Slaughterhouse Cases

Also found in: Legal.

Slaughterhouse Cases,

cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1873. In 1869 the Louisiana legislature granted a 25-year monopoly to a slaughterhouse concern in New Orleans for the stated purpose of protecting the people's health. Other slaughterhouse operators barred from their trade brought suit, principally on the ground that they had been deprived of their property without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth AmendmentFourteenth Amendment,
addition to the U.S. Constitution, adopted 1868. The amendment comprises five sections. Section 1

Section 1 of the amendment declares that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are American citizens and citizens of their state
..... Click the link for more information.
. The U.S. Supreme Court, with Justice Samuel F. Miller rendering the majority decision, decided against the slaughterhouse operators, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment had to be considered in light of the original purpose of its framers, i.e., to guarantee the freedom of former black slaves. Although the amendment could not be construed to refer only to black slavery, its scope as originally planned did not include rights such as those in question. A distinction was drawn between United States and state citizenship, and it was held that the amendment did not intend to deprive the state of legal jurisdiction over the civil rights of its citizens. The restraint placed by the Louisiana legislators on the slaughterhouse operators was declared not to deprive them of their property without due process.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Root traces the battle over judicial restraint to a notorious 1873 Supreme Court decision known as the Slaughterhouse Cases. The decision concerned a group of butchers who challenged a Louisiana law that, ostensibly for health reasons, relocated and consolidated the New Orleans slaughterhouse industry into a state-controlled monopoly.
The missing piece in the puzzle, which I could not discuss in the review, was the incorrect reading that the Supreme Court gave to the 14th Amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause in the Slaughterhouse cases in 1872.
For the Court to accept Gura's argument, it would have to overturn that longstanding precedent, known as the Slaughterhouse Cases, and implicitly admit that all its incorporation rulings relying on the Due Process Clause had focused on the wrong provision of the 14th Amendment.
In a ruling known as the Slaughterhouse cases, the Court interpreted, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States," to be limited in scope to only such rights or privileges as were bestowed by the Constitution, not those which pre-existed and were merely reiterated in that document.
Many courts and legal scholars have held that state government officials generally have no duty to affirmatively intervene on behalf of an individual to protect his or her well being (see generally The Slaughterhouse Cases (1873), DeShaney v.
What be terms the "populist" efforts were rooted in discontent with a series of federal and state decisions stretching back to the Slaughterhouse Cases of 1873 where the doctrine of "substantive due process" first made an appearance.
If anything, the Court attempted to circumscribe the effects of the Fourteenth Amendment in the Slaughterhouse cases. Moreover, there is no evidence that the dissents by Justices McLean and Curtis in Dred Scott significantly influenced the congressional debates leading to the proposal of the Fourteenth Amendment.
If the emphasis on philosophical rather than historical context in Robinson's essay and his primary focus on constitutional developments since 1970 suggest the boundaries of legal scholarship in this area, the historian Harold Hyman offers a useful corrective in his excellent study of the efforts of Congress and the federal courts in the years between 1865 and 1873 to incorporate the civil rights of both whites and blacks within older, recognized forms of property and to protect them against legislative encroachment, efforts that foundered on the narrow interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment in the Slaughterhouse Cases.
The Chicago case could, however, have ramifications beyond the field of firearms rights, since it asks the high court in effect to overrule the 1873 Slaughterhouse cases as subsequently interpreted.