire, for tax purposes, a permanent business or commercial situs. The Court, however, has never clearly disposed of the issue whether multiple personal property taxation of intangibles is consistent with due process. In the case of corporate stock, however, the Court has obliquely acknowledged that the owner thereof may be taxed at his own domicile, at the commercial situs of the issuing corporation, and at the latter’s domicile. Constitutional lawyers speculated whether the Court would sustain a tax by all three jurisdictions, or by only two of them. If the latter, the question would be which two—the state of the commercial situs and of the issuing corporation’s domicile, or the state of the owner’s domicile and that of the commercial situs.429

Thus far, the Court has sustained the following personal property taxes on intangibles: (1) a debt held by a resident against a nonresident, evidenced by a bond of the debtor and secured by a mortgage on real estate in the state of the debtor’s residence;430 (2) a mortgage owned and kept outside the state by a nonresident but on land within the state;431 (3) investments, in the form of loans to a resident, made by a resident agent of a nonresident creditor;432 (4) deposits of a resident in a bank in another state, where he carries on a business and from which these deposits are derived, but belonging absolutely to him and not used in the business ;433 (5) membership owned by a nonresident in a domestic exchange, known as a chamber of commerce;434 (6) membership by a resident in a stock exchange located in another state;435 (7) stock held by a resident in a foreign corporation that does no business and has no property within the taxing state;436 (8) stock in a foreign corporation owned by another foreign corporation transacting its business within the taxing state;437 (9) shares owned by nonresident shareholders in a domestic corporation, the tax being assessed on the basis of corporate assets and payable by the corporation either out of its general fund or by collection from the shareholder;438 (10) dividends of a corporation distributed ratably among stockholders regardless of their residence outside the state;439 (11) the transfer within the taxing state by one nonresident to another of stock certificates issued by a foreign corporation;440 and (12) promissory notes executed by a domestic corporation, although payable to banks in other states.441

The following personal property taxes on intangibles have been invalidated:(1) debts evidenced by notes in safekeeping within the taxing state, but made and payable and secured by property in a second state and owned by a resident of a third state;442 (2) a tax, measured by income, levied on trust certificates held by a resident, representing interests in various parcels of land (some inside the state and some outside), the holder of the certificates, though without a voice in the management of the property, being entitled to a share in the net income and, upon sale of the property, to the proceeds of the sale.443

The Court also invalidated a property tax sought to be collected from a life beneficiary on the corpus of a trust composed of property located in another state and as to which the beneficiary had neither control nor possession, apart from the receipt of income therefrom.444 However, a personal property tax may be collected on one-half of the value of the corpus of a trust from a resident who is one of the two trustees thereof, not withstanding that the trust was created by the will of a resident of another state in respect of intangible property located in the latter state, at least where it does not appear that the trustee is exposed to the danger of other ad valorem taxes in another state.445 The first case, Brooke v. Norfolk,446 is distinguishable by virtue of the fact that the property tax therein voided was levied upon a resident beneficiary rather than upon a resident trustee in control of nonresident intangibles. Also different is Safe Deposit & Trust Co. v. Virginia,447 where a property tax was unsuccessfully demanded of a nonresident trustee with respect to nonresident intangibles under its control.

A state in which a foreign corporation has acquired a commercial domicile and in which it maintains its general business offices may tax the corporation’s bank deposits and accounts receivable even though the deposits are outside the state and the accounts receivable arise from manufacturing activities in another state. Similarly, a nondomiciliary state in which a foreign corporation did business can tax the “corporate excess” arising from property employed and business done in the taxing state.448 On the other hand, when the foreign corporation transacts only interstate commerce within a state, any excise tax on such excess is void, irrespective of the amount of the tax.449

Also a domiciliary state that imposes no franchise tax on a stock fire insurance corporation may assess a tax on the full amount of paid-in capital stock and surplus, less deductions for liabilities, notwithstanding that such domestic corporation concentrates its executive, accounting, and other business offices in New York, and maintains in the domiciliary state only a required registered office at which local claims are handled. Despite “the vicissitudes which the so-called ‘jurisdiction-to-tax’ doctrine has encountered,” the presumption persists that intangible property is taxable by the state of origin.450

A property tax on the capital stock of a domestic company, however, the appraisal of which includes the value of coal mined in the taxing state but located in another state awaiting sale, deprives the corporation of its property without due process of law.451 Also void for the same reason is a state tax on the franchise of a domestic ferry company that includes in the valuation of the tax the worth of a franchise granted to the company by another state.452

Transfer (Inheritance, Estate, Gift) Taxes.—As a state has authority to regulate transfer of property by wills or inheritance, it may base its succession taxes upon either the transmission or receipt of property by will or by descent.453 But whatever may be the justification of their power to levy such taxes, since 1905 the states have consistently found themselves restricted by the rule in Union Transit Co. v. Kentucky,454 which precludes imposition of transfer taxes upon tangible which are permanently located or have an actual situs outside the state.

In the case of intangibles, however, the Court has oscillated in upholding, then rejecting, and again sustaining the levy by more than one state of death taxes upon intangibles. Until 1930, transfer taxes upon intangibles by either the domiciliary or the situs (but nondomiciliary) state, were with rare exceptions approved. Thus, in Bullen v. Wisconsin,455 the domiciliary state of the creator of a trust was held competent to levy an inheritance tax on an outofstate trust fund consisting of stocks, bonds, and notes, as the settlor reserved the right to control disposition and to direct payment of income for life. The Court reasoned that such reserved powers were the equivalent to a fee in the property. It took cognizance of the fact that the state in which these intangibles had their situs had also taxed the trust.456

On the other hand, the mere ownership by a foreign corporation of property in a nondomiciliary state was held insufficient to support a tax by that state on the succession to shares of stock in that corporation owned by a nonresident decedent.457 Also against the trend was Blodgett v. Silberman,458 in which the Court defeated collection of a transfer tax by the domiciliary state by treating coins and bank notes deposited by a decedent in a safe deposit box in another state as tangible property.459

In the course of about two years following the Depression, the Court handed down a group of four decisions that placed the stamp of disapproval upon multiple transfer taxes and—by inference— other multiple taxation of intangibles.460 The Court found that “practical considerations of wisdom, convenience and justice alike dictate the desirability of a uniform rule confining the jurisdiction to impose death transfer taxes as to intangibles to the State of the [owner’s] domicile.”461 Thus, the Court proceeded to deny the right of nondomiciliary states to tax intangibles, rejecting jurisdictional claims founded upon such bases as control, benefit, protection or situs. During this interval, 1930–1932, multiple transfer taxation of intangibles came to be viewed, not merely as undesirable, but as so arbitrary and unreasonable as to be prohibited by the Due Process Clause.

The Court has expressly overruled only one of these four decisions condemning multiple succession taxation of intangibles. In 1939, in Curry v. McCanless, the Court announced a departure from “[t]he doctrine, of recent origin, that the Fourteenth Amendment precludes the taxation of any interest in the same intangible in more than one state . . . .”462 Taking cognizance of the fact that this doctrine had never been extended to the field of income taxation or consistently applied in the field of property taxation, the Court declared that a correct interpretation of constitutional requirements would dictate the following conclusions: “From the beginning of our constitutional system control over the person at the place of his domicile and his duty there, common to all citizens, to contribute to the support of government have been deemed to afford an adequate constitutional basis for imposing on him a tax on the use and enjoyment of rights in intangibles measured by their value. . . . But when the taxpayer extends his activities with respect to his intangibles, so as to avail himself of the protection and benefit of the laws of another state, in such a way as to bring his person or property within the reach of the tax gatherer there, the reason for a single place of taxation no longer obtains . . . . [However], the state of domicile is not deprived, by the taxpayer’s activities elsewhere, of its constitutional jurisdiction to tax . . . .”463

In accordance with this line of reasoning, the domicile of a decedent (Tennessee) and the state where a trust received securities conveyed from the decedent by will (Alabama) were both allowed to impose a tax on the transfer of these securities. “In effecting her purposes, the testatrix brought some of the legal interests which she created within the control of one state by selecting a trustee there and others within the control of the other state by making her domicile there. She necessarily invoked the aid of the law of both states, and her legatees, before they can secure and enjoy the benefits of succession, must invoke the law of both.”464

On the authority of Curry v. McCanless, the Court, in Pearson v. McGraw,465 sustained the application of an Oregon transfer tax to intangibles handled by an Illinois trust company, although the property was never physically present in Oregon. Jurisdiction to tax was viewed as dependent, not on the location of the property in the state, but on the fact that the owner was a resident of Oregon. In Graves v. Elliott,466 the Court upheld the power of New York, in computing its estate tax, to include in the gross estate of a domiciled decedent the value of a trust of bonds managed in Colorado by a Colorado trust company and already taxed on its transfer by Colorado, which trust the decedent had established while in Colorado and concerning which he had never exercised any of his reserved powers of revocation or change of beneficiaries. It was observed that “the power of disposition of property is the equivalent of ownership. It is a potential source of wealth and its exercise in the case of intangibles is the appropriate subject of taxation at the place of the domicile of the owner of the power. The relinquishment at death, in consequence of the non-exercise in life, of a power to revoke a trust created by a decedent is likewise an appropriate subject of taxation.”467

The costliness of multiple taxation of estates comprising intangibles can be appreciably aggravated if one or more states find that the decedent died domiciled within its borders. In such cases, contesting states may discover that the assets of the estate are insufficient to satisfy their claims. Thus, in Texas v. Florida,468 the State of Texas filed an original petition in the Supreme Court against three other states who claimed to be the domicile of the decedent, noting that the portion of the estate within Texas alone would not suffice to discharge its own tax, and that its efforts to collect its tax might be defeated by adjudications of domicile by the other states. The Supreme Court disposed of this controversy by sustaining a finding that the decedent had been domiciled in Massachusetts, but intimated that thereafter it would take jurisdiction in like situations only in the event that an estate was valued less than the total of the demands of the several states, so that the latter were confronted with a prospective inability to collect.

Corporate Privilege Taxes.—A domestic corporation may be subjected to a privilege tax graduated according to paid-up capital stock, even though the stock represents capital not subject to the taxing power of the state, because the tax is levied not on property but on the privilege of doing business in corporate form.469 However, a state cannot tax property beyond its borders under the guise of taxing the privilege of doing an intrastate business. Therefore, a license tax based on the authorized capital stock of an outofstate corporation is void,470 even though there is a maximum fee,471 unless the tax is apportioned based on property interests in the taxing state.472 On the other hand, a fee collected only once as the price of admission to do intrastate business is distinguishable from a tax and accordingly may be levied on an outofstate corporation based on the amount of its authorized capital stock.473

A municipal license tax imposed on a foreign corporation for goods sold within and without the state, but manufactured in the city, is not a tax on business transactions or property outside the city and therefore does not violate the Due Process Clause.474 But a state lacks jurisdiction to extend its privilege tax to the gross receipts of a foreign contracting corporation for fabricating equipment outside the taxing state, even if the equipment is later installed in the taxing state. Unless the activities that are the subject of the tax are carried on within its territorial limits, a state is not competent to impose such a privilege tax.475

Individual Income Taxes.—A state may tax annually the entire net income of resident individuals from whatever source received,476 as jurisdiction is founded upon the rights and privileges incident to domicile. A state may also tax the portion of a nonresident’s net income that derives from property owned by him within its borders, and from any business, trade, or profession carried on by him within its borders.477 This state power is based upon the state’s dominion over the property he owns, or over activity from which the income derives, and from the obligation to contribute to the support of a government that secures the collection of such income. Accordingly, a state may tax residents on income from rents of land located outside the state; from interest on bonds physically outside the state and secured by mortgage upon lands physically outside the state;478 and from a trust created and administered in another state and not directly taxable to the trustee.479 Further, the fact that another state has lawfully taxed identical income in the hands of trustees operating in that state does not necessarily destroy a domiciliary state’s right to tax the receipt of income by a resident beneficiary.480

Corporate Income Taxes: Foreign Corporations.—A tax based on the income of a foreign corporation may be determined by allocating to the state a proportion of the total,481 unless the income attributed to the state is out of all appropriate proportion to the business transacted in the state.482 Thus, a franchise tax on a foreign corporation may be measured by income, not just from business within the state, but also on net income from interstate and foreign business.483 Because the privilege granted by a state to a foreign corporation of carrying on business supports a tax by that state, it followed that a Wisconsin privilege dividend tax could be applied to a Delaware corporation despite its having its principal offices in New York, holding its meetings and voting its dividends in New York, and drawing its dividend checks on New York bank accounts. The tax could be imposed on the “privilege of declaring and receiving dividends” out of income derived from property located and business transacted in Wisconsin, equal to a specified percentage of such dividends, the corporation being required to deduct the tax from dividends payable to resident and nonresident shareholders.484

Insurance Company Taxes.—A privilege tax on the gross premiums received by a foreign life insurance company at its home office for business written in the state does not deprive the company of property without due process,485 but such a tax is invalid if the company has withdrawn all its agents from the state and has ceased to do business there, merely continuing to receive the renewal premiums at its home office.486 Also violating due process is a state insurance premium tax imposed on a nonresident firm doing business in the taxing jurisdiction, where the firm obtained the coverage of property within the state from an unlicenced outofstate insurer that consummated the contract, serviced the policy, and collected the premiums outside that taxing jurisdiction.487 However, a tax may be imposed upon the privilege of entering and engaging in business in a state, even if the tax is a percentage of the “annual premiums to be paid throughout the life of the policies issued.” Under this kind of tax, a state may continue to collect even after the company’s withdrawal from the state.488

A state may lawfully extend a tax to a foreign insurance company that contracts with an automobile sales corporation in a third state to insure customers of the automobile sales corporation against loss of cars purchased through the automobile sales corporation, insofar as the cars go into the possession of a purchaser within the taxing state.489 On the other hand, a foreign corporation admitted to do a local business, which insures its property with insurers in other states who are not authorized to do business in the taxing state, cannot constitutionally be subjected to a 5% tax on the amount of premiums paid for such coverage.490 Likewise a Connecticut life insurance corporation, licensed to do business in California, which negotiated reinsurance contracts in Connecticut, received payment of premiums on such contracts in Connecticut, and was liable in Connecticut for payment of losses claimed under such contracts, cannot be subjected by California to a privilege tax measured by gross premiums derived from such contracts, notwithstanding that the contracts reinsured other insurers authorized to do business in California and protected policies effected in California on the lives of California residents. The tax cannot be sustained whether as laid on property, business done, or transactions carried on, within California, or as a tax on a privilege granted by that state.491

Procedure in Taxation

Generally.—The Supreme Court has never decided exactly what due process is required in the assessment and collection of general taxes. Although the Court has held that “notice to the owner at some stage of the proceedings, as well as an opportunity to defend, is essential” for imposition of special taxes, it has also ruled that laws for assessment and collection of general taxes stand upon a different footing and are to be construed with the utmost liberality, even to the extent of acknowledging that no notice whatever is necessary.492 Due process of law as applied to taxation does not mean judicial process;493 neither does it require the same kind of notice as is required in a suit at law, or even in proceedings for taking private property under the power of eminent domain.494 Due process is satisfied if a taxpayer is given an opportunity to test the validity of a tax at any time before it is final, whether before a board having a quasi-judicial character, or before a tribunal provided by the state for such purpose.495

Notice and Hearing in Relation to Taxes.—“Of the different kinds of taxes which the State may impose, there is a vast number of which, from their nature, no notice can be given to the taxpayer, nor would notice be of any possible advantage to him, such as poll taxes, license taxes (not dependent upon the extent of his business), and generally, specific taxes on things, or persons, or occupations. In such cases the legislature, in authorizing the tax, fixes its amount, and that is the end of the matter. If the tax be not paid, the property of the delinquent may be sold, and he be thus deprived of his property. Yet there can be no question, that the proceeding is due process of law, as there is no inquiry into the weight of evidence, or other element of a judicial nature, and nothing could be changed by hearing the tax-payer. No right of his is, therefore, invaded. Thus, if the tax on animals be a fixed sum per head, or on articles a fixed sum per yard, or bushel, or gallon, there is nothing the owner can do which can affect the amount to be collected from him. So, if a person wishes a license to do business of a particular kind, or at a particular place, such as keeping a hotel or a restaurant, or selling liquors, or cigars, or clothes, he has only to pay the amount required by law and go into the business. There is no need in such cases for notice or hearing. So, also, if taxes are imposed in the shape of licenses for privileges, such as those on foreign corporations for doing business in the state, or on domestic corporations for franchises, if the parties desire the privilege, they have only to pay the amount required. In such cases there is no necessity for notice or hearing. The amount of the tax would not be changed by it.”496

Notice and Hearing in Relation to Assessments.—“But where a tax is levied on property not specifically, but according to its value, to be ascertained by assessors appointed for that purpose upon such evidence as they may obtain, a different principle comes in. The officers in estimating the value act judicially; and in most of the States provision is made for the correction of errors committed by them, through boards of revision or equalization, sitting at designated periods provided by law to hear complaints respecting the justice of the assessments. The law in prescribing the time when such complaints will be heard, gives all the notice required, and the proceedings by which the valuation is determined, though it may be followed, if the tax be not paid, by a sale of the delinquent’s property, is due process of law.”497

Nevertheless, it has never been considered necessary to the validity of a tax that the party charged shall have been present, or had an opportunity to be present, in some tribunal when he was assessed.498 Where a tax board has its time of sitting fixed by law and where its sessions are not secret, no obstacle prevents the appearance of any one before it to assert a right or redress a wrong and in the business of assessing taxes, this is all that can be reasonably asked.499 Nor is there any constitutional command that notice of an assessment as well as an opportunity to contest it be given in advance of the assessment. It is enough that all available defenses may be presented to a competent tribunal during a suit to collect the tax and before the demand of the state for remittance becomes final.500

However, when assessments based on the enjoyment of a special benefit are made by a political subdivision, a taxing board or court, the property owner is entitled to be heard as to the amount of his assessments and upon all questions properly entering into that determination.501 The hearing need not amount to a judicial inquiry,502 although a mere opportunity to submit objections in writing, without the right of personal appearance, is not sufficient.503 Generally, if an assessment for a local improvement is made in accordance with a fixed rule prescribed by legislative act, the property owner is not entitled to be heard in advance on the question of benefits.504 On the other hand, if the area of the assessment district was not determined by the legislature, a landowner does have the right to be heard respecting benefits to his property before it can be included in the improvement district and assessed, but due process is not denied if, in the absence of actual fraud or bad faith, the decision of the agency vested with the initial determination of benefits is made final.505 The owner has no constitutional right to be heard in opposition to the launching of a project which may end in assessment, and once his land has been duly included within a benefit district, the only privilege which he thereafter enjoys is to a hearing upon the apportionment, that is, the amount of the tax which he has to pay.506

More specifically, where the mode of assessment resolves itself into a mere mathematical calculation, there is no necessity for a hearing.507 Statutes and ordinances providing for the paving and grading of streets, the cost thereof to be assessed on the front foot rule, do not, by their failure to provide for a hearing or review of assessments, generally deprive a complaining owner of property without due process of law.508 In contrast, when an attempt is made to cast upon particular property a certain proportion of the construction cost of a sewer not calculated by any mathematical formula, the taxpayer has a right to be heard.509

Collection of Taxes.—States may undertake a variety of methods to collect taxes. For instance, collection of an inheritance tax may be expedited by a statute requiring the sealing of safe deposit boxes for at least ten days after the death of the renter and obliging the lessor to retain assets found therein sufficient to pay the tax that may be due the state.510 A state may compel retailers to collect such gasoline taxes from consumers and, under penalty of a fine for delinquency, to remit monthly the amounts thus collected.511 In collecting personal income taxes, most states require employers to deduct and withhold the tax from the wages of employees.512

States may also use various procedures to collect taxes from prior tax years. To reach property that has escaped taxation, a state may tax estates of decedents for a period prior to death and grant proportionate deductions for all prior taxes that the personal representative can prove to have been paid.513 In addition, the Court found no violation of property rights when a state asserts a prior lien against trucks repossessed by a vendor from a carrier (1) accruing from the operation by the carrier of trucks not sold by the vendors, either before or during the time the carrier operated the vendors’ trucks, or (2) arising from assessments against the carrier, after the trucks were repossessed, but based upon the carrier’s operations preceding such repossession. Such lien need not be limited to trucks owned by the carrier because the wear on the highways occasioned by the carrier’s operation is in no way altered by the vendor’s retention of title.514

As a state may provide in advance that taxes will bear interest from the time they become due, it may with equal validity stipulate that taxes which have become delinquent will bear interest from the time the delinquency commenced. Further, a state may adopt new remedies for the collection of taxes and apply these remedies to taxes already delinquent.515 After liability of a taxpayer has been fixed by appropriate procedure, collection of a tax by distress and seizure of his person does not deprive him of liberty without due process of law.516 Nor is a foreign insurance company denied due process of law when its personal property is distrained to satisfy unpaid taxes.517

The requirements of due process are fulfilled by a statute which, in conjunction with affording an opportunity to be heard, provides for the forfeiture of titles to land for failure to list and pay taxes thereon for certain specified years.518 No less constitutional, as a means of facilitating collection, is an in rem proceeding, to which the land alone is made a party, whereby tax liens on land are foreclosed and all preexisting rights or liens are eliminated by a sale under a decree.519 On the other hand, although the conversion of an unpaid special assessment into both a personal judgment against the owner as well as a charge on the land is consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment,520 a judgment imposing personal liability against a nonresident taxpayer over whom the state court acquired no jurisdiction is void.521 Apart from such restraints, however, a state is free to adopt new remedies for the collection of taxes and even to apply new remedies to taxes already delinquent.522

Sufficiency and Manner of Giving Notice.—Notice of tax assessments or liabilities, insofar as it is required, may be either personal, by publication, by statute fixing the time and place of hearing,523 or by delivery to a statutorily designated agent.524 As regards land, “where the State . . . [desires] to sell land for taxes upon proceedings to enforce a lien for the payment thereof, it may proceed directly against the land within the jurisdiction of the court, and a notice which permits all interested, who are ‘so minded,’ to ascertain that it is to be subjected to sale to answer for taxes, and to appear and be heard, whether to be found within the jurisdiction or not, is due process of law within the Fourteenth Amendment. . . .” In fact, compliance with statutory notice requirements combined with actual notice to owners of land can be sufficient in an in rem case, even if there are technical defects in such notice.525

Whether statutorily required notice is sufficient may vary with the circumstances. Thus, where a taxpayer was not legally competent, no guardian had been appointed and town officials were aware of these facts, notice of a foreclosure was defective, even though the tax delinquency was mailed to her, published in local papers, and posted in the town post office.526 On the other hand, due process was not denied to appellants who were unable to avert foreclosure on certain trust lands (based on liens for unpaid water charges) because their own bookkeeper failed to inform them of the receipt of mailed notices.527

Sufficiency of Remedy.—When no other remedy is available, due process is denied by a judgment of a state court withholding a decree in equity to enjoin collection of a discriminatory tax.528 Requirements of due process are similarly violated by a statute that limits a taxpayer’s right to challenge an assessment to cases of fraud or corruption,529 and by a state tribunal that prevents the recovery of taxes imposed in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States by invoking a state law that allows suits to recover taxes alleged to have been assessed illegally only if the taxes had been paid at the time and in the manner provided by such law.530 In the case of a tax held unconstitutional as a discrimination against interstate commerce and not invalidated in its entirety, the state has several alternatives for equalizing incidence of the tax: it may pay a refund equal to the difference between the tax paid and the tax that would have been due under rates afforded to instate competitors; it may assess and collect back taxes from those competitors; or it may combine the two approaches.531

Laches.—Persons failing to avail themselves of an opportunity to object and be heard cannot thereafter complain of assessments as arbitrary and unconstitutional.532 Likewise a car company that failed to report its gross receipts, as required by statute, has no further right to contest the state comptroller’s estimate of those receipts and his adding to his estimate the 10 percent penalty permitted by law.533

Eminent Domain

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has been held to require that when a state or local governmental body, or a private body exercising delegated power, takes private property it must provide just compensation and take only for a public purpose. Applicable principles are discussed under the Fifth Amendment.534

Fundamental Rights (Noneconomic Substantive Due Process)

A counterpart to the now-discredited economic substantive due process, noneconomic substantive due process is still vital today. The concept has come to include disparate lines of cases, and various labels have been applied to the rights protected, including “fundamental rights,” “privacy rights,” “liberty interests” and “incorporated rights.” The binding principle of these cases is that they involve rights so fundamental that the courts must subject any legislation infringing on them to close scrutiny. This analysis, criticized by some for being based on extra-constitutional precepts of natural law,535 serves as the basis for some of the most significant constitutional holdings of our time. For instance, the application of the Bill of Rights to the states, seemingly uncontroversial today, is based not on constitutional text, but on noneconomic substantive due process and the “incorporation” of fundamental rights.536 Other noneconomic due process holdings, however, such as the cases establishing the right of a woman to have an abortion,537 remain controversial.

Determining Noneconomic Substantive Due Process Rights.—More so than other areas of law, noneconomic substantive due process seems to have started with few fixed precepts. Were the rights being protected property rights (and thus really protected by economic due process) or were they individual liberties? What standard of review needed to be applied? What were the parameters of such rights once identified? For instance, did a right of “privacy” relate to protecting physical spaces such as one’s home, or was it related to the issue of autonomy to make private, intimate decisions? Once a right was identified, often using abstract labels, how far could such an abstraction be extended? Did protecting the “privacy” of the decisions whether to have a family also include the right to make decisions regarding sexual intimacy? Although many of these issues have been resolved, others remain.

One of the earliest formulations of noneconomic substantive due process was the right to privacy. This right was first proposed by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis in an 1890 Harvard Law Review article538 as a unifying theme to various common law protections of the “right to be left alone,” including the developing laws of nuisance, libel, search and seizure, and copyright. According to the authors, “the right to life has come to mean the right to enjoy life,—the right to be let alone . . . . This development of the law was inevitable. The intense intellectual and emotional life, and the heightening of sensations which came with the advance of civilization, made it clear to men that only a part of the pain, pleasure, and profit of life lay in physical things. Thoughts, emotions, and sensations demanded legal recognition, and the beautiful capacity for growth which characterizes the common law enabled the judges to afford the requisite protection, without the interposition of the legislature.”

The concepts put forth in this article, which appeared to relate as much to private intrusions on persons as to intrusions by government, reappeared years later in a dissenting opinion by Justice Brandeis regarding the Fourth Amendment.539 Then, in the 1920s, at the heyday of economic substantive due process, the Court ruled in two cases that, although nominally involving the protection of property, foreshadowed the rise of the protection of noneconomic interests. In Meyer v. Nebraska,540 the Court struck down a state law forbidding schools from teaching any modern foreign language to any child who had not successfully finished the eighth grade. Two years later, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters,541 the Court declared it unconstitutional to require public school education of children aged eight to sixteen. The statute in Meyer was found to interfere with the property interest of the plaintiff, a German teacher, in pursuing his occupation, while the private school plaintiffs in Pierce were threatened with destruction of their businesses and the values of their properties.542 Yet in both cases the Court also permitted the plaintiffs to represent the interests of parents and children in the assertion of other noneconomic forms of “liberty.”

“Without doubt,” Justice McReynolds said in Meyer, liberty “denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”543 The right of the parents to have their children instructed in a foreign language was “within the liberty of the [Fourteenth] Amendment.”544 Meyer was then relied on in Pierce to assert that the statute there “unreasonably interferes with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control. . . . The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.”545

Although the Supreme Court continued to define noneconomic liberty broadly in dicta,546 this new concept was to have little impact for decades.547 Finally, in 1967, in Loving v. Virginia,548 the Court held that a statute prohibiting interracial marriage denied substantive due process. Marriage was termed “one of the ‘basic civil rights of man’” and a “fundamental freedom.” “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” and the classification of marriage rights on a racial basis was “unsupportable.” Further development of this line of cases was slowed by the expanded application of the Bill of Rights to the states, which afforded the Court an alternative ground to void state policies.549

Despite the Court’s increasing willingness to overturn state legislation, the basis and standard of review that the Court would use to review infringements on “fundamental freedoms” were not always clear. In Poe v. Ullman,550 for instance, the Court dismissed as non-justiciable a suit challenging a Connecticut statute banning the use of contraceptives, even by married couples. In dissent, however, Justice Harlan advocated the application of a due process standard of reasonableness—the same lenient standard he would have applied to test economic legislation.551 Applying a lengthy analysis, Justice Harlan concluded that the statute in question infringed upon a fundamental liberty without the showing of a justification which would support the intrusion. Yet, when the same issue returned to the Court in Griswold v. Connecticut,552 a majority of the Justices rejected reliance on substantive due process553 and instead decided it on another basis—that the statute was an invasion of privacy, which was a non-textual “penumbral” ri554 ght protected by a matrix of constitutional provisions. Not only was this right to be protected again governmental intrusion, but there was apparently little or no consideration to be given to what governmental interests might justify such an intrusion upon the marital bedroom.

