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The Slaughter House Cases Of 1873

657 words - 3 pages

The Slaughterhouse Cases, resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1873, ruled that a citizen's "privileges and immunities," are protected by the Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment against the states were restricted to those in the Constitution and did not have many rights given by the individual states. Slaughterhouse was the Court's first explanation of the Fourteenth Amendment, perhaps the most important addition to the Constitution after the Bill of Rights. The case began in 1869, when the Louisiana legislature passed a law forming a monopoly to the Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughterhouse Company to slaughter animals in the New Orleans district. In exchange for private operating rights in New Orleans, the Crescent City Company was to fulfill state supplies governing among other things, quality of facilities and products, and price of livestock. Butchers claimed that the state illegally deprived them of the "privilege" of operating slaughterhouse companies and therefore prohibited them from earning a living. After the state courts decided that the law was constitutional, the butchers pleaded to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided the case in 1873.
The Supreme Court's decision, written by Justice Samuel Taylor Miller, declared that the law did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court debated that the "privileges and immunities" case ("No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States") only bans the states from immunities belonging to America citizenship, not state citizenship, and withholding all the privileges.(The Supreme Court, 2008.) The Court presented their understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment’s approval, thinking that the privileges or immunities clause is not “a protection to the citizen of a State against the legislative power of his own state.”
Initially, the Court held that “nearly every civil right for the establishment and protection of which government is instituted” along with “those rights which are fundamental” are not kept by the...

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