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Canal. The outlet of the Canal is through the Illinois River into the Mississippi. St. Louis obtains its drinking water from the Mississippi; hence the State of Missouri sued the State of Illinois, demanding that Chicago be prohibited from polluting the accustomed supply of water of St. Louis. The counsel for Illinois had several hundred barrels of harmless bacteria emptied into the stream at Chicago and found that none survived until the water reached St. Louis. In what court did Missouri lose the suit?

7. The United States built a dam across a river in South Carolina to aid navigation, and thereby destroyed the value of rice lands. Mr. Hayward, the owner, claimed damages and won the suit. In what court?

8. During the Civil War some colored Union soldiers destroyed a home in Alabama which they had been sent to protect. After the war a congressman from Alabama asked Congress to pay the owner for the loss of his property. Congress referred the matter to the proper court, which decided that there was no legal claim against the United States, only against the soldiers, but recommended the appropriation of $17,500 as an honorable obligation upon the principles of right and justice. To what court was the matter referred ?

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CHAPTER XV

CIVIL RIGHTS

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127. Civil Rights Defined. The civil rights of an individual are all the legal rights he has except the right to vote and to

hold office, which two rights are known as political rights. An f individual has a right to do anything which is not prohibited

by the laws of the land; but inasmuch as the laws of the land are continually changing, the individual's rights are also continually changing.

However, there has always existed a feeling that one should not be deprived of certain rights without exceptional consideration. These more precious rights are listed in the Constitution of the United States and in the constitutions of the States, and are therefore beyond the control of Congress and the State legislatures. (See Sec. 159.)

128. Civil Rights Beyond the Control of Congress and the States. - The Constitution of the United States provides that neither the United States nor the States may

(1) Deprive any person of the right to be free. (Amend. XIII.)

(2) Punish any person by a bill of attainder or ex post facto law. (Art. I, Secs. 9 and 10.) Abill of attainder is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without a judicial trial. An ex post facto law is a law that makes criminal an act which was innocent when done, or an ex post facto law is a law which operates to the detriment of one accused of a crime committed prior to the enactment of such law. It applies to criminal cases only.

(3) Deprive any person of life, liberty,' or property, with

out due process of law. (Amend. V and Amend. XIV.) Due e process of law means a legal procedure which hears before it

condemns and which renders judgment only after a fair trial. For instance, to deprive a person of his life, liberty, or property without giving him and his witnesses a chance to testify in court would be to deprive him of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law, hence deprive him of his constitutional rights.

Due process of law also means reasonable law. Therefore, if Congress or a State legislature enacts a law which, in the opinion of the United States Supreme Court, deprives a person of his life, liberty, or property unreasonably, such a law cannot be enforced.

It is impossible for the court to enumerate all laws which it would declare reasonable, because what is reasonable under one set of circumstances may be unreasonable under another. This can be illustrated by the three following decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States :

(1) It is reasonable for Utah to prohibit coal miners from working more than eight hours a day, because working long hours in mines is injurious to health.

(2) It is reasonable for Oregon to prohibit women from working in factories or laundries more than ten hours a day, because woman is the mother of the family and the general welfare of the race depends in an especial manner upon her physical condition.

(3) It is unreasonable for New York to restrict bakers to a ten-hour working day, because the court does not consider working in a bakery to be especially injurious to the health ; hence it is unreasonable to interfere with the baker's liberty to contract with his employer to work a greater number of hours. In other words, a person has a right to enter into any contracts which are consistent with the general welfare. To deprive

1 Liberty means not only the right of freedom from imprisonment, but the right of one to use his faculties in all lawful ways, and to pursue any lawful trade or diversion.

2 Property means more than mere physical property. It includes stocks, bonds, good will, professional knowledge, and the income therefrom.

him of this is to deprive him of his liberty unreasonably, hence F contrary to the rights guaranteed in the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments.

By going through the decisions of the Supreme Court interpreting the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendment' we can get some idea as to whether or not the court will consider that a certain law deprives one unreasonably of life, liberty, or property ; but

we cannot be certain that an Act passed by Congress or a State F legislature is a good, valid law until the Supreme Court of the

United States has upheld the law after hearing an actual case in which the constitutionality of the law was questioned.?

129. Civil Rights Beyond the Control of Congress. The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States are

1 Within the last decade the Supreme Court has delivered nearly four hundred opinions interpreting the “due process clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment. Fifty of these decisions declared State laws unconstitutional. For example, a State legislature enacted a law requiring railroads to carry passengers within the State at two cents a mile. The railroads showed that they would lose money carrying passengers at this rate, and the Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional because its enforcement would be taking property unreasonably — “without due process of law."

Among the other three hundred and fifty laws which were tested in the Supreme Court but held to be constitutional were the following: (1) A Boston ordinance prohibiting the holding of meetings on the Boston Common. (2) A woman was denied the privilege of practicing law in Virginia courts because of her sex.

(8) Tennessee prohibited the sale of cigarettes. (4) A Boston ordinance restricted the height of buildings. (5) Texas compelled railroads to cut wild (Johnson) grass from their right of way. (6) Massachusetts compelled people to be vaccinated.

2 Courts will not tell one wbether a certain Act will be lawful. The court never acts until an individual or corporation accuses another of breaking the law and brings an actual case for its decision. This practice is necessary for two reasons: First, a judge could not possibly foresee all of the effects of a certain legislative act. Second, when an actual case comes to court, attorneys collect the law and arguments for each side of the contention and the judge acts somewhat as a referee. If the judge did not have these arguments collected for him it would be necessary for him to investigate the law as well as decide it, and for this he has not the time.

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F known as the Bill of Rights because they contain so many

guarantees of liberty that are set forth in the English Bill of Rights. These, amendments restrict Congress alone. This fact cannot be too strongly emphasized, because most people think that these restrictions apply to the States as well as to the United States. Congress may not take away any of the liberties set forth in these amendments, but through legislation the States may deprive their citizens of many of these liberties without violating the Constitution of the United States.

130. Civil Rights Beyond the Control of States. — The Constitution of the United States places upon the States three important restrictions involving civil rights which it does not place upon Congress.

(1) No State may pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts. (Art. I, Sec. 10.) This restriction means that a law enacted after a lawful contract has been made shall not affect the provisions of such contract. For example, Crowninshield

of New York gave his note to Sturges of the same State on F March 22, 1811. Shortly thereafter the State of New York

passed a bankruptcy law? under which Crowninshield became a bankrupt. Paying Sturges a certain per cent of the debt, Crowninshield claimed that he was exempt from payment of the remainder. Application of this bankruptcy law of New York State to debts contracted before its passage was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States as impairing obligations of contract.

(2) No State may make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts. (Art. I, Sec. 10.) This restriction means that no State may enact a law requiring a creditor to accept anything but gold or silver when tendered in payment of a debt.

1 The English Bill of Rights is an act of Parliament enumerating various liberties guaranteed to the subjects to which King William assented in 1688.

2 For meaning of “ bankruptcy law" see U. S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8, note.

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