The apparent lack of deference to state interests in Griswold was borne out in the early abortion cases, discussed in detail below, which required the showing of a “compelling state interest” to interfere with a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.555 Yet, in other contexts, the Court appears to have continued to use a “reasonableness” standard.556 More recently, the Court has complicated the issue further (again in the abortion context) by the addition of yet another standard, “undue burden.”557

A further problem confronting the Court is how such abstract rights, once established, are to be delineated. For instance, the constitutional protections afforded to marriage, family, and procreation in Griswold have been extended by the Court to apply to married and unmarried couples alike.558 However, in Bowers v. Hardwick,559 the Court majority rejected a challenge to a Georgia sodomy law despite the fact that it prohibited types of intimate activities engaged in by married as well as unmarried couples.560 Then, in Lawrence v. Texas,561 the Supreme Court reversed itself, holding that a Texas statute making it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in intimate sexual conduct violates the Due Process Clause.

More broadly, in Washington v. Glucksberg, the Court, in an effort to guide and “restrain” a court’s determination of the scope of substantive due process rights, held that the concept of “liberty” protected under the Due Process Clause should first be understood to protect only those rights that are “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”562 Moreover, the Court in Glucksberg required a “careful description” of fundamental rights that would be grounded in specific historical practices and traditions that serve as “crucial guideposts for responsible decisionmaking.”563 However, subject formulation for assessing fundamental rights in holding that the Due Process Clause required states to license and recognize marriages between two people of the same sex.564 Instead, the Obergefell Court recognized that fundamental rights do not “come from ancient sources alone” and instead must be viewed in light of evolving social norms and in a “comprehensive” manner.565 For the Obergefell Court, the two-part test relied on in Glucksberg—relying on history as a central guide for constitutional liberty protections and requiring a “careful description” of the right in question—was “inconsistent” with the approach taken in cases discussing certain fundamental rights, including the rights to marriage and intimacy, and would result in rights becoming stale, as “received practices could serve as their own continued justification and new groups could not invoke rights once denied.”566

Similar disagreement over the appropriate level of generality for definition of a liberty interest was evident in Michael H. v. Gerald D., involving the rights of a biological father to establish paternity and associate with a child born to the wife of another man.567 While recognizing the protection traditionally afforded a father, Justice Scalia, joined only by Chief Justice Rehnquist in this part of the plurality decision, rejected the argument that a non-traditional familial connection (i. e. the relationship between a father and the offspring of an adulterous relationship) qualified for constitutional protection, arguing that courts should limit consideration to “the most specific level at which a relevant tradition protecting, or denying protection to, the asserted right can be identified.”568 Dissenting Justice Brennan, joined by two others, rejected the emphasis on tradition, and argued instead that the Court should “ask whether the specific parent-child relationship under consideration is close enough to the interests that we already have protected [as] an aspect of ‘liberty.’”569

Abortion.—In Roe v. Wade,570 the Court established a right of personal privacy protected by the Due Process Clause that includes the right of a woman to determine whether or not to bear a child. In doing so, the Court dramatically increased judicial oversight of legislation under the privacy line of cases, striking down aspects of abortion-related laws in practically all the states, the District of Columbia, and the territories. To reach this result, the Court first undertook a lengthy historical review of medical and legal views regarding abortion, finding that modern prohibitions on abortion were of relatively recent vintage and thus lacked the historical foundation which might have preserved them from constitutional review.571 Then, the Court established that the word “person” as used in the Due Process Clause and in other provisions of the Constitution did not include the unborn, and therefore the unborn lacked federal constitutional protection.572 Finally, the Court summarily announced that the “Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action” includes “a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy”573 and that “[t]his right of privacy . . . is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”574

It was also significant that the Court held this right of privacy to be “fundamental” and, drawing upon the strict standard of review found in equal protection litigation, held that the Due Process Clause required that any limits on this right be justified only by a “compelling state interest” and be narrowly drawn to express only the legitimate state interests at stake.575 Assessing the possible interests of the states, the Court rejected justifications relating to the promotion of morality and the protection of women from the medical hazards of abortions as unsupported in the record and ill-served by the laws in question. Further, the state interest in protecting the life of the fetus was held to be limited by the lack of a social consensus with regard to the issue of when life begins. Two valid state interests were, however, recognized. “[T]he State does have an important and legitimate interest in preserving and protecting the health of the pregnant woman . . . [and] it has still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life. These interests are separate and distinct. Each grows in substantiality as the woman approaches term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes ‘compelling.’”576

Because medical data indicated that abortion prior to the end of the first trimester is relatively safe, the mortality rate being lower than the rates for normal childbirth, and because the fetus has no capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb, the Court found that the state has no “compelling interest” in the first trimester and “the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient’s pregnancy should be terminated.”577 In the intermediate trimester, the danger to the woman increases and the state may therefore regulate the abortion procedure “to the extent that the regulation reasonably relates to the preservation and protection of maternal health,” but the fetus is still not able to survive outside the womb, and consequently the actual decision to have an abortion cannot be otherwise impeded.578 “With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the ‘compelling’ point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”579

Thus, the Court concluded that “(a) for the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician; (b) for the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health; (c) for the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”

Further, in a companion case, the Court struck down three procedural provisions relating to a law that did allow some abortions.580 These regulations required that an abortion be performed in a hospital accredited by a private accrediting organization, that the operation be approved by the hospital staff abortion committee, and that the performing physician’s judgment be confirmed by the independent examination of the patient by two other licensed physicians. These provisions were held not to be justified by the state’s interest in maternal health because they were not reasonably related to that interest.581 But a clause making the performance of an abortion a crime except when it is based upon the doctor’s “best clinical judgment that an abortion is necessary” was upheld against vagueness attack and was further held to benefit women seeking abortions on the grounds that the doctor could use his best clinical judgment in light of all the attendant circumstances.582

After Roe, various states attempted to limit access to this newly found right, such as by requiring spousal or parental consent to obtain an abortion.583 The Court, however, held that (1) requiring spousal consent was an attempt by the state to delegate a veto power over the decision of the woman and her doctor that the state itself could not exercise,584 (2) that no significant state interests justified the imposition of a blanket parental consent requirement as a condition of the obtaining of an abortion by an unmarried minor during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy,585 and (3) that a criminal provision requiring the attending physician to exercise all care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the fetus without regard to the stage of viability was inconsistent with Roe.586 The Court sustained provisions that required the woman’s written consent to an abortion with assurances that it is informed and freely given, and the Court also upheld mandatory reporting and recordkeeping for public health purposes with adequate assurances of confidentiality. Another provision that barred the use of the most commonly used method of abortion after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy was declared unconstitutional because, in the absence of another comparably safe technique, it did not qualify as a reasonable protection of maternal health and it instead operated to deny the vast majority of abortions after the first 12 weeks.587

In other rulings applying Roe, the Court struck down some requirements and upheld others. A requirement that all abortions performed after the first trimester be performed in a hospital was invalidated as imposing “a heavy, and unnecessary, burden on women’s access to a relatively inexpensive, otherwise accessible, and [at least during the first few weeks of the second trimester] safe abortion procedure.”588 The Court held, however, that a state may require that abortions be performed in hospitals or licensed outpatient clinics, as long as licensing standards do not “depart from accepted medical practice.”589 Various “informed consent” requirements were struck down as intruding upon the discretion of the physician, and as being aimed at discouraging abortions rather than at informing the pregnant woman’s decision.590 The Court also invalidated a 24hour waiting period following a woman’s written, informed consent.591

On the other hand, the Court upheld a requirement that tissue removed in clinic abortions be submitted to a pathologist for examination, because the same requirements were imposed for in-hospital abortions and for almost all other in-hospital surgery.592 The Court also upheld a requirement that a second physician be present at abortions performed after viability in order to assist in saving the life of the fetus.593 Further, the Court refused to extend Roe to require states to pay for abortions for the indigent, holding that neither due process nor equal protection requires government to use public funds for this purpose.594

The equal protection discussion in the public funding case bears closer examination because of its significance for later cases. The equal protection question arose because public funds were being made available for medical care to indigents, including costs attendant to childbirth, but not for expenses associated with abortions. Admittedly, discrimination based on a non-suspect class such as indigents does not generally compel strict scrutiny. However, the question arose as to whether such a distinction impinged upon the right to abortion, and thus should be subjected to heightened scrutiny. The Court rejected this argument and used a rational basis test, noting that the condition that was a barrier to getting an abortion—indigency— was not created or exacerbated by the government.

In reaching this finding the Court held that, while a state-created obstacle need not be absolute to be impermissible, it must at a minimum “unduly burden” the right to terminate a pregnancy. And, the Court held, to allocate public funds so as to further a state interest in normal childbirth does not create an absolute obstacle to obtaining and does not unduly burden the right.595 What is interesting about this holding is that the “undue burden” standard was to take on new significance when the Court began raising questions about the scope and even the legitimacy of Roe.

Although the Court expressly reaffirmed Roe v. Wade in 1983,596 its 1989 decision in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services597 signaled the beginning of a retrenchment. Webster upheld two aspects of a Missouri statute regulating abortions: a prohibition on the use of public facilities and employees to perform abortions not necessary to save the life of the mother; and a requirement that a physician, before performing an abortion on a fetus she has reason to believe has reached a gestational age of 20 weeks, make an actual viability determination.598 This retrenchment was also apparent in two 1990 cases in which the Court upheld both one-parent and two-parent notification requirements.599

Webster, however, exposed a split in the Court’s approach to Roe v. Wade. The plurality opinion by Chief Justice Rehnquist, joined in that part by Justices White and Kennedy, was highly critical of Roe, but found no occasion to overrule it. Instead, the plurality’s approach sought to water down Roe by applying a less stringent standard of review. For instance, the plurality found the viability testing requirement valid because it “permissibly furthers the State’s interest in protecting potential human life.”600 Justice O’Connor, however, concurred in the result based on her view that the requirement did not impose “an undue burden” on a woman’s right to an abortion, while Justice Scalia’s concurrence urged that Roe be overruled outright. Thus, when a Court majority later invalidated a Minnesota procedure requiring notification of both parents without judicial bypass, it did so because it did “not reasonably further any legitimate state interest.”601

Roe was not confronted more directly in Webster because the viability testing requirement, as characterized by the plurality, merely asserted a state interest in protecting potential human life after viability, and hence did not challenge Roe’s ‘trimester framework.602 Nonetheless, a majority of Justices appeared ready to reject a strict trimester approach. The plurality asserted a compelling state interest in protecting human life throughout pregnancy, rejecting the notion that the state interest “should come into existence only at the point of viability;”603 Justice O’Connor repeated her view that the trimester approach is “problematic;”604 and, as mentioned, Justice Scalia would have done away with Roe altogether.

Three years later, however, the Court invoked principles of stare decisis to reaffirm Roe’s “essential holding,” although it had by now abandoned the trimester approach and adopted Justice O’Connor’s “undue burden” test and Roe’s “essential holding.”605 According to the Court in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey,606 the right to abortion has three parts. “First is a recognition of the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion before viability and to obtain it without undue interference from the State. Before viability, the State’s interests are not strong enough to support a prohibition of abortion or the imposition of a substantial obstacle to the woman’s effective right to elect the procedure. Second is a confirmation of the State’s power to restrict abortions after fetal viability, if the law contains exceptions for pregnancies which endanger a woman’s life or health. And third is the principle that the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child.”

This restatement of Roe’s essentials, recognizing a legitimate state interest in protecting fetal life throughout pregnancy, necessarily eliminated the rigid trimester analysis permitting almost no regulation in the first trimester. Viability, however, still marked “the earliest point at which the State’s interest in fetal life is constitutionally adequate to justify a legislative ban on nontherapeutic abortions,”607 but less burdensome regulations could be applied before viability. “What is at stake,” the three-Justice plurality asserted, “is the woman’s right to make the ultimate decision, not a right to be insulated from all others in doing so. Regulations which do no more than create a structural mechanism by which the State . . . may express profound respect for the life of the unborn are permitted, if they are not a substantial obstacle to the woman’s exercise of the right to choose.” Thus, unless an undue burden is imposed, states may adopt measures “designed to persuade [a woman] to choose childbirth over abortion.”608

Casey did, however, overturn earlier decisions striking down informed consent and 24-hour waiting periods.609 Given the state’s legitimate interests in protecting the life of the unborn and the health of the potential mother, and applying “undue burden” analysis, the three-Justice plurality found these requirements permissible.610 After The Court also upheld application of an additional requirement that women under age 18 obtain the consent of one parent or avail themselves of a judicial bypass alternative.

On the other hand, the Court611 distinguished Pennsylvania’s spousal notification provision as constituting an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose an abortion. “A State may not give to a man the kind of dominion over his wife that parents exercise over their children” (and that men exercised over their wives at common law).612 Although there was an exception for a woman who believed that notifying her husband would subject her to bodily injury, this exception was not broad enough to cover other forms of abusive retaliation, e. g., psychological intimidation, bodily harm to children, or financial deprivation. To require a wife to notify her husband in spite of her fear of such abuse would unduly burden the wife’s liberty to decide whether to bear a child.

The passage of various state laws restricting so-called “partial birth abortions” gave observers an opportunity to see if the “undue burden” standard was in fact likely to lead to a major curtailment of the right to obtain an abortion. In Stenberg v. Carhart,613 the Court reviewed a Nebraska statute that forbade “partially delivering vaginally a living unborn child before killing the unborn child and completing the delivery.” Although the state argued that the statute was directed only at an infrequently used procedure referred to as an “intact dilation and excavation,” the Court found that the statute could be interpreted to include the far more common procedure of “dilation and excavation.”614 The Court also noted that the prohibition appeared to apply to abortions performed by these procedures throughout a pregnancy, including before viability of the fetus, and that the sole exception in the statute was to allow an abortion that was necessary to preserve the life of the mother.615 Thus, the statute brought into question both the distinction maintained in Casey between pre-viability and post-viability abortions, and the oft-repeated language from Roe that provides that abortion restrictions must contain exceptions for situations where there is a threat to either the life or the health of a pregnant woman.616 The Court, however, reaffirmed the central tenets of its previous abortion decisions, striking down the Nebraska law because its possible application to pre-viability abortions was too broad, and the exception for threats to the life of the mother was too narrow.617

Only seven years later, however, the Supreme Court decided Gonzales v. Carhart,618 which, although not formally overruling Stenberg, appeared to signal a change in how the Court would analyze limitations on abortion procedures. Of perhaps greatest significance is that Gonzales was the first case in which the Court upheld a statutory prohibition on a particular method of abortion. In Gonzales, the Court, by a 5–4 vote,619 upheld a federal criminal statute that prohibited an overt act to “kill” a fetus where it had been intentionally “deliver[ed] . . . [so that] in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother.”620 The Court distinguished this federal statute from the Nebraska statute that it had struck down in Stenberg, holding that the federal statute applied only to the intentional performance of the less-common “intact dilation and excavation.” The Court found that the federal statute was not unconstitutionally vague because it provided “anatomical landmarks” that provided doctors with a reasonable opportunity to know what conduct it prohibited.621 Further, the scienter requirement (that delivery of the fetus to these landmarks before fetal demise be intentional) was found to alleviate vagueness concerns.622

In a departure from the reasoning of Stenberg, the Court held that the failure of the federal statute to provide a health exception623 was justified by congressional findings that such a procedure was not necessary to protect the health of a mother. Noting that the Court has given “state and federal legislatures wide discretion to pass legislation in areas where there is medical and scientific uncertainty,” the Court held that, at least in the context of a facial challenge, such an exception was not needed where “[t]here is documented medical disagreement whether the Act’s prohibition would ever impose significant health risks on women.”624 The Court did, however, leave open the possibility that as-applied challenges could still be made in individual cases.625

As in Stenberg, the prohibition considered in Gonzales extended to the performance of an abortion before the fetus was viable, thus directly raising the question of whether the statute imposed an “undue burden” on the right to obtain an abortion. Unlike the statute in Stenberg, however, the ban in Gonzales was limited to the far less common “intact dilation and excavation” procedure, and consequently did not impose the same burden as the Nebraska statute. The Court also found that there was a “rational basis” for the limitation, including governmental interests in the expression of “respect for the dignity of human life,” “protecting the integrity and ethics of the medical profession,” and the creation of a “dialogue that better informs the political and legal systems, the medical profession, expectant mothers, and society as a whole of the consequences that follow from a decision to elect a late-term abortion.”626

The Court revisited the question of whether particular restrictions place a “substantial obstacle” in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion and constitute an “undue burden” on abortion access in its 2016 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.627 At issue in Whole Woman’s Health was a Texas law that required (1) physicians performing or inducing abortions to have active admitting privileges at a hospital located not more than thirty miles from the facility; and (2) the facility itself to meet the minimum standards for ambulatory surgical centers under Texas law.628 Texas asserted that these requirements served various purposes related to women’s health and the safety of abortion procedures, including ensuring that women have easy access to a hospital should complications arise during an abortion procedure and that abortion facilities meet heightened health and safety standards.629

In reviewing Texas’s law, the Whole Woman’s Health Court began by clarifying the underlying “undue burden” standard established in Casey. First, the Court noted that the relevant standard from Casey requires that courts engage in a balancing test to determine whether a law amounts to an unconstitutional restriction on abortion access by considering the “burdens a law imposes on abortion access together with the benefits those laws confer.”630 As a consequence, the Whole Woman’s Health articulation of the undue burden standard necessarily requires that courts “consider the existence or nonexistence of medical benefits” when considering whether a regulation constitutes an undue burden.631 In such a consideration, a reviewing court, when evaluating an abortion regulation purporting to protect woman’s health, may need to closely scrutinize (1) the relative value of the protections afforded under the new law when compared to those prior to enactment632 and (2) health regulations with respect to comparable medical procedures.633 Second, the Whole Woman’s Health decision rejected the argument that judicial scrutiny of abortion regulations was akin to rational basis review, concluding that courts should not defer to legislatures when resolving questions of medical uncertainty that arise with respect to abortion regulations.634 Instead, the Court found that reviewing courts are permitted to place “considerable weight upon evidence and argument presented in judicial proceedings” when evaluating legislation under the undue burden standard, notwithstanding contrary conclusions by the legislature.635

Applying these standards, the Whole Woman’s Health Court viewed the alleged benefits of the Texas requirements as inadequate to justify the challenged provisions under the precedent of Casey, given both the burdens they imposed upon women’s access to abortion and the benefits provided.636 Specifically as to the admitting privileges requirement, the Court determined that nothing in the underlying record showed that this requirement “advanced Texas’s legitimate interest in protecting women’s health” in any significant way as compared to Texas’s previous requirement that abortion clinics have a “working arrangement” with a doctor with admitting privileges.637 In particular, the Court rejected the argument that the admitting privileges requirements were justified to provide an “extra layer” of protection against abusive and unsafe abortion facilities, as the Court concluded that “[d]etermined wrongdoers, already ignoring existing statutes and safety measures, are unlikely to be convinced to adopt safe practices by a new overlay of regulations.”638 On the contrary, in the Court’s view, the evidentiary record suggested that the admitting-privileges requirement placed a substantial obstacle in the path of women’s access to abortion because (1) of the temporal proximity between the imposition of the requirement and the closing of a number of clinics once the requirement was enforced;639 and (2) the necessary consequence of the requirement of foreclosing abortion providers from obtaining such privileges for reasons having “nothing to do with ability to perform medical procedures.”640 In the view of the Court, the resulting facility closures that the Court attributed to the first challenged requirement meant fewer doctors, longer wait times, and increased crowding for women at the remaining facilities, and the closures also increased driving distances to an abortion clinic for some women, amounting to an undue burden.641

Similarly as to the surgical-center requirement, the Whole Woman’s Health Court viewed the record as evidencing that the requirement “provides no benefits” in the context of abortions produced through medication and was “inappropriate” as to surgical abortions.642 In so doing, the Court also noted disparities between the treatment of abortion facilities and facilities providing other medical procedures, such as colonoscopies, which the evidence suggested had greater risks than abortions.643 The Court viewed the underlying record as demonstrating that the surgical-center requirement would also have further reduced the number of abortion facilities in Texas to seven or eight and, in so doing, would have burdened women’s access to abortion in the same way as the admitting-privileges requirement (e. g. , creating crowding, increasing driving distances).644 Ultimately, the Court struck down the two provisions in the Texas law, concluding that the regulations in question imposed an undue burden on a “large fraction” of women for whom the provisions are an “actual” restriction.645

Privacy after Roe: Informational Privacy, Privacy of the Home or Personal Autonomy?.—The use of strict scrutiny to review intrusions on personal liberties in Roe v. Wade seemed to portend the Court’s striking down many other governmental restraints upon personal activities. These developments have not occurred, however, as the Court has been relatively cautious in extending the right to privacy. Part of the reason that the Court may have been slow to extend the rationale of Roe to other contexts was that “privacy” or the right “to be let alone” appears to encompass a number of different concepts arising from different parts of the Constitution, and the same combination of privacy rights and competing governmental interests are not necessarily implicated in other types of “private” conduct.

For instance, the term “privacy” itself seems to encompass at least two different but related issues. First, it relates to protecting against disclosure of personal information to the outside world, i. e. , the right of individuals to determine how much and what information about themselves is to be revealed to others.646 Second, it relates inward toward notions of personal autonomy, i. e. , the freedom of individuals to perform or not perform certain acts or subject themselves to certain experiences.647 These dual concepts, here referred to as “informational privacy” and “personal autonomy,” can easily arise in the same case, as government regulation of personal behavior can limit personal autonomy, while investigating and prosecuting such behavior can expose it to public scrutiny. Unfortunately, some of the Court’s cases identified violations of a right of privacy without necessarily making this distinction clear. While the main thrust of the Court’s fundamental-rights analysis appears to emphasize the personal autonomy aspect of privacy, now often phrased as “liberty” interests, a clear analytical framework for parsing of these two concepts in different contexts has not yet been established.

Another reason that “privacy” is difficult to define is that the right appears to arise from multiple sources. For instance, the Court first identified issues regarding informational privacy as specifically tied to various provisions of Bill of Rights, including the First and Fourth Amendments. In Griswold v. Connecticut,648 however, Justice Douglas found an independent right of privacy in the “penumbras” of these and other constitutional provisions. Although the parameters and limits of the right to privacy were not well delineated by that decision, which struck down a statute banning married couples from using contraceptives, the right appeared to be based on the notion that the government should not be allowed to gather information about private, personal activities.649 However, years later, when the closely related abortion cases were decided, the right to privacy being discussed was now characterized as a “liberty interest” protected under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,650 and the basis for the right identified was more consistent with a concern for personal autonomy.

After Griswold, the Court had several opportunities to address and expand on the concept of Fourteenth Amendment informational privacy, but instead it returned to Fourth and Fifth Amendment principles to address official regulation of personal information.651 For example, in United States v. Miller,652 the Court, in evaluating the right of privacy of depositors to restrict government access to cancelled checks maintained by the bank, relied on whether there was an expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment.653 Also, the Court has held that First Amendment itself affords some limitation upon governmental acquisition of information, although only where the exposure of such information would violate freedom of association or the like.654

Similarly, in Fisher v. United States,655 the Court held that the Fifth Amendment’s Self-incrimination Clause did not prevent the IRS from obtaining income tax records prepared by accountants and in the hands of either the taxpayer or his attorney, no matter how incriminating, because the Amendment only protects against compelled testimonial self-incrimination. The Court noted that it “has never suggested that every invasion of privacy violates the privilege. Within the limits imposed by the language of the Fifth Amendment, which we necessarily observe, the privilege truly serves privacy interests; but the Court has never on any ground, personal privacy included, applied the Fifth Amendment to prevent the otherwise proper acquisition or use of evidence that, in the Court’s view, did not involve compelled testimonial self-incrimination of some sort.”656 Furthermore, it wrote, “[w]e cannot cut the Fifth Amendment completely loose from the moorings of its language, and make it serve as a general protector of privacy—a word not mentioned in its text and a concept directly addressed in the Fourth Amendment.”657

So what remains of informational privacy? A cryptic opinion in Whalen v. Roe658 may indicate the Court’s continuing willingness to recognize privacy interests as independent constitutional rights. At issue was a state’s pervasive regulation of prescription drugs with abuse potential, and a centralized computer record-keeping system through which prescriptions, including patient identification, could be stored. The scheme was attacked on the basis that it invaded privacy interests against disclosure and privacy interests involving autonomy of persons in choosing whether to have the medication. The Court appeared to agree that both interests are protected, but because the scheme was surrounded with extensive security protection against disclosure beyond that necessary to achieve the purposes of the program it was not thought to “pose a sufficiently grievous threat to either interest to establish a constitutional violation.”659 Lower court cases have raised substantial questions as to whether this case established a “fundamental right” to informational privacy, and instead found that some as yet unspecified balancing test or intermediate level of scrutiny was at play.660

More than two decades after Whalen, the Court remains ambivalent about whether such a privacy right exists. In its 2011 decision in NASA v. Nelson, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against 28 NASA workers who argued that the extensive background checks required to work at NASA facilities violated their constitutional privacy rights.661 In so doing, the Court assumed without deciding that a right to informational privacy could be protected by the Constitution and instead held that the right does not prevent the government from asking reasonable questions in light of the government’s interest as an employer and in light of the statutory protections that provide meaningful checks against unwarranted disclosures.662 As a result, the questions about the scope of the right to informational privacy suggested by Whalen remain.

The Court has also briefly considered yet another aspect of privacy—the idea that certain personal activities that were otherwise unprotected could obtain some level of constitutional protection by being performed in particular private locations, such as the home. In Stanley v. Georgia,663 the Court held that the government may not make private possession of obscene materials for private use a crime. Normally, investigation and apprehension of an individual for possessing pornography in the privacy of the home would raise obvious First Amendment free speech and the Fourth Amendment search and seizure issues. In this case, however, the material was obscenity, unprotected by the First Amendment, and the police had a valid search warrant, obviating Fourth Amendment concerns.664 Nonetheless, the Court based its decision upon a person’s protected right to receive what information and ideas he wishes, which derives from the “right to be free, except in very limited circumstances, from unwanted governmental intrusions into one’s privacy,”665 and from the failure of the state to either justify protecting an individual from himself or to show empirical proof of such activity harming society.666

The potential significance of Stanley was enormous, as any number of illegal personal activities, such as drug use or illegal sex acts, could arguably be practiced in the privacy of one’s home with little apparent effect on others. Stanley, however, was quickly restricted to the particular facts of the case, namely possession of obscenity in the home.667 In Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton,668 which upheld the government’s power to prevent the showing of obscene material in an adult theater, the Court recognized that governmental interests in regulating private conduct could include the promotion of individual character and public morality, and improvement of the quality of life and “tone” of society. “It is argued that individual ‘free will’ must govern, even in activities beyond the protection of the First Amendment and other constitutional guarantees of privacy, and that government cannot legitimately impede an individual’s desire to see or acquire obscene plays, movies, and books. We do indeed base our society on certain assumptions that people have the capacity for free choice. Most exercises of individual free choice—those in politics, religion, and expression of ideas—are explicitly protected by the Constitution. Totally unlimited play for free will, however, is not allowed in our or any other society. . . . [Many laws are enacted] to protect the weak, the uninformed, the unsuspecting, and the gullible from the exercise of their own volition.”669

Furthermore, continued the Court in Paris Adult Theatre I, “[o]ur Constitution establishes a broad range of conditions on the exercise of power by the States, but for us to say that our Constitution incorporates the proposition that conduct involving consenting adults is always beyond state regulation is a step we are unable to take. . . . The issue in this context goes beyond whether someone, or even the majority, considers the conduct depicted as ‘wrong’ or ‘sinful.’ The States have the power to make a morally neutral judgment that public exhibition of obscene material, or commerce in such material, has a tendency to injure the community as a whole, to endanger the public safety, or to jeopardize . . . the States’ ‘right . . . to maintain a decent society.’”670

Ultimately, the idea that acts should be protected not because of what they are, but because of where they are performed, may have begun and ended with Stanley. The limited impact of Stanley was reemphasized in Bowers v. Hardwick.671 The Court in Bowers, finding that there is no protected right to engage in homosexual sodomy in the privacy of the home, held that Stanley did not implicitly create protection for “voluntary sexual conduct [in the home] between consenting adults.”672 Instead, the Court found Stanley “firmly grounded in the First Amendment,”673 and noted that extending the reasoning of that case to homosexual conduct would result in protecting all voluntary sexual conduct between consenting adults, including adultery, incest, and other sexual crimes. Although Bowers has since been overruled by Lawrence v. Texas674 based on precepts of personal autonomy, the latter case did not appear to signal the resurrection of the doctrine of protecting activities occurring in private places.

So, what of the expansion of the right to privacy under the rubric of personal autonomy? The Court speaking in Roe in 1973 made it clear that, despite the importance of its decision, the protection of personal autonomy was limited to a relatively narrow range of behavior. “The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, . . . the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. . . . These decisions make it clear that only personal rights that can be deemed ‘fundamental’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,’ Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U. S. 319, 325 (1937), are included in this guarantee of personal privacy. They also make it clear that the right has some extension to activities relating to marriage, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967); procreation, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U. S. 535, 541–42 (1942); contraception, Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U. S. at 453–54; id. at 460, 463–65 (White, J. , concurring in result); family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U. S. 158, 166 (1944); and child rearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510, 535 (1925), Meyer v. Nebraska, supra.”675

Despite the limiting language of Roe, the concept of privacy still retained sufficient strength to occasion major constitutional decisions. For instance, in the 1977 case of Carey v. Population Services Int’l,676 recognition of the “constitutional protection of individual autonomy in matters of childbearing” led the Court to invalidate a state statute that banned the distribution of contraceptives to adults except by licensed pharmacists and that forbade any person to sell or distribute contraceptives to a minor under 16.677 The Court significantly extended the Griswold-Baird line of cases so as to make the “decision whether or not to beget or bear a child” a “constitutionally protected right of privacy” interest that government may not burden without justifying the limitation by a compelling state interest and by a regulation narrowly drawn to express only that interest or interests.

For a time, the limits of the privacy doctrine were contained by the 1986 case of Bowers v. Hardwick,678 where the Court by a 5–4 vote roundly rejected the suggestion that the privacy cases protecting “family, marriage, or procreation” extend protection to private consensual homosexual sodomy,679 and also rejected the more comprehensive claim that the privacy cases “stand for the proposition that any kind of private sexual conduct between consenting adults is constitutionally insulated from state proscription.”680 Heavy reliance was placed on the fact that prohibitions on sodomy have “ancient roots,” and on the fact that half of the states still prohibited the practice.681 The privacy of the home does not protect all behavior from state regulation, and the Court was “unwilling to start down [the] road” of immunizing “voluntary sexual conduct between consenting adults.”682 Interestingly, Justice Blackmun, in dissent, was most critical of the Court’s framing of the issue as one of homosexual sodomy, as the sodomy statute at issue was not so limited.683

Yet, Lawrence v. Texas,684 by overruling Bowers, brought the outer limits of noneconomic substantive due process into question by once again using the language of “privacy” rights. Citing the line of personal autonomy cases starting with Griswold, the Court found that sodomy laws directed at homosexuals “seek to control a personal relationship that, whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law, is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals. . . . When sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring. The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this choice.”685

Although it quarreled with the Court’s finding in Bowers v. Hardwick that the proscription against homosexual behavior had “ancient roots,” Lawrence did not attempt to establish that such behavior was in fact historically condoned. This raises the question as to what limiting principles are available in evaluating future arguments based on personal autonomy. Although the Court seems to recognize that a state may have an interest in regulating personal relationships where there is a threat of “injury to a person or abuse of an institution the law protects,”686 it also seems to reject reliance on historical notions of morality as guides to what personal relationships are to be protected.687 Thus, the parameters for regulation of sexual conduct remain unclear.

For instance, the extent to which the government may regulate the sexual activities of minors has not been established.688 Analysis of this questions is hampered, however, because the Court has still not explained what about the particular facets of human relationships—marriage, family, procreation—gives rise to a protected liberty, and how indeed these factors vary significantly enough from other human relationships. The Court’s observation in Roe v. Wade “that only personal rights that can be deemed ‘fundamental’ are included in this guarantee of personal privacy,” occasioning justification by a “compelling” interest,689 provides little elucidation.690

Despite the Court’s decision in Lawrence, there is a question as to whether the development of noneconomic substantive due process will proceed under an expansive right of “privacy” or under the more limited “liberty” set out in Roe. There still appears to be a tendency to designate a right or interest as a right of privacy when the Court has already concluded that it is valid to extend an existing precedent of the privacy line of cases. Because much of this protection is also now settled to be a “liberty” protected under the due process clauses, however, the analytical significance of denominating the particular right or interest as an element of privacy seems open to question.

Family Relationships.— Starting with Meyer and Pierce,691 the Court has held that “the Constitution protects the sanctity of the family precisely because the institution of the family is deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”692 For instance, the right to marry is a fundamental right protected by the Due Process Clause,693 and only “reasonable regulations” of marriage may be imposed.694 Thus, the Court has held that a state may not deny the right to marry to someone who has failed to meet a child support obligation, as the state already has numerous other means for exacting compliance with support obligations.695 In fact, any regulation that affects the ability to form, maintain, dissolve, or resolve conflicts within a family is subject to rigorous judicial scrutiny.

In 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court clarified that the “right to marry” applies with “equal force” to same-sex couples, as it does to opposite-sex couples, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state.696 In so holding, the Court recognized marriage as being an institution of “both continuity and change,” and, as a consequence, recent shifts in public attitudes respecting gay individuals and more specifically same-sex marriage necessarily informed the Court’s conceptualization of the right to marry.697 More broadly, the Obergefell Court recognized that the right to marry is grounded in four “principles and traditions.” These involve the concepts that (1) marriage (and choosing whom to marry) is inherent to individual autonomy protected by the Constitution; (2) marriage is fundamental to supporting a union of committed individuals; (3) marriage safeguards children and families;698 and (4) marriage is essential to the nation’s social order, because it is at the heart of many legal benefits.699 With this conceptualization of the right to marry in mind, the Court found no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to any of the right’s four central principles, concluding that a denial of marital recognition to same-sex couples ultimately “demean[ed]” and “stigma[tized]” those couples and any children resulting from such partnerships.700 Given this conclusion, the Court held that, while limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples may have once seemed “natural,” such a limitation was inconsistent with the right to marriage inherent in the “liberty” of the person as protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.701 The open question that remains respecting the substantive due process right to marriage post-Obergefell is whether the right of marriage, as broadly envisioned by the Court in the 2015 case, can extend to protect and require state recognition of other committed, autonomous relationships, such as polyamorous relationships.702

There is also a constitutional right to live together as a family,703 and this right is not limited to the nuclear family. Thus, a neighborhood that is zoned for single-family occupancy, and that defines “family” so as to prevent a grandmother from caring for two grandchildren of different children, was found to violate the Due Process Clause.704 And the concept of “family” may extend beyond the biological relationship to the situation of foster families, although the Court has acknowledged that such a claim raises complex and novel questions, and that the liberty interests may be limited.705 On the other hand, the Court has held that the presumption of legitimacy accorded to a child born to a married woman living with her husband is valid even to defeat the right of the child’s biological father to establish paternity and visitation rights.706

The Court has merely touched upon but not dealt definitively with the complex and novel questions raised by possible conflicts between parental rights and children’s rights.707 The Court has, however, imposed limits on the ability of a court to require that children be made available for visitation with grandparents and other third parties. In Troxel v. Granville,708 the Court evaluated a Washington State law that allowed “any person” to petition a court “at any time” to obtain visitation rights whenever visitation “may serve the best interests” of a child. Under this law, a child’s grandparents were awarded more visitation with a child than was desired by the sole surviving parent. A plurality of the Court, noting the “fundamental rights of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control of their children,”709 reversed this decision, noting the lack of deference to the parent’s wishes and the contravention of the traditional presumption that a fit parent will act in the best interests of a child.

Liberty Interests of People with Mental Disabilities: Civil Commitment and Treatment.—The recognition of liberty rights for people with mental disabilities who are involuntarily committed or who voluntarily seek commitment to public institutions is potentially a major development in substantive due process. The states, pursuant to their parens patriae power, have a substantial interest in institutionalizing persons in need of care, both for the protection of such people themselves and for the protection of others.710 A state, however, “cannot constitutionally confine without more a nondangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by himself or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends.”711 Moreover, a person who is constitutionally confined “enjoys constitutionally protected interests in conditions of reasonable care and safety, reasonably nonrestrictive confinement conditions, and such training as may be required by these interests.”712 Influential lower court decisions have also found a significant right to treatment713 or “habilitation,”714 although the Supreme Court’s approach in this area has been tentative.

For instance, in Youngberg v. Romeo, the Court recognized a liberty right to “minimally adequate or reasonable training to ensure safety and freedom from undue restraint.”715 Although the lower court had agreed that residents at a state mental hospital are entitled to “such treatment as will afford them a reasonable opportunity to acquire and maintain those life skills necessary to cope as effectively as their capacities permit,”716 the Supreme Court found that the plaintiff had reduced his claim to “training related to safety and freedom from restraints.”717 But the Court’s concern for federalism, its reluctance to approve judicial activism in supervising institutions, and its recognition of the budgetary constraints associated with state provision of services caused it to hold that lower federal courts must defer to professional decision-making to determine what level of care was adequate. Professional decisions are presumptively valid and liability can be imposed “only when the decision by the professional is such a substantial departure from accepted professional judgment, practice, or standards as to demonstrate that the person responsible actually did not base the decision on such a judgment.”718 Presumably, however, the difference between liability for damages and injunctive relief will still afford federal courts considerable latitude in enjoining institutions to better their services in the future, even if they cannot award damages for past failures.719

The Court’s resolution of a case involving persistent sexual offenders suggests that state civil commitment systems, besides confining the dangerously mentally ill, may also act to incapacitate persons predisposed to engage in specific criminal behaviors. In Kansas v. Hendricks,720 the Court upheld a Kansas law that allowed civil commitment without a showing of “mental illness,” so that a defendant diagnosed as a pedophile could be committed based on his having a “mental abnormality” that made him “likely to engage in acts of sexual violence.” Although the Court minimized the use of this expanded nomenclature,721 the concept of “mental abnormality” appears both more encompassing and less defined than the concept of “mental illness.” It is unclear how, or whether, the Court would distinguish this case from the indefinite civil commitment of other recidivists such as drug offenders. A subsequent opinion does seem to narrow the Hendricks holding so as to require an additional finding that the defendant would have difficulty controlling his or her behavior.722

Still other issues await exploration.723 Additionally, federal legislation is becoming extensive,724 and state legislative and judicial development of law is highly important because the Supreme Court looks to this law as one source of the interests that the Due Process Clause protects.725

“Right to Die”.—Although the popular term “right to die” has been used to describe the debate over end-of-life decisions, the underlying issues include a variety of legal concepts, some distinct and some overlapping. For instance, “right to die” could include issues of suicide, passive euthanasia (allowing a person to die by refusal or withdrawal of medical intervention), assisted suicide (providing a person the means of committing suicide), active euthanasia (killing another), and palliative care (providing comfort care which accelerates the death process). Recently, a new category has been suggested—physician-assisted suicide—that appears to be an uncertain blend of assisted suicide or active euthanasia undertaken by a licensed physician.

There has been little litigation of constitutional issues surrounding suicide generally, although Supreme Court dicta seems to favor the notion that the state has a constitutionally defensible interest in preserving the lives of healthy citizens.726 On the other hand, the right of a seriously ill person to terminate life-sustaining medical treatment has been addressed, but not squarely faced. In Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health,727 the Court, rather than directly addressing the issue, “assume[d]” that “a competent person [has] a constitutionally protected right to refuse lifesaving hydration and nutrition.”728 More importantly, however, a majority of the Justices separately declared that such a liberty interest exists.729 Yet, it is not clear how actively the Court would seek to protect this right from state regulation.

In Cruzan, which involved a patient in a persistent vegetative state, the Court upheld a state requirement that there must be “clear and convincing evidence” of a patient’s previously manifested wishes before nutrition and hydration could be withdrawn. Despite the existence of a presumed due process right, the Court held that a state is not required to follow the judgment of the family, the guardian, or “anyone but the patient herself” in making this decision.730 Thus, in the absence of clear and convincing evidence that the patient had expressed an interest not to be sustained in a persistent vegetative state, or that she had expressed a desire to have a surrogate make such a decision for her, the state may refuse to allow withdrawal of nutrition and hydration.731

Despite the Court’s acceptance of such state requirements, the implications of the case are significant. First, the Court appears, without extensive analysis, to have adopted the position that refusing nutrition and hydration is the same as refusing other forms of medical treatment. Also, the Court seems ready to extend such right not only to terminally ill patients, but also to severely incapacitated patients whose condition has stabilized.732 However, the Court made clear in a subsequent case, Washington v. Glucksberg,733 that it intends to draw a line between withdrawal of medical treatment and more active forms of intervention.

In Glucksberg, the Supreme Court rejected an argument that the Due Process Clause provides a terminally ill individual the right to seek and obtain a physician’s aid in committing suicide. Reviewing a challenge to a state statutory prohibition against assisted suicide, the Court noted that it moves with “utmost care” before breaking new ground in the area of liberty interests.734 The Court pointed out that suicide and assisted suicide have long been disfavored by the American judicial system, and courts have consistently distinguished between passively allowing death to occur and actively causing such death. The Court rejected the applicability of Cruzan and other liberty interest cases,735 noting that while many of the interests protected by the Due Process Clause involve personal autonomy, not all important, intimate, and personal decisions are so protected. By rejecting the notion that assisted suicide is constitutionally protected, the Court also appears to preclude constitutional protection for other forms of intervention in the death process, such as suicide or euthanasia.736

39 The Privileges or Immunities Clause, more so than the Due Process Clause, appears at first glance to speak directly to the issue of state intrusions on substantive rights and privileges—“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States . . . .” See Akhil Reed Amar, The Bill Of Rights 163–180 (1998). As discussed earlier, however, the Court limited the effectiveness of that clause soon after the ratification of the 14th Amendment. See Privileges or Immunities, supra. Instead, the Due Process Clause, though selective incorporation, became the basis for the Court to recognize important substantive rights against the states.

40 See Bill of Rights, Fourteenth Amendment, supra.

41 See Graham, The “Conspiracy Theory” of the Fourteenth Amendment, 47 YALE L. J. 371 (1938).

42 Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113 (1877). In a case arising under the Fifth Amendment, decided almost at the same time, the Court explicitly declared the United States “equally with the States . . . are prohibited from depriving persons or corporations of property without due process of law.” Sinking Fund Cases, 99 U.S. 700, 718–19 (1879).

43 Smyth v. Ames, 169 U.S. 466, 522, 526 (1898); Kentucky Co. v. Paramount Exch., 262 U.S. 544, 550 (1923); Liggett Co. v. Baldridge, 278 U.S. 105 (1928).

44 As to the natural persons protected by the due process clause, these include all human beings regardless of race, color, or citizenship. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886); Terrace v. Thompson, 263 U.S. 197, 216 (1923). See Hellenic Lines v. Rhodetis, 398 U.S. 306, 309 (1970).

45 Northwestern Life Ins. Co. v. Riggs, 203 U.S. 243, 255 (1906); Western Turf Ass’n v. Greenberg, 204 U.S. 359, 363 (1907); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925). Earlier, in Northern Securities Co. v. United States, 193 U.S. 197, 362 (1904), a case interpreting the federal antitrust law, Justice Brewer, in a concurring opinion, had declared that “a corporation . . . is not endowed with the inalienable rights of a natural person.”

46 Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U.S. 233, 244 (1936) (“a corporation is a ‘person’ within the meaning of the equal protection and due process of law clauses”). In First Nat’l Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978), faced with the validity of state restraints upon expression by corporations, the Court did not determine that corporations have First Amendment liberty rights—and other constitutional rights— but decided instead that expression was protected, irrespective of the speaker, because of the interests of the listeners. See id. at 778 n.14 (reserving question). But see id. at 809, 822 (Justices White and Rehnquist dissenting) (corporations as creatures of the state have the rights state gives them).

47 Pennie v. Reis, 132 U.S. 464 (1889); Taylor and Marshall v. Beckham (No. 1), 178 U.S. 548 (1900); Tyler v. Judges of Court of Registration, 179 U.S. 405, 410 (1900); Straus v. Foxworth, 231 U.S. 162 (1913); Columbus & Greenville Ry. v. Miller, 283 U.S. 96 (1931).

48 City of Pawhuska v. Pawhuska Oil Co., 250 U.S. 394 (1919); City of Trenton v. New Jersey, 262 U.S. 182 (1923); Williams v. Mayor of Baltimore, 289 U.S. 36 (1933). But see Madison School Dist. v. WERC, 429 U.S. 167, 175 n.7 (1976) (reserving question whether municipal corporation as an employer has a First Amendment right assertable against a state).

49 Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433, 445, 442, 443 (1939); Boynton v. Hutchinson Gas Co., 291 U.S. 656 (1934); South Carolina Highway Dep’t v. Barnwell Bros., 303 U.S. 177 (1938). The converse is not true, however, and the interest of a state official in vindicating the Constitution gives him no legal standing to attack the constitutionality of a state statute in order to avoid compliance with it. Smith v. Indiana, 191 U.S. 138 (1903); Braxton County Court v. West Virginia, 208 U.S. 192 (1908); Marshall v. Dye, 231 U.S. 250 (1913); Stewart v. Kansas City, 239 U.S. 14 (1915). See also Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433, 437–46 (1939).

50 This power is not confined to the suppression of what is offensive, disorderly, or unsanitary. Long ago Chief Justice Marshall described the police power as “that immense mass of legislation, which embraces every thing within the territory of a State, not surrendered to the general government.” Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 1, 202 (1824). See California Reduction Co. v. Sanitary Works, 199 U.S. 306, 318 (1905); Chicago B. & Q. Ry. v. Drainage Comm’rs, 200 U.S. 561, 592 (1906); Bacon v. Walker, 204 U.S. 311 (1907); Eubank v. City of Richmond, 226 U.S. 137 (1912); Schmidinger v. Chicago, 226 U.S. 578 (1913); Sligh v. Kirkwood, 237 U.S. 52, 58–59 (1915); Nebbia v. New York, 291 U.S. 502 (1934); Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. v. Walters, 294 U.S. 405 (1935). See also Penn Central Transp. Co. v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104 (1978) (police power encompasses preservation of historic landmarks; land-use restrictions may be enacted to enhance the quality of life by preserving the character and aesthetic features of city); City of New Orleans v. Dukes, 427 U.S. 297 (1976); Young v. American Mini Theatres, 427 U.S. 50 (1976).

51 Hudson Water Co. v. McCarter, 209 U.S. 349 (1908); Eubank v. Richmond, 226 U.S. 137, 142 (1912); Erie R.R. v. Williams, 233 U.S. 685, 699 (1914); Sligh v. Kirkwood, 237 U.S. 52, 58–59 (1915); Hadacheck v. Sebastian, 239 U.S. 394 (1915); Hall v. Geiger-Jones Co., 242 U.S. 539 (1917); Panhandle Co. v. Highway Comm’n, 294 U.S. 613 (1935). “It is settled [however] that neither the ‘contract’ clause nor the ‘due process’ clause had the effect of overriding the power of the state to establish all regulations that are reasonably necessary to secure the health, safety, good order, comfort, or general welfare of the community; that this power can neither be abdicated nor bargained away, and is inalienable even by express grant; and that all contract and property [or other vested] rights are held subject to its fair exercise.” Atlantic Coast Line R.R. v. City of Goldsboro, 232 U.S. 548 (1914).

52 Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393 (1922); Welch v. Swasey, 214 U.S. 91, 107 (1909). See also Penn Central Transp. Co. v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104 (1978); Agins v. City of Tiburon, 447 U.S. 255 (1980). See also analysis of “Regulatory Takings” under the Fifth Amendment. Although the Fourteenth Amendment does not contain a “takings” provisions such as is found in the Fifth Amendment, the Court has held that such provision has been incorporated. Webb’s Fabulous Pharmacies v. Beckwith, 449 U.S. 155, 159 (1980).

53 Liggett Co. v. Baldridge, 278 U.S. 105, 111–12 (1928); Treigle v. Acme Homestead Ass’n, 297 U.S. 189, 197 (1936).

54 Noble State Bank v. Haskell, 219 U.S. 104, 110 (1911) (bank may be required to contribute to fund to guarantee the deposits of contributing banks).

55 Erie R.R. v. Williams, 233 U.S. 685, 700 (1914).

56 New Orleans Public Service v. New Orleans, 281 U.S. 682, 687 (1930).

57 Abie State Bank v. Bryan, 282 U.S. 765, 776 (1931).

58 See the tentative effort in Hampton v. Mow Sun Wong, 426 U.S. 88, 102 & n.23 (1976), apparently to expand upon the concept of “liberty” within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause and necessarily therefore the Fourteenth’s.

59 See the substantial confinement of the concept in Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215 (1976); and Montanye v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236 (1976), in which the Court applied to its determination of what is a liberty interest the “entitlement” doctrine developed in property cases, in which the interest is made to depend upon state recognition of the interest through positive law, an approach contrary to previous due process-liberty analysis. Cf. Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 482 (1972). For more recent cases, see DeShaney v. Winnebago County Social Servs. Dep’t, 489 U.S. 189 (1989) (no due process violation for failure of state to protect an abused child from his parent, even though abuse had been detected by social service agency); Collins v. City of Harker Heights, 503 U.S. 115 (1992) (failure of city to warn its employees about workplace hazards does not violate due process; the due process clause does not impose a duty on the city to provide employees with a safe working environment); County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833 (1998) (high-speed automobile chase by police officer causing death through deliberate or reckless indifference to life would not violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of substantive due process). But see Chavez v. Martinez, 538 U.S. 760 (2003) (case remanded to federal circuit court to determine whether coercive questioning of severely injured suspect gave rise to a compensable violation of due process).

60 The conspicuous exception to this was the holding in the Dred Scott case that former slaves, as non-citizens, could not claim the protections of the clause. 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 450 (1857).

61 See, e.g., Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 386, 388 (1798) (“An act of the legislature (for I cannot call it a law), contrary to the first great principles of the social compact, cannot be considered a rightful exercise of legislative authority”) (Chase, J.).

62 In the years following the ratification of the 14th Amendment, the Court often observed that the Due Process Clause “operates to extend . . . the same protection against arbitrary state legislation, affecting life, liberty and property, as is offered by the Fifth Amendment,” Hibben v. Smith, 191 U.S. 310, 325 (1903), and that “ordinarily if an act of Congress is valid under the Fifth Amendment it would be hard to say that a state law in like terms was void under the Fourteenth,” Carroll v. Greenwich Ins. Co., 199 U.S. 401, 410 (1905). See also French v. Barber Asphalt Paving Co., 181 U.S. 324, 328 (1901). There is support for the notion, however, that the proponents of the 14th Amendment envisioned a more expansive substantive interpretation of that Amendment than had developed under the Fifth Amendment. See AKHIL REED AMAR, THE BILL OF RIGHTS 181–197 (1998).

63 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36 (1873).

64 See Privileges or Immunities Clause.

65 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) at 80–81.

66 94 U.S. 113, 134 (1877).

67 96 U.S. 97, 103–04 (1878).

68 110 U.S. 516, 528, 532, 536 (1884).

69 94 U.S. 113, 141–48 (1877).

70 “It is true that the legislation which secures to all protection in their rights, and the equal use and enjoyment of their property, embraces an almost infinite variety of subjects. Whatever affects the peace, good order, morals, and health of the community, comes within its scope; and every one must use and enjoy his property subject to the restrictions which such legislation imposes. What is termed the police power of the State, which, from the language often used respecting it, one would suppose to be an undefined and irresponsible element in government, can only interfere with the conduct of individuals in their intercourse with each other, and in the use of their property, so far as may be required to secure these objects. The compensation which the owners of property, not having any special rights or privileges from the government in connection with it, may demand for its use, or for their own services in union with it, forms no element of consideration in prescribing regulations for that purpose.” 94 U.S. at 145–46.

71 123 U.S. 623, 661 (1887).

72 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 113–14, 116, 122 (1873).

73 Loan Ass’n v. Topeka, 87 U.S. (20 Wall.) 655 (1875). “There are . . . rights in every free government beyond the control of the State. . . . There are limitations on [governmental power] which grow out of the essential nature of all free governments. Implied reservations of individual rights, without which the social compact could not exist . . . .”

74 “Rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are equivalent to the rights of life, liberty, and property. These are fundamental rights which can only be taken away by due process of law, and which can only be interfered with, or the enjoyment of which can only be modified, by lawful regulations necessary or proper for the mutual good of all. . . . 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 right. . . . A law which prohibits a large class of citizens from adopting a lawful employment, or from following a lawful employment previously adopted, does deprive them of liberty as well as property, without due process of law.” Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 116, 122 (1873) (Justice Bradley dissenting).

75 143 U.S. 517, 551 (1892).

76 See Fletcher v. Peck, 10 U.S. (6 Cr.) 87, 128 (1810).

77 94 U.S. 113, 123, 182 (1877).

78 123 U.S. 623 (1887).

79 123 U.S. at 662. “We cannot shut out of view the fact, within the knowledge of all, that the public health, the public morals, and the public safety, may be endangered by the general use of intoxicating drinks; nor the fact . . . that . . . pauperism, and crime . . . are, in some degree, at least, traceable to this evil.”

80 The following year the Court, confronted with an act restricting the sale of oleomargarine, of which the Court could not claim a like measure of common knowledge, briefly retreated to the doctrine of presumed validity, declaring that “it does not appear upon the face of the statute, or from any of the facts of which the Court must take judicial cognizance, that it infringes rights secured by the fundamental law.” Powell v. Pennsylvania, 127 U.S. 678, 685 (1888).

81 291 U.S. 502 (1934).

82 348 U.S. 483 (1955).

83 348 U.S. at 488.

84 348 U.S. at 487, 491.

85 The Court has pronounced a strict “hands-off” standard of judicial review, whether of congressional or state legislative efforts to structure and accommodate the burdens and benefits of economic life. Such legislation is to be “accorded the traditional presumption of constitutionality generally accorded economic regulations” and is to be “upheld absent proof of arbitrariness or irrationality on the part of Congress.” That the accommodation among interests which the legislative branch has struck “may have profound and far-reaching consequences . . . provides all the more reason for this Court to defer to the congressional judgment unless it is demonstrably arbitrary or irrational.” Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, 438 U.S. 59, 83–84 (1978). See also Usery v. Turner Elkhorn Mining Co., 428 U.S. 1, 14–20 (1976); Hodel v. Indiana, 452 U.S. 314, 333 (1981); New Motor Vehicle Bd. v. Orrin W. Fox Co., 439 U.S. 96, 106–08 (1978); Exxon Corp. v. Governor of Maryland, 437 U.S. 117, 124–25 (1978); Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen v. Chicago, R.I. & P. R.R., 393 U.S. 129 (1968); Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U.S. 726, 730, 733 (1963).

86 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36 (1873).

87 165 U.S. 578 (1897). Freedom of contract was also alluded to as a property right, as is evident in the language of the Court in Coppage v. Kansas, 236 U.S. 1, 14 (1915). “Included in the right of personal liberty and the right of private property— partaking of the nature of each—is the right to make contracts for the acquisition of property. Chief among such contracts is that of personal employment, by which labor and other services are exchanged for money or other forms of property. If this right be struck down or arbitrarily interfered with, there is a substantial impairment of liberty in the long-established constitutional sense.”

88 165 U.S. at 589.

89 Chicago, B. & Q. R.R. v. McGuire, 219 U.S. 549, 567, 570 (1911). See also Wolff Packing Co. v. Industrial Court, 262 U.S. 522, 534 (1923).

90 169 U.S. 366 (1898).

91 198 U.S. 45 (1905).

92 169 U.S. 366, 398 (1898).

93 198 U.S. 45 (1905).

94 198 U.S. at 59.

95 198 U.S. at 74 (quoting Atkin v. Kansas, 191 U.S. 207, 223 (1903)).

96 198 U.S. at 75–76.

97 Thus, Justice Holmes’ criticism of his colleagues was unfair, as even a “rational and fair man” would be guided by some preferences or “economic predilections.”

98 208 U.S. 412 (1908).

99 243 U.S. 426 (1917).

100 Named for attorney (later Justice) Louis Brandeis, who presented voluminous documentation to support the regulation of women’s working hours in Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908).

101 E.g., Muller v. Oregon; Bunting v. Oregon.

102 See, e.g., Adkins v. Children’s Hospital, 261 U.S. 525 (1923).

103 West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937). Thus the National Labor Relations Act was declared not to “interfere with the normal exercise of the right of the employer to select its employees or to discharge them.” However, restraint of the employer for the purpose of preventing an unjust interference with the correlative right of his employees to organize was declared not to be arbitrary. NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U.S. 1, 44, 45–46 (1937).

104 Miller v. Wilson, 236 U.S. 373 (1915) (statute limiting work to 8 hours/day, 48 hours/week); Bosley v. McLaughlin, 236 U.S. 385 (1915) (same restrictions for women working as pharmacists or student nurses). See also Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908) (10 hours/day as applied to work in laundries); Riley v. Massachusetts, 232 U.S. 671 (1914) (violation of lunch hour required to be posted).

105 See, e.g., Holden v. Hardy, 169 U.S. 366 (1898) (statute limiting the hours of labor in mines and smelters to eight hours per day); Bunting v. Oregon, 243 U.S. 426 (1917) (statute limiting to ten hours per day, with the possibility of 3 hours per day of overtime at time-and-a-half pay, work in any mill, factory, or manufacturing establishment).

106 Statute requiring redemption in cash of store orders or other evidences of indebtedness issued by employers in payment of wages did not violate liberty of contract. Knoxville Iron Co. v. Harbison, 183 U.S. 13 (1901); Dayton Coal and Iron Co. v. Barton, 183 U.S. 23 (1901); Keokee Coke Co. v. Taylor, 234 U.S. 224 (1914).

107 Laws requiring railroads to pay their employees semimonthly, Erie R.R. v. Williams, 233 U.S. 685 (1914), or to pay them on the day of discharge, without abatement or reduction, any funds due them, St. Louis, I. Mt. & S.P. Ry. v. Paul, 173 U.S. 404 (1899), do not violate due process.

108 Freedom of contract was held not to be infringed by an act requiring that miners, whose compensation was fixed on the basis of weight, be paid according to coal in the mine car rather than at a certain price per ton for coal screened after it has been brought to the surface, and conditioning such payment on the presence of no greater percentage of dirt or impurities than that ascertained as unavoidable by the State Industrial Commission. Rail Coal Co. v. Ohio Industrial Comm’n, 236 U.S. 338 (1915). See also McLean v. Arkansas, 211 U.S. 539 (1909).

109 Atkin v. Kansas, 191 U.S. 207 (1903).

110 Sturges & Burn v. Beauchamp, 231 U.S. 320 (1913).

111 St. Louis Consol. Coal Co. v. Illinois, 185 U.S. 203 (1902).

112 Wilmington Mining Co. v. Fulton, 205 U.S. 60 (1907).

113 Barrett v. Indiana, 229 U.S. 26 (1913).

114 Plymouth Coal Co. v. Pennsylvania, 232 U.S. 531 (1914).

115 Booth v. Indiana, 237 U.S. 391 (1915).

116 Adkins v. Children’s Hospital, 261 U.S. 525 (1923); Stettler v. O’Hara, 243 U.S. 629 (1917); Morehead v. New York ex rel. Tipaldo, 298 U.S. 587 (1936).

117 West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937) (overruling Adkins v. Children’s Hospital, 261 U.S. 525 (1923), a Fifth Amendment case); Morehead v. New York ex rel. Tipaldo, 298 U.S. 587 (1936).

118 Day-Brite Lighting, Inc. v. Missouri, 342 U.S. 421, 423 (1952) (sustaining a Missouri statute giving employees the right to absent themselves for four hours while the polls were open on election day without deduction of wages for their absence). The Court in Day-Brite Lighting, Inc. recognized that the legislation in question served as a form of wage control for men, which had previously found unconstitutional. Justice Douglas, however, wrote that “the protection of the right of suffrage under our scheme of things is basic and fundamental,” and hence within the states’ police power.

119 342 U.S. at 424–25. See also Dean v. Gadsden Times Pub. Co., 412 U.S. 543 (1973) (sustaining statute providing that employee excused for jury duty should be entitled to full compensation from employer, less jury service fee).

120 New York Cent. R.R. v. White, 243 U.S. 188, 200 (1917). “These decisions have established the propositions that the rules of law concerning the employer’s responsibility for personal injury or death of an employee arising in the course of employment are not beyond alteration by legislation in the public interest; that no person has a vested right entitling him to have these any more than other rules of law remain unchanged for his benefit; and that, if we exclude arbitrary and unreasonable changes, liability may be imposed upon the employer without fault, and the rules respecting his responsibility to one employee for the negligence of another and respecting contributory negligence and assumption of risk are subject to legislative change.” Arizona Employers’ Liability Cases, 250 U.S. 400, 419–20 (1919).

121 In determining what occupations may be brought under the designation of “hazardous,” the legislature may carry the idea to the “vanishing point.” Ward & Gow v. Krinsky, 259 U.S. 503, 520 (1922).

122 Nor does it violate due process to deprive an employee or his dependents of the higher damages that, in some cases, might be rendered under these doctrines. New York Central R.R. v. White, 243 U.S. 188 (1917); Mountain Timber Co. v. Washington, 243 U.S. 219 (1917).

123 Arizona Employers’ Liability Cases, 250 U.S. 400 (1919).

124 Chicago, B. & Q. R.R. v. McGuire, 219 U.S. 549 (1911) (prohibiting contracts limiting liability for injuries and stipulating that acceptance of benefits under such contracts shall not constitute satisfaction of a claim); Alaska Packers Ass’n v. Industrial Accident Comm’n,, 294 U.S. 532 (1935) (forbidding contracts exempting employers hired-in-state from liability for injuries outside the state); Thornton v. Duffy, 254 U.S. 361 (1920) (required contribution to a state insurance fund by an employer even though employer had obtained protection from an insurance company under previous statutory scheme); Booth Fisheries v. Industrial Comm’n, 271 U.S. 208 (1926) (finding of fact of an industrial commission conclusive if supported by any evidence regardless of its preponderance, right to come under a workmen’s compensation statute is optional with employer); Staten Island Ry. v. Phoenix Co., 281 U.S. 98 (1930) (wrongdoer is obliged to indemnify employer or the insurance carrier of the employer in the amount which the latter were required to contribute into special compensation funds); Sheehan Co. v. Shuler, 265 U.S. 371 (1924) (where an injured employee dies without dependents, employer or carrier required to make payments into special funds to be used for vocational rehabilitation or disability compensation of injured workers of other establishments); New York State Rys. v. Shuler, 265 U.S. 379 (1924) (same holding as above case); New York Cent. R.R. v. Bianc, 250 U.S. 596 (1919) (attorneys are not deprived of property or their liberty of contract by restriction imposed by the state on the fees they may charge in cases arising under the workmen’s compensation law); Yeiser v. Dysart, 267 U.S. 540 (1925) (compensation need not be based exclusively on loss of earning power, and award authorized for injuries resulting in disfigurement of the face or head, independent of compensation for inability to work).

125 Usery v. Turner Elkhorn Mining Co., 428 U.S. 1, 14–20 (1976). But see id. at 38 (Justice Powell concurring).

126 Justice Black in Lincoln Federal Labor Union v. Northwestern Iron & Metal Co., 335 U.S. 525, 535 (1949). In his concurring opinion, contained in the companion case of AFL v. American Sash & Door Co., 335 U.S. 538, 543–44 (1949), Justice Frankfurter summarized the now obsolete doctrines employed by the Court to strike down state laws fostering unionization. “[U]nionization encountered the shibboleths of a premachine age and these were reflected in juridical assumptions that survived the facts on which they were based. Adam Smith was treated as though his generalizations had been imparted to him on Sinai and not as a thinker who addressed himself to the elimination of restrictions which had become fetters upon initiative and enterprise in his day. Basic human rights expressed by the constitutional conception of ‘liberty’ were equated with theories of laissez faire. The result was that economic views of confined validity were treated by lawyers and judges as though the Framers had enshrined them in the Constitution. . . . The attitude which regarded any legislative encroachment upon the existing economic order as infected with unconstitutionality led to disrespect for legislative attempts to strengthen the wage-earners’ bargaining power. With that attitude as a premise, Adair v. United States, 208 U.S. 161 (1908), and Coppage v. Kansas, 236 U.S. 1 (1915), followed logically enough; not even Truax v. Corrigan, 257 U.S. 312 (1921), could be considered unexpected.”

127 In Adair and Coppage the Court voided statutes outlawing “yellow dog” contracts whereby, as a condition of obtaining employment, a worker had to agree not to join or to remain a member of a union; these laws, the Court ruled, impaired the employer’s “freedom of contract”—the employer’s unrestricted right to hire and fire. In Truax, the Court on similar grounds invalidated an Arizona statute which denied the use of injunctions to employers seeking to restrain picketing and various other communicative actions by striking employees. And in Wolff Packing Co. v. Industrial Court, 262 U.S. 522 (1923); 267 U.S. 552 (1925) and Dorchy v. Kansas, 264 U.S. 286 (1924), the Court had also ruled that a statute compelling employers and employees to submit their controversies over wages and hours to state arbitration was unconstitutional as part of a system compelling employers and employees to continue in business on terms not of their own making.

128 Prudential Ins. Co. v. Cheek, 259 U.S. 530 (1922). Added provisions that such letters should be on plain paper selected by the employee, signed in ink and sealed, and free from superfluous figures and words, were also sustained as not amounting to any unconstitutional deprivation of liberty and property. Chicago, R.I. & P. Ry. v. Perry, 259 U.S. 548 (1922). In conjunction with its approval of this statute, the Court also sanctioned judicial enforcement of a local policy rule which rendered illegal an agreement of several insurance companies having a local monopoly of a line of insurance, to the effect that no company would employ within two years anyone who had been discharged from, or left, the service of any of the others. On the ground that the right to strike is not absolute, the Court in a similar manner upheld a statute under which a labor union official was punished for having ordered a strike for the purpose of coercing an employer to pay a wage claim of a former employee. Dorchy v. Kansas, 272 U.S. 306 (1926).

129 301 U.S. 486 (1937).

130 301 U.S. 468 (1937).

131 257 U.S. 312 (1921).

132 The statute was applied to deny an injunction to a tiling contractor being picketed by a union because he refused to sign a closed shop agreement containing a provision requiring him to abstain from working in his own business as a tile layer or helper.

133 Railway Mail Ass’n v. Corsi, 326 U.S. 88, 94 (1945). Justice Frankfurter, concurring, declared that “the insistence by individuals of their private prejudices . . . , in relations like those now before us, ought not to have a higher constitutional sanction than the determination of a State to extend the area of nondiscrimination beyond that which the Constitution itself exacts.” Id. at 98.

134 335 U.S. 525 (1949).

135 335 U.S. 538 (1949).

136 335 U.S. at 534, 537. In a lengthy opinion, in which he registered his concurrence with both decisions, Justice Frankfurter set forth extensive statistical data calculated to prove that labor unions not only were possessed of considerable economic power but by virtue of such power were no longer dependent on the closed shop for survival. He would therefore leave to the legislatures the determination “whether it is preferable in the public interest that trade unions should be subjected to state intervention or left to the free play of social forces, whether experience has disclosed ‘union unfair labor practices,’ and if so, whether legislative correction is more appropriate than self-discipline and pressure of public opinion. . . .” Id. at 538, 549–50.

137 336 U.S. 245 (1949).

138 336 U.S. at 253. See also Giboney v. Empire Storage & Ice Co., 336 U.S. 490 (1949) (upholding state law forbidding agreements in restraint of trade as applied to union ice peddlers picketing wholesale ice distributor to induce the latter not to sell to nonunion peddlers). Other cases regulating picketing are treated under the First Amendment topics, “Picketing and Boycotts by Labor Unions” and “Public Issue Picketing and Parading,” supra.

139 94 U.S. 113 (1877). See also Davidson v. New Orleans, 96 U.S. 97 (1878); Peik v. Chicago & N.W. Ry., 94 U.S. 164 (1877);

140 The Court not only asserted that governmental regulation of rates charged by public utilities and allied businesses was within the states’ police power, but added that the determination of such rates by a legislature was conclusive and not subject to judicial review or revision.

141 Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. v. Minnesota, 134 U.S. 418 (1890).

142 Wolff Packing Co. v. Industrial Court, 262 U.S. 522, 535–36 (1923) (citations omitted).

143 Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113 (1877); Budd v. New York, 143 U.S. 517, 546 (1892); Brass v. North Dakota ex rel. Stoesser, 153 U.S. 391 (1894).

144 Cotting v. Kansas City Stock Yards Co., 183 U.S. 79 (1901).

145 Townsend v. Yeomans, 301 U.S. 441 (1937).

146 German Alliance Ins. Co. v. Kansas, 233 U.S. 389 (1914); Aetna Insurance Co. v. Hyde, 275 U.S. 440 (1928).

147 O’Gorman & Young v. Hartford Ins. Co., 282 U.S. 251 (1931).

148 Williams v. Standard Oil Co., 278 U.S. 235 (1929).

149 Tyson & Bro. v. Banton, 273 U.S. 418 (1927).

150 New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262 (1932). See also Adams v. Tanner, 244 U.S. 590 (1917); Weaver v. Palmer Bros., 270 U.S. 402 (1926).

151 291 U.S. 502 (1934).

152 In reaching this conclusion the Court might be said to have elevated to the status of prevailing doctrine the views advanced in previous decisions by dissenting Justices. Thus, Justice Stone, dissenting in Ribnik v. McBride, 277 U.S. 350, 359–60 (1928), had declared: “Price regulation is within the State’s power whenever any combination of circumstances seriously curtails the regulative force of competition so that buyers or sellers are placed at such a disadvantage in the bargaining struggle that a legislature might reasonably anticipate serious consequences to the community as a whole.” In his dissenting opinion in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262, 302–03 (1932), Justice Brandeis had also observed: “The notion of a distinct category of business ‘affected with a public interest’ employing property ‘devoted to a public use,’ rests upon historical error. . . . In my opinion, the true principle is that the State’s power extends to every regulation of any business reasonably required and appropriate for the public protection. I find in the due process clause no other limitation upon the character or the scope of regulation permissible.”

153 291 U.S. at 502. Older decisions overturning price regulation were now viewed as resting upon this basis, i.e., that due process was violated because the laws were arbitrary in their operation and effect.

154 291 U.S. at 531, 532. Justice McReynolds, dissenting, labeled the controls imposed by the challenged statute as a “fanciful scheme . . . to protect the farmer against undue exactions by prescribing the price at which milk disposed of by him at will may be resold!” 291 U.S. at 558. Intimating that the New York statute was as efficacious as a safety regulation that required “householders to pour oil on their roofs as a means of curbing the spread of fire when discovered in the neighborhood,” Justice McReynolds insisted that “this Court must have regard to the wisdom of the enactment,” and must “decide whether the means proposed have reasonable relation to something within legislative power.” 291 U.S. at 556.

155 313 U.S. 236, 246 (1941).

156 The older case of Ribnik v. McBride, 277 U.S. 350 (1928), which had invalidated similar legislation upon the now obsolete concept of a “business affected with a public interest,” was expressly overruled. Adams v. Tanner, 244 U.S. 590 (1917), was disapproved in Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U.S. 726 (1963), and Tyson & Bro. v. Banton, 273 U.S. 418 (1927), was effectively overruled in Gold v. DiCarlo, 380 U.S. 520 (1965), without the Court’s hearing argument on it.

157 116 U.S. 307, 331 (1886).

158 This was contrary to its earlier holding in Davidson v. New Orleans, 96 U.S. 97 (1877).

159 Dow v. Beidelman, 125 U.S. 680 (1888).

160 134 U.S. 418, 458 (1890).

161 Budd v. New York, 143 U.S. 517 (1892).

162 154 U.S. 362 (1894).

163 154 U.S. at 397. Insofar as judicial intervention resulting in the invalidation of legislatively imposed rates has involved carriers, it should be noted that the successful complainant invariably has been the carrier, not the shipper.

164 169 U.S. 466 (1898). Of course the validity of rates prescribed by a State for services wholly within its limits must be determined wholly without reference to the interstate business done by a public utility. Domestic business should not be made to bear the losses on interstate business and vice versa. Thus a state has no power to require the hauling of logs at a loss or at rates that are unreasonable, even if a railroad receives adequate revenues from the intrastate long haul and the interstate lumber haul taken together. On the other hand, in determining whether intrastate passenger railway rates are confiscatory, all parts of the system within the state (including sleeping, parlor, and dining cars) should be embraced in the computation, and the unremunerative parts should not be excluded because built primarily for interstate traffic or not required to supply local transportation needs. See Minnesota Rate Cases (Simpson v. Shepard), 230 U.S. 352, 434–35 (1913); Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. v. Public Util. Comm’n, 274 U.S. 344 (1927); Groesbeck v. Duluth, S.S. & A. Ry., 250 U.S. 607 (1919). The maxim that a legislature cannot delegate legislative power is qualified to permit creation of administrative boards to apply to the myriad details of rate schedules the regulatory police power of the state. To prevent a holding of invalid delegation of legislative power, the legislature must constrain the board with a certain course of procedure and certain rules of decision in the performance of its functions, with which the agency must substantially comply to validate its action. Wichita R.R. v. Public Util. Comm’n, 260 U.S. 48 (1922).

165 Reagan v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., 154 U.S. 362, 397 (1894). And later, in 1910, the Court made a similar observation that courts may not, “under the guise of exerting judicial power, usurp merely administrative functions by setting aside” an order of the commission merely because such power was unwisely or expediently exercised. ICC v. Illinois Cent. R.R., 215 U.S. 452, 470 (1910). This statement, made in the context of federal ratemaking, appears to be equally applicable to judicial review of state agency actions.

166 This distinction was accorded adequate emphasis by the Court in Louisville & Nashville R.R. v. Garrett, 231 U.S. 298, 310–13 (1913), in which it declared that “the appropriate question for the courts” is simply whether a “commission,” in establishing a rate, “acted within the scope of its power” and did not violate “constitutional rights . . . by imposing confiscatory requirements.” The carrier contesting the rate was not entitled to have a court also pass upon a question of fact regarding the reasonableness of a higher rate the carrier charged prior to the order of the commission. All that need concern a court, it said, is the fairness of the proceeding whereby the commission determined that the existing rate was excessive, but not the expediency or wisdom of the commission’s having superseded that rate with a rate regulation of its own.

167 Des Moines Gas Co. v. Des Moines, 238 U.S. 153 (1915).

168 Minnesota Rate Cases (Simpson v. Shepard), 230 U.S. 352, 452 (1913).

169 Knoxville v. Water Co., 212 U.S. 1 (1909).

170 Willcox v. Consolidated Gas Co., 212 U.S. 19 (1909). However, a public utility that has petitioned a commission for relief from allegedly confiscatory rates need not await indefinitely for the commission’s decision before applying to a court for equitable relief. Smith v. Illinois Bell Tel. Co., 270 U.S. 587 (1926).

171 174 U.S. 739, 750, 754 (1899). See also Minnesota Rate Cases (Simpson v. Shepard), 230 U.S. 352, 433 (1913).

172 San Diego Land & Town Co. v. Jasper, 189 U.S. 439, 441, 442 (1903). See also Van Dyke v. Geary, 244 U.S. 39 (1917); Georgia Ry. v. Railroad Comm’n, 262 U.S. 625, 634 (1923).

173 Moreover, in reviewing orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Court, at least in earlier years, chose to be guided by approximately the same standards it had originally formulated for examining regulations of state commissions. The following excerpt from its holding in ICC v. Union Pacific R.R., 222 U.S. 541, 547–48 (1912) represents an adequate summation of the law as it stood prior to 1920: “[Q]uestions of fact may be involved in the determination of questions of law, so that an order, regular on its face, may be set aside if it appears that . . . the rate is so low as to be confiscatory . . . ; or if the Commission acted so arbitrarily and unjustly as to fix rates contrary to evidence, or without evidence to support it; or . . . if the authority therein involved has been exercised in such an unreasonable manner as to cause it to be within the elementary rule that the substance, and not the shadow, determines the validity of the exercise of the power. . . . In determining these mixed questions of law and fact, the court confines itself to the ultimate question as to whether the Commission acted within its power. It will not consider the expediency or wisdom of the order, or whether, on like testimony, it would have made a similar ruling . . . [The Commission’s] conclusion, of course, is subject to review, but when supported by evidence is accepted as final; not that its decision . . . can be supported by a mere scintilla of proof—but the courts will not examine the facts further than to determine whether there was substantial evidence to sustain the order.” See also ICC v. Illinois Cent. R.R., 215 U.S. 452, 470 (1910).

174 253 U.S. 287 (1920).

175 253 U.S. at 289 (the “question of confiscation” was the question whether the rates set by the Public Service Commission were so low as to constitute confiscation). Unlike previous confiscatory rate litigation, which had developed from rulings of lower federal courts in injunctive proceedings, this case reached the Supreme Court by way of appeal from a state appellate tribunal. In injunctive proceedings, evidence is freshly introduced, whereas in the cases received on appeal from state courts, the evidence is found within the record.

176 253 U.S. at 289. Without departing from the ruling previously enunciated in Louisville & Nashville R.R. Co. v. Garrett, 231 U.S. 298 (1913), that the failure of a state to grant a statutory right of judicial appeal from a commission’s regulation does not violate due process as long as relief is obtainable by a bill in equity for injunction, the Court also held that the alternative remedy of injunction expressly provided by state law did not afford an adequate opportunity for testing a confiscatory rate order. It conceded the principle stressed by the dissenting Justices that, “[w]here a State offers a litigant the choice of two methods of judicial review, of which one is both appropriate and unrestricted, the mere fact that the other which the litigant elects is limited, does not amount to a denial of the constitutional right to a judicial review.” 253 U.S. at 295.

177 Smyth v. Ames, 169 U.S. 466, 546–47 (1898) (“fair value” necessitated consideration of original cost of construction, permanent improvements, amount and market value of bonds and stock, replacement cost, probable earning capacity, and operating expenses).

178 Various valuation cases emphasized reproduction costs, i.e., the present as compared with the original cost of construction. See,e.g., San Diego Land Co. v. National City, 174 U.S. 739, 757 (1899); San Diego Land & Town Co. v. Jasper, 189 U.S. 439, 443 (1903).

179 Missouri ex rel. Southwestern Bell Tel. Co. v. Public Serv. Comm’n, 262 U.S. 276, 291–92, 302, 306–07 (1923) (Brandeis, J., concurring) (cost includes both operating expenses and capital charges, i.e., interest for the use of capital, allowance for the risk incurred, funds to attract capital). This method would require “adoption of the amount prudently invested as the rate base and the amount of the capital charge as the measure of the rate of return.” As a method of valuation, the prudent investment theory was not accorded any acceptance until the Depression of the 1930s. The sharp decline in prices that occurred during this period doubtless contributed to the loss of affection for reproduction costs. In Los Angeles Gas Co. v. Railroad Comm’n, 289 U.S. 287 (1933) and Railroad Comm’n v. Pacific Gas Co., 302 U.S. 388, 399, 405 (1938), the Court upheld respectively a valuation from which reproduction costs had been excluded and another in which historical cost served as the rate base.

180 Knoxville v. Water Co., 212 U.S. 1, 9–10 (1909) (considering depreciation as part of cost). Notwithstanding its early recognition as an allowable item of deduction in determining value, depreciation continued to be the subject of controversy arising out of the difficulty of ascertaining it and of computing annual allowances to cover the same. Indicative of such controversy was the disagreement as to whether annual allowances shall be in such amount as will permit the replacement of equipment at current costs, i.e., present value, or at original cost. In the FPC v. Hope Natural Gas Co. case, 320 U.S. 591, 606 (1944), the Court reversed United Railways v. West, 280 U.S. 234, 253–254 (1930), insofar as that holding rejected original cost as the basis of annual depreciation allowances.

181 Des Moines Gas Co. v. Des Moines, 238 U.S. 153, 165 (1915) (finding “going concern value” in an assembled and established plant, doing business and earning money, over one not thus advanced). Franchise value and good will, on the other hand, have been consistently excluded from valuation; the latter presumably because a utility invariably enjoys a monopoly and consumers have no choice in the matter of patronizing it. The latter proposition has been developed in the following cases: Willcox v. Consolidated Gas Co., 212 U.S. 19 (1909); Des Moines Gas Co. v. Des Moines, 238 U.S. 153, 163–64 (1915); Galveston Elec. Co. v. Galveston, 258 U.S. 388 (1922); Los Angeles Gas Co. v. Railroad Comm’n, 289 U.S. 287, 313 (1933).

182 Market Street Ry. v. Railroad Comm’n, 324 U.S. 548, 562, 564 (1945) (where a street-surface railroad had lost all value except for scrap or salvage it was permissible for a commission to consider the price at which the utility offered to sell its property to a citizen); Denver v. Denver Union Water Co., 246 U.S. 178 (1918) (where water company franchise has expired, but where there is no other source of supply, its plant should be valued as actually in use rather than at what the property would bring for some other use in case the city should build its own plant).

183 FPC v. Natural Gas Pipeline Co., 315 U.S. 575, 590 (1942) (“The Constitution [does not] require that the losses of . . . [a] business in one year shall be restored from future earnings by the device of capitalizing the losses and adding them to the rate base on which a fair return and depreciation allowance is to be earned”). Nor can past losses be used to enhance the value of the property to support a claim that rates for the future are confiscatory. Galveston Elec. Co. v. Galveston, 258 U.S. 388 (1922), any more than profits of the past can be used to sustain confiscatory rates for the future Newton v. Consolidated Gas Co., 258 U.S. 165, 175 (1922); Board of Comm’rs v. New York Tel. Co., 271 U.S. 23, 31–32 (1926).

184 94 U.S. 113 (1877).

185 315 U.S. 575, 586 (1942).

186 320 U.S. 591, 602 (1944). Although this and the previously cited decision arose out of controversies involving the National Gas Act of 1938, the principles laid down therein are believed to be applicable to the review of rate orders of state commissions, except insofar as the latter operate in obedience to laws containing unique standards or procedures.

187 Ohio Valley Water Co. v. Ben Avon Borough, 253 U.S. 287 (1920).

188 In FPC v. Natural Gas Pipeline Co., 315 U.S. 575, 599 (1942), Justices Black, Douglas, and Murphy, in a concurring opinion, proposed to travel the road all the way back to Munn v. Illinois, and deprive courts of the power to void rates simply because they deem the latter to be unreasonable. In a concurring opinion, in Driscoll v. Edison Co., 307 U.S. 104, 122 (1939), Justice Frankfurter temporarily adopted a similar position; he declared that “[t]he only relevant function of law [in rate controversies] . . . is to secure observance of those procedural safeguards in the exercise of legislative powers which are the historic foundations of due process.” However, in his dissent in FPC v. Hope Natural Gas Co., 320 U.S. 591, 625 (1944), he disassociated himself from this proposal, and asserted that “it was decided more than fifty years ago that the final say under the Constitution lies with the judiciary and not the legislature. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. Co. v. Minnesota, 134 U.S. 418 [1890].”

189 FPC v. Hope Natural Gas Co., 320 U.S. 591, 602 (1944). See also Wisconsin v. FPC, 373 U.S. 294, 299, 317, 326 (1963), in which the Court tentatively approved an “area rate approach,” that is “the determination of fair prices for gas, based on reasonable financial requirements of the industry, for . . . the various producing areas of the country,” and with rates being established on an area basis rather than on an individual company basis. Four dissenters, Justices Clark, Black, Brennan, and Chief Justice Warren, labeled area pricing a “wild goose chase,” and stated that the Commission had acted in an arbitrary and unreasonable manner entirely outside traditional concepts of administrative due process. Area rates were approved in Permian Basin Area Rate Cases, 390 U.S. 747 (1968). The Court reaffirmed Hope Natural Gas’s emphasis on the bottom line: “The Constitution within broad limits leaves the States free to decide what ratesetting methodology best meets their needs in balancing the interests of the utility and the public.” Duquesne Light Co. v. Barasch, 488 U.S. 299, 316 (1989) (rejecting takings challenge to Pennsylvania rule preventing utilities from amortizing costs of canceled nuclear plants).

190 FPC v. Hope Natural Gas Co., 320 U.S. 591, 603 (1944) (citing Chicago & Grand Trunk Ry. v. Wellman, 143 U.S. 339, 345–46 (1892); and Missouri ex rel. Southwestern Bell Tel. Co. v. Public Serv. Comm’n, 262 U.S. 276, 291 (1923)).

191 Atlantic Coast Line R.R. v. Corporation Comm’n, 206 U.S. 1, 19 (1907) (citing Chicago, B. & Q. R.R. v. Iowa, 94 U.S. 155 (1877)). See also Prentis v. Atlantic Coast Line Co., 211 U.S. 210 (1908) ; Denver & R.G. R.R. v. Denver, 250 U.S. 241 (1919).

192 Chicago & G.T. Ry. v. Wellman, 143 U.S. 339, 344 (1892); Mississippi R.R. Comm’n v. Mobile & Ohio R.R., 244 U.S. 388, 391 (1917). See also Missouri Pacific Ry. v. Nebraska, 217 U.S. 196 (1910); Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. v. Walters, 294 U.S. 405, 415 (1935).

193 Cleveland Electric Ry. v. Cleveland, 204 U.S. 116 (1907).

194 Detroit United Ry. v. Detroit, 255 U.S. 171 (1921). See also Denver v. New York Trust Co., 229 U.S. 123 (1913).

195 Los Angeles v. Los Angeles Gas Corp., 251 U.S. 32 (1919).

196 Newburyport Water Co. v. City of Newburyport, 193 U.S. 561 (1904). See also Skaneateles Water Co. v. Village of Skaneateles, 184 U.S. 354 (1902); Helena Water Works Co. v. Helena, 195 U.S. 383 (1904); Madera Water Works v. City of Madera, 228 U.S. 454 (1913).

197 Western Union Tel. Co. v. Richmond, 224 U.S. 160 (1912).

198 Pierce Oil Corp. v. Phoenix Ref. Co., 259 U.S. 125 (1922).

199 Norfolk Turnpike Co. v. Virginia, 225 U.S. 264 (1912) (requiring a turnpike company to suspend tolls until the road is put in good order does not violate due process of law, notwithstanding that present patronage does not yield revenue sufficient to maintain the road in proper condition); International Bridge Co. v. New York, 254 U.S. 126 (1920) (in the absence of proof that the addition will not yield a reasonable return, a railroad bridge company is not deprived of its property when it is ordered to widen its bridge by inclusion of a pathway for pedestrians and a roadway for vehicles.); Chicago, B. & Q. R.R. v. Nebraska, 170 U.S. 57 (1898) (railroads may be required to repair viaduct under which they operate); Chicago, B. & Q. Ry. v. Drainage Comm’n, 200 U.S. 561 (1906) (reconstruct a bridge or provide means for passing water for drainage through their embankment); Chicago & Alton R.R. v. Tranbarger, 238 U.S. 67 (1915) (drainage requirements); Lake Shore & Mich. So. Ry. v. Clough, 242 U.S. 375 (1917) (drainage requirements); Pacific Gas Co. v. Police Court, 251 U.S. 22 (1919) (requirement to sprinkle street occupied by railroad.). But see Chicago, St. P., Mo. & O. Ry. v. Holmberg, 282 U.S. 162 (1930) (due process violated by a requirement that an underground cattle-pass is be constructed, not as a safety measure but as a convenience to farmers).

200 Consumers’ Co. v. Hatch, 224 U.S. 148 (1912). However, if pipe and telephone lines are located on a right of way owned by a pipeline company, the latter cannot, without a denial of due process, be required to relocate such equipment at its own expense. Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co. v. Highway Comm’n, 294 U.S. 613 (1935).

201 New Orleans Gas Co. v. Drainage Comm’n, 197 U.S. 453 (1905).

202 Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. v. Walters, 294 U.S. 405 (1935). See also Lehigh Valley R.R. v. Commissioners, 278 U.S. 24, 35 (1928) (upholding imposition of grade crossing costs on a railroad although “near the line of reasonableness,” and reiterating that “unreasonably extravagant” requirements would be struck down).

203 Atchison, T. & S.F. Ry. v. Public Util. Comm’n, 346 U.S. 346 (1953).

204 346 U.S. at 352.

205 Atchison, T. & S. F. Ry. v. Public Utility Comm’n, 346 U.S. at 394–95 (1953). See Minneapolis & St. L. R.R. v. Minnesota, 193 U.S. 53 (1904) (obligation to establish stations at places convenient for patrons); Gladson v. Minnesota, 166 U.S. 427 (1897) (obligation to stop all their intrastate trains at county seats); Missouri Pac. Ry. v. Kansas, 216 U.S. 262 (1910) (obligation to run a regular passenger train instead of a mixed passenger and freight train); Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. v. Public Serv. Comm’n, 242 U.S. 603 (1917) (obligation to furnish passenger service on a branch line previously devoted exclusively to carrying freight); Lake Erie & W.R.R. v. Public Util. Comm’n, 249 U.S. 422 (1919) (obligation to restore a siding used principally by a particular plant but available generally as a public track, and to continue, even though not profitable by itself, a sidetrack); Western & Atlantic R.R. v. Public Comm’n, 267 U.S. 493 (1925) (same); Alton R.R. v. Illinois Commerce Comm’n, 305 U.S. 548 (1939) (obligation for upkeep of a switch track leading from its main line to industrial plants.). But see Missouri Pacific Ry. v. Nebraska, 217 U.S. 196 (1910) (requirement, without indemnification, to install switches on the application of owners of grain elevators erected on right-of-way held void).

206 United Gas Co. v. Railroad Comm’n, 278 U.S. 300, 308–09 (1929). See also New York ex rel. Woodhaven Gas Light Co. v. Public Serv. Comm’n, 269 U.S. 244 (1925); New York & Queens Gas Co. v. McCall, 245 U.S. 345 (1917).

207 Missouri Pacific Ry. v. Kansas, 216 U.S. 262 (1910); Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. v. Public Serv. Comm’n, 242 U.S. 603 (1917); Fort Smith Traction Co. v. Bourland, 267 U.S. 330 (1925).

208 Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. v. Public Serv. Comm’n, 242 U.S. 603, 607 (1917); Brooks-Scanlon Co. v. Railroad Comm’n, 251 U.S. 396 (1920); Railroad Comm’n v. Eastern Tex. R.R., 264 U.S. 79 (1924); Broad River Co. v. South Carolina ex rel. Daniel, 281 U.S. 537 (1930).

209 Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. v. Public Serv. Comm’n, 242 U.S. 603, 607 (1917).

210 “Since the decision in Wisconsin, M. & P.R. Co. v. Jacobson, 179 U.S. 287 (1900), there can be no doubt of the power of a state, acting through an administrative body, to require railroad companies to make track connections. But manifestly that does not mean that a Commission may compel them to build branch lines, so as to connect roads lying at a distance from each other; nor does it mean that they may be required to make connections at every point where their tracks come close together in city, town and country, regardless of the amount of business to be done, or the number of persons who may use the connection if built. The question in each case must be determined in the light of all the facts and with a just regard to the advantage to be derived by the public and the expense to be incurred by the carrier. . . . If the order involves the use of property needed in the discharge of those duties which the carrier is bound to perform, then, upon proof of the necessity, the order will be granted, even though ‘the furnishing of such necessary facilities may occasion an incidental pecuniary loss.’ . . . Where, however, the proceeding is brought to compel a carrier to furnish a facility not included within its absolute duties, the question of expense is of more controlling importance. In determining the reasonableness of such an order the Court must consider all the facts—the places and persons interested, the volume of business to be affected, the saving in time and expense to the shipper, as against the cost and loss to the carrier.” Washington ex rel. Oregon R.R. & Nav. Co. v. Fairchild, 224 U.S. 510, 528–29 (1912). See also Michigan Cent. R.R. v. Michigan R.R. Comm’n, 236 U.S. 615 (1915); Seaboard Air Line R.R. v. Georgia R.R. Comm’n, 240 U.S. 324, 327 (1916).

211 Due process is not denied when two carriers, who wholly own and dominate a small connecting railroad, are prohibited from exacting higher charges from shippers accepting delivery over said connecting road than are collected from shippers taking delivery at the terminals of said carriers. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. v. Minneapolis Civic Ass’n, 247 U.S. 490 (1918). Nor are railroads denied due process when they are forbidden to exact a greater charge for a shorter distance than for a longer distance. Louisville & Nashville R.R. v. Kentucky, 183 U.S. 503, 512 (1902); Missouri Pacific Ry. v. McGrew Coal Co., 244 U.S. 191 (1917). Nor is it “unreasonable” or “arbitrary” to require a railroad to desist from demanding advance payment on merchandise received from one carrier while it accepts merchandise of the same character at the same point from another carrier without such prepayment. Wadley Southern Ry. v. Georgia, 235 U.S. 651 (1915).

212 Although a carrier is under a duty to accept goods tendered at its station, it cannot be required, upon payment simply for the service of carriage, to accept cars offered at an arbitrary connection point near its terminus by a competing road seeking to reach and use the former’s terminal facilities. Nor may a carrier be required to deliver its cars to connecting carriers without adequate protection from loss or undue detention or compensation for their use. Louisville & Nashville R.R. v. Stock Yards Co., 212 U.S. 132 (1909). But a carrier may be compelled to interchange its freight cars with other carriers under reasonable terms, Michigan Cent. R.R. v. Michigan R.R. Comm’n, 236 U.S. 615 (1915), and to accept cars already loaded and in suitable condition for reshipment over its lines to points within the state. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. v. Iowa, 233 U.S. 334 (1914).

213 The following cases all concern the operation of railroads: Railroad Co. v. Richmond, 96 U.S. 521 (1878) (prohibition against operation on certain streets); Atlantic Coast Line R.R. v. Goldsboro, 232 U.S. 548 (1914) (restrictions on speed and operations in business sections); Great Northern Ry. v. Minnesota ex rel. Clara City, 246 U.S. 434 (1918) (restrictions on speed and operations in business section); Denver & R.G. R.R. v. Denver, 250 U.S. 241 (1919) (or removal of a track crossing at a thoroughfare); Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. v. White, 278 U.S. 456 (1929) (compelling the presence of a flagman at a crossing notwithstanding that automatic devices might be cheaper and better); Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. v. Alabama, 128 U.S. 96 (1888) (compulsory examination of employees for color blindness); Chicago, R.I. & P. Ry. v. Arkansas, 219 U.S. 453 (1911) (full crews on certain trains); St. Louis I. Mt. & So. Ry. v. Arkansas, 240 U.S. 518 (1916) (same); Missouri Pacific R.R. v. Norwood, 283 U.S. 249 (1931) (same); Firemen v. Chicago, R.I. & P.R.R., 393 U.S. 129 (1968) (same); Atlantic Coast Line R.R. v. Georgia, 234 U.S. 280 (1914) (specification of a type of locomotive headlight); Erie R.R. v. Solomon, 237 U.S. 427 (1915) (safety appliance regulations); New York, N.H. & H. R.R. v. New York, 165 U.S. 628 (1897) (prohibition on the heating of passenger cars from stoves or furnaces inside or suspended from the cars).

214 Chicago, M. & St. P. R.R. v. Wisconsin, 238 U.S. 491 (1915).

215 Chicago & N.W. Ry. v. Nye Schneider Fowler Co., 260 U.S. 35 (1922). See also Yazoo & M.V.R.R. v. Jackson Vinegar Co., 226 U.S. 217 (1912); cf. Adams Express Co. v. Croninger, 226 U.S. 491 (1913).

216 Atlantic Coast Line R.R. v. Glenn, 239 U.S. 388 (1915).

217 St. Louis & S.F. Ry. v. Mathews, 165 U.S. 1 (1897).

218 Chicago & N.W. Ry. v. Nye Schneider Fowler Co., 260 U.S. 35 (1922) (penalty imposed if claimant subsequently obtained by suit more than the amount tendered by the railroad). But see Kansas City Ry. v. Anderson, 233 U.S. 325 (1914) (levying double damages and an attorney’s fee upon a railroad for failure to pay damage claims only where the plaintiff had not demanded more than he recovered in court); St. Louis, I. Mt. & So. Ry. v. Wynne, 224 U.S. 354 (1912) (same); Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. v. Polt, 232 U.S. 165 (1914) (same).

219 Missouri Pacific Ry. v. Tucker, 230 U.S. 340 (1913).

220 In accordance with this standard, a statute granting an aggrieved passenger (who recovered $100 for an overcharge of 60 cents) the right to recover in a civil suit not less than $50 nor more than $300 plus costs and a reasonable attorney’s fee was upheld. St. Louis, I. Mt. & So. Ry. v. Williams, 251 U.S. 63, 67 (1919). See also Missouri Pacific Ry. v. Humes, 115 U.S. 512 (1885) (statute requiring railroads to erect and maintain fences and cattle guards subject to award of double damages for failure to so maintain them upheld); Minneapolis & St. L. Ry. v. Beckwith, 129 U.S. 26 (1889) (same); Chicago, B. & Q.R.R. v. Cram, 228 U.S. 70 (1913) (required payment of $10 per car per hour to owner of livestock for failure to meet minimum rate of speed for delivery upheld). But see Southwestern Tel. Co. v. Danaher, 238 U.S. 482 (1915) (fine of $3,600 imposed on a telephone company for suspending service of patron in arrears in accordance with established and uncontested regulations struck down as arbitrary and oppressive).

221 Nebbia v. New York, 291 U.S. 502, 527–28 (1934). See also New Motor Vehicle Bd. v. Orrin W. Fox Co., 439 U.S. 96, 106–08 (1978) (upholding regulation of franchise relationship).

222 New Orleans Debenture Redemption Co. v. Louisiana, 180 U.S. 320 (1901).

223 National Council U.A.M. v. State Council, 203 U.S. 151, 162–63 (1906).

224 Munday v. Wisconsin Trust Co., 252 U.S. 499 (1920).

225 State Farm Ins. Co. v. Duel, 324 U.S. 154 (1945).

226 Watson v. Employers Liability Assurance Corp., 348 U.S. 66 (1954). Similarly a statute requiring a foreign hospital corporation to dispose of farm land not necessary to the conduct of their business was invalid even though the hospital, because of changed economic conditions, was unable to recoup its original investment from the sale. New Orleans Debenture Redemption Co. v. Louisiana, 180 U.S. 320 (1901).

227 See, e.g., Grenada Lumber Co. v. Mississippi, 217 U.S. 433 (1910) (statute prohibiting retail lumber dealers from agreeing not to purchase materials from wholesalers selling directly to consumers in the retailers’ localities upheld); Aikens v. Wisconsin, 195 U.S. 194 (1904) (law punishing combinations for “maliciously” injuring a rival in the same business, profession, or trade upheld).

228 Smiley v. Kansas, 196 U.S. 447 (1905). See Waters Pierce Oil Co. v. Texas, 212 U.S. 86 (1909); National Cotton Oil Co. v. Texas, 197 U.S. 115 (1905), also upholding antitrust laws.

229 International Harvester Co. v. Missouri, 234 U.S. 199 (1914). See also American Machine Co. v. Kentucky, 236 U.S. 660 (1915).

230 Central Lumber Co. v. South Dakota, 226 U.S. 157 (1912) (prohibition on intentionally destroying competition of a rival business by making sales at a lower rate, after considering distance, in one section of the State than in another upheld). But cf. Fairmont Co. v. Minnesota, 274 U.S. 1 (1927) (invalidating on liberty of contract grounds similar statute punishing dealers in cream who pay higher prices in one locality than in another, the Court finding no reasonable relation between the statute’s sanctions and the anticipated evil).

231 Old Dearborn Co. v. Seagram Corp., 299 U.S. 183 (1936) (prohibition of contracts requiring that commodities identified by trademark will not be sold by the vendee or subsequent vendees except at prices stipulated by the original vendor upheld); Pep Boys v. Pyroil, 299 U.S. 198 (1936) (same); Safeway Stores v. Oklahoma Grocers, 360 U.S. 334 (1959) (application of an unfair sales act to enjoin a retail grocery company from selling below statutory cost upheld, even though competitors were selling at unlawful prices, as there is no constitutional right to employ retaliation against action outlawed by a state and appellant could enjoin illegal activity of its competitors).

232 Schmidinger v. City of Chicago, 226 U.S. 578, 588 (1913) (citing McLean v. Arkansas, 211 U.S. 539, 550 (1909)). See Hauge v. City of Chicago, 299 U.S. 387 (1937) (municipal ordinance requiring that commodities sold by weight be weighed by a public weighmaster within the city valid even as applied to one delivering coal from state-tested scales at a mine outside the city); Lemieux v. Young, 211 U.S. 489 (1909) (statute requiring merchants to record sales in bulk not made sin the regular course of business valid); Kidd, Dater Co. v. Musselman Grocer Co., 217 U.S. 461 (1910) (same).

233 Merchants Exchange v. Missouri, 248 U.S. 365 (1919).

234 Pacific States Co. v. White, 296 U.S. 176 (1935) (administrative order prescribing the dimensions, form, and capacity of containers for strawberries and raspberries is not arbitrary as the form and dimensions bore a reasonable relation to the protection of the buyers and the preservation in transit of the fruit); Schmidinger v. City of Chicago, 226 U.S. 578 (1913) (ordinance fixing standard sizes is not unconstitutional); Armour & Co. v. North Dakota, 240 U.S. 510 (1916) (law that lard not sold in bulk should be put up in containers holding one, three, or five pounds weight, or some whole multiple of these numbers valid); Petersen Baking Co. v. Bryan, 290 U.S. 570 (1934) (regulations that imposed a rate of tolerance for the minimum weight for a loaf of bread upheld); But cf. Burns Baking Co. v. Bryan, 264 U.S. 504 (1924) (tolerance of only two ounces in excess of the minimum weight per loaf is unreasonable, given finding that it was impossible to manufacture good bread without frequently exceeding the prescribed tolerance).

235 Heath & Milligan Co. v. Worst, 207 U.S. 338 (1907); Corn Products Ref. Co. v. Eddy, 249 U.S. 427 (1919); National Fertilizer Ass’n v. Bradley, 301 U.S. 178 (1937).

236 Advance-Rumely Co. v. Jackson, 287 U.S. 283 (1932).

237 Hall v. Geiger-Jones Co., 242 U.S. 539 (1917); Caldwell v. Sioux Falls Stock Yards Co., 242 U.S. 559 (1917); Merrick v. Halsey & Co., 242 U.S. 568 (1917).

238 Booth v. Illinois, 184 U.S. 425 (1902).

239 Otis v. Parker, 187 U.S. 606 (1903).

240 Brodnax v. Missouri, 219 U.S. 285 (1911).

241 Rast v. Van Deman & Lewis, 240 U.S. 342 (1916); Tanner v. Little, 240 U.S. 369 (1916); Pitney v. Washington, 240 U.S. 387 (1916).

242 House v. Mayes, 219 U.S. 270 (1911).

243 Doty v. Love, 295 U.S. 64 (1935) (rights of creditors in an insolvent bank not violated by a later statute permitting re-opening under a reorganization plan approved by the court, the liquidating officer, and by three-fourths of the creditors); Farmers & Merchants Bank v. Federal Reserve Bank, 262 U.S. 649 (1923) (Federal Reserve bank not unlawfully deprived of business rights of liberty of contract by a law which allows state banks to pay checks in exchange when presented by or through a Federal Reserve bank, post office, or express company and when not made payable otherwise by a maker).

244 Noble State Bank v. Haskell, 219 U.S. 104 (1911); Shallenberger v. First State Bank, 219 U.S. 114 (1911); Assaria State Bank v. Dolley, 219 U.S. 121 (1911); Abie State Bank v. Bryan, 282 U.S. 765 (1931).

245 Provident Savings Inst. v. Malone, 221 U.S. 660 (1911); Anderson Nat’l Bank v. Luckett, 321 U.S. 233 (1944). When a bank conservator appointed pursuant to a new statute has all the functions of a receiver under the old law, one of which is the enforcement on behalf of depositors of stockholders’ liability, which liability the conservator can enforce as cheaply as could a receiver appointed under the pre-existing statute, it cannot be said that the new statute, in suspending the right of a depositor to have a receiver appointed, arbitrarily deprives a depositor of his remedy or destroys his property without the due process of law. The depositor has no property right in any particular form of remedy. Gibbes v. Zimmerman, 290 U.S. 326 (1933).

246 Griffith v. Connecticut, 218 U.S. 563 (1910).

247 Mutual Loan Co. v. Martell, 222 U.S. 225 (1911).

248 La Tourette v. McMaster, 248 U.S. 465 (1919); Stipich v. Insurance Co., 277 U.S. 311, 320 (1928).

249 German Alliance Ins. Co. v. Kansas, 233 U.S. 389 (1914).

250 O’Gorman & Young v. Hartford Ins. Co., 282 U.S. 251 (1931).

251 Nutting v. Massachusetts, 183 U.S. 553, 556 (1902) (distinguishing Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578 (1897)). See also Hoper v. California, 155 U.S. 648 (1895).

252 Daniel v. Family Ins. Co., 336 U.S. 220 (1949).

253 Osborn v. Ozlin, 310 U.S. 53, 68–69 (1940). Dissenting from the conclusion, Justice Roberts declared that the plain effect of the Virginia law is to compel a nonresident to pay a Virginia resident for services that the latter does not in fact render.

254 California Auto. Ass’n v. Maloney, 341 U.S. 105 (1951).

255 Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578 (1897).

256 New York Life Ins. Co. v. Dodge, 246 U.S. 357 (1918).

257 National Ins. Co. v. Wanberg, 260 U.S. 71 (1922).

258 Hartford Accident Co. v. Nelson Co., 291 U.S. 352 (1934).

259 Merchants Liability Co. v. Smart, 267 U.S. 126 (1925).

260 Orient Ins. Co. v. Daggs, 172 U.S. 577 (1899) (the statute was in effect when the contract at issue was signed).

261 Hoopeston Canning Co. v. Cullen, 318 U.S. 313 (1943).

262 German Alliance Ins. Co. v. Hale, 219 U.S. 307 (1911). See also Carroll v. Greenwich Ins. Co., 199 U.S. 401 (1905).

263 Life & Casualty Co. v. McCray, 291 U.S. 566 (1934).

264 Northwestern Life Ins. Co. v. Riggs, 203 U.S. 243 (1906).

265 Whitfield v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 205 U.S. 489 (1907).

266 Polk v. Mutual Reserve Fund, 207 U.S. 310 (1907).

267 Neblett v. Carpenter, 305 U.S. 297 (1938).

268 McNaughton v. Johnson, 242 U.S. 344, 349 (1917). See Dent v. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114 (1889); Hawker v. New York, 170 U.S. 189 (1898); Reetz v. Michigan, 188 U.S. 505 (1903); Watson v. Maryland, 218 U.S. 173 (1910); See also Barsky v. Board of Regents, 347 U.S. 442 (1954), sustaining a New York law authorizing suspension for six months of the license of a physician who had been convicted of crime in any jurisdiction, in this instance, contempt of Congress under 2 U.S.C. § 192. Justices Black, Douglas, and Frankfurter dissented.

269 Collins v. Texas, 223 U.S. 288 (1912); Hayman v. Galveston, 273 U.S. 414 (1927).

270 Semler v. Dental Examiners, 294 U.S. 608, 611 (1935). See also Douglas v. Noble, 261 U.S. 165 (1923); Graves v. Minnesota, 272 U.S. 425, 427 (1926).

271 North Dakota State Bd. of Pharmacy v. Snyder’s Drug Stores, 414 U.S. 156 (1973). In the course of the decision, the Court overruled Liggett Co. v. Baldridge, 278 U.S. 105 (1928), in which it had voided a law forbidding a corporation to own any drug store, unless all its stockholders were licensed pharmacists, as applied to a foreign corporation, all of whose stockholders were not pharmacists, which sought to extend its business in the state by acquiring and operating therein two additional stores.

272 Olsen v. Smith, 195 U.S. 332 (1904).

273 Nashville, C. & St. L. R.R. v. Alabama, 128 U.S. 96 (1888).

274 Smith v. Texas, 233 U.S. 630 (1914). See DeVeau v. Braisted, 363 U.S. 144, 157–60 (1960), sustaining a New York law barring from office in a longshoremen’s union persons convicted of a felony and not thereafter pardoned or granted a good conduct certificate from a parole board.

275 Brazee v. Michigan, 241 U.S. 340 (1916). With four Justices dissenting, the Court in Adams v. Tanner, 244 U.S. 590 (1917), struck down a state law absolutely prohibiting maintenance of private employment agencies. Commenting on the “constitutional philosophy” thereof in Lincoln Federal Labor Union v. Northwestern Iron & Metal Co., 335 U.S. 525, 535 (1949), Justice Black stated that Olsen v. Nebraska ex rel. Western Reference and Bond Ass’n, 313 U.S. 236 (1941), “clearly undermined Adams v. Tanner.”

276 Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U.S. 726 (1963).

277 Western Turf Ass’n v. Greenberg, 204 U.S. 359 (1907).

278 W.W. Cargill Co. v. Minnesota, 180 U.S. 452 (1901).

279 Lehon v. Atlanta, 242 U.S. 53 (1916).

280 Gundling v. Chicago, 177 U.S. 183, 185 (1900).

281 Bourjois, Inc. v. Chapman, 301 U.S. 183 (1937).

282 Weller v. New York, 268 U.S. 319 (1925).

283 Packer Corp. v. Utah, 285 U.S. 105 (1932).

284 Halter v. Nebraska, 205 U.S. 34 (1907).

285 McCloskey v. Tobin, 252 U.S. 107 (1920).

286 Natal v. Louisiana, 139 U.S. 621 (1891).

287 Murphy v. California, 225 U.S. 623 (1912).

288 Rosenthal v. New York, 226 U.S. 260 (1912). The Court also upheld a state law forbidding (1) solicitation of the sale of frames, mountings, or other optical appliances, (2) solicitation of the sale of eyeglasses, lenses, or prisms by use of advertising media, (3) retailers from leasing, or otherwise permitting anyone purporting to do eye examinations or visual care to occupy space in a retail store, and (4) anyone, such as an optician, to fit lenses, or replace lenses or other optical appliances, except upon written prescription of an optometrist or ophthalmologist licensed in the state is not invalid. A state may treat all who deal with the human eye as members of a profession that should refrain from merchandising methods to obtain customers, and that should choose locations that reduce the temptations of commercialism; a state may also conclude that eye examinations are so critical that every change in frame and duplication of a lens should be accompanied by a prescription. Williamson v. Lee Optical Co., 348 U.S. 483 (1955).

289 Cities Service Co. v. Peerless Co., 340 U.S. 179 (1950) (sustaining orders of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission fixing a minimum price for gas and requiring one producer to buy gas from another producer in the same field at a dictated price, based on a finding that low field prices for natural gas were resulting in economic and physical waste); Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Oklahoma, 340 U.S. 190 (1950).

290 This can be done regardless of whether the benefit is to the owners of oil and gas in a common reservoir or because of the public interests involved. Thompson v. Consolidated Gas Co., 300 U.S. 55, 76–77 (1937) (citing Ohio Oil Co. v. Indiana (No. 1), 177 U.S. 190 (1900)); Lindsley v. Natural Carbonic Gas Co., 220 U.S. 61 (1911); Oklahoma v. Kansas Natural Gas Co., 221 U.S. 229 (1911). Thus, the Court upheld against due process challenge a statute that defined waste as including, in addition to its ordinary meaning, economic waste, surface waste, and production in excess of transportation or marketing facilities or reasonable market demands, and which limited each producer’s share to a prorated portion of the total production that can be taken from the common source without waste. Champlin Rfg. Co. v. Corporation Comm’n, 286 U.S. 210 (1932).

291 Railroad Comm’n v. Rowan & Nichols Oil Co., 310 U.S. 573 (1940) (evaluating whether proration based on hourly potential is as fair as one based upon estimated recoverable reserves or some other combination of factors). See also Railroad Comm’n v. Rowan & Nichols Oil Co., 311 U.S. 570 (1941); Railroad Comm’n v. Humble Oil & Ref. Co., 311 U.S. 578 (1941).

292 Thompson v. Consolidated Gas Co., 300 U.S. 55 (1937).

293 Walls v. Midland Carbon Co., 254 U.S. 300 (1920). See also Henderson Co. v. Thompson, 300 U.S. 258 (1937).

294 Bandini Co. v. Superior Court, 284 U.S. 8 (1931).

295 Gant v. Oklahoma City, 289 U.S. 98 (1933) (statute requiring bond of $200,000 per well-head, such bond to be executed, not by personal sureties, but by authorized bonding company).

296 260 U.S. 393 (1922).

297 The “taking” jurisprudence that has stemmed from the Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon is discussed, supra, at “Regulatory Takings,” under the Fifth Amendment.

298 Keystone Bituminous Coal Ass’n v. DeBenedictis, 480 U.S. 470, 488 (1987). The Court in Pennsylvania Coal had viewed that case as relating to a “a single private house.” 260 U.S. at 413. Also distinguished from Pennsylvania Coal was a challenge to an ordinance prohibiting sand and gravel excavation near the water table and imposing a duty to refill any existing excavation below that level. The ordinance was upheld; the fact that it prohibited a business that had been conducted for over 30 years did not give rise to a taking in the absence of proof that the land could not be used for other legitimate purposes. Goldblatt v. Town of Hempstead, 369 U.S. 590 (1962).

299 Miller v. Schoene, 276 U.S. 272, 277, 279 (1928).

300 Sligh v. Kirkwood, 237 U.S. 52 (1915).

301 Hudson County Water Co. v. McCarter,, 209 U.S. 349, 356–57 (1908).

302 Sporhase v. Nebraska ex rel. Douglas, 458 U.S. 941 (1982). See also City of Altus v. Carr, 255 F. Supp. 828 (W.D. Tex.), aff’d per curiam, 385 U.S. 35 (1966).

303 See, e.g., Perley v. North Carolina, 249 U.S. 510 (1919) (upholding law requiring the removal of timber refuse from the vicinity of a watershed to prevent the spread of fire and consequent damage to such watershed).

304 Bayside Fish Co. v. Gentry, 297 U.S. 422, 426 (1936).

305 Manchester v. Massachusetts, 139 U.S. 240 (1891); Geer v. Connecticut, 161 U.S. 519 (1896).

306 Miller v. McLaughlin, 281 U.S. 261, 264 (1930).

307 Bayside Fish Co. v. Gentry, 297 U.S. 422 (1936). See also New York ex rel. Silz v. Hesterberg, 211 U.S. 31 (1908) (upholding law proscribing possession during the closed season of game imported from abroad).

308 Geer v. Connecticut, 161 U.S. 519, 529 (1896).

309 See, e.g., Foster-Fountain Packing Co. v. Haydel, 278 U.S. 1 (1928) (invalidating Louisiana statute prohibiting transportation outside the state of shrimp taken in state waters, unless the head and shell had first been removed); Toomer v. Witsell, 334 U.S. 385 (1948) (invalidating law discriminating against out-of-state commercial fishermen); Douglas v. Seacoast Products, Inc., 431 U.S. 265, 284 (1977) (state could not discriminate in favor of its residents against out-of-state fishermen in federally licensed ships).

310 441 U.S. 322 (1979) (formally overruling Geer).

311 441 U.S. at 336, 338–39.

312 Baldwin v. Montana Fish & Game Comm’n, 436 U.S. 371 (1978).

313 Reinman v. City of Little Rock, 237 U.S. 171 (1915) (location of a livery stable within a thickly populated city “is well within the range of the power of the state to legislate for the health and general welfare”). See also Fischer v. St. Louis, 194 U.S. 361 (1904) (upholding restriction on location of dairy cow stables); Bacon v. Walker, 204 U.S. 311 (1907) (upholding restriction on grazing of sheep near habitations).

314 Northwestern Laundry v. Des Moines, 239 U.S. 486 (1916). For a case embracing a rather special set of facts, see Dobbins v. Los Angeles, 195 U.S. 223 (1904).

315 Hadacheck v. Sebastian, 239 U.S. 394 (1915).

316 Cf. Developments in the Law: Zoning, 91 HARV. L. REV. 1427 (1978).

317 Welch v. Swasey, 214 U.S. 91 (1909).

318 Gorieb v. Fox, 274 U.S. 603 (1927).

319 Agins v. City of Tiburon, 447 U.S. 255 (1980).

320 Penn Central Transp. Co. v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104 (1978).

321 Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926); Zahn v. Board of Pub. Works, 274 U.S. 325 (1927); Nectow v. City of Cambridge, 277 U.S. 183 (1928); Cusack Co. v. City of Chicago, 242 U.S. 526 (1917); St. Louis Poster Adv. Co. v. City of St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269 (1919).

322 See, e.g., Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 U.S. 1003 (1992), and discussion of “Regulatory Taking” under the Fifth Amendment, supra

323 Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926).

324 Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas, 416 U.S. 1 (1974).

325 431 U.S. 494 (1977). A plurality of the Court struck down the ordinance as a violation of substantive due process, an infringement of family living arrangements which are a protected liberty interest, id. at 498–506, while Justice Stevens concurred on the ground that the ordinance was arbitrary and unreasonable. Id. at 513. Four Justices dissented. Id. at 521, 531, 541.

326 Buchanan v. Warley, 245 U.S. 60 (1917).

327 Eubank v. City of Richmond, 226 U.S. 137 (1912).

328 Washington ex rel. Seattle Title Trust Co. v. Roberge, 278 U.S. 116 (1928). In a later case, the Court held that the zoning power may not be delegated to a church. Larkin v. Grendel’s Den, 459 U.S. 116 (1982) (invalidating under the Establishment Clause a state law permitting any church to block issuance of a liquor license for a facility to be operated within 500 feet of the church).

329 Thomas Cusack Co. v. City of Chicago, 242 U.S. 526 (1917). The Court thought the case different from Eubank, because in that case the ordinance established no rule but gave the force of law to the decision of a narrow segment of the community, whereas in Cusack the ordinance barred the erection of any billboards but permitted the prohibition to be modified by the persons most affected. Id. at 531.

330 City of Eastlake v. Forest City Enterprises, 426 U.S. 668 (1976). Such referenda do, however, raise equal protection problems. See,e.g., Reitman v. Mulkey, 387 U.S. 369 (1967).

331 Irving Trust Co. v. Day, 314 U.S. 556, 564 (1942).

332 Demorest v. City Bank Co., 321 U.S. 36, 47–48 (1944). Under the peculiar facts of the case, however, the remainderman’s right had been created by judicial rules promulgated after the death of the decedent, so the case is not precedent for a broad rule of retroactivity.

333 Connecticut Ins. Co. v. Moore, 333 U.S. 541 (1948). Justices Jackson and Douglas dissented on the ground that New York was attempting to escheat unclaimed funds not actually or constructively located in New York, and which were the property of beneficiaries who may never have been citizens or residents of New York.

334 341 U.S. 428 (1951).

335 454 U.S. 516 (1982).

336 With respect to interests existing at the time of enactment, the statute provided a two-year grace period in which owners of mineral interests that were then unused and subject to lapse could preserve those interests by filing a claim in the recorder’s office.

337 The act provided a grace period and specified several actions which were sufficient to avoid extinguishment. With respect to interests existing at the time of enactment, the statute provided a two-year grace period in which owners of mineral interests that were then unused and subject to lapse could preserve those interests by filing a claim in the recorder’s office.

338 Generally, property owners are charged with maintaining knowledge of the legal conditions of property ownership.

339 454 U.S. at 538. The four dissenters thought that some specific notice was required for persons holding before enactment. Id. at 540.

340 See, e.g., Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 661 (1887), and the discussion, supra, under “The Development of Substantive Due Process.”

341 California Reduction Co. v. Sanitary Works, 199 U.S. 306 (1905).

342 Hutchinson v. City of Valdosta, 227 U.S. 303 (1913).

343 “The power of the State to . . . prevent the production within its borders of impure foods, unfit for use, and such articles as would spread disease and pestilence, is well established.” Sligh v. Kirkwood, 237 U.S. 52, 59–60 (1915).

344 Powell v. Pennsylvania, 127 U.S. 678 (1888); Magnano v. Hamilton, 292 U.S. 40 (1934).

345 North American Storage Co. v. City of Chicago, 211 U.S. 306 (1908).

346 Adams v. City of Milwaukee, 228 U.S. 572 (1913).

347 Baccus v. Louisiana, 232 U.S. 334 (1914).

348 Roschen v. Ward, 279 U.S. 337 (1929).

349 Minnesota ex rel. Whipple v. Martinson, 256 U.S. 41, 45 (1921).

350 Hutchinson Ice Cream Co. v. Iowa, 242 U.S. 153 (1916).

351 Hebe Co. v. Shaw, 248 U.S. 297 (1919).

352 Price v. Illinois, 238 U.S. 446 (1915).

353 Sage Stores Co. v. Kansas, 323 U.S. 32 (1944). Where health or fraud are not an issue, however, police power may be more limited. Thus, a statute forbidding the sale of bedding made with shoddy materials, even if sterilized and therefore harmless to health, was held to be arbitrary and therefore invalid. Weaver v. Palmer Bros. Co., 270 U.S. 402 (1926).

354 “[O]n account of their well-known noxious qualities and the extraordinary evils shown by experience commonly to be consequent upon their use, a State has power absolutely to prohibit manufacture, gift, purchase, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within its borders without violating the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Crane v. Campbell, 245 U.S. 304, 307 (1917), citing Bartemeyer v. Iowa, 85 U.S. (18 Wall.) 129 (1874); Beer Co. v. Massachusetts, 97 U.S. 25, 33 (1878); Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887); Crowley v. Christensen, 137 U.S. 86, 91 (1890); Purity Extract Co. v. Lynch, 226 U.S. 192 (1912); Clark Distilling Co. v. Western Md. Ry., 242 U.S. 311 (1917); Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. North Carolina, 245 U.S. 298 (1917). See also Kidd v. Pearson, 128 U.S. 1 (1888); Barbour v. Georgia, 249 U.S. 454 (1919).

355 Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 671 (1887).

356 Hawes v. Georgia, 258 U.S. 1 (1922); Van Oster v. Kansas, 272 U.S. 465 (1926).

357 Pierce Oil Corp. v. Hope, 248 U.S. 498 (1919).

358 Standard Oil Co. v. Marysville, 279 U.S. 582 (1929).

359 Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27 (1885); Soon Hing v. Crowley, 113 U.S. 703 (1885).

360 Maguire v. Reardon, 225 U.S. 271 (1921).

361 Queenside Hills Co. v. Saxl, 328 U.S. 80 (1946).

362 Stephenson v. Binford, 287 U.S. 251 (1932).

363 Stanley v. Public Utilities Comm’n, 295 U.S. 76 (1935).

364 Stephenson v. Binford, 287 U.S. 251 (1932). But any attempt to convert private carriers into common carriers, Michigan Pub. Utils. Comm’n v. Duke, 266 U.S. 570 (1925), or to subject them to the burdens and regulations of common carriers, without expressly declaring them to be common carriers, violates due process. Frost Trucking Co. v. Railroad Comm’n, 271 U.S. 583 (1926); Smith v. Cahoon, 283 U.S. 553 (1931).

365 Bradley v. Public Utility Comm’n, 289 U.S. 92 (1933).

366 Accordingly, a statute limiting to 7,000 pounds the net load permissible for trucks is not unreasonable. Sproles v. Binford, 286 U.S. 374 (1932).

367 Because it is the judgment of local authorities that such advertising affects public safety by distracting drivers and pedestrians, courts are unable to hold otherwise in the absence of evidence refuting that conclusion. Railway Express Agency v. New York, 336 U.S. 106 (1949).

368 Reitz v. Mealey, 314 U.S. 33 (1941); Kesler v. Department of Pub. Safety, 369 U.S. 153 (1962). But see Perez v. Campbell, 402 U.S. 637 (1971). Procedural due process must, of course be observed. Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535 (1971). A nonresident owner who loans his automobile in another state, by the law of which he is immune from liability for the borrower’s negligence and who was not in the state at the time of the accident, is not subjected to any unconstitutional deprivation by a law thereof, imposing liability on the owner for the negligence of one driving the car with the owner’s permission. Young v. Masci, 289 U.S. 253 (1933).

369 Ex parte Poresky, 290 U.S. 30 (1933). See also Packard v. Banton, 264 U.S. 140 (1924); Sprout v. City of South Bend, 277 U.S. 163 (1928); Hodge Co. v. Cincinnati, 284 U.S. 335 (1932); Continental Baking Co. v. Woodring, 286 U.S. 352 (1932).

370 L’Hote v. New Orleans, 177 U.S. 587 (1900).

371 Ah Sin v. Wittman, 198 U.S. 500 (1905).

372 Marvin v. Trout, 199 U.S. 212 (1905).

373 Bennis v. Michigan, 516 U.S. 442 (1996).

374 Stone v. Mississippi, 101 U.S. 814 (1880); Douglas v. Kentucky, 168 U.S. 488 (1897).

375 See, e.g., Snowden v. Hughes, 321 U.S. 1 (1944) (right to become a candidate for state office is a privilege only, hence an unlawful denial of such right is not a denial of a right of “property”). Cases under the equal protection clause now mandate a different result. See Holt Civic Club v. City of Tuscaloosa, 439 U.S. 60, 75 (1978) (seeming to conflate due process and equal protection standards in political rights cases).

376 Angle v. Chicago, St. Paul, M. & D. Ry., 151 U.S. 1 (1894).

377 Coombes v. Getz, 285 U.S. 434, 442, 448 (1932).

378 Gibbes v. Zimmerman, 290 U.S. 326, 332 (1933). See Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Envtl. Study Group, 438 U.S. 59 (1978) (limitation of common-law liability of private industry nuclear accidents in order to encourage development of energy a rational action, especially when combined with congressional pledge to take necessary action in event of accident; whether limitation would have been of questionable validity in absence of pledge uncertain but unlikely).

379 Shriver v. Woodbine Bank, 285 U.S. 467 (1932).

380 Chase Securities Corp. v. Donaldson, 325 U.S. 304, 315–16 (1945).

381 Soliah v. Heskin, 222 U.S. 522 (1912); City of Trenton v. New Jersey, 262 U.S. 182 (1923). The Equal Protection Clause has been used, however, to limit a state’s discretion with regard to certain matters. See “Fundamental Interests: The Political Process,” infra.

382 City of Chicago v. Sturges, 222 U.S. 313 (1911).

383 Louisiana ex rel. Folsom v. Mayor of New Orleans, 109 U.S. 285, 289 (1883).

384 Michigan ex rel. Kies v. Lowrey, 199 U.S. 233 (1905).

385 Hunter v. Pittsburgh, 207 U.S. 161 (1907).

386 Stewart v. Kansas City, 239 U.S. 14 (1915).

387 Tonawanda v. Lyon, 181 U.S. 389 (1901); Cass Farm Co. v. Detroit, 181 U.S. 396 (1901). Rather, the purpose of the amendment was to extend to the residents of the states the same protection against arbitrary state legislation affecting life, liberty, and property as was afforded against Congress by the Fifth Amendment. Southwestern Oil Co. v. Texas, 217 U.S. 114, 119 (1910).

388 Fox v. Standard Oil Co., 294 U.S. 87, 99 (1935).

389 Stewart Dry Goods Co. v. Lewis, 294 U.S. 550 (1935). See also Kelly v. City of Pittsburgh, 104 U.S. 78 (1881); Chapman v. Zobelein, 237 U.S. 135 (1915); Alaska Fish Co. v. Smith, 255 U.S. 44 (1921); Magnano Co. v. Hamilton, 292 U.S. 40 (1934); City of Pittsburgh v. Alco Parking Corp., 417 U.S. 369 (1974).

390 Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. v. Wallace, 288 U.S. 249 (1933); Carmichael v. Southern Coal & Coke Co., 301 U.S. 495 (1937). A taxpayer, therefore, cannot contest the imposition of an income tax on the ground that, in operation, it returns to his town less income tax than he and its other inhabitants pay. Dane v. Jackson, 256 U.S. 589 (1921).

391 Loan Association v. Topeka, 87 U.S. (20 Wall.) 655 (1875) (voiding tax employed by city to make a substantial grant to a bridge manufacturing company to induce it to locate its factory in the city). See also City of Parkersburg v. Brown, 106 U.S. 487 (1882) (private purpose bonds not authorized by state constitution).

392 Taxes levied for each of the following purposes have been held to be for a public use: a city coal and fuel yard, Jones v. City of Portland, 245 U.S. 217 (1917), a state bank, a warehouse, an elevator, a flour mill system, homebuilding projects, Carmichael v. Southern Coal & Coke Co., 300 U.S. 644 (1937), a society for preventing cruelty to animals (dog license tax), Nicchia v. New York, 254 U.S. 228 (1920), a railroad tunnel, Milheim v. Moffat Tunnel Dist., 262 U.S. 710 (1923), books for school children attending private as well as public schools, Cochran v. Louisiana Bd. of Educ., 281 U.S. 370 (1930), and relief of unemployment, Carmichael v. Southern Coal & Coke Co., 301 U.S. 495, 515 (1937).

393 In applying the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause the Court has said that discretion as to what is a public purpose “belongs to Congress, unless the choice is clearly wrong, a display of arbitrary power, not an exercise of judgment.” Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619, 640 (1937); United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1, 67 (1936). That payment may be made to private individuals is now irrelevant. Carmichael, 301 U.S. at 518. Cf. Usery v. Turner Elkhorn Mining Co., 428 U.S. 1 (1976) (sustaining tax imposed on mine companies to compensate workers for black lung disabilities, including those contracting disease before enactment of tax, as way of spreading cost of employee liabilities).

394 New York ex rel. Cohn v. Graves, 300 U.S. 308, 313 (1937).

395 300 U.S. at 313. See also Shaffer v. Carter, 252 U.S. 37, 49–52 (1920); and Travis v. Yale & Towne Mfg. Co., 252 U.S. 60 (1920) (states may tax the income of nonresidents derived from property or activity within the state).

396 See, e.g., Stockdale v. Insurance Companies, 87 U.S. (20 Wall.) 323 (1874); United States v. Hudson, 299 U.S. 498 (1937); United States v. Darusmont, 449 U.S. 292 (1981).

397 Welch v. Henry, 305 U.S. 134 (1938) (upholding imposition in 1935 of tax liability for 1933 tax year; due to the scheduling of legislative sessions, this was the legislature’s first opportunity to adjust revenues after obtaining information of the nature and amount of the income generated by the original tax). Because “[t]axation is neither a penalty imposed on the taxpayer nor a liability which he assumes by contract,” the Court explained, “its retroactive imposition does not necessarily infringe due process.” Id. at 146–47.

398 Stebbins v. Riley, 268 U.S. 137, 140, 141 (1925).

399 When remainders indisputably vest at the time of the creation of a trust and a succession tax is enacted thereafter, the imposition of the tax on the transfer of such remainder is unconstitutional. Coolidge v. Long, 282 U.S. 582 (1931). The Court has noted that insofar as retroactive taxation of vested gifts has been voided, the justification therefor has been that “the nature or amount of the tax could not reasonably have been anticipated by the taxpayer at the time of the particular voluntary act which the [retroactive] statute later made the taxable event . . . . Taxation . . . of a gift which . . . [the donor] might well have refrained from making had he anticipated the tax . . . [is] thought to be so arbitrary . . . as to be a denial of due process.” Welch v. Henry, 305 U.S. 134, 147 (1938). But where the remaindermen’s interests are contingent and do not vest until the donor’s death subsequent to the adoption of the statute, the tax is valid. Stebbins v. Riley, 268 U.S. 137 (1925).

400 Cahen v. Brewster, 203 U.S. 543 (1906).

401 Keeney v. New York, 222 U.S. 525 (1912).

402 Puget Sound Co. v. Seattle, 291 U.S. 619 (1934).

403 New York Tel. Co. v. Dolan, 265 U.S. 96 (1924).

404 Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. v. Browning, 310 U.S. 362 (1940).

405 Paddell v. City of New York, 211 U.S. 446 (1908).

406 Hagar v. Reclamation Dist., 111 U.S. 701 (1884).

407 Butters v. City of Oakland, 263 U.S. 162 (1923). It is also proper to impose a special assessment for the preliminary expenses of an abandoned road improvement, even though the assessment exceeds the amount of the benefit which the assessors estimated the property would receive from the completed work. Missouri Pacific R.R. v. Road District, 266 U.S. 187 (1924). See also Roberts v. Irrigation Dist., 289 U.S. 71 (1933) (an assessment to pay the general indebtedness of an irrigation district is valid, even though in excess of the benefits received). Likewise a levy upon all lands within a drainage district of a tax of twenty-five cents per acre to defray preliminary expenses does not unconstitutionally take the property of landowners within that district who may not be benefitted by the completed drainage plans. Houck v. Little River Dist., 239 U.S. 254 (1915).

408 Road Dist. v. Missouri Pac. R.R., 274 U.S. 188 (1927).

409 Kansas City Ry. v. Road Dist., 266 U.S. 379 (1924).

410 Louisville & Nashville R.R. v. Barber Asphalt Co., 197 U.S. 430 (1905).

411 Myles Salt Co. v. Iberia Drainage Dist., 239 U.S. 478 (1916).

412 Wagner v. Baltimore, 239 U.S. 207 (1915).

413 Charlotte Harbor Ry. v. Welles, 260 U.S. 8 (1922).

414 For discussion of the relationship between the taxation of interstate commerce and the dormant commerce clause, see Taxation, supra.

415 504 U.S. 298 (1992).

416 504 U.S. 298 (1992).

417 The Court had previously held that the requirement in terms of a benefit is minimal. Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Montana, 453 U.S. 609 (1981), (quoting Carmichael v. Southern Coal & Coke Co., 301 U.S. 495, 521–23 (1937)). It is satisfied by a “minimal connection” between the interstate activities and the taxing State and a rational relationship between the income attributed to the State and the intrastate values of the enterprise. Mobil Oil Corp. v. Commissioner of Taxes, 445 U.S. 425, 436–37 (1980); Moorman Mfg. Co. v. Bair, 437 U.S. 267, 272–73 (1978). See especially Standard Pressed Steel Co. v. Department of Revenue, 419 U.S. 560, 562 (1975); National Geographic Soc’y v. California Bd. of Equalization, 430 U.S. 551 (1977).

418 A physical presence within the state is necessary, however, under the Commerce Clause analysis applicable to taxation of mail order sales. See Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. at 309–19 (refusing to overrule the Commerce Clause ruling in National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue, 386 U.S. 753, 756 (1967)). See also Trinova Corp. v. Michigan Dep’t of Treasury, 498 U.S. 358 (1991) (neither the Commerce Clause nor the Due Process Clause is violated by application of a business tax, measured on a value added basis, to a company that manufactures goods in another state, but that operates a sales office and conducts sales within state).

419 Union Transit Co. v. Kentucky, 199 U.S. 194, 204 (1905). See also Louisville & Jeffersonville Ferry Co. v. Kentucky, 188 U.S. 385 (1903).

420 Carstairs v. Cochran, 193 U.S. 10 (1904); Hannis Distilling Co. v. Baltimore, 216 U.S. 285 (1910); Frick v. Pennsylvania, 268 U.S. 473 (1925); Blodgett v. Silberman, 277 U.S. 1 (1928).

421 New York ex rel. New York Cent. R.R. v. Miller, 202 U.S. 584 (1906).

422 Wheeling Steel Corp. v. Fox, 298 U.S. 193, 209–10 (1936); Union Transit Co. v. Kentucky, 199 U.S. 194, 207 (1905); Johnson Oil Co. v. Oklahoma, 290 U.S. 158 (1933).

423 Union Transit Co. v. Kentucky, 199 U.S. 194 (1905). Justice Black, in Central R.R. v. Pennsylvania, 370 U.S. 607, 619–20 (1962), had his “doubts about the use of the Due Process Clause to strike down state tax laws. The modern use of due process to invalidate state taxes rests on two doctrines: (1) that a State is without ‘jurisdiction to tax’ property beyond its boundaries, and (2) that multiple taxation of the same property by different States is prohibited. Nothing in the language or the history of the Fourteenth Amendment, however, indicates any intention to establish either of these two doctrines. . . . And in the first case [Railroad Co. v. Jackson, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 262 (1869)] striking down a state tax for lack of jurisdiction to tax after the passage of that Amendment neither the Amendment nor its Due Process Clause . . . was even mentioned.” He also maintained that Justice Holmes shared this view in Union Transit Co. v. Kentucky, 199 U.S. at 211.

424 Southern Pacific Co. v. Kentucky, 222 U.S. 63 (1911). Ships operating wholly on the waters within one state, however, are taxable there and not at the domicile of the owners. Old Dominion Steamship Co. v. Virginia, 198 U.S. 299 (1905).

425 Noting that an entire fleet of airplanes of an interstate carrier were “never continuously without the [domiciliary] State during the whole tax year,” that such airplanes also had their “home port” in the domiciliary state, and that the company maintained its principal office therein, the Court sustained a personal property tax applied by the domiciliary state to all the airplanes owned by the taxpayer. Northwest Airlines v. Minnesota, 322 U.S. 292, 294–97 (1944). No other state was deemed able to accord the same protection and benefits as the taxing state in which the taxpayer had both its domicile and its business situs. Union Transit Co. v. Kentucky, 199 U.S. 194 (1905), which disallowed the taxing of tangibles located permanently outside the domicile state, was held to be inapplicable. 322 U.S. at 295 (1944). Instead, the case was said to be governed by New York ex rel. New York Cent. R.R. v. Miller, 202 U.S. 584, 596 (1906). As to the problem of multiple taxation of such airplanes, which had in fact been taxed proportionately by other states, the Court declared that the “taxability of any part of this fleet by any other state, than Minnesota, in view of the taxability of the entire fleet by that state, is not now before us.” Justice Jackson, in a concurring opinion, would treat Minnesota’s right to tax as exclusively of any similar right elsewhere.

426 Johnson Oil Co. v. Oklahoma, 290 U.S. 158 (1933). Moreover, in assessing that part of a railroad within its limits, a state need not treat it as an independent line valued as if it was operated separately from the balance of the railroad. The state may ascertain the value of the whole line as a single property and then determine the value of the part within on a mileage basis, unless there be special circumstances which distinguish between conditions in the several states. Pittsburgh C.C. & St. L. Ry. v. Backus, 154 U.S. 421 (1894).

427 Wallace v. Hines, 253 U.S. 66 (1920). For example, the ratio of track mileage within the taxing state to total track mileage cannot be employed in evaluating that portion of total railway property found in the state when the cost of the lines in the taxing state was much less than in other states and the most valuable terminals of the railroad were located in other states. See also Fargo v. Hart, 193 U.S. 490 (1904); Union Tank Line Co. v. Wright, 249 U.S. 275 (1919).

428 Great Northern Ry. v. Minnesota, 278 U.S. 503 (1929). If a tax reaches only revenues derived from local operations, the fact that the apportionment formula does not result in mathematical exactitude is not a constitutional defect. Illinois Cent. R.R. v. Minnesota, 309 U.S. 157 (1940).

429 Howard, State Jurisdiction to Tax Intangibles: A Twelve Year Cycle, 8 MO. L. REV. 155, 160–62 (1943); Rawlins, State Jurisdiction to Tax Intangibles: Some Modern Aspects, 18 TEX. L. REV. 196, 314–15 (1940).

430 Kirtland v. Hotchkiss, 100 U.S. 491, 498 (1879).

431 Savings Society v. Multnomah County, 169 U.S. 421 (1898).

432 Bristol v. Washington County, 177 U.S. 133, 141 (1900).

433 These deposits were allowed to be subjected to a personal property tax in the city of his residence, regardless of whether or not they are subject to tax in the state where the business is carried onFidelity & Columbia Trust Co. v. Louisville, 245 U.S. 54 (1917). The tax is imposed for the general advantage of living within the jurisdiction (benefit-protection theory), and may be measured by reference to the riches of the person taxed.

434 Rogers v. Hennepin County, 240 U.S. 184 (1916).

435 Citizens Nat’l Bank v. Durr, 257 U.S. 99, 109 (1921). “Double taxation” the Court observed “by one and the same State is not” prohibited “by the Fourteenth Amendment; much less is taxation by two States upon identical or closely related property interest falling within the jurisdiction of both, forbidden.”

436 Hawley v. Malden, 232 U.S. 1, 12 (1914). The Court attached no importance to the fact that the shares were already taxed by the State in which the issuing corporation was domiciled and might also be taxed by the State in which the stock owner was domiciled, or at any rate did not find it necessary to pass upon the validity of the latter two taxes. The present levy was deemed to be tenable on the basis of the benefit-protection theory, namely, “the economic advantages realized through the protection at the place . . . [of business situs] of the ownership of rights in intangibles. . . .” The Court also added that “undoubtedly the State in which a corporation is organized may . . . [tax] all of its shares whether owned by residents or nonresidents.”

437 First Bank Corp. v. Minnesota, 301 U.S. 234, 241 (1937). The shares represent an aliquot portion of the whole corporate assets, and the property right so represented arises where the corporation has its home, and is therefore within the taxing jurisdiction of the State, notwithstanding that ownership of the stock may also be a taxable subject in another State.

438 Schuylkill Trust Co. v. Pennsylvania, 302 U.S. 506 (1938).

439 The Court found that all stockholders were the ultimate beneficiaries of the corporation’s activities within the taxing State, were protected by the latter, and were thus subject to the State’s jurisdiction. International Harvester Co. v. Department of Taxation, 322 U.S. 435 (1944). This tax, though collected by the corporation, is on the transfer to a stockholder of his share of corporate dividends within the taxing State and is deducted from said dividend payments. Wisconsin Gas Co. v. United States, 322 U.S. 526 (1944).

440 New York ex rel. Hatch v. Reardon, 204 U.S. 152 (1907).

441 Graniteville Mfg. Co. v. Query, 283 U.S. 376 (1931). These taxes, however, were deemed to have been laid, not on the property, but upon an event, the transfer in one instance, and execution in the latter which took place in the taxing State.

442 Buck v. Beach, 206 U.S. 392 (1907).

443 Senior v. Braden, 295 U.S. 422 (1935).

444 Brooke v. City of Norfolk, 277 U.S. 27 (1928).

445 Greenough v. Tax Assessors, 331 U.S. 486, 496–97 (1947).

446 277 U.S. 27 (1928).

447 280 U.S. 83 (1929).

448 Adams Express Co. v. Ohio, 165 U.S. 194 (1897).

449 Alpha Cement Co. v. Massachusetts, 268 U.S. 203 (1925). A domiciliary State, however, may tax the excess of market value of outstanding capital stock over the value of real and personal property and certain indebtedness of a domestic corporation even though this “corporate excess” arose from property located and business done in another State and was there taxable. Moreover, this result follows whether the tax is considered as one on property or on the franchise. Wheeling Steel Corp. v. Fox, 298 U.S. 193 (1936). See also Memphis Gas Co. v. Beeler, 315 U.S. 649, 652 (1942).

450 Newark Fire Ins. Co. v. State Board, 307 U.S. 313, 324 (1939). Although the eight Justices affirming this tax were not in agreement as to the reasons to be assigned in justification of this result, the holding appears to be in line with the dictum uttered by Chief Justice Stone in Curry v. McCanless, 307 U.S. 357, 368 (1939), to the effect that the taxation of a corporation by a state where it does business, measured by the value of the intangibles used in its business there, does not preclude the state of incorporation from imposing a tax measured by all its intangibles.

451 Delaware, L. & W.P.R.R. v. Pennsylvania, 198 U.S. 341 (1905).

452 Louisville & Jeffersonville Ferry Co. v. Kentucky, 188 U.S. 385 (1903).

453 Stebbins v. Riley, 268 U.S. 137, 140–41 (1925).

454 199 U.S. 194 (1905) (property taxes). The rule was subsequently reiterated in 1925 in Frick v. Pennsylvania, 268 U.S. 473 (1925). See also Treichler v. Wisconsin, 338 U.S. 251 (1949); City Bank Farmers’ Trust Co. v. Schnader, 293 U.S. 112 (1934). In State Tax Comm’n v. Aldrich, 316 U.S. 174, 185 (1942), however, Justice Jackson, in dissent, asserted that a reconsideration of this principle had become timely.

455 240 U.S. 635, 631 (1916). A decision rendered in 1926 which is seemingly in conflict was Wachovia Bank & Trust Co. v. Doughton, 272 U.S. 567 (1926), in which North Carolina was prevented from taxing the exercise of a power of appointment through a will executed therein by a resident, when the property was a trust fund in Massachusetts created by the will of a resident of the latter State. One of the reasons assigned for this result was that by the law of Massachusetts the property involved was treated as passing from the original donor to the appointee. However, this holding was overruled in Graves v. Schmidlapp, 315 U.S. 657 (1942).

456 Levy of an inheritance tax by a nondomiciliary State was also sustained on similar grounds in Wheeler v. New York, 233 U.S. 434 (1914) wherein it was held that the presence of a negotiable instrument was sufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the State seeking to tax its transfer.

457 Rhode Island Trust Co. v. Doughton, 270 U.S. 69 (1926).

458 277 U.S. 1 (1928).

459 The Court conceded, however, that the domiciliary State could tax the transfer of books and certificates of indebtedness found in that safe deposit box as well as the decedent’s interest in a foreign partnership.

460 First Nat’l Bank v. Maine, 284 U.S. 312 (1932); Beidler v. South Carolina Tax Comm’n, 282 U.S. 1 (1930); Baldwin v. Missouri, 281 U.S. 586 (1930); Farmers Loan Co. v. Minnesota, 280 U.S. 204 (1930).

461 First National Bank v. Maine, 284 U.S. 312, 330–31 (1932).

462 307 U.S. 357, 363 (1939).

463 307 U.S. at 366, 367, 368.

464 307 U.S. at 372. These statements represented a belated adoption of the views advanced by Chief Justice Stone in dissenting or concurring opinions that he filed in three of the four decisions during 1930–1932. By the line of reasoning taken in these opinions, if protection or control was extended to, or exercised over, intangibles or the person of their owner, then as many states as afforded such protection or were capable of exerting such dominion should be privileged to tax the transfer of such property. On this basis, the domiciliary state would invariably qualify as a state competent to tax as would a nondomiciliary state, so far as it could legitimately exercise control or could be shown to have afforded a measure of protection that was not trivial or insubstantial.

465 308 U.S. 313 (1939).

466 307 U.S. 383 (1939).

467 307 U.S. at 386. Consistent application of the principle enunciated in Curry v. McCanless is also discernible in two later cases in which the Court sustained the right of a domiciliary state to tax the transfer of intangibles kept outside its boundaries, notwithstanding that “in some instances they may be subject to taxation in other jurisdictions, to whose control they are subject and whose legal protection they enjoy.” Graves v. Schmidlapp, 315 U.S. 657, 661 (1942). In this case, an estate tax was levied upon the value of the subject of a general testamentary power of appointment effectively exercised by a resident donee over intangibles held by trustees under the will of a nonresident donor of the power. Viewing the transfer of interest in the intangibles by exercise of the power of appointment as the equivalent of ownership, the Court quoted the statement in McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 429 (1819), that the power to tax “is an incident of sovereignty, and is coextensive with that to which it is an incident.” 315 U.S. at 660. Again, in Central Hanover Bank Co. v. Kelly, 319 U.S. 94 (1943), the Court approved a New Jersey transfer tax imposed on the occasion of the death of a New Jersey grantor of an irrevocable trust despite the fact that it was executed in New York, the securities were located in New York, and the disposition of the corpus was to two nonresident sons.

468 306 U.S. 398 (1939). Resort to the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction was necessary because in Worcester County Co. v. Riley, 302 U.S. 292 (1937), the Court, proceeding on the basis that inconsistent determinations by the courts of two states as to the domicile of a taxpayer do not raise a substantial federal constitutional question, held that the Eleventh Amendment precluded a suit by the estate of the decedent to establish the correct state of domicile. In California v. Texas, 437 U.S. 601 (1978), a case on all points with Texas v. Florida, the Court denied leave to file an original action to adjudicate a dispute between the two states about the actual domicile of Howard Hughes, a number of Justices suggesting that Worcester County no longer was good law. Subsequently, the Court reaffirmed Worcester County, Cory v. White, 457 U.S. 85 (1982), and then permitted an original action to proceed, California v. Texas, 457 U.S. 164 (1982), several Justices taking the position that neither Worcester County nor Texas v. Florida was any longer viable.

469 Kansas City Ry. v. Kansas, 240 U.S. 227 (1916); Kansas City, M. & B.R.R. v. Stiles, 242 U.S. 111 (1916). Similarly, the validity of a franchise tax, imposed on a domestic corporation engaged in foreign maritime commerce and assessed upon a proportion of the total franchise value equal to the ratio of local business done to total business, is not impaired by the fact that the total value of the franchise was enhanced by property and operations carried on beyond the limits of the state. Schwab v. Richardson, 263 U.S. 88 (1923).

470 Western Union Tel. Co. v. Kansas, 216 U.S. 1 (1910); Pullman Co. v. Kansas, 216 U.S. 56 (1910); Looney v. Crane Co., 245 U.S. 178 (1917); International Paper Co. v. Massachusetts, 246 U.S. 135 (1918).

471 Cudahy Co. v. Hinkle, 278 U.S. 460 (1929).

472 An example of such an apportioned tax is a franchise tax based on such proportion of outstanding capital stock as is represented by property owned and used in business transacted in the taxing state. St. Louis S.W. Ry. v. Arkansas, 235 U.S. 350 (1914).

473 Atlantic Refining Co. v. Virginia, 302 U.S. 22 (1937).

474 American Mfg. Co. v. St. Louis, 250 U.S. 459 (1919). Nor does a state license tax on the production of electricity violate the due process clause because it may be necessary, to ascertain, as an element in its computation, the amounts delivered in another jurisdiction. Utah Power & Light Co. v. Pfost, 286 U.S. 165 (1932). A tax on chain stores, at a rate per store determined by the number of stores both within and without the state is not unconstitutional as a tax in part upon things beyond the jurisdiction of the state.

475 James v. Dravo Contracting Co., 302 U.S. 134 (1937).

476 Lawrence v. State Tax Comm’n, 286 U.S. 276 (1932).

477 Shaffer v. Carter, 252 U.S. 37 (1920); Travis v. Yale & Towne Mfg. Co., 252 U.S. 60 (1920).

478 New York ex rel. Cohn v. Graves, 300 U.S. 308 (1937).

479 Maguire v. Trefy, 253 U.S. 12 (1920).

480 Guaranty Trust Co. v. Virginia, 305 U.S. 19, 23 (1938). Likewise, even though a nonresident does no business in a state, the state may tax the profits realized by the nonresident upon his sale of a right appurtenant to membership in a stock exchange within its borders. New York ex rel. Whitney v. Graves, 299 U.S. 366 (1937).

481 Underwood Typewriter Co. v. Chamberlain, 254 U.S. 113 (1920); Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton Ltd. v. Tax Comm’n, 266 U.S. 271 (1924). The Court has recently considered and expanded the ability of the states to use apportionment formulae to allocate to each state for taxing purposes a fraction of the income earned by an integrated business conducted in several states as well as abroad. Moorman Mfg. Co. v. Bair, 437 U.S. 267 (1978); Mobil Oil Corp. v. Commissioner of Taxes, 445 U.S. 425 (1980); Exxon Corp. v. Department of Revenue, 447 U.S. 207 (1980). Exxon refused to permit a unitary business to use separate accounting techniques that divided its profits among its various functional departments to demonstrate that a state’s formulary apportionment taxes extraterritorial income improperly. Moorman Mfg. Co. v. Bair, 437 U.S. at 276–80, implied that a showing of actual multiple taxation was a necessary predicate to a due process challenge but might not be sufficient.

482 Evidence may be submitted that tends to show that a state has applied a method that, although fair on its face, operates so as to reach profits that are in no sense attributable to transactions within its jurisdiction. Hans Rees’ Sons v. North Carolina, 283 U.S. 123 (1931).

483 Matson Nav. Co. v. State Board, 297 U.S. 441 (1936).

484 Wisconsin v. J.C. Penney Co., 311 U.S. 435, 448–49 (1940). Dissenting, Justice Roberts, along with Chief Justice Hughes and Justices McReynolds and Reed, stressed the fact that the use and disbursement by the corporation at its home office of income derived from operations in many states does not depend on and cannot be controlled by, any law of Wisconsin. The act of disbursing such income as dividends, he contended is “one wholly beyond the reach of Wisconsin’s sovereign power, one which it cannot effectively command, or prohibit or condition.” The assumption that a proportion of the dividends distributed is paid out of earnings in Wisconsin for the year immediately preceding payment is arbitrary and not borne out by the facts. Accordingly, “if the exaction is an income tax in any sense it is such upon the stockholders (many of whom are nonresidents) and is obviously bad.” See also Wisconsin v. Minnesota Mining Co., 311 U.S. 452 (1940).

485 Equitable Life Society v. Pennsylvania, 238 U.S. 143 (1915).

486 Provident Savings Ass’n v. Kentucky, 239 U.S. 103 (1915).

487 State Bd. of Ins. v. Todd Shipyards, 370 U.S. 451 (1962).

488 Continental Co. v. Tennessee, 311 U.S. 5, 6 (1940).

489 Palmetto Ins. Co. v. Connecticut, 272 U.S. 295 (1926).

490 St. Louis Compress Co. v. Arkansas, 260 U.S. 346 (1922).

491 Connecticut Gen. Life Ins. Co. v. Johnson, 303 U.S. 77 (1938). When policy loans to residents are made by a local agent of a foreign insurance company, in the servicing of which notes are signed, security taken, interest collected, and debts are paid within the State, such credits are taxable to the company, notwithstanding that the promissory notes evidencing such credits are kept at the home office of the insurer. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. City of New Orleans, 205 U.S. 395 (1907). But when a resident policyholder’s loan is merely charged against the reserve value of his policy, under an arrangement for extinguishing the debt and interest thereon by deduction from any claim under the policy, such credit is not taxable to the foreign insurance company. Orleans Parish v. New York Life Ins. Co., 216 U.S. 517 (1910). Premiums due from residents on which an extension has been granted by foreign companies also are credits on which the latter may be taxed by the State of the debtor’s domicile. Liverpool & L. & G. Ins. Co. v. Orleans Assessors, 221 U.S. 346 (1911). The mere fact that the insurers charge these premiums to local agents and give no credit directly to policyholders does not enable them to escape this tax.

492 Turpin v. Lemon, 187 U.S. 51, 58 (1902); Glidden v. Harrington, 189 U.S. 255 (1903).

493 McMillen v. Anderson, 95 U.S. 37, 42 (1877).

494 Bell’s Gap R.R. v. Pennsylvania, 134 U.S. 232, 239 (1890).

495 Hodge v. Muscatine County, 196 U.S. 276 (1905).

496 Hagar v. Reclamation Dist., 111 U.S. 701, 709–10 (1884).

497 111 U.S. at 710.

498 McMillen v. Anderson, 95 U.S. 37, 42 (1877).

499 State Railroad Tax Cases, 92 U.S. 575, 610 (1876).

500 Nickey v. Mississippi, 292 U.S. 393, 396 (1934). See also Clement Nat’l Bank v. Vermont, 231 U.S. 120 (1913). A hearing before judgment, with full opportunity to submit evidence and arguments being all that can be adjudged vital, it follows that rehearings and new trials are not essential to due process of law. Pittsburgh C.C. & St. L. Ry. v. Backus, 154 U.S. 421 (1894). One hearing is sufficient to constitute due process, Michigan Central R.R. v. Powers, 201 U.S. 245, 302 (1906), and the requirements of due process are also met if a taxpayer, who had no notice of a hearing, does receive notice of the decision reached there and is privileged to appeal it and, on appeal, to present evidence and be heard on the valuation of his property. Pittsburgh C.C. & St. L. Ry. v. Board of Pub. Works, 172 U.S. 32, 45 (1898).

501 St. Louis & K.C. Land Co. v. Kansas City, 241 U.S. 419, 430 (1916); Paulsen v. Portland, 149 U.S. 30, 41 (1893); Bauman v. Ross, 167 U.S. 548, 590 (1897).

502 Tonawanda v. Lyon, 181 U.S. 389, 391 (1901).

503 Londoner v. City of Denver, 210 U.S. 373 (1908).

504 Withnell v. Ruecking Constr. Co., 249 U.S. 63, 68 (1919); Browning v. Hooper, 269 U.S. 396, 405 (1926). Likewise, the committing to a board of county supervisors of authority to determine, without notice or hearing, when repairs to an existing drainage system are necessary cannot be said to deny due process of law to landowners in the district, who, by statutory requirement, are assessed for the cost thereof in proportion to the original assessment. Breiholz v. Board of Supervisors, 257 U.S. 118 (1921).

505 Fallbrook Irrigation Dist. v. Bradley, 164 U.S. 112, 168, 175 (1896); Browning v. Hooper, 269 U.S. 396, 405 (1926).

506 Utley v. Petersburg, 292 U.S. 106, 109 (1934); French v. Barber Asphalt Paving Co., 181 U.S. 324, 341 (1901). See also Soliah v. Heskin, 222 U.S. 522 (1912). Nor can he rightfully complain because the statute renders conclusive, after a hearing, the determination as to apportionment by the same body which levied the assessment. Hibben v. Smith, 191 U.S. 310, 321 (1903).

507 Hancock v. Muskogee, 250 U.S. 454, 458 (1919). Likewise, a taxpayer does not have a right to a hearing before a state board of equalization preliminary to issuance by it of an order increasing the valuation of all property in a city by 40 percent. Bi-Metallic Co. v. Colorado, 239 U.S. 441 (1915).

508 City of Detroit v. Parker, 181 U.S. 399 (1901).

509 Paulsen v. Portland, 149 U.S. 30, 38 (1893).

510 National Safe Deposit Co. v. Stead, 232 U.S. 58 (1914).

511 Pierce Oil Corp. v. Hopkins, 264 U.S. 137 (1924). Likewise, a tax on the tangible personal property of a nonresident owner may be collected from the custodian or possessor of such property, and the latter, as an assurance of reimbursement, may be granted a lien on such property. Carstairs v. Cochran, 193 U.S. 10 (1904); Hannis Distilling Co. v. Baltimore, 216 U.S. 285 (1910).

512 The duty thereby imposed on the employer has never been viewed as depriving him of property without due process of law, nor has the adjustment of his system of accounting been viewed as an unreasonable regulation of the conduct of business. Travis v. Yale & Towne Mfg. Co., 252 U.S. 60, 75, 76 (1920).

513 Bankers Trust Co. v. Blodgett, 260 U.S. 647 (1923).

514 International Harvester Corp. v. Goodrich, 350 U.S. 537 (1956).

515 League v. Texas, 184 U.S. 156 (1902).

516 Palmer v. McMahon, 133 U.S. 660, 669 (1890).

517 Scottish Union & Nat’l Ins. Co. v. Bowland, 196 U.S. 611 (1905).

518 King v. Mullins, 171 U.S. 404 (1898); Chapman v. Zobelein, 237 U.S. 135 (1915).

519 Leigh v. Green, 193 U.S. 79 (1904).

520 Davidson v. City of New Orleans, 96 U.S. 97, 107 (1878).

521 Dewey v. City of Des Moines, 173 U.S. 193 (1899).

522 League v. Texas, 184 U.S. 156, 158 (1902). See also Straus v. Foxworth, 231 U.S. 162 (1913).

523 Londoner v. City of Denver, 210 U.S. 373 (1908). See also Kentucky Railroad Tax Cases, 115 U.S. 321, 331 (1885); Winona & St. Peter Land Co. v. Minnesota, 159 U.S. 526, 537 (1895); Merchants Bank v. Pennsylvania, 167 U.S. 461, 466 (1897); Glidden v. Harrington, 189 U.S. 255 (1903).

524 A state statute may designate a corporation as the agent of a nonresident stockholder to receive notice and to represent him in proceedings for correcting assessment. Corry v. Baltimore, 196 U.S. 466, 478 (1905).

525 Leigh v. Green, 193 U.S. 79, 92–93 (1904). Thus, an assessment for taxes and a notice of sale when such taxes are delinquent will be sustained as long as there is a description of the land and the owner knows that the property so described is his, even if that description is not technically correct. Ontario Land Co. v. Yordy, 212 U.S. 152 (1909). Where tax proceedings are in rem, owners are bound to take notice thereof, and to pay taxes on their property, even if the land is assessed to unknown or other persons. Thus, if an owner stands by and sees his property sold for delinquent taxes, he is not thereby wrongfully deprived of his property. Id. See also Longyear v. Toolan, 209 U.S. 414 (1908).

526 Covey v. Town of Somers, 351 U.S. 141 (1956).

527 Nelson v. New York City, 352 U.S. 103 (1956). This conclusion was unaffected by the disparity between the value of the land taken and the amount owed the city. Having issued appropriate notices, the city cannot be held responsible for the negligence of the bookkeeper and the managing trustee in overlooking arrearages on tax bills, nor is it obligated to inquire why appellants regularly paid real estate taxes on their property.

528 Brinkerhoff-Faris Co. v. Hill, 281 U.S. 673 (1930).

529 Central of Georgia Ry. v. Wright, 207 U.S. 127 (1907).

530 Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363 (1930). See also Ward v. Love County, 253 U.S. 17 (1920). In this as in other areas, the state must provide procedural safeguards against imposition of an unconstitutional tax. These procedures need not apply predeprivation, but a state that denies predeprivation remedy by requiring that tax payments be made before objections are heard must provide a postdeprivation remedy. McKesson Corp. v. Florida Alcohol & Tobacco Div., 496 U.S. 18 (1990). See also Reich v. Collins, 513 U.S. 106 (1994) (violation of due process to hold out a post-deprivation remedy for unconstitutional taxation and then, after the disputed taxes had been paid, to declare that no such remedy exists); Newsweek, Inc. v. Florida Dep’t of Revenue, 522 U.S. 442 (1998) (per curiam) (violation of due process to limit remedy to one who pursued pre-payment of tax, where litigant reasonably relied on apparent availability of post-payment remedy).

531 Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363 (1930).

532 Farncomb v. Denver, 252 U.S. 7 (1920).

533 Pullman Co. v. Knott, 235 U.S. 23 (1914).

534 See analysis under “National Eminent Domain Power,” Fifth Amendment, supra.


536 See Bill of Rights, “Fourteenth Amendment,” supra.

537 See Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 164 (1973).

538 Warren and Brandeis, The Right of Privacy, 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193 (1890).

539 See Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting) (arguing against the admissibility in criminal trials of secretly taped telephone conversations). In Olmstead, Justice Brandeis wrote: “The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. . . . They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone— the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. To protect that right, every unjustifiable intrusion by the government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment.” 277 U.S. at 478.

540 262 U.S. 390 (1923). Justices Holmes and Sutherland entered a dissent, applicable to Meyer, in Bartels v. Iowa, 262 U.S. 404, 412 (1923).

541 268 U.S. 510 (1925).

542 Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 400 (1923); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 531, 533, 534 (1928). The Court has subsequently made clear that these cases dealt with “a complete prohibition of the right to engage in a calling,” holding that “a brief interruption” did not constitute a constitutional violation. Conn v. Gabbert, 526 U.S. 286, 292 (1999) (search warrant served on attorney prevented attorney from assisting client appearing before a grand jury).

543 262 U.S. at 399.

544 262 U.S. at 400.

545 268 U.S. at 534–35.

546 Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942) (marriage and procreation are among “the basic civil rights of man”); Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944) (care and nurture of children by the family are within “the private realm of family life which the state cannot enter”).

547 E.g., Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905); Zucht v. King, 260 U.S. 174 (1922) (allowing compulsory vaccination); Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927) (allowing sexual sterilization of inmates of state institutions found to be afflicted with hereditary forms of insanity or imbecility); Minnesota v. Probate Court ex rel. Pearson, 309 U.S. 270 (1940) (allowing institutionalization of habitual sexual offenders as psychopathic personalities).

548 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967).

549 Indeed, in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 482 (1965), Justice Douglas reinterpreted Meyer and Pierce as having been based on the First Amendment. Note also that in Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 105 (1968), and Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 506–07 (1969), Justice Fortas for the Court approvingly noted the due process basis of Meyer and Pierce while deciding both cases on First Amendment grounds.

550 367 U.S. 497, 522, 539–45 (1961). Justice Douglas, also dissenting, relied on a due process analysis, which began with the texts of the first eight Amendments as the basis of fundamental due process and continued into the “emanations” from this as also protected. Id. at 509.

551 According to Justice Harlan, due process is limited neither to procedural guarantees nor to the rights enumerated in the first eight Amendments of the Bill of Rights, but is rather “a discrete concept which subsists as an independent guaranty of liberty and procedural fairness, more general and inclusive than the specific prohibitions.” The liberty protected by the clause “is a rational continuum which, broadly speaking, includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints . . . and which also recognizes, what a reasonable and sensitive judgment must, that certain interests require particularly careful scrutiny of the state needs asserted to justify their abridgment.” 367 U.S. at 542, 543.

552 381 U.S. 479 (1965).

553 “We do not sit as a super-legislature to determine the wisdom, need, and propriety of laws that touch economic problems, business affairs, or social conditions.” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. at 482 (opinion of Court by Justice Douglas).

554 The analysis, while reminiscent of the “right to privacy” first suggested by Warren and Brandeis, still approached the matter in reliance on substantive due process cases. It should be noted that the separate concurrences of Justices Harlan and White were specifically based on substantive due process, 381 U.S. at 499, 502, which indicates that the majority’s position was intended to be something different. Justice Goldberg, on the other hand, in concurrence, would have based the decision on the Ninth Amendment. 381 U.S. at 486–97. See analysis under the Ninth Amendment, “Rights Retained By the People,” supra.

555 See Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

556 When the Court began to extend “privacy” rights to unmarried person through the equal protection clause, it seemed to rely upon a view of rationality and reasonableness not too different from Justice Harlan’s dissent in Poe v. Ullman. Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972), is the principal case. See also Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645 (1972).

557 Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).

558 See, e.g., Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972). “If under Griswold the distribution of contraceptives to married persons cannot be prohibited, a ban on distribution to unmarried persons would be equally impermissible. It is true that in Griswold the right of privacy in question inhered in the marital relationship. Yet the marital couple is not an independent entity with a mind and heart of its own, but an association of two individuals each with a separate intellectual and emotional makeup. If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.” 405 U.S. at 453.

559 478 U.S. 186 (1986).

560 The Court upheld the statute only as applied to the plaintiffs, who were homosexuals, 478 U.S. at 188 (1986), and thus rejected an argument that there is a “fundamental right of homosexuals to engage in acts of consensual sodomy.” Id. at 192–93. In a dissent, Justice Blackmun indicated that he would have evaluated the statute as applied to both homosexual and heterosexual conduct, and thus would have resolved the broader issue not addressed by the Court—whether there is a general right to privacy and autonomy in matters of sexual intimacy. Id. at 199–203 (Justice Blackmun dissenting, joined by Justices Brennan, Marshall and Stevens).

561 539 U.S. 558 (2003) (overruling Bowers).

562 See 521 U.S. 702, 720–21 (1997).

563 See id. at 721 (internal citations and quotations omitted).

564 See 576 U.S. ___, No. 14–556, slip op. at 18 (2015).

565 See id. at 18–19.

566 See id. at 18.

567 491 U.S. 110 (1989). Five Justices agreed that a liberty interest was implicated, but the Court ruled that California’s procedures for establishing paternity did not unconstitutionally impinge on that interest.

568 491 U.S. at 128 n.6.

569 491 U.S. at 142.

570 410 U.S. 113, 164 (1973). A companion case was Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973). The opinion by Justice Blackman was concurred in by Justices Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, and Powell, and Chief Justice Burger. Justices White and Rehnquist dissented, id. at 171, 221, arguing that the Court should follow the traditional due process test of determining whether a law has a rational relation to a valid state objective and that so judged the statute was valid. Justice Rehnquist was willing to consider an absolute ban on abortions even when the mother’s life is in jeopardy to be a denial of due process, 410 U.S. at 173, while Justice White left the issue open. 410 U.S. at 223.

571 410 U.S. at 129–47.

572 410 U.S. at 156–59.

573 410 U.S. at 152–53.

574 410 U.S. at 152–53.

575 410 U.S. at 152, 155–56. The “compelling state interest” test in equal protection cases is reviewed under “The New Standards: Active Review,” infra.

576 410 U.S. at 147–52, 159–63.

577 410 U.S. at 163.

578 410 U.S. at 163.

579 410 U.S. at 163–64. A fetus becomes “viable” when it is “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks.” Id. at 160 (footnotes omitted).

580 Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973).

581 410 U.S. at 192–200. In addition, a residency provision was struck down as violating the privileges and immunities clause of Article IV, § 2. Id. at 200. See analysis under “State Citizenship: Privileges and Immunities,” supra.

582 410 U.S. at 191–92. “[T]he medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age— relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” Id. at 192. Presumably this discussion applies to the Court’s holding in Roe that even in the third trimester the woman may not be forbidden to have an abortion if it is necessary to preserve her health as well as her life, 410 U.S. at 163–64, a holding that is unelaborated in the opinion. See also United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971).

583 Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52 (1976). See also Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. 622 (1979) (parental consent to minor’s abortion); Colautti v. Franklin, 439 U.S. 379 (1979) (imposition on doctor’s determination of viability of fetus and obligation to take life-saving steps); Singleton v. Wulff, 428 U.S. 106 (1976) (standing of doctors to litigate right of patients to Medicaid-financed abortions); Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U.S. 809 (1975) (ban on newspaper ads for abortions); Connecticut v. Menillo, 423 U.S. 9 (1975) (state ban on performance of abortion by “any person” may constitutionally be applied to prosecute nonphysicians performing abortions).

584 Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52, 67–72 (1976). The Court recognized the husband’s interests and the state interest in promoting marital harmony. But the latter was deemed not served by the requirement, and, since when the spouses disagree on the abortion decision one has to prevail, the Court thought the person who bears the child and who is the more directly affected should be the one to prevail. Justices White and Rehnquist and Chief Justice Burger dissented. Id. at 92.

585 428 U.S. at 72–75. Minors have rights protected by the Constitution, but the states have broader authority to regulate their activities than those of adults. Here, the Court perceived no state interest served by the requirement that overcomes the woman’s right to make her own decision; it emphasized that it was not holding that every minor, regardless of age or maturity, could give effective consent for an abortion. Justice Stevens joined the other dissenters on this part of the holding. Id. at 101. In Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. 622 (1979), eight Justices agreed that a parental consent law, applied to a mature minor found to be capable of making, and having made, an informed and reasonable decision to have an abortion, was void but split on the reasoning. Four Justices would hold that neither parents nor a court could be given an absolute veto over a mature minor’s decision, while four others would hold that if parental consent is required the state must afford an expeditious access to court to review the parental determination and set it aside in appropriate cases. In H. L. v. Matheson, 450 U.S. 398 (1981), the Court upheld, as applied to an unemancipated minor living at home and dependent on her parents, a statute requiring a physician, “if possible,” to notify the parents or guardians of a minor seeking an abortion. The decisions leave open a variety of questions, addressed by some concurring and dissenting Justices, dealing with when it would not be in the minor’s best interest to avoid notifying her parents and with the alternatives to parental notification and consent. In two 1983 cases the Court applied the Bellotti v. Baird standard for determining whether judicial substitutes for parental consent requirements permit a pregnant minor to demonstrate that she is sufficiently mature to make her own decision on abortion. Compare City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983) (no opportunity for case-by-case determinations); with Planned Parenthood Ass’n v. Ashcroft, 462 U.S. 476 (1983) (adequate individualized consideration).

586 Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52, 81–84 (1976). A law requiring a doctor, subject to penal sanction, to determine if a fetus is viable or may be viable and to take steps to preserve the life and health of viable fetuses was held to be unconstitutionally vague. Colautti v. Franklin, 439 U.S. 379 (1979).

587 Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52, 75–79 (1976).

588 City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416, 438 (1983); Accord, Planned Parenthood Ass’n v. Ashcroft, 462 U.S. 476 (1983). The Court in Akron relied on evidence that “dilation and evacuation” (D&E) abortions performed in clinics cost less than half as much as hospital abortions, and that common use of the D&E procedure had “increased dramatically” the safety of second trimester abortions in the 10 years since Roe v. Wade. 462 U.S. at 435–36.

589 Simopoulos v. Virginia, 462 U.S. 506, 516 (1983).

590 City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416, 444–45 (1983); Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986). In City of Akron, the Court explained that while the state has a legitimate interest in ensuring that the woman’s consent is informed, it may not demand of the physician “a recitation of an inflexible list of information” unrelated to the particular patient’s health, and, for that matter, may not demand that the physician rather than some other qualified person render the counseling. City of Akron, 462 U.S. 416, 448–49 (1983).

591 City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416, 450–51 (1983). But see Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990) (upholding a 48-hour waiting period following notification of parents by a minor).

592 Planned Parenthood Ass’n v. Ashcroft, 462 U.S. 476, 486–90 (1983).

593 462 U.S. at 482–86, 505.

594 Maher v. Roe, 432 U.S. 464 (1977); Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980). See also Beal v. Doe, 432 U.S. 438 (1977) (states are not required by federal law to fund abortions); Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. at 306–11 (same). The state restriction in Maher, 432 U.S. at 466, applied to nontherapeutic abortions, whereas the federal law barred funding for most medically necessary abortions as well, a distinction the Court deemed irrelevant, Harris, 448 U.S. at 323, although it provided Justice Stevens with the basis for reaching different results. Id. at 349 (dissenting).

595 “An indigent woman who desires an abortion suffers no disadvantage as a consequence of Connecticut’s decision to fund childbirth; she continues as before to be dependent on private sources for the services she desires. The State may have made childbirth a more attractive alternative, thereby influencing the woman’s decision, but it has imposed no restriction on access to abortions that was not already there.” Maher, 432 U.S. at 469–74 (the quoted sentence is at 474); Harris, 448 U.S. at 321–26. Justices Brennan, Marshall, and Blackmun dissented in both cases and Justice Stevens joined them in Harris. Applying the same principles, the Court held that a municipal hospital could constitutionally provide hospital services for indigent women for childbirth but deny services for abortion. Poelker v. Doe, 432 U.S. 519 (1977).

596 City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416, 419–20 (1983). In refusing to overrule Roe v. Wade, the Court merely cited the principle of stare decisis. Justice Powell’s opinion of the Court was joined by Chief Justice Burger, and by Justices Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, and Stevens. Justice O’Connor, joined by Justices White and Rehnquist, dissented, voicing disagreement with the trimester approach and suggesting instead that throughout pregnancy the test should be the same: whether state regulation constitutes “unduly burdensome interference with [a woman’s] freedom to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy.” 462 U.S. at 452, 461. In the 1986 case of Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986), Justice White, joined by Justice Rehnquist, advocated overruling of Roe v. Wade, Chief Justice Burger thought Roe v. Wade had been extended to the point where it should be reexamined, and Justice O’Connor repeated misgivings expressed in her Akron dissent.

597 492 U.S. 490 (1989).

598 The Court declined to rule on several other aspects of Missouri’s law, including a preamble stating that life begins at conception, and a prohibition on the use of public funds to encourage or counsel a woman to have a nontherapeutic abortion.

599 Ohio’s requirement that one parent be notified of a minor’s intent to obtain an abortion, or that the minor use a judicial bypass procedure to obtain the approval of a juvenile court, was approved. Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 497 U.S. 502 (1990). And, while the Court ruled that Minnesota’s requirement that both parents be notified was invalid standing alone, the statute was saved by a judicial bypass alternative. Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990).

600 492 U.S. at 519–20. Dissenting Justice Blackmun, joined by Justices Brennan and Marshall, argued that this “permissibly furthers” standard “completely disregards the irreducible minimum of Roe . . . that a woman has a limited fundamental constitutional right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy,” and instead balances “a lead weight” (the State’s interest in fetal life) against a “feather” (a woman’s liberty interest). Id. at 555, 556 n.11.

601 Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417, 450 (1990).

602 492 U.S. at 521. Concurring Justice O’Connor agreed that “no decision of this Court has held that the State may not directly promote its interest in potential life when viability is possible.” Id. at 528.

603 492 U.S. at 519.

604 492 U.S. at 529. Previously, dissenting in City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416, 458 (1983), Justice O’Connor had suggested that the Roe trimester framework “is clearly on a collision course with itself. As the medical risks of various abortion procedures decrease, the point at which the State may regulate for reasons of maternal health is moved further forward to actual childbirth. As medical science becomes better able to provide for the separate existence of the fetus, the point of viability is moved further back toward conception.”

605 It was a new alignment of Justices that restated and preserved Roe. Joining Justice O’Connor in a jointly authored opinion adopting and applying Justice O’Connor’s “undue burden” analysis were Justices Kennedy and Souter. Justices Blackmun and Stevens joined parts of the plurality opinion, but dissented from other parts. Justice Stevens would not have abandoned trimester analysis, and would have invalidated the 24-hour waiting period and aspects of the informed consent requirement. Justice Blackmun, author of the Court’s opinion in Roe, asserted that “the right to reproductive choice is entitled to the full protection afforded by this Court before Webster,” id. at 923, and would have invalidated all of the challenged provisions. Chief Justice Rehnquist, joined by Justices White, Scalia, and Thomas, would have overruled Roe and upheld all challenged aspects of the Pennsylvania law.

606 505 U.S. 833, 846 (1992).

607 505 U.S. 833, 860 (1992).

608 505 U.S. at 877–78. Application of these principles in Casey led the Court to uphold overrule some precedent, but to invalidate arguably the most restrictive provision. The four provisions challenged which were upheld included a narrowed definition of “medical emergency” (which controlled exemptions from the Act’s limitations), record keeping and reporting requirements, an informed consent and 24-hour waiting period requirement; and a parental consent requirement, with possibility for judicial bypass, applicable to minors. The provisions which was invalidated as an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion was a spousal notification requirement.

609 City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983) (invalidating “informed consent” and 24-hour waiting period); Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986) (invalidating informed consent requirement).

610 Requiring informed consent for medical procedures was found to be both commonplace and reasonable, and, in the absence of any evidence of burden, the state could require that information relevant to informed consent be provided by a physician rather than an assistant. The 24-hour waiting period was approved both in theory (it being reasonable to assume “that important decisions will be more informed and deliberate if they follow some period of reflection”) and in practice (in spite of “troubling” findings of increased burdens on poorer women who must travel significant distances to obtain abortions, and on all women who must twice rather than once brave harassment by anti-abortion protesters). 505 U.S. at 885–87.

611 The plurality Justices were joined in this part of their opinion by Justices Blackmun and Stevens.

612 505 U.S. at 898.

613 530 U.S. 914 (2000).

614 530 U.S. at 938–39.

615 The Nebraska law provided that such procedures could be performed where “necessary to save the life of the mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.” Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28– 328(1).

616 Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 164 (1973).

617 As to the question of whether an abortion statute that is unconstitutional in some instances should be struck down in application only or in its entirety, see Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, 546 U.S. 320 (2006) (challenge to parental notification restrictions based on lack of emergency health exception remanded to determine legislative intent regarding severability of those applications).

618 550 U.S. 124 (2007).

619 Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, while Justice Ginsberg authored a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Steven, Souter and Breyer. Justice Thomas also filed a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Scalia, calling for overruling Casey and Roe.

620 18 U.S.C. § 1531(b)(1)(A). The penalty imposed on a physician for a violation of the statute was fines and/or imprisonment for not more than 2 years. In addition, the physician could be subject to a civil suit by the father (or maternal grandparents, where the mother is a minor) for money damages for all injuries, psychological and physical, occasioned by the violation of this section, and statutory damages equal to three times the cost of the partial-birth abortion.

621 550 U.S. at 150.

622 550 U.S. at 148–150.

623 As in Stenberg, the statute provided an exception for threats to the life of a woman.

624 550 U.S. at 162. Arguably, this holding overruled Stenberg insofar as Stenberg had allowed a facial challenge to the failure of Nebraska to provide a health exception to its prohibition on intact dilation and excavation abortions. 530 U.S. at 929– 38.

625 550 U.S. at 168.

626 550 U.S. at 160.

627 579 U.S. ___, No. 15–274, slip op. (2016).

628 Id. at 1–2.

629 Id. at 22.

630 Id. at 19.

631 Id.

632 Id. at 22, 28–30 (reviewing the state of the law prior to the enactment of the abortion regulation to determine whether there was a “significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure.”).

633 Id. at 30 (comparing the health risks associated with abortion relative to other medical procedures).

634 Id. at 20.

635 See id. (noting that in Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 165 (2007), the Court maintained that courts have an “independent constitutional duty” to review factual findings when reviewing legislation as inconsistent with abortion rights).

636 Id. at 19 (quoting and citing Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 877–78 (1992) (plurality opinion)).

637 Id. at 23.The Court further noted that Texas had admitted it did not know of a “single instance” where the requirement would have helped “even one woman” obtain “better treatment.” Id.

638 Id. at 27.

639 Id. at 24.

640 Specifically, the Court noted that hospitals typically condition admitting privileges based on the number admissions a doctor has to a hospital—policies that, because of the safety of abortion procedures, meant that providers likely would be unable to obtain and maintain such privileges. Id. at 25.

641 Id. at 26. The Court noted that increased driving distances are not necessarily an undue burden, but in this case viewed them as “one additional burden” which, when taken together with the other burdens—and the “virtual absence of any health benefit”—lead to the conclusion that the admitting-privileges requirement constitutes an undue burden. Id.

642 Id. at 30.

643 Id. at 30–31.

644 Id. at 32, 35–36.

645 Id. at 39. In so concluding, the Whole Woman’s Health Court appears to have clarified that the burden for a plaintiff to establish that an abortion restriction is unconstitutional on its face (as opposed to unconstitutional as applied in a particular circumstance) is to show that the law would be unconstitutional with respect to a “large fraction” of women for whom the provisions are relevant. Id. (rejecting Texas’s argument that the regulations in question would not affect most women of reproductive age in Texas); cf. United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 745 (1987) (“A facial challenge to a legislative Act is, of course, the most difficult challenge to mount successfully, since the challenger must establish that no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid.”).

646 For instance, Justice Douglas’s asked rhetorically in Griswold: “[w]ould we allow the police to search the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives? The very idea is repulsive to the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship.” 381 U.S. at 486.

647 Whalen v. Roe, 429 U.S. 589, 598–600 (1977).

648 381 U.S. 479 (1965).

649 The predominant concern flowing through the several opinions in Griswold v. Connecticut is the threat of forced disclosure about the private and intimate lives of persons through the pervasive surveillance and investigative efforts that would be needed to enforce such a law; moreover, the concern was not limited to the pressures such investigative techniques would impose on the confines of the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure clause, but also included techniques that would have been within the range of permissible investigation.

650 Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 153 (1973). See id. at 167–71 (Justice Stewart concurring). Justice Douglas continued to deny that substantive due process is the basis of the decisions. Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 209, 212 n.4 (1973) (concurring).

651 E.g., California Bankers Ass’n v. Shultz, 416 U.S. 21 (1974). See also Laird v. Tatum, 408 U.S. 1 (1972); United States v. United States District Court, 407 U.S. 297 (1972); United States v. Dionisio, 410 U.S. 1 (1973); Zurcher v. Stanford Daily, 436 U.S. 547 (1978).

652 425 U.S. 435 (1976). See also Fisher v. United States, 425 U.S. 391, 401 (1976); Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 712–13 (1976); United States v. Bisceglia, 420 U.S. 141 (1975).

653 The Bank Secrecy Act required the banks to retain cancelled checks. The Court held that the checks were business records of the bank in which the depositors had no expectation of privacy and therefore there was no Fourth Amendment standing to challenge government legal process directed to the bank, and this status was unchanged by the fact that the banks kept the records under government mandate in the first place.

654 See Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 60–82 (1976); Whalen v. Roe, 429 U.S. 589, 601 n.27, 604 n.32 (1977); United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435, 444 n.6 (1976). The Court continues to reserve the question of the “[s]pecial problems of privacy which might be presented by subpoena of a personal diary.” Fisher v. United States, 425 U.S. 391, 401 n.7 (1976).

655 425 U.S. 391 (1976).

656 425 U.S. at 399.

657 425 U.S. at 401.

658 429 U.S. 589 (1977).

659 429 U.S. at 598–604. The Court cautioned that it had decided nothing about the privacy implications of the accumulation and disclosure of vast amounts of information in data banks. Safeguarding such information from disclosure “arguably has its roots in the Constitution,” at least “in some circumstances,” the Court seemed to indicate. Id. at 605. Compare id. at 606 (Justice Brennan concurring). What the Court’s careful circumscription of the privacy issue through balancing does to the concept is unclear after Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S. 425, 455–65 (1977) (stating that an invasion of privacy claim “cannot be considered in abstract [and] . . . must be weighed against the public interest”). But see id. at 504, 525–36 (Chief Justice Burger dissenting), and 545 n.1 (Justice Rehnquist dissenting).

660 See, e.g., Plante v. Gonzalez, 575 F.2d 1119, 1134 (5th Cir. 1978) (“. . . we believe that the balancing test, more common to due process claims, is appropriate here.”).

661 See 562 U.S. 134 (2011).

662 Id. at 148–56.

663 394 U.S. 557 (1969).

664 In fact, the Court passed over a subsidiary Fourth Amendment issue that was available for decision in favor of a broader resolution. 394 U.S. at 569–72. (Stewart, J., concurring).

665 394 U.S. at 564–65.

666 The rights noted by the Court were held superior to the interests Georgia asserted to override them. That is, first, the state was held to have no authority to protect an individual’s mind from the effects of obscenity, to promote the moral content of one’s thoughts. Second, the state’s assertion that exposure to obscenity may lead to deviant sexual behavior was rejected on the basis of a lack of empirical support and, more important, on the basis that less intrusive deterrents were available. Thus, a right to be free of governmental regulation in this area was clearly recognized.

667 United States v. Reidel, 402 U.S. 351, 354–56 (1971) (no right to distribute obscene material for private use); United States v. Thirty-seven Photographs, 402 U.S. 363, 375–76 (1971) (no right to import obscene material for private use); United States v. 12 200–Ft. Reels of Film, 413 U.S. 123 (1973) (no right to acquire obscene material for private use); Osborne v. Ohio, 495 U.S. 103, 109–111 (1990) (no right to possess child pornography in the home).

668 413 U.S. 49 (1973).

669 413 U.S. at 64. Similar themes can be found in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 148 (1972), decided the year before. Because the Court had determined that the right to obtain an abortion constituted a protected “liberty,” the State was required to justify its proscription by a compelling interest. Departing from a laissez faire, “free will” approach to individual autonomy, the Court recognized protecting the health of the mother as a valid interest. The Court also mentioned but did not rule upon a state interest in protecting morality. The Court was referring not to the morality of abortion, but instead to the promotion of sexual morality through making abortion unavailable. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 148 (1972).

670 Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton, 413 U.S. 49, 57–63, 63–64, 68–69 (1973); see also id. at 68 n.15. Although it denied a privacy right to view obscenity in a theater, the Court recognized that, in order to protect otherwise recognized autonomy rights, the privacy right might need to be expanded to a variety of different locations: “[T]he constitutionally protected privacy of family, marriage, motherhood, procreation, and child rearing is not just concerned with a particular place, but with a protected intimate relationship. Such protected privacy extends to the doctor’s office, the hospital, the hotel room, or as otherwise required to safeguard the right to intimacy involved.” Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton, 413 U.S. 49, 66 n.13 (1973). Thus, arguably, the constitutional protection of places (as opposed to activities) arises not because of any inherent privacy of the location, but because the protected activities normally take place in those locales.

671 478 U.S. 186 (1986).

672 478 U.S. at 195–96. Dissenting, Justice Blackmun challenged the Court’s characterization of Stanley, suggesting that it had rested as much on the Fourth as on the First Amendment, and that “the right of an individual to conduct intimate relationships in . . . his or her own home [is] at the heart of the Constitution’s protection of privacy.” Id. at 207–08.

673 478 U.S. 186, 195 (1986).

674 539 U.S. 558 (2003).

675 Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 152 (1973).

676 431 U.S. 678 (1977).

677 431 U.S. at 684–91. The opinion of the Court on the general principles drew the support of Justices Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, Blackmun, and Stevens. Justice White concurred in the result in the voiding of the ban on access to adults while not expressing an opinion on the Court’s general principles. Id. at 702. Justice Powell agreed the ban on access to adults was void but concurred in an opinion significantly more restrained than the opinion of the Court. Id. at 703. Chief Justice Burger, id. at 702, and Justice Rehnquist, id. at 717, dissented. The limitation of the number of outlets to adults “imposes a significant burden on the right of the individuals to use contraceptives if they choose to do so” and was unjustified by any interest put forward by the state. The prohibition on sale to minors was judged not by the compelling state interest test, but instead by inquiring whether the restrictions serve “any significant state interest . . . that is not present in the case of an adult.” This test is “apparently less rigorous” than the test used with adults, a distinction justified by the greater governmental latitude in regulating the conduct of children and the lesser capability of children in making important decisions. The attempted justification for the ban was rejected. Doubting the permissibility of a ban on access to contraceptives to deter minors’ sexual activity, the Court even more doubted, because the State presented no evidence, that limiting access would deter minors from engaging in sexual activity. Id. at 691–99. This portion of the opinion was supported by only Justices Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, and Blackmun. Justices White, Powell, and Stevens concurred in the result, id. at 702, 703, 712, each on more narrow grounds than the plurality. Again, Chief Justice Burger and Justice Rehnquist dissented. Id. at 702, 717.

678 478 U.S. 186 (1986). The Court’s opinion was written by Justice White, and joined by Chief Justice Burger and by Justices Powell, Rehnquist, and O’Connor. The Chief Justice and Justice Powell added brief concurring opinions. Justice Blackmun dissented, joined by Justices Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens, and Justice Stevens, joined by Justices Brennan and Marshall, added a separate dissenting opinion.

679 “[N]one of the rights announced in those cases bears any resemblance to the claimed constitutional right of homosexuals to engage in acts of sodomy.” 478 U.S. at 190–91.

680 Justice White’s opinion for the Court in Hardwick sounded the same opposition to “announcing rights not readily identifiable in the Constitution’s text” that underlay his dissents in the abortion cases. 478 U.S. at 191. The Court concluded that there was no “fundamental right [of] homosexuals to engage in acts of consensual sodomy,” as homosexual sodomy is neither a fundamental liberty “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” nor is it “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” 478 U.S. at 191–92.

681 478 U.S. at 191–92. Chief Justice Burger’s brief concurring opinion amplified this theme, concluding that constitutional protection for “the act of homosexual sodomy . . . would . . . cast aside millennia of moral teaching.” Id. at 197. Justice Powell cautioned that Eighth Amendment proportionality principles might limit the severity with which states can punish the practices (Hardwick had been charged but not prosecuted, and had initiated the action to have the statute under which he had been charged declared unconstitutional). Id.

682 The Court voiced concern that “it would be difficult . . . to limit the claimed right to homosexual conduct while leaving exposed to prosecution adultery, incest, and other sexual crimes even though they are committed in the home.” 478 U.S. at 195–96. Dissenting Justices Blackmun (id. at 209 n.4) and Stevens (id. at 217–18) suggested that these crimes are readily distinguishable.

683 478 U.S. at 199. The Georgia statute at issue, like most sodomy statutes, prohibits the practices regardless of the sex or marital status of the participants. See id. at 188 n.1. Justice Stevens too focused on this aspect, suggesting that the earlier privacy cases clearly bar a state from prohibiting sodomy by married couples, and that Georgia had not justified selective application to homosexuals. Id. at 219. Justice Blackmun would instead have addressed the issue more broadly as to whether the law violated an individual’s privacy right “to be let alone.” The privacy cases are not limited to protection of the family and the right to procreation, he asserted, but instead stand for the broader principle of individual autonomy and choice in matters of sexual intimacy. 478 U.S. at 204–06. This position was rejected by the majority, however, which held that the thrust of the fundamental right of privacy in this area is one functionally related to “family, marriage, or procreation.” 478 U.S. at 191. See also Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 713 (1976).

684 539 U.S. 558 (2003).

685 539 U.S. at 567.

686 539 U.S. at 567.

687 The Court noted with approval Justice Stevens’ dissenting opinion in Bowers v. Hardwick, stating “that a governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice; neither history nor tradition could save a law prohibiting miscegenation from constitutional attack.” 539 U.S. at 577–78, citing Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. at 216.

688 The Court reserved this question in Carey, 431 U.S. at 694 n.17 (plurality opinion), although Justices White, Powell, and Stevens in concurrence seemed to see no barrier to state prohibition of sexual relations by minors. Id. at 702, 703, 712.

689 Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 152 (1973). The language is quoted in full in Carey, 431 U.S. at 684–85.

690 In the same Term the Court significantly restricted its equal protection doctrine of “fundamental” interests—“compelling” interest justification by holding that the “key” to discovering whether an interest or a relationship is a “fundamental” one is not its social significance but is whether it is “explicitly or implicitly guaranteed by the Constitution.” San Antonio School Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 33–34 (1973). That this limitation has not been honored with respect to equal protection analysis or due process analysis can be easily discerned. Compare Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374 (1978) (opinion of Court), with id. at 391 (Justice Stewart concurring), and id. at 396 (Justice Powell concurring).

691 Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1928).

692 Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 503 (1977) (plurality). Unlike the liberty interest in property, which derives from early statutory law, these liberties spring instead from natural law traditions, as they are “intrinsic human rights.” Smith v. Organization of Foster Families, 431 U.S. 816, 845 (1977). These rights, however, do not extend to all close relationships. Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986) (same sex relationships).

693 Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 486 (1965); Cleveland Bd. of Educ. v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632, 639–40 (1974); Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374, 383–87 (1978).

694 Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374, 386 (1978).

695 Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374 (1978). The majority of the Court deemed the statute to fail under equal protection, whereas Justices Stewart and Powell found a violation of due process. Id. at 391, 396. Compare Califano v. Jobst, 434 U.S. 47 (1977).

696 See 576 U.S. ___, No. 14–556, slip op. at 12 (2015).

697 See id. at 6–10.

698 In Pavan v. Smith, the Court reviewed an Arkansas law providing that when a married woman gives birth, her husband must be listed as the second parent on the child’s birth certificate, including when he is not the child’s genetic parent. 582 U.S. ___, No. 16–992, slip op. at 1 (2017). The lower court had interpreted the law to not require the state to extend the rule to similarly situated same-sex couples. Id. Relying on Obergefell, the Court struck down the law, noting that the “differential treatment” of the Arkansas rules “infringes Obergefell’s commitment to provide same-sex couples ‘the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage.’” Id. (quoting Obergefell, slip op. at 17.)

699 See id. at 12–16.

700 See id. at 17.

701 See id. at 17–18. The Court also grounded its Obergefell decision in the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at 19 (“The right of same-sex couples to marry that is part of the liberty promised by the Fourteenth Amendment is derived, too, from that Amendment’s guarantee of the equal protection of the laws.”). For a discussion of Obergefell’s equal protection holding, see infra Fourteenth Amendment: Equal Protection of the Laws: The New Equal Protection: Sexual Orientation.

702 See, e.g., Obergefell, slip op. at 20 (Roberts, C.J., dissenting) (“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.”); but see Joanna L. Grossman & Lawrence M. Friedman, Is Three Still a Crowd? Polygamy and the Law After Obergefell v. Hodges, VERDICT (July 7, 2015), available at https://verdict.justia.com/2015/07/07/isthreestillacrowdpolygamyandthelawafterobergefellvhodges (“Obergefell did not really open the door to plural marriages.”). For an extended debate on whether the right to marry protects plural marriages, compare Ronald C. Den Otter, Three May Not Be a Crowd: The Case for a Constitutional Right to Plural Marriage, 64 EMORY L.J. 1977 (2015), with John Witte, Jr., Why Two in One Flesh? The Western Case for Monogamy Over Polygamy, 64 EMORY L.J. 1675 (2015).

703 “If a State were to attempt to force the breakup of a natural family, over the objections of the parents and their children, without some showing of unfitness and for the sole reason that to do so was thought to be in the children’s best interest, I should have little doubt that the State would have intruded impermissibly on ‘the private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.’” Smith v. Organization of Foster Families, 431 U.S. 816, 862–63 (1977) (Justice Stewart concurring), cited with approval in Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246, 255 (1978).

704 Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494 (1977) (plurality opinion). The fifth vote, decisive to the invalidity of the ordinance, was on other grounds. Id. at 513.

705 Smith v. Organization of Foster Families, 431 U.S. 816 (1977). As the Court noted, the rights of a natural family arise independently of statutory law, whereas the ties that develop between a foster parent and a foster child arise as a result of state-ordered arrangement. As these latter liberty interests arise from positive law, they are subject to the limited expectations and entitlements provided under those laws. Further, in some cases, such liberty interests may not be recognized without derogation of the substantive liberty interests of the natural parents. Although Smith does not define the nature of the interest of foster parents, it would appear to be quite limited and attenuated. Id. at 842–47. In a conflict between natural and foster families, a court is likely to defer to a typical state process which makes such decisions based on the best interests of the child. See Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246 (1978).

706 Michael H. v. Gerald D., 491 U.S. 110 (1989). There was no opinion of the Court. A majority of Justices (Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, Stevens, White) was willing to recognize that the biological father has a liberty interest in a relationship with his child, but Justice Stevens voted with the plurality (Scalia, Rehnquist, O’Connor, Kennedy) because he believed that the statute at issue adequately protected that interest.

707 The clearest conflict to date was presented by state law giving a veto to parents over their minor children’s right to have an abortion. Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52 (1976); Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 503 U.S. 833 (1992). See also Parham v. J. R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979) (parental role in commitment of child for treatment of mental illness).

708 530 U.S. 57 (2000).

709 530 U.S. at 66.

710 These principles have no application to persons not held in custody by the state. DeShaney v. Winnebago County Social Servs. Dep’t, 489 U.S. 189 (1989) (no due process violation for failure of state to protect an abused child from his parent, even when the social service agency had been notified of possible abuse, and possibility had been substantiated through visits by social worker).

711 O’Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563, 576 (1975). See Jackson v. Indiana, 406 U.S. 715 (1972); Vitek v. Jones, 445 U.S. 480, 491–94 (1980).

712 Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307, 324 (1982). Thus, personal security constitutes a “historic liberty interest” protected substantively by the due process clause. Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 673 (1977) (liberty interest in being free from undeserved corporal punishment in school); Greenholtz v. Nebraska Penal Inmates, 442 U.S. 1, 18 (1979) (Justice Powell concurring) (“Liberty from bodily restraint always has been recognized as the core of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause from arbitrary governmental actions”).

713 In Jackson v. Indiana, 406 U.S. 715, 738 (1972), the Court had said that “due process requires that the nature and duration of commitment bear some reasonable relation to the purpose for which the individual is committed.” Reasoning that if commitment is for treatment and betterment of individuals, it must be accompanied by adequate treatment, several lower courts recognized a due process right. E.g., Wyatt v. Stickney, 325 F. Supp. 781 (M.D. Ala), enforced, 334 F. Supp. 1341 (1971), supplemented, 334 F. Supp. 373 and 344 F. Supp. 387 (M.D.Ala. 1972), aff’d in part, reserved in part, and remanded sub nom. Wyatt v. Aderholt, 503 F.2d 1305 (5th Cir. 1974); Donaldson v. O’Connor, 493 F.2d 507 (5th Cir. 1974), vacated on other grounds, 422 U.S. 563 (1975).

714 “The word ‘habilitation,’ . . . is commonly used to refer to programs for the mentally-retarded because mental retardation is . . . a learning disability and training impairment rather than an illness. [T]he principal focus of habilitation is upon training and development of needed skills.” Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307, 309 n.1 (1982) (quoting amicus brief for American Psychiatric Association; ellipses and brackets supplied by the Court).

715 Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307, 319 (1982).

716 457 U.S. at 318 n.23.

717 457 U.S. at 317–18. Concurring, Justices Blackmun, Brennan, and O’Connor, argued that due process guaranteed patients at least that training necessary to prevent them from losing the skills they entered the institution with. Id. at 325. Chief Justice Burger rejected any protected interest in training. Id. at 329. The Court had also avoided a decision on a right to treatment in O’Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563, 573 (1975), vacating and remanding a decision recognizing the right and thereby depriving the decision of precedential value. Chief Justice Burger expressly rejected the right there also. Id. at 578. But just four days later the Court denied certiorari to another panel decision from the same circuit that had relied on the circuit’s Donaldson decision to establish such a right, leaving the principle alive in that circuit. Burnham v. Department of Public Health, 503 F.2d 1319 (5th Cir. 1974), cert. denied, 422 U.S. 1057 (1975). See also Allen v. Illinois, 478 U.S. 364, 373 (1986) (dictum that person civilly committed as “sexually dangerous person” might be entitled to protection under the self-incrimination clause if he could show that his confinement “is essentially identical to that imposed upon felons with no need for psychiatric care”).

718 457 U.S. at 323.

719 E.g., Ohlinger v. Watson, 652 F. 2d 775, 779 (9th Cir. 1980); Welsch v. Likins, 550 F.2d 1122, 1132 (8th Cir. 1977). Of course, lack of funding will create problems with respect to injunctive relief as well. Cf. New York State Ass’n for Retarded Children v. Carey, 631 F.2d 162, 163 (2d Cir. 1980). The Supreme Court has limited the injunctive powers of the federal courts in similar situations.

720 521 U.S. 346 (1997).

721 521 U.S. at 359. But see Foucha v. Louisiana, 504 U.S. 71, 80 (1992) (holding that a state can not hold a person suffering from a personality disorder without clear and convincing proof of a mental illness).

722 Kansas v. Crane, 534 U.S. 407 (2002).

723 See Developments in the Law: Civil Commitment of the Mentally Ill, 87 HARV. L. REV. 1190 (1974). In Mills v. Rogers, 457 U.S. 291 (1982), the Court had before it the issue of the due process right of committed mental patients at state hospitals to refuse administration of antipsychotic drugs. An intervening decision of the state’s highest court had measurably strengthened the patients’ rights under both state and federal law and the Court remanded for reconsideration in light of the state court decision. See also Rennie v. Klein, 653 F.2d 836 (3d Cir. 1981).

724 Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1975, Pub. L. 94–103, 89 Stat. 486, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6000 et seq., as to which see Pennhurst State School & Hosp. v. Halderman, 451 U.S. 1 (1981); Mental Health Systems Act, 94 Stat. 1565, 42 U.S.C. §§ 9401 et seq.

725 See, e.g., Mills v. Rogers, 457 U.S. 291, 299–300 (1982). On the question of procedural due process rights that apply to civil commitments, see “The Problem of Civil Commitment,” infra.

726 Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, 497 U.S. 261, 280 (1990) (“We do not think that a State is required to remain neutral in the face of an informed and voluntary decision by a physically able adult to starve to death”).

727 497 U.S. 261 (1990).

728 497 U.S. at 279.

729 See 497 U.S. at 287 (O’Connor, concurring); id. at 304–05 (Brennan, joined by Marshall and Blackmun, dissenting); id. at 331 (Stevens, dissenting).

730 497 U.S. at 286.

731 “A State is entitled to guard against potential abuses” that can occur if family members do not protect a patient’s best interests, and “may properly decline to make judgments about the ‘quality’ of life that a particular individual may enjoy, and [instead] simply assert an unqualified interest in the preservation of human life to be weighed against the constitutionally protected interests of the individual.” 497 U.S. at 281–82.

732 There was testimony that the patient in Cruzan could be kept “alive” for about 30 years if nutrition and hydration were continued.

733 521 U.S. 702 (1997). In the companion case of Vacco v. Quill, 521 U.S. 793 (1997), the Court also rejected an argument that a state which prohibited assisted suicide but which allowed termination of medical treatment resulting in death unreasonably discriminated against the terminally ill in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

734 521 U.S. at 720.

735 E.g., Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992) (upholding a liberty interest in terminating pregnancy).

736 A passing reference by Justice O’Connor in a concurring opinion in Glucksberg and its companion case Vacco v. Quill may, however, portend a liberty interest in seeking pain relief, or “palliative” care. Glucksberg and Vacco, 521 U.S. at 736–37 (Justice O’Connor, concurring